House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) exemplifies the practice of saying one thing while doing another.
Pelosi has decried partisan gerrymandering — redrawing congressional districts to favor one party over the other — but has donated substantially to a Democratic group with that exact purpose, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Led by former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s primary reason for existing is to aid Democrats in all 50 states when district maps are redrawn based on population data from the 2020 Census.
Pelosi contradicts herself on gerrymandering
According to Federal Election Commission records, Pelosi’s leadership political action committee, PAC to the Future, donated $300,000 to Holder’s group with a pair of contributions in October and December of 2020.
But that substantial financial support flies in the face of Pelosi’s condemnation of partisan gerrymandering in July of 2019, when she described the practice as undermining the “integrity of our democracy.”
“This year, the Democratic Majority passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act, which works to end to partisan gerrymandering by requiring all states to establish independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions to draw open and transparent statewide district maps after each Census,” Pelosi said at the time.
“We will continue to fight partisan gerrymandering, ensure every citizen’s vote counts and oppose any attempt to compromise the integrity of our democracy,” she added.
Pelosi’s statement was in response to a Supreme Court ruling which determined that the federal courts had no jurisdiction over the internal political redistricting practices within a state. Instead, state courts were ruled as the proper venue for settling disputes regarding how district maps were redrawn following a census, according to Reuters.
Every state handles redistricting differently, with some leaving the process to independent and nonpartisan commissions. In most states, however, it is handled by the legislature, meaning whichever party is in control tends to redraw the map more favorably for its own party.
According to Politico, Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee will serve as a “data and legal powerhouse, and a go-between for the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and the various state legislatures and cartographers.”
Holder’s group had, unsuccessfully, attempted to sway voters ahead of the election and help Democrats reclaim control of more state legislatures. With that effort having failed — Republicans still control significantly more state legislatures than Democrats — the focus will undoubtedly shift toward legal fights and pressure campaigns related to how the congressional maps are redrawn in each state.
One fact that neither Holder’s group nor Pelosi’s money can change is that, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the full data of the 2020 Census will be released later than usual, meaning the redistricting groups on both sides will be under a major time crunch to complete their attempts to favorably rig the district maps ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.