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Mass. House Leaders Begin Redistricting Fight

Partisan squabbles over congressional and legislative redistricting have begun on Beacon Hill.

In a party-line vote, Massachusetts House Democrats on Wednesday defeated a Republican plan to create an independent panel to draw new political maps.

House Democratic leaders argue it's too late in the process to form an independent panel. Republicans, including House Minority Leader Brad Jones, say such a panel would remove some of the politics from the process.

"No process is going to be perfect," Jones said, "but we shouldn't let the pursuit of perfection deprive us of the pursuit of what is good and better."

House redistricting chairman Michael Moran disagrees. He says an independent panel wouldn't serve the redistricting process better.

"I just don't believe that taking democracy out of the process, and giving it to an un-elected, nameless, faceless commission, is good for anyone's constituents, Republican or Democrat," Moran said.

Moran vows transparency throughout the process with a dozen public hearings on redistricting scheduled throughout the spring.

This program aired on March 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's State House reporter.

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