Las Vegas Sun

April 1, 2015

Currently: 75° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Damon Political Report

Gov. Sandoval vetoes Democrats’ redistricting maps

Gov. Brian Sandoval today vetoed Democrats’ redistricting maps, accusing the party of violating the Voting Rights Act and drawing districts for political gain rather than equitable representation.

In a pair of party-line votes last week, the Legislature passed the first redistricting bill that redrew Nevada’s legislative and congressional districts according to new Census data. Anticipating the veto, Democrats have already started working on new maps.

In his veto message, Sandoval cites the fact none of the four congressional districts in the Democrats’ plan are made up of a majority of Hispanic voters.

“With Hispanics accounting for 46 percent of the total population growth in our state over the last 10 years, this transparent effort to avoid creating even one additional district where this community would be likely to elect its candidate of choice is simply not acceptable,” Sandoval wrote.

Hispanic activists have argued the Republican version of the maps pack Hispanic voters into a few districts, diluting their strength in the rest of the state. Democrats, they argued, created many districts with Hispanic strength.

Sandoval also accused Democrats of gerrymandering for political gain.

“At its core, this bill creates districts that were drawn exclusively for political gain,” he wrote. “This plan ensures partisan opportunity rather than the fair representation of all Nevadans. Partisan gerrymandering is not legal, equitable, or acceptable.”

Democrats drew three of four congressional districts with a Democratic majority, arguing the population and voter registration supports the split. Republicans are demanding an even split, two districts for the GOP and two for the Democrats.

Democratic leaders immediately fired back at Sandoval.

“How can the governor have the audacity to say he wants a ‘fair’ plan, when his own words and actions show an unambiguous motivation to promote the interests of his own party,” Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, said.

Democrats also complained that neither the governor nor his staff testified at the public hearings on the maps.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 14 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Looks like Sandoval is playing the race card.

    Of course Republican Barry Goldwater (the "low tax" guy) was against the Voting Right Act and Democrat Lyndon Johnson was for it.

  2. if you look at the 2010 legislative race the Republicans won 100,000 more votes than the Democrats, but Democrats won nearly 2/3rds of the seats.

    The Dems carved themselves out lots of small enclaves while Republicans had very large districts.

    Note: I am not nor ever have been a registered Republican. I have never registered with a party in my life.

    Mred, my historically illiterate friend. Goldwater supported the first two civil rights acts and voted yes. This fact was used against him by Lyndon Johnson when Lyndon Johnson campaigned in the south. That's right, Lydon Johnson campaigned in the south on the grounds that Barry Goldwater supported civil equality for blacks and other minorities.

    Of course, you know this. I've told you a dozen times.

  3. I'm laughing here at the hypocrisy of the Republican Party in Nevada.

    You have a candidate (Angle) that ran for Senate that decided to run commercials stereotyping Hispanics as gang members, illegal aliens and nuisances; commercials that intended to be more hateful towards a race of people more than it said anything about the candidate. It was a clear cut attempt to try to direct ire at people who did nothing wrong. Trying to demonize them, race baiting and blatant xenophobia. And this was all readily apparent it was a Nevada Republican Party strategy.

    Skip forward to now. I guarantee that no matter how the map is sectioned off, parts of Nevada carved into geo-political zones, the Republican Party is now paying for their awful mistake.

    They are running away from the very people they demonized before. Trying to finagle things around to get their voters all shoved off to one side and the Mexican Americans to another.

    Run, Republicans, run! Because they know the Hispanic American voters here in Nevada will slap them repeatedly back and forth and there won't even be a Republican dogcatcher after the next elections in 2012.

    You invented your strategy. Now you don't want to live by it.


    Carve that map up, Republicans. Because however you do it? You're going to face the consequences.

    When you continually take out your stupid political ideology on a whole race of people, you can expect to see a backlash. And believe me, it's gonna be catastrophic.

  4. I think it's pretty obvious:

    The GOP and Governor BS wants to ghettoize the Hispanics into one district to diminish their electoral power.

  5. Racist Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 saying: "You can't legislate morality."

    Goldwater in his own words opposing civil rights because of "property rights."

    People like the Pauls and NPRI are still for segregated lunch counters.

  6. Talk about gerrymandering . Just look at the two proposed maps . The republican map has lines that have no neighborhood boundaries. Just cut it by neighborhoods and let the chips fall where they land . This should be a non- partisan process.

  7. Couldn't agree more, wedo. The Legislature has no business having a hand in redistricting as it is a conflict of interest. Gerrymandering to ensure "safe" districts is an abomination and should not be tolerated whoever attempts it - Republicrat or Dumbocrat. Gerrymandering does not simply water down our right to vote; it negates it by rendering it worthless. BTW, we should not be forced to register as a Republicrat, Dumbocrat or Independent in order to vote in primaries. 1st, because we pay for the primaries and, 2nd, more importantly, it's none of the government's business who we choose to or not to support, politically!

  8. Mred, its clear that by disregarding historical facts, you're merely positioning yourself as a partisan hack.

    Barry Goldwater voted FOR the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960. Meanwhile, many Democrats at the time strongly opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1957...

  9. Right on, Richard and Jerry! The reason we're in such a mess as a nation is that safe havens are carved out by the two parties resulting in the election of intransigent idealogues driven by polls. This country was founded on the principals of equality and fairness. There is certainly nothing equal or fair when a representative's sole mission revolves around protecting special interest groups. This redistricting effort allows the people of Nevada to abolish favoritism based on race, creed, color, status, wealth or party affiliation. All we want is a level playing field whereby we can vote for people of integrity within whom we can place absolute faith that they will represent the best interests of all of their constituents, our State and the Nation.
    Of final note, Jerry: I also believe in an open primary system. Power to the People!

  10. Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson was for it.

    In 1966, he said he would make the same vote.

    Sandoval, a sock puppet for the Koch Brothers, wants to bring back the segrgation of the 50's.

  11. Republicans did not testify because they knew Sandavol would say no. It's in the courts. We knew this. Let's hope the judge will not make the map look like an abstract photo.

  12. It is very clear that bin Sandoval wants to put most of the Hispanics into as few districts as possible. This will clearly provide more total white districts and diminish Hispanic representation in Carson City.

    These districts are also cut with so many sides they look like jig saw puzzles and do not represent equal population blocks of voters.

    Sandoval knows exactly what he is doing - that's why he put Heller into the Senate instead of a bi-partisan representative. Sandoval wants to pack every vote possible.

  13. mred, Patrick,

    Goldwater did in fact vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, though he had supported earlier ones in 1957 and 1960. He was opposed to one specific section of the 1964 act.

    What should be noted is that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 could not have passed without a large majority of Republicans voting for it. In fact, more Republicans on a percentage basis voted for it than Democrats.

  14. Democrats constantly try to stack the cards in their favor. That is why there are so many Union members in Legislature voting on union contract laws. Hardly fair and honest !!!