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US Congressman Kildee speaks out against gerrymandering

Bjorn Rehder

US Congressman Dan Kildee spoke at a rally Tuesday on the front steps of the US Supreme Court about the need to end partisan gerrymandering.

The high court is currently hearing arguments over a Wisconsin legislative map drawn by Republicans that lower courts found unconstitutionally favored Republicans.

Congressman Kildee said gerrymandering in Michigan has allowed for Republicans to maintain majority control in a state that often splits votes evenly between both parties.

“Michigan is a 50/50 state almost exactly. So why would it be that 27 out of 38 seats in the Senate are held by Republicans, it’s no accident. Why is it that out of the 14 congressional districts only five are held by Democrats.”

Congressman Kildee said he wants to see a non-partisan group draw district maps.

“I think a non-partisan commission is the way to go. We should do that so we’re not in a position where when the political pendulum swings back and forth, which it naturally does, that somehow that gives one party the chance to take advantage of a particular census year and draw maps that suit their interest.”

Congressman Kildee said when district maps are drawn to keep one party in power there is less need for bipartisan efforts.

“Members of Congress are essentially able to pander to the more extreme voices. Those districts that packed with democrats or republicans produce less moderate members of Congress.”

Congressman Kildee said Michiganders upset with congressional gridlock need to understand that gerrymandering is often the root cause of that gridlock.