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Wightman might be on to something

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Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014 5:26 am

All Nebraskans should thank your State Senator John Wightman for scheduling Legislative Bill 976 for a hearing before the Executive Committee. This bill calls for an independent commission to determine Nebraska’s political boundaries. Currently, our non-partisan Unicameral becomes embroiled every ten years in an ugly, acrimonious fight that assures the re-election of some senators, but serves no public good whatsoever. Thanks to Senator Wightman, this could change. Common sense could prevail.

In 2011, hours were spent in committee and days were wasted on the floor talking about redistricting. Population density necessitates the CD3 cover a large area, but the resulting map lumps the Sandhills in with the farthest northeast corner of the state as well as the farthest southeast corner. It looks like Pac-Man and is a shining example of gerrymandering. Having grown up in Ogallala, it makes my blood boil.

This is only one example of the current system’s dysfunctionality and does not inspire confidence. Voters could get the idea that the system is “fixed” and simply drop out.

As it currently stands, Senator Wightman could play an important role in our state’s future. But holding a hearing on the bill is not enough. It must then be voted out of the Executive Committee in order to be debated on the floor. Let Senator Wightman know you favor drawing sensible, practical districts. He will need your support because some legislators will try to influence him otherwise.

Ellen Moore

Bellevue, Neb.

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