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July 1, 2003, Austin, Texas: Members of the public attending the House Redistricting Committee look over a proposed map of Texas Congressional Districts. Photos by Jana Birchunt is successful in engineering a favorable new congressional map, Republicans in Congress could pick up as many as six additional seats. And if DeLay wins the legal challenges from his coup in the Lone Star Stateas well as in Colorado where a similar action was takenhe and White House Rasputin Karl Rove hope to do it again with other Republican-dominated legislatures. The goal appears to be the perpetuation of Tom DeLay in powerto serve the interests of a greedy alliance of corporate pirates and religious zealotsindefinitely. “What Tom DeLay really wants is to control the world,” during the redistricting debate. Laubenberg had asked Craddick if she could choose someone from her district northeast of Dallas to give the opening invocation. Her choice, A.I. Draper, is the pastor of the First Baptist church in Wylie, one of the largest towns in the area, with just over 14,500 people. While Laubenberg’s seat encompasses some of Plano and a few Dallas bedroom communities, the bulk of it is rural. The people who sent Laubenberg to Austin voted in the high 70th percentile for statewide Republican candidates in 2002. But the district also consistently elects Ralph Hall, a conservative Democrat, to Congress. Rural Anglo congressmen like Hall are precisely the kind of Democrats DeLay hopes to defeat with his rnap.The end result of his vision will be a resegregation of sorts. The all-powerful GOP will be the Party of Anglos. The Democrats will represent mostly low-income people of color clustered on the border and in the inner city. The House Republican map that many trace to DeLay accomplishes this by yoking rural Texas to thickly settled suburbia and dumping minority communities into Republican strongholds. The new Republican districts would be like Laubenberg’s, a place where the election is decided in the primary. Critics charge this amounts to de facto disenfranchisement for Democratic-leaning minorities stuck in the new districts. \(If Laubenberg herself had any reservations about tying her rural district to the whims of Dallas subIronically, DeLay’s scheme could eliminate a number of Democrats who often vote like Republicans. On the state level they are politicians like Conservative Coalition member Rep. debate, Ellis made a rare appearance at the front microphone for a personal privilege speech to argue against the redistricting bill. He explained how in his East Texas region everybody works and cooperates together on a nonpartisan basis. The businessminded Ellis wondered if a freshman Republican congressman rooted in suburban Houston would look out for his rural area, whose virtues he was happy to catalogue: “Our best resources are oil and gas, our children, timber, water and plain old hardworking God-fearing people,” he informed the members. Unfortunately for Ellis and fellow Democrats, these days 7/18/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5