Rep. Marty Wilde challenged his own party over the new state House districts.
[00:00:04] Rep. Marty Wilde: We did our decennial redistricting in late September. The maps were challenged—including by me—and were upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court.
[00:00:14] Short version on the federal redistricting is: The Fourth District (which is what we are in) went from being a swing district to being somewhat but not comfortably Democratic. It’s got somewhere between a five and ten point Democratic advantage right now. And the reason to do that was because they wanted to change the composition of the Congressional maps and make sure, frankly, that (U.S. Rep. Peter) DeFazio could retire and still have a safe Democratic seat, which again, is I suppose logical, but it is also quite illegal. It is. And in fact, in their response to the lawsuit that I supported, the legislature indeed said (1) Marty can’t testify about things told to him because they’re secret and covered by legislative privilege, and (2) That the legislature was not obligated to follow the law, which I thought was a pretty (wow) interesting argument. So, gerrymandering happens and unfortunately it happens in both parties and that’s what happened here.
[00:01:11] John Q: He said the Democrats drew new state House boundaries to force him out.
[00:01:17] Rep. Marty Wilde: They were going to divide up the University of Oregon into three different districts, which again, violates communities of interest. So I organized testimony against it, and frankly, the redistricting committee didn’t like that. They knew that I’d organized over a hundred pieces of testimony against dividing the University. They decided to punish me by taking my neighborhood and putting it in a Republican district to frustrate any possibility that I would continue to hold office in the state legislature.
[00:01:40] Bottom line, the state redistricting— precinct 1233, which is part of the neighborhood south of 30th and east of Amazon, will now be in what is now House District 12, which is likely to be a Republican district. The district clearly violates communities of interest. From my perspective it puts a part of south Eugene into a district with Cottage Grove, Oakridge, Blue River, and Junction City. So it is, quite frankly, the most gerrymandered district I’ve seen in a long time and as to why that is so, it is absolutely to punish me for testifying against gerrymandering.
[00:02:15] My suggestion on redistricting was simply to swap out the precinct from the city that got put into that district for some of the rural precincts in House District 8 south of the city but west of I-5, which frankly would have been a very logical thing to do. I did collaborate to try to balance the maps and we were unable to, largely because the process set up to challenge them, doesn’t allow us to gather any evidence to do so, unless somebody confessed. It was impossible to challenge…
[00:02:42] House District 12 is somewhere between a zero and 10 point Republican advantage. I tend to believe the number is around a five point advantage, a little more. Presumably if I were to run, (Rep.) Cedric Hayden and I would both be in the same district, and so that would be it. There’s a woman named Michelle Emmons from Oakridge who’s considering running. She’s a Democrat. I haven’t heard of other folks who are interested in running yet, but I’ll absolutely pass on the information as I get it.
[00:03:10] And then for the new congressional district, the percentages went up from an even district at 0 percent to somewhere between five and 10 percent and there are a number of people are interested in running for that. I haven’t ruled out a run, but it seems a little unlikely.
[00:03:21] There you have it. That’s my perspective. I have not decided what I’m going to do next in terms of my political future, talking with my family about that and looking at options as well.
[00:03:31] John Q: A South Eugene neighborhood may lose a popular and effective state representative.