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tv   Washington Journal Tim Storey  CSPAN  October 25, 2018 3:13am-3:56am EDT

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>> not based on tracking poll yet because the samples are not large enough for it to be stastically reliable, we expect that in the next couple of weeks. okay, well, thank you very much for joining us today for latinos in election 2018. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] storey, national conference of state legislators. we are talking about redistricting, once again, as we head to midterms. remind folks why redistricting comes into play, especially in this type of election. census minus two. because the constitution requires that all districts have
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to have roughly the same number of people so we have equal representation in congress and the state legislature, city councils and all that, they have to redraw the lines every 10 years. it is a constitutional requirement, a mandate designed to make sure that everybody's voice is equally represented in the legislative bodies around the country. sends thisthe state information, how do they go about drawing the lines? guest: the typical way would be that state legislators -- when the framers of the constitution established our frame of government, they wanted the states -- it was a constitution of states in many ways. one of the ways states have a check on the federal government was that legislator -- i just later states -- legislature, states control the process. 2021get the data by april
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and usually it goes through the legislature. we will talk mostly about congressional or u.s. house redistricting. seven states do it outside of the legislative body with a commission or a board, including california, idaho, and montana. hearings,usually have take public input, draw draft maps, put those out in committee , take it to the floor of one chamber, take it to the other chamber, goes to the governor. far as legislatures across the united states, how many are held in republican hands? caller: 31 where the house and senate are controlled by the senate. this is the most republican legislature governors and senators have been in the united states. republicans control state governments and policy.
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democrats have 12 or 13 states where they control the house and senate, and a handful of states where one party controls the house and another controls the senate. back to your question about why this election is so important, this is sort of a little kahuna. for redistricting, 2020 is the big kahuna, but there is a lot of action in this midterm because over state -- over 800 state legislators involved in redistricting will be elected next week -- in two weeks. 34 will be elected and involved in redistricting. it is a big redistricting election. in 2010, it was the first midterm for barack obama and it was a devastating midterm for the democrats. that is when the republicans lurched forward. they wound up having a strong upper hand in the process of
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2010. the democrats do not want to be caught flat-footed and have been working really hard. host: if there is a democratic emergence this time, then in future re-drawings it could play out for them as far as the power they get? caller: redistricting is a very political process, knows a prize. i always like to remind people that you have comply with a number of other laws. one person would vote the voting rights act and other criteria, so they cannot gerrymander into oblivion the other party. one party may try to do that, but it is a very political process and if one party controls it they will do their best within the law to advantage their party. host: tim storey is with us and to ask him questions about redistricting and how the selection might play into that, you can call him. if you live in eastern and central time zones, it is (202) 748-8000.
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in the mountain and pacific time zones, (202) 748-8001. you can also tweet us thoughts or questions. when it comes to the current state of legislatures, tell us a little bit about -- two states that involved lawsuits -- wisconsin. guest: redistricting is a very litigious process. usually the party that feels they could get a better deal in the courts, sometimes republicans, sometimes democrats, there are a number ways -- in number of ways to challenge plans. republicans said the state of wisconsin had gone too far apart from gerrymandering. the u.s. constitution does not say explicitly you cannot draw maps for political purposes. it is a tradition that goes all the way back to the first maps of the united states.
