Leaked Audio: Republicans Caught Plotting How To Get Away With Gerrymandering
Over the past few decades, Republicans have advanced a series of aggressive gerrymandering actions designed to limit the power of minority voters in red states. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that it could not weigh in on partisan gerrymanders because it would be an inappropriate allocation of political power. That cleared the way for Republicans to run the same playbook in the 2021 redistricting process. This time, however, they were caught in audiotape plotting on how to get away with gerrymandering.
Slate Magazine on Wednesday published a bombshell report, including leaked audio from this year’s American Legislative Exchange Council meeting in Austin, Texas.
At this annual gathering of influential right-wing politicians and operatives, Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell hosted a panel called “How to Survive Redistricting,” which featured four prominent conservative experts — the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, North Carolina election lawyer Thomas Farr, former Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, and Texas state Rep. Phil King — described by Slate as “architects and defenders of some of the most notorious gerrymanders and voter suppression plans of this decade.”
The experts spent the afternoon explaining precisely how the Republican legislators should gerrymander their districts, which they called “adult political blood sport.”
“You are going to be sued,” said Mitchell, by way of an introduction. She made clear that gerrymandering will have legal consequences — and then proceeded to advise the lawmakers on how to avoid those consequences. “Let us begin with the fact that, probably, your notes from this conference, and this workshop, will probably be part of a discovery demand,” she said.
“My advice to you is: If you don’t want it turned over in discovery, you probably ought to get rid of it before you go home.”
You read that right. The leaked audio recording reveals how state lawmakers are taught to trash evidence.
While these leaked tapes are embarrassing for Republicans, there’s no reason to believe anything will change their behavior. After all, gerrymandering has worked so well for them already.
Listen to the audio clip below:
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