There is an often repeated charge that Rep Brad Miller drew the lines of his district. Although, I didn't doubt the validity of the charge I felt it was tainted by the kookiness factor. Now, I no longer feel that way due to a quick history lesson via WFAE 90.7 (PBS) out of Charlotte.
NC was not always a state subjected to gerrymandered districts and the resulting party rigidness gerrymandered district create. Our gerrymandered districts are the result of two court decisions and an utter disregard for the NC State Constitution since the 1980's.
According to PBS's WFAE out of Charlotte, NC:The NC Constitution's requirement that districts be drawn according to county lines imparted too much power to the citizenry as far as the Democrats who were in power at the time were concerned. Democrats found that they could consolidate power through the tools of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Supreme Court mentioned above. With these tools Democrats found that they could empower themselves with incumbency at the expense of the citizens they served. Brad Miller was one of those Democrats.
For most of North Carolina's history, redistricting wasn't much of an issue at all. Our state constitution requires legislative districts to stay within county lines. There wasn't much lawmakers could do about that.
But the US Supreme Court ruled in the 1960s that districts - congressional and legislative - had to be pretty close to the same size in terms of population. It's called the "one person, one vote" rule, and lawmakers had to make exceptions to the county rule to comply.
Then there was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That required lawmakers to avoid breaking up minority communities into different districts to dilute their voting power. And it required 40 North Carolina counties where there was a history of discrimination at the polls to get clearance from the Department of Justice whenever they change their districts or election laws.
"Since the Democrats were in the majority, it was mainly to protect incumbentAfter the 2000 census Brad Miller was involved with redrawing the congressional districts in NC.
democrats, to keep control of the General Assembly in the hands of the Democratic party," said attorney Thomas Farr.
Farr says gerrymandering has led to a lot of corruption in North Carolina politics, because it doesn't give voters the power to hold their lawmakers accountable.
Congressman Brad Miller was one of the lead architects of the 2001 plan that Farr took to court. Miller was in the state Senate then, the chairman of the Redistricting Committee.The end result has been increased corruption due to politicians being able to rely on districts so heavily biased toward one part or the other that they often go uncontested.
The next year, Miller won his seat in Congress in the new district he helped to draw.
Brad Miller did not begin his disregard for liberty by ignoring the US Constitution, he first cut his teeth through the disenfranchising of NC voters by ignoring the NC Constitution.
This an yet another example of Brad Miller's immoral governance that concentrates the political power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.