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there is a great story out of virginia where patrick henry was no fan of james madison and tried to gerrymander him out of his house seat. hisas almost drawn out of district in the very first election for congress. that goes on today. there is this big decision out of supreme court and essentially the court said, when justice kennedy was on the bench and was the swing vote, they did not find the u.s. constitution currently limiting partisan gerrymandering. host: when it comes to them, parties are both sides involved equally to try to and a fit their party the most? caller: neither party -- guest: neither party is innocent. they will think very hard of how the political ramifications of the map might work, and there is a tremendous amount of data to support that project. you can look at all kinds of
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partisan data in the process along with population data and demographic data. host: back to the supreme court just a second -- how often did they decide they want to insert themselves in these fights? guest: very often. as an issue area the supreme court takes up, they have heard dozens every district in cases starting in the 1960's. 1963, many states did not redraw their maps so some districts had 200,000 people and some had 50,000 people. in inpreme court steps the 1960's and ever since then, every decade they have heard numerous cases, usually around voting rights issues. that is where most of the litigation is taken place. the supreme court has very frequently, far more than other issues you might think of, they are directly involved with the judicial process. scottour first caller is
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from alpharetta, georgia. caller: thank you for taking my call. hello? host: you are on. go ahead. caller: i was a republican for 30 years. this race we are having going on and abrams,th kemp i have been listening to what kemp has been saying. when is it ok to lie? these guys are so good at it now, it is crazy. i am not voting republican anymore. host: our guest specializes in redistricting matters. do you have questions about that? caller: the republicans are gerrymandering. i do not know how they are doing it, but i know that if they do , they are going to the
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areas where they are expecting republicans. this georgiat: governors race is vital to redistricting because in in geoe congressional map as well as a legislative maps will be drawn by the legislature and veto or son on a governor. the governor is republican come the legislature is republican. if the democratic candidate, stacey abrams, can manage to win that race -- it is a close tossup -- this is one where she has a four-year term. she will be sitting in the governor's chair in 2021 when those plans are drawn. it will not just a one party controlling it in georgia. largeicans have majorities in the house and senate, so unlikely the democrats will win the house. pennsylvania. let's talk about their experience. guest: also been in court over
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partisan gerrymandering. there is a case, justice kennedy's first big case on partisan gerrymandering. the court has addressed this question twice now. in this case, justice kennedy was interesting, and this is what keyed up the wisconsin race. 2007, congressional map. republicans had control, drew a up by law but was certainly an advantage to the republicans. justice kennedy is the swing vote, 5-4 decision, and he said the gerrymandering might be unconstitutional, but this is not the case. 10 years later we have the wisconsin case, once again, gerrymandering might be on prostitution all -- it might be unconstitutional, but now he is no longer on the court.
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host: next phone call. thatr: the important part is gentleman, mr. storey, is failing to bring up, is that in pennsylvania, newly elected justices in our supreme court created the situation. they overthrew unconstitutionally. nowhere in the constitution does throw oute power to and draw their own map. over the court, the executive, and the legislative power, authority and imposed their own map, so they could try to steal four districts on the eastern end of the state. it is terrible and it should be a constitutional crisis that a court can impose this. thank you.
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year or two ago, it was a pennsylvania state case, not a federal case. the state court did overturn the angressional plan and drew map for them, record the legislator to turn over their data. then they got into a battle over data that was used for redistricting. the court ruled on that. a state supreme court ruling to the u.s. supreme court it i don't know if that is the case there but it was not taken up -- it was not overturned. host: maryland is next. james in silver spring. caller: good morning. one of my questions is, my understanding, the whole reason we have the electoral college is to try to balance the weight of
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votes among the states. why do we have redistricting? why do we have everyone vote, and whoever wins, wins the state? guest: the electoral college applies to the election for the president, a 50-state election. redistricting only apply to the u.s. house, not the senate. every state gets two senators in the senate. there are 435 u.s. house members, and those are apportioned. apportionment is done after the census as well, done by the clerk of the u.s. house. that determines how many seats each state gets in the house. he have to make sure there are the same number of people. the reason that you redraw the lines, because the constitution requires it, you want everyone vote to have roughly the same the house is voting on the budget, defense spending, money for health care, the
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affordable care act. the reason we do the redistricting is to make sure it is one person, one vote. apportionment is a different matter, how many seats each state gets in the house. a number of states in the south and west will probably gain seats. those losing population relative to the other states will lose seats in the u.s. house. host: 31 state legislatures currently across the u.s. in control of republican hands, 14 in democrats. if you look at the elections coming up in november involving the house and senate, only four states with no 2018 election. steve, go ahead. morning, c-span. i been watching for years. it gives americans an opportunity to go inside our
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lawmaking process. i think this redistricting has a lot to do with money. who they find our more valuable to cater to. they are breaking up districts. it may be the democrats -- i'm not sure. we know that the democrats have their hands in a lot of shady things these days, going back to the brett kavanaugh hearings and all of that other stuff. i'm on the street every day talking to voters. they took my right to vote away, pounding out there the pavement. i'm discovering people in , arena my age, 46 to 60 disgusted with the democratic party, even their democratic neighbors. onht now, they are talking
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msnbc about what is causing the divide in america. that is the way they wanted america. it keeps our mind off of the more important issues. the real reason i believe why the democrats lost the election -- do you remember when hillary called the united states of american people deplorable? when that came out of her mouth, she lost a lot of people. arizona is one of seven states where congressional redistricting is not done in the legislature in the political process but by an independent commission. the arizona independent commission for redistricting. there are two states, michigan and colorado, that will have on the ballot in this election, measure to take redistricting away from the legislature and do it in a commission kind of
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thing. i have been -- this will be my fourth cycle of redistricting. you know this, you have been -- for ain a long time long time as well. there is more attention on gerrymandering, partisanship redistricting, then there ever has been in my 30 years involved. that is leading to some of these changes on the ballot. one of the big trends is to try , you criteria to say cannot draw maps that favor or disfavor one party. you have to draw maps that are competitive. in arizona, they have a commission where a number of states are going in that direction. are there outside influences in the redistricting process? guest: usually the state party is involved, the national parties. , particularlylved on the democratic side, in this cycle -- because they didn't get
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wiped out in 2010. obama's first midterm, he loses a number of seats, governorships. so the money is on the campaign side, not directly involved in redistricting. the democrats have a very organize project to focus on state elections. but ericns do, too, holder and barack obama are leading the cause. they have really elevated the profile of state elections because of this. the money is on the campaign side, not on the redistricting process itself. tim storey, a little bit about your organization? is to havemission legislatures do their job well, when lawmakers are trying to decide on the big issues they deal with. health care, transportation, education, criminal justice. that they have good ideas, share ideas.
