We are witnessing an historic development in American politics, the demonstration project of which is happening right here in New Jersey. A syndicate of urban political bosses from one party are trying to change a state constitution to rig the redistricting process so that the party of those bosses and their political machines control New Jersey politics in perpetuity.
Yes, employing front men like Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto, and idiot Assemblyman John McKeon, the bosses are attempting to establish a "thousand-year map" that will ensure their hegemony over a captive population who will pay ever higher taxes and face ever stricter regulation -- from the amount of water used to flush in the morning to the words exchanged with their spouses before they go to bed at night.
And to do this they have set out -- with malice and evil intention -- to confuse voters in an election year when they know the least experienced and most easily manipulated voters will be turning out. These are the same critters who argued that same-sex marriage was too complicated to allow the people a vote on it, and now they send a bizarre process like redistricting to the people? Just read how the question is written and then ask yourself if it provides the necessary information to make an informed vote?
Do you approve requiring the commission to establish districts that are competitive and fairly represent voter preferences? This amendment would also require preserving communities of interest within the same district.
How? What does that mean? The above is an intention, not a law. And the so-called "interpretive statement" isn't much help either:
This amendment would prohibit creating a plan in which more than half of the districts favor either major political party compared to the average district. It also would require at least 25 percent of the districts to be competitive. The amendment would also require communities of interest within districts to be preserved.
This amendment would require districts to comply with federal law and be comprised of contiguous territory. This amendment requires the districts to follow the limit on dividing municipalities already set forth in the Constitution.
Again, how? What is the "average district" they are being compared to? What does "competitive" mean? Define "communities of interest"?
These people actually use language that is LESS honest than what the Nazis used. Compared to the convoluted bullshit above, this April 10, 1938 referendum offered voters by Adolf and company was a masterpiece of civic clarity:
"Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Reich that was enacted on 13 March 1938, and do you vote for the party of our leader Adolf Hitler?"
That's pretty darn straightforward when compared with the swill Sweeney, Prieto, and McKeon are serving. I guess that makes them LESS honest than Nazis. Ouch.
The good news is... Republicans can stop this!
Here is how. Senate Democrats need all their votes to pass an expansion of casino gambling to North Jersey. South Jersey Democrats cannot vote for it and survive. Sweeney will need Republican votes.
No Republican should agree to vote to expand casino gambling to North Jersey if SCR-188 or ACR-4 is posted for a vote. Sweeney cannot be trusted to keep his word (he's flipped on same-sex marriage, on guns, on unions, he'll lie to anyone) so Republicans will have to withhold their votes on the expansion of casino gambling until after August. Then they can offer them.
The alternative will be to make Sweeney use the votes of Senators Whelan and VanDrew to pass the expansion of casino gambling and thereby turn them into meat. That's cool too... It's time to play hard, Republican legislators. Because the Democrats want to make you an endangered species.