George W. Bush stood upon the deck of an aircraft carrier shortly after the invasion of Iraq and proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" Here in the waning days of his presidential term, the mission is far from accomplished.
Here in Carbon County a legislative mission has been accomplished. Following the 2000 census the dominating party in the legislature carved up the new legislative districts to insure their domination. A portion of Utah County was added to the state senate district involving Carbon County and another portion of Utah County was added to the state representative district involving West Price and North Carbon County. Gerrymandering to a degree to insure that no Democratic candidates would infiltrate this arguably distinguished body. Just add a portion of Utah County to a district wherever there was a possibility of a Democratic candidate winning.
State Senator Mike Dmitrich, a crafty politician with years of experience, weathered two gerrymandering attempts during his tenure, but the odds caught up with candidate of his party this election year. An overwhelming majority of Republican voters in the state senate district involving the portion of Utah County spelled doom to the candidacy of Brad King. Thus North Carbon and West Price are represented in the state legislature by a state senator and state representative of the Republican party.
This indeed spells out the need for an independent commission to handle the redistricting process. With a new census coming on soon (2010), some progressive Democratic member or members are sure to introduce a bill to establish the independent commission. Just as surely, the bill be assigned to a legislative committee where it will be bottled up, never to see the light of day.
It is indeed unfortunate that a highly respected and effective legislator as Brad King is the victim of such chicanery