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Joint | June 1, 2016 | Press Room | Harrison Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File



[BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] I'm going to just turn over here okay, so Hi I'm Pricey Harrison representing Guilford County and the legislator and we're here to talk about the half price of Jerry Mandarin/g. And I'll first turn it over to Jane Pinskey/g from the coalition on reform. >> [INAUDIBLE] like to thank you all for being here today. >> Jerry Mandarin [INAUDIBLE] something that's been in the news Lately and will continue to be. And it has some cost in addition to undermining citizen confidence in the government. So starting with Bob Philips of common cause , we are gonna talk about those costs. >> Thank you Jane, I'm Bob Phillips with common cause North Carolina and we take any opportunity we can to talk about the need. Need to change the redistricting process here in North Carolina. We have a special election next week that that's gonna cost taxpayers nine and half million dollars. Granted the counties are gonna be responsible for the bront of that cost but if you add up the figures or wanting to talk about what that money. Spent for for instance you could higher nearly 300 new state troopers and buying 300000 textbooks you could add to that list obviously. It's just an example of having to spend money. Because of a flawed redistricting process. And yes we've been here before. Different party in power did it. We've seen again the price of special elections, the price of litigation and it's something that the public is ready for us to end. We have polling that shows Democrats, republicans and independents are like what an [UNKNOWN] mannering. This is just another example of works/g wasting taxpayers money, it's confusing voters and frankly it's also lessening the public confidence that citizens have in government. We can end this, it's clear jury/g mannering is never fair and it's certainly is not legal, we need a new process and we feel like the time is now to do that. I'm going to now call upon [UNKNOWN] [BLANK_AUDIO] to add a little bit more context if I would reference this but the republicans who run the general General Assembly could have started and finished this process in 2011. But I wanna go back a decade, the Democrats who run the General Assembly at the time could have started and finished their last redistricting process in 2001. But anyone who remembers how that process ended up going, knows that it went into Over and over again and the final U.S Supreme Court ruling based on the 2001 maps comes down in 2009. The entire decade after that redistricting the issue was fought in the courts and now we're half way through the decade of the district drawn by Republicans were still in the courts and I wouldn't hold my breath that anything would be resolved before the next round of redistricting because folks who wanna get a political advantage are going to want to continue to see if they can find avenue to get that advantage. Now some folks might want to blame Republicans Republicans who drew these districts and say, well they drew unconstitutional districts, they are the ones who should bear the blunt of this. But remember that we went through two election cycles after Republicans had won in court under these maps. Now their critics have found a friendly court to throw out the congressional maps And you can't blame them because if you were trying to get a partisan advantage, trying to get an advantage in the courts can work just as well as trying to get an advantage in the Legislature where the districts are drawn.

And the courts deserve some of the blame too because they have failed the set standards that could guide people saying, yes this is correct, no this is incorrect. It's as if the courts want to treat the folks who were drawing the maps like they're Goldilocks. And you have to make sure that's not too hot, not too cold, you're not using race too much, you're not You're not using race too little, you're not using this particular characteristic too much or too little. And so the courts have left the door open for continued fights on this process. So this highlights the problem of expecting partisan politicians to stop being who they are in this Redistricting process. That's why we ought to take the process out of the hands of the people who stand to benefit from it whether it's an independent commission or legislative staff who are devoted to this process. You're going to end up with a better process than having the partisan politicians themselves and you wanna Wanna bind whoever is making these maps to a set of rules, so then if there's legal action there's likely to be legal action whenever there's going to be redistricting. At least it will be confined first to whether the rules that were set up that are binding the map makers are constitutional in and on themselves Then second, once that's decided, whether the map makers whoever they are, independent commission, legislative staff, whether they follow the rules. And I think if you have that sort of system in place you're going to leave a much less opportunity for people to win successful lawsuits and I think we'd all be happy about that. [NOISE] I just want to wrap up, and they speak of articulate/g of this world, the bottom line is this process is unfair and does a disservice to the voting public. Bud Phillips/g had an excellent [INAUDIBLE] in yesterday's news observer that pointed out that 90% of the supporters of House Bill 2 either unopposed in the fall or one into double digits in 2014 so they don't really face any competition opposition. And accountability for the vote/g so you end up with fraud and bad policy when you're not accountable to your electorate. So we have a solution we have house bill 92 based on Iowa model which has proven to be a great success and I believe I was never had to challenged to [INAUDIBLE] since I adopted this process it's a fair process we have overwhelming bi-partisan support in the house we passed a similar measure two years ago it's time for us to take up this [INAUDIBLE] form and we'll be happy to take any for questions thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] Can I ask a question because you have to ask it every time. People who are critics of this idea point out that you can't really ever take the politics out of it because who you decide is gonna be on the independent commission, the legislative staff may have partisan loyalty. How can we be sure that it would be any less political? even if it were not, even if it were independent of the law makers. >> That's one of the reasons why we have emphasized quite a bit rules make sure you have rules that allow for the least amount of map mischief making that you could have say they have to be contiguous Of interest don't take where the [INAUDIBLE] incumbents or their challengers live and to account, don't take in to account the way people voted in previous elections. Now because we are subject to the voting rights act to some extent we are not exactly certain how it is right now you are going to have to take that into account, but other things that have been used to help build in a partisan advantage take those out, have some rules. So whoever it is whether it is the legislative staff [INAUDIBLE] might be or an independent commission that's going to have folks probably at various use, if they are bound by some rules that makes sense and the rules themselves are constitutional it's going to be harder for them to come up with a plan that's going to be subject to a good challenge in court. >> I just want to add a couple of things one is the advantages of the plan we talk about is that the legislature would have to explain why it wasn't adopting a set of Maps which involves public because it's rare that legislators will as a body tell you why they are aren't doing something. I also think that given the changing environment here where Governor McCrory has said we need to change the way we do redistricting where his opponent Attorney General Roy Cooper has said we need to do a two leaving formal governors Governor Martin, and Governor Hunt former mayors of the two major cities in the state, Mayor [UNKNOWN] from Charlotte, Mayor [UNKNOWN] form Rayleigh. Representative Harrison said 64 members of North Carolina House

of Representatives actually it's house 65 about 250 elected municipal officials and 70% of North Carolinians. I think there's a few change going on obviously it's a slow sea/g change cuz we've been working on this for 10 years now but I think that there's a change and it makes it Possible I also have to point out that standing next to me are people who don't agree politically on almost anything. I mean, when Bob and Mitch and Dan Crowford agreeing on an issue you know that it is one that is very fundamental and unusual. And I think that we are communicating that to the leaders. >> We like a lot of the same music [INAUDIBLE] you got a couple of members on your [INAUDIBLE] >> This is Dam Crawford from >> North Carolina [INAUDIBLE] >> I think you guys said it all this there is a [INAUDIBLE] to invest our money [INAUDIBLE] three to four Five percent of the [INAUDIBLE] is going to participate in. >> Jesse Wayne >> Yeah Jesse Wayne from North Carolina [INAUDIBLE] conservation [INAUDIBLE] >> Any other question [INAUDIBLE] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO]