A majority of leaders behind a “nonpartisan” plan to reform the Michigan redistricting process have supported partisan Democrats in the past, fueling criticism from a conservative group opposing the effort. Seven of 10 board members of the Voters Not Politicians petition committee have given at least a combined $5,649 to Democratic candidates and causes since 2005, according state and federal campaign finance records compiled by the Michigan Freedom Fund. None have given to Republicans or third-party candidates. The group’s “anti-gerrymandering” petition proposes amending the Michigan Constitution to create an independent citizen redistricting commission that would redraw legislative and congressional boundaries every 10 years.
The task is currently managed by the state Legislature. Republicans controlled the process in 2011 and have maintained healthy majorities in subsequent elections despite narrow collective vote margins statewide.
Tony Daunt, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund, argues past political contributions by board members show the purported good government effort is “just another attempt by liberal activists to change the rules because the Democrats can’t field candidates or develop a message that resonates with the voters of Michigan.”
Committee President Katie Fahey dismissed the criticism and questioned whether the Freedom Fund, which has past ties to the conservative Republican DeVos family of west Michigan, would stand to lose power and influence if voters approve the potential ballot proposal.
Full Article: ‘Nonpartisan’ redistricting board has partisan ties.