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we strengthen legislatures to help them share ideas. if you have a great idea in rhode island, the people in texas can learn from you. then we also have an office in washington. i am based in our denver headquarters. we have a washington office that helps to advocate for the administration, congress, make sure the state's interests are being looked after in washington. progression -- projection is for more gridlock, no matter how the election turns out. so the states are really taking the lead on a lot of issues. not much is happening up the street here. we are trying to help lawmakers do what is right for their people and states. host: frank is next in west virginia. caller: i have two questions. out of west virginia, over the last 10 years, we have lost
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population. says,hat the gentleman the census is how you go by the amount of representation you get in washington. that's my first question. my second question is about maine. they revise their ballots in some wine -- i'm not sure about this -- but whatever they did, they had some sort of say about what happens in their state. i will take the answer off the air. guest: let's talk about the census first. the census was in the original constitution. the reason it is is for reapportionment and redistricting. we have essentially frozen the u.s. house at 435 seats back in the 1930's, so it is almost a zero-sum game. if some states are growing faster than other states, they will get more seats. are growing,ates some just slower than others.
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west virginia is one of those states. the other question about what is called instant runoff voting in maine. this is the only state that employs this statewide for some offices, not all. this is something they did through a ballot measure. you would essentially choose the rank order of your candidates. if your preferred candidate did not make it after the first count, your second candidate would make it. it is a unique process of voting , sort of an experiment. the laboratories of democracy, trying different things to serve the people in their states based on their culture. experiment onto how they do the election process. host: often mentioned is iowa and how they do it. guest: it is not as a unique as it used to be but for both the legislative and congressional redistricting they have nonpartisan staff draw up maps,
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and they are prohibited of using any political data, incumbent addresses. blind to then them outcome, strictly on the population and geography of the state. they submit it to the legislature who can vote it up or down, but they cannot change it. this is something other states are beginning to mirror. while it used to be very unique that they were not using political data, it is not as much anymore. a number of states have put limits around the partisan aspect of redistricting. host: jim is in fairfield, connecticut. morning.ood i have a question on the concept of when a minority party gained control. that the heard democrats secured more votes in a state overall, but the republican party gained control through the redistricting effort . where a minority party wins but they really lose.
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similar to the electoral college. realizing that each state senate has a certain number of members, 50 districts, 30 districts, and each state house may have 90 or 100 districts. and then congress, colorado has seven congressional districts. each of those elections is an individual election. district one in colorado, the republican wins 75% to 25%. and all the other districts in the democrats get 50.1%, the republican gets 49.9%. the democrats would get six states but because one district was so heavily for republicans, they may have more total votes statewide, but you would have six democrats and one republican in this unlikely scenario. the point is it is a district by district election. to win have more votes
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in one district because the candidate appeals to both parties, has been there for a long time, serve their constituents well, and then all of the other district may be close. statewide, it would appear one party got more votes but it is really a district by district election. host: rosedale, maryland. that is where jesse is. caller: good morning. this gerrymandering thing about , they can select who to vote at any time. can they do the same thing about taxes? don't get their chance to vote, do they have to still pay taxes? those people that never got a chance to vote? that is a little bit cruel.
