Monday, February 06, 2012

And starring Greg Abbott as P.T. Barnum

It was fairly good fun watching the attorney general of Texas try to pull a fast one today, and getting slapped before he could draw his hand out of the cookie jar.

Earlier this afternoon, Greg Abbott proclaimed an "agreement" in the Texas redistricting saga and spoon-fed a few media outlets with the news. Except that the "deal" wasn't one because several of the various plaintiffs said 'pass', and the judges who set today as the deadline for agreeing -- or pushing farther out the primary elections -- called bullshit as well.

A federal judge ordered all sides in the Texas redistricting lawsuit to keep talking Monday, just hours after the attorney general announced a compromise plan that prompted immediate pushback from several minority groups involved in the case.

Attorney General Greg Abbott had said several minority groups agreed to a plan that would put two new congressional seats in Hispanic-dominated districts for this year's elections. But some of the groups that sued the state, alleging the GOP-controlled Legislature drafted redistricting maps that were discriminatory, scoffed at the new plan and said it diluted the voice of minority voters in some parts of the state.

Judge Orlando Garcia noted that Monday was the deadline for all sides to agree.

"The parties should continue their negotiations to the extent possible, but all deadlines remain in place until the Court is notified that an agreement has been reached," Garcia said in the court order.

Garcia and two other San Antonio-based federal judges are hearing the lawsuit. The judges said that if all sides couldn't draft compromise maps by Monday, then the April 3 primary would likely be delayed.

In other words, Greg Abbott is his usual sorry ass lying bastard self, everyone in Texas (and quite a few people in Washington DC) know it, and nothing much has really changed with regard to the clusterfuck that is Texas redistricting.

Any questions? Juanita Jean can answer them.

Update: Greg goes deep into the cartography, Charles burrows into the spreadsheets, the Corpus Caller nails it, and the Associated Press gets most everything comically wrong in this piece.

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