With loyalty in question, Banks' resignation overdue
It is time for Jim Banks to resign. He does not work for the voters in Indiana; he doesn't even work for the best interest of the USA. He only works for the best interest of himself and Donald Trump.
He has blocked every attempt at finding the cause and those responsible for the insurrection on Jan. 6. He has blocked every attempt at bringing the responsible parties to justice.
Why doesn't he want an investigation into Jan. 6? Is he covering for Trump? Is he covering for his fellow congressmen who were in contact with Trump that day? Does he not want to know if your fellow members of Congress had reconnaissance tours leading up to the insurrection that put his life in danger?
The citizens of Indiana should not be paying his salary. The person paying his salary should be the person he works for: Trump. He is more loyal to him than to the Constitution he supposedly swore his loyalty to, twice.
On a side note: With all of the letters thanking people for paying for their meal and saying they will pay it forward, start with your server and give them a nice tip.
Kurtis W. Lothamer
Citizen mapmakers resort to reverse gerrymandering
As Bruce Reidenbach's Sept. 26 op-ed lays out, only four of Indiana's 92 counties vote Democratic. Using statistical methodologies, he shows there is no way to get anything other than a 7-2 Republican majority without gerrymandering.
This conclusion also was reached by the author of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission's congressional map. With his entry he wrote: “When I tried drawing maps based on the (communities of interest) without taking partisan balance into account the maps looked 'pretty' and compact, but gave Republicans more Congressional seats ....” He “remedied this” by splitting Indianapolis in much the same way the legislature split Fort Wayne for the state Senate; here using Bloomington and Democratic portions of Indianapolis to offset southern Marion County Republican strongholds, and a larger part of Indianapolis to offset unrelated rural counties to the south.
The Citizens Commission's state Senate map also stoops to gerrymandering, going so far as to create districts yielding a 50/50 Republican/Democrat split, despite the fact that Indiana is a deeply red state.
As Reidenbach showed, you can't get anything other than a 7-2 congressional split without gerrymandering. That said, the state House and Senate districts drawn by the legislature do appear to be gerrymandered to enhance Republican majorities. Given that the Citizens Commission was manipulated into choosing gerrymandered redistricting maps favoring Democrats, this is hardly the cure-all The Journal Gazette keeps telling us it is.
We need a third option that limits the ability to insert “partisan balance.” Maybe define what “community of interest” means before census data is available, then feed those definitions, census data and other facts relevant to the chosen definition into a computer model to produce best-fit maps. Not perfect, but perhaps a bit harder to manipulate.