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guest: understand what you are saying. that americans pay a federal income tax, sales tax in their state is not related to voting. it is sort of a message that if you care about taxes, how your money is spent, how your legislative body, whether state or congress in washington, if you care about how they spend your money, implement tax systems, you have to vote. reason to draw you to be involved, register to vote, make sure you are ready to go on election day, fill out your absentee ballot, vote early, if that is an option. taxes and spending are certainly within the domain -- the supreme court has ruled on that. it is incumbent on every one of us to not only cast our vote but encourage everyone to vote. erie.in pennsylvania,
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jim, hello. caller: i wanted to ask your guest a couple questions. i'm a lifelong democrat, i did not vote for trump, of course, but the last two years have been really good for erie, pennsylvania economically. i am a machinist. i had my first call back to work about six months ago. in the, pennsylvania last two years has gained over 10,000 manufacturing jobs. i don't know if you have ever been to erie, pennsylvania but we had all kinds of thefacturing here in 1960's, 1970's, 1980's. what concerns me is what i hear on television. days, theye last two are using this word nationalist. i look that up in a dictionary, and basically, nationalist is
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somebody who loves their country. the people on cnn, msnbc, nbc, and because the president -- again, i did not vote for this guy, but this is what is happening. they are always talking about divided americans. as soon as this president uses the word nationalist -- i looked it up, love of country, immediately they say that he said a white nationalist. not say white nationalist, he said nationalist. erie, made a trip from pennsylvania to state college last week to visit my son. seeingng the way i am trump lawns.in
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back in 2016, i would only see trump along the way. my wife said to me at the time, any chance that idiot could be president? erie, i have not been to i have been to pennsylvania a number of times. you talk about the growth in jobs. 10 years is a long time taking one senses and another census. the population shifts quite a bit in the u.s. that is why the census is taken every 10 years. thomas jefferson was head of the census when he was in washington over 200 years ago. it is a long-standing tradition that is vital to the u.s. that we take a good senses. not only would i encourage people to vote but it is less than two years before you will hear about filling out your census forms. it is not too early to think -- givingking about your information to the census bureau so we can make good
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public policy decisions. host: when it comes to the mechanics of redrawn lines, how is that typically done, how heartily processes that? guest: there are a number of components on the technology side. 30 years ago, it was those wax paper with colored pencils, drawing a plan. now it is highly technology driven. special mapping software that is readily available. there are some terrific products that anyone can draw up and drop political maps on the internet. you can google redistrictingspep tools and probably find a few on the web that are free. there is mapping software. then you have the data side of it. data, data, election other elements. highly technical. now there are great printers, display maps online.
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it is much faster than used to be, you can analyze plans, all sorts of indices to measure whether a plan is compact, another requirement that states have to pay attention to, if the district are relatively compact. host: how transparent of a process is it? guest: generally quite transparent. most states have established parliamentary rules about when you're holding hearings in committee you have to make sure they are publicized ahead of time, you have to make people to have input. surprisingly, the myth of the quiteoom operation is not as evident as it had been maybe 30 years ago. most states go through the process in a fairly open way. they also invite the public, constituents to submit plans. you can do that in a number of states. host: michael is in texas.
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go ahead. caller: how are you all doing? can you hear me? i have a comment. our top cop,texas, attorney general was charged and convicted. he is still on the ballot. they are going around here gerrymandering, taking people off the rolls, they put people on probation so they cannot vote. if you can walk around free, you can vote. you are computing to the tax base, whatever. ,hey must go in a room and say what can we do to suppress the vote? that is sad. at afghanistan. if 2% of their people vote. over here we get barely 40%.
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-- over 50% of their people vote. guest: the fact that the caller brings up gerrymandering, the american public is more consciously aware of this process that i've seen in 30 years. there is a lot of pressure to review the process of redistricting. that is why it's on the ballot in number of states. change their process, ohio already changed before the cycle. you are seeing a lot of change being pushed from regular voters, regular citizens who are concerned that it has gone too far. jan is next from oregon. caller: thank you for taking my call. i had a question for your guest regarding whether the national conference of state legislatures ever gets into the question of voter suppression as it relates
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to ethics. you keep talking about everybody should exercise their right to vote. however, for example, that gentleman that you had on jesse, what he was asking was if your vote has been --pressed by some magic wand for example, in georgia, the secretary of state in charge of voting is also running for governor. they have reported 53,000 who have noters matched up on their computer system. when those people's votes are , how does that ethically fit with exercising your right to vote? guest: i'm glad you brought this up.
