Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay

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University of Texas Press, Jan 1, 2010 - Political Science - 484 pages
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The events of 2003 in Texas were important to the political history of this country. Congressman Tom DeLay led a Republican effort to gerrymander the state's thirty-two congressional districts to defeat all ten of the Anglo Democratic incumbents and to elect more Republicans; Democratic state lawmakers fled the state in an effort to defeat the plan. The Lone Star State uproar attracted attention worldwide. The Republicans won this showdown, gaining six additional seats from Texas and protecting the one endangered Republican incumbent. Some of the methods used by DeLay to achieve this result, however, led to his criminal indictment and ultimately to his downfall.

With its eye-opening research, readable style, and insightful commentary, Lines in the Sand provides a front-line account of what happened in 2003, often through the personal stories of members of both parties and of the minority activist groups caught in a political vortex. Law professor Steve Bickerstaff provides much-needed historical perspective and also probes the aftermath of the 2003 redistricting, including the criminal prosecutions of DeLay and his associates and the events that led to DeLay's eventual resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result, Bickerstaff graphically shows a dark underside of American politics—the ruthless use of public institutional power for partisan gain.

 

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Contents

The Significance of the 2003 Congressional Redistricting in Texas
1
Partisan Politics and Redistricting in Texas
15
Racial and Ethnic Politics
32
Electing the Right Republicans The Republican Strategy for the 2002 Election
46
As Partisan as the Law Allows Republican Strategy in 2003
84
Playing Defense Democratic Strategy 20012003
109
You Gotta Be Kidding The 2003 Regular Session
121
No Better Option The Democrats Break the Quorum in the House of Representatives
133
The Dilemma for Racial and EthnicMinority Lawmakers and Advocacy Organizations
274
The Role of Congressman Tom DeLay Republican Activists and Donors and the White House
285
The Legal Implications of the 2003 Redistricting
314
Criminal Investigations and Indictments
326
The Fall of Congressman DeLay
370
Conclusion
379
Afterword
385
Maps Photos and Resources
391

Personal Dilemmas The First Special Session
160
Is There a Democratic Endgame?
188
Republican Triumph in the Senate
222
Redistricting by Cabal The Final Redistricting Plan
236
The Effects of the Final Plan
262
Notes
411
Glossary of Redistricting Terms
447
Index
451
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Page 1 - An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

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About the author (2010)

STEVE BICKERSTAFF is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and has written extensively on redistricting. He is retired from the law firm he founded and lives in Austin, Texas.

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