Despite party control over redistricting, Massachusetts governor promotes depoliticizing process

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December 15, 2010

Governor Deval Patrick

BOSTON, Massachusetts: After the November 2 general election, the Democratic Party maintained its one-sided control over state politics.

With redistricting approaching, this control is generally viewed as an advantage for the party in power.

Earlier this month, governor Deval Patrick said he would like to see lawmakers keep redistricting "at arm's length" from the politicians themselves.[1]

With Massachusetts set to likely lose a Congressional seat from the census figures, the redistricting process is likely to be more controversial then usual.[2]

Secretary of State William Galvin has been pushing for a commission to contribute to the re-drawing process.[1]

Massachusetts has a history of messy redistricting. Last time redistricting occurred, the presiding House Speaker -- Thomas Finneran -- ended up pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in a federal court.[2] Before that, the original term of gerrymandering initiated in Massachusetts.[3]

In 2009, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rejected a plan for an 8-member independent commission to take on the task of redistricting.[4]

The Massachusetts legislative session begins on January 5, 2011.

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