Mongiardo slams Alice Forgy Kerr, says ‘Hyper-Partisan’ redistricting maps “should be overturned”

This is a good one.

Steve Beshear’s former Lt. Governor, Mr. Dan Mongiardo, came out hard today against the State House and Senate redistricting maps:

The redistricting plans recently passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor was an exercise in hyper-partisanship that disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of citizens and should be overturned. It is this type of unnecessarily divisive partisan politics that further weakens our political system’s ability to solve the difficult problems confronting our state and nation.”

Mongiardo is throwing his support behind an independent commission:

“After such a raw display of rank partisanship, it is time the people of Kentucky assign the responsibility for redistricting to an independent commission that puts the interest of the citizens of this Commonwealth before the self-serving interests of the politicians or either political party.”

He goes on to blast David Williams — calling him “petty and vindictive” — and one of Fayette County’s other Senators, Republican Alice Forgy Kerr:

“For Senator Alice Forgy Kerr to place her loyalty to David Williams above her loyalty to the people of Fayette County and vote to eliminate the only other state senator from Fayette County is shameful.  The fact that she didn’t have the courage to publicly and openly cast her ‘yea’ vote at the time is even more shameful.  Senator Kerr’s decision to eliminate the only state senator representing Lexington’s downtown core and the UK campus area is mystifying.  Her constituents, those citizens living in Lexington’s suburbs, are inextricably linked to the success of Lexington’s downtown and the University of Kentucky.”

 

Full press release after the jump…

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2012

Former Lt. Governor Mongiardo Calls Redistricting Maps, ‘Exercise in ‘Hyper-Partisanship’
Supports Independent Commission

HAZARD – Former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo publicly criticized the newly adopted House and Senate redistricting maps today saying, “While many will say redistricting is just politics as usual, it is much more than that. The redistricting plans recently passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor was an exercise in hyper-partisanship that disenfranchises hundreds of thousands of citizens and should be overturned.  It is this type of unnecessarily divisive partisan politics that further weakens our political system’s ability to solve the difficult problems confronting our state and nation.”

Mongiardo announced his support for legislation creating an independent commission.  Mongiardo said, “After such a raw display of rank partisanship, it is time the people of Kentucky assign the responsibility for redistricting to an independent commission that puts the interest of the citizens of this Commonwealth before the self-serving interests of the politicians or either political party.”

Mongiardo said he believes the House plan splits too many counties and precincts, while violating the notion that districts should be relatively compact to reflect shared community interests to the extent possible.  He said the Senate plan was equally egregious, disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of citizens and potentially weakening minority representation in Jefferson County.

Mongiardo called the elimination of Fayette County’s 13th Senate District an ‘injustice,’ reserving his harshest criticism for Senate President David Williams and State Senator Alice Forgy-Kerr.

Mongiardo said, “I sympathize with what Senator Stein and the citizens of Fayette County are going through.   In 2002, Senate Republicans led by David Williams tried to punish me by moving my senate district from Perry County in southeastern Kentucky to northern Kentucky simply because I, like Senator Stein, was outspoken and vigorous in my opposition to certain policies advocated by the Senate President and the Republican majority.  Clearly, President Williams remains the same petty and vindictive politician today that he was then.  What happened to Senator Stein and her constituents is an injustice, just as it is for Senator Ridley and his constituents.”

“For Senator Alice Forgy Kerr to place her loyalty to David Williams above her loyalty to the people of Fayette County and vote to eliminate the only other state senator from Fayette County is shameful.  The fact that she didn’t have the courage to publicly and openly cast her ‘yea’ vote at the time is even more shameful.  Senator Kerr’s decision to eliminate the only state senator representing Lexington’s downtown core and the UK campus area is mystifying.  Her constituents, those citizens living in Lexington’s suburbs, are inextricably linked to the success of Lexington’s downtown and the University of Kentucky.  It is my hope that the citizens of Fayette will demand from Senator Kerr a public explanation as to why she voted to eliminate her fellow hometown senator and disenfranchise more than 100,000 citizens in our Commonwealth’s second largest city.  An even bigger mystery is why she did not have the political courage to publicly and openly cast her vote at the time the vote was taken, instead waiting until the next day to quietly record her vote with the Senate Clerk’s office,” Mongiardo concluded.

According to the State Senate Clerk’s records, Senator Kerr was recorded as present in the Senate Chamber on Wednesday, January 18 but did not vote on HB-1 at the time it was debated and passed.  The Clerk’s records indicate Senator Kerr waited until the next day to record her ‘yea’ vote.

Kerr Votes Yea to HB-1, January 19, http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/12RS/Senate_votes%5C11_vote_mod.pdf

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