Letter: Sen. Heitkamp's redistricting concerns are preposterous
Amerman is replying to a recent letter from Sen. Jason Heitkamp, R-Wyndmere.
Jason, Jason, Jason, I don't know what world you live in, but I'm pretty sure Rod Sterling is your neighbor. Do you really expect the voting citizens in Districts 25 and 26 to believe that one Democrat legislator and one talk show host can gerrymander and manipulate redistricting lines? If you do, you're foolish.
Letter: I oppose efforts to combine Richland County into one legislative district Sen. Heitkamp writes in opposition to a plan to dissolve the 26th District and then creating a legislative district containing all of Richland county.
Let's look at some numbers. There are 94 members in North Dakota's House of Representatives: 80 Republicans and 14 Democrats. There are 47 members in the Senate: 40 Republicans and seven Democrats. The redistricting committee has 16 members, 14 Republicans and two Democrats. With the overwhelming numbers your party has, you still maintain that one Democrat and one talk show host will gerrymander district lines? Oh, yes, you did say they would need help from a few reasonable Republicans. It's nice to see you believe that some in your own party possess reason because you indeed don't.
Why not tell the truth? The numbers don't lie, 120 Republicans to 21 Democrats in the Legislature, 14 Republicans to two Democrats on the committees. The only humanly way possible for any gerrymandering to occur is by your own party, the Republicans. If you end up in the new district, it's because of them and guess what? I believe they want that because they are tired of you.
Here's how it could happen. You stated that the one Democrat and the one talk show host have a candidate lined up to beat you. Don't worry your about that. You will more than likely never see it. There is another sitting Republican senator for this new district who will probably run, Sen. Larry Luick. Now we know there is only one senator per district, so one of you will have to go. You and Luick will have to face off to get your party's endorsement, and only then will the winner face a Democratic candidate, and I don't believe even Rod Sterling can save you.
Here's something you should ponder, Sen. Heitkamp, what should you really be afraid of? Is it the one Democrat legislator and one talk show host who must have supernatural powers, or is it your own Republican Party with its powerful numbers, or perhaps there's a conspiracy involving a third party with secret voters behind the grassy knoll. Maybe the answer lies only in your twilight zone.
Bill Amerman lives in Forman, N.D.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.