Santa Fe, NM – Fair Districts New Mexico (FDNM) submitted a request to the New Mexico Senate leadership and the New Mexico Lieutenant Governor, who presides over the Senate, to provide to FDNM a full and detailed analysis of the changes to the initial Citizen Redistricting Committee (CRC) Senate Map C1. The Senate used the CRC Senate Map C1 as a basis for the map in Senate Bill 2; and why those changes were made. The FDNM request was sent via email Friday to Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, President Pro Tempore Senator Mimi Stewart, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, Senate Majority Whip Linda M. Lopez, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto and Senator Brenda McKenna.
The map in Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Senator Lopez and Senator Ivey-Soto, has been flagged by various good-government organizations as a conflict of interest. Kathleen Burke, Fair Districts New Mexico Project Coordinator says “it is a conflict of interest because the Senators are designing the maps for their very own districts as well as their colleagues’ in the Senate. Fair Districts raises not only that concern, but the concern for incumbency protection as well.” Fair Districts New Mexico is comprised of forty politically and geographically diverse partner organizations.
Fair Districts’ Project Leader Dick Mason, stated, “The request has been laid out well in advance numerous times to the Senate and so now we are asking in a more formal manner for these details, including why the changes were made. The redistricting of our state is a public matter done by a public body, our legislature. All matters done by persons in such a capacity should be made public to the citizens. While gerrymandering is most certainly is a covert endeavor, redistricting is not. All of the public’s business should be done in full public view. The public deserves a justification for the changes made to the original CRC map C1.”
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