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the national conference of state legislatures, we are nonpartisan. we provide a lot of information about how states run their elections. runs their election differently, different requirements on how you register to vote, requirements on when new vote. some states you can vote straight ticket, some it is only vote by mail. greatly.s really vary we don't take a position on those things but we provide a lot of information. my colleagues have tremendous information on the website on how to vote, how it varies from state to state, which states have early voting, what have a book by mail, registration deadlines. we don't take positions on these things that we write a lot of information on them. host: what kind of assistance to you provide states, if any? guest: we help train them on the law.
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it is extraordinary complicated. we put out a book every 10 years about redistricting. the laws are extremely complicated. drawn plans that will stand up in court, in federal court and in state courts. we do a lot of training that is neutral. we don't say here is how you gerrymander. you are a card to draw maps because the constitution requires the state to do that. you need to understand the law, the process, technology. as far as the education, can you tell us how we got the phrase gerrymandering? gerry wasridge actually the governor of massachusetts. , i want to say. the state senate had a plan that they sent to the governor that was five senators -- one district would elect five senators. the governor signed it.
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a newspaper cartoonist saw it and said this is terrible, look at how horrible these lines are. , it isy, his editor said not a salamander, it is a gerrymander. the governor actually had little to do with the drawing of the plan but now has the ignominious title for all of eternity it seems. host: as far as this election is concerned, with gerrymandering, what to watch out for. guest: over 800 state legislatures are on the ballot betwo weeks, who will involved in redistricting. 34 governors. it's really important that you go out and determine who your representatives will be. this process will happen in just over two years. this is a critical election. host: if you are interested in
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learning about this process, you can go to our guest's website, more information about what goes into the process of gerrymandering. tim storey joining us for this discussion. if you have questions, (202) 748-8000 for those in the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 in the mountain and pacific time zones. the white house does not get involved in these issues, do they? guest: they don't. certainly, they have political operations and this white house , justto elect republicans as the democrats would do. but they have almost no role in the redistricting process. host: the house and senate themselves, how do they play into this? guest: that's a great question. when they founded the nation, there was this vision that this would be a time every 10 years where the house of representatives people would go
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back to their state legislatures and say, i know you are drawing our districts -- they were aware of this political aspect. they did not conceive the evolution of parties in the u.s., did not realize how strong they would be when they were doing that. also, when we adopted the constitution, the senate was elected by legislatures, not the people. that was a change in the 17th amendment. the federal progress was variable holding to the state legislatures. now the members of the u.s. house have to lobby their legislators. i know you are redrawn this plan, i want you to keep my district roughly the same. they know the voters, they know how to serve the district. so they are put in the role of a little bit hat in hand to the state legislator horse saying, i want you to look after me. host: is the process different for texas, california, others? uniquecalifornia has a
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admission process, so it is almost impossible for them to appeal to their state legislatures. the members of the texas delegation in the u.s. house, they go back to their legislature and say you are doing redistricting, what are you thinking about in terms of my district? states,the case in most pennsylvania, michigan, new york, florida. california is unique in that regard. next is bill in newburgh. it seems to me the republican party lost control. they want to keep people voting. that tells me they have a -- a lot of it is like a dictator. they cannot control it.
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it is bad when they have this in kansas, georgia, other places, where they redraw the district. why not let the people vote as to what district they want to be in, instead of carving out to suit themselves? that is an interesting concept of having the people vote on how to do the districts. in a way, you do, because you can choose the legislators, you can ask them when they are campaigning, how do they want to do redistricting in the next cycle? how committed are they to their party versus other interests? the mechanics of having people vote on the districts would be difficult. plus, it is an extraordinary complicated process. i cannot emphasize that enough. the legal parameters and limits on how you do this are very complicated. by askingn have a say
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your candidates and representatives what they will do. there is accountability. the people who do this have to go back on the ballot themselves two years later. that is one of the downsides of a commission system. those people may not be accountable to anybody, but when the legislature does it, they have to stand for reelection. if you think may have drawn a bad map, you can hold them to account in the following election. with the storey national confere watch the competition for the control of congress on c-span. watch debates from key races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. >> c-span's "washington journal," live with news and policy issues that impact you.
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coming up this morning, democratic strategist steve mcmahon and republican strategist todd harris talk about the best and worst political ads of the 2018 election and boston college law --ool's percent sure professor joins us. watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern this morning. joined the discussion. senatorersey democratic bob menendez is up for reelection, running against ex marine and pharmaceutical company executive bob huge and -- hugin. the candidates debated in your work, new jersey. welcome, mr. menendez. welcome, mr.

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