Corporations Push to Influence Redistricting

As do other special interests
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 1:36 PM CDT
Corporations Push to Influence Redistricting
A Texas district map is seen in this 2003 file photo.   (Getty Images)

“Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting” may sound like a pretty innocuous, non-partisan group. But its leadership is almost identical to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a group tied to Koch Industries, a ProPublica investigation discovered. The Freedom Foundation’s head, Annette Meeks, claims she has “no involvement” with Fair Redistricting, but both groups list the same tax filing address: Her house. Nor is this an isolated case. All around the country, corporate- and special interest-financed groups are vying to help redraw districts.

Almost all of these groups accept unlimited, anonymous donations, using the money to lobby lawmakers, collect voter data, consult mapping experts, and fight the legal challenge most redistricting plans wind up facing. “Reshaping the map is very powerful,” said a consultant for one such group, since it lets you influence “not one race at a time, but for 10 years.” Corporations aren’t alone either; unions last year fought mightily against a proposition to make redistricting more fair and transparent in California. Read the full story here. (More redistricting stories.)

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