DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says the party submitted a redistricting map to the courts late Friday that is in the best interest of the DFL Party and not what’s best for the state’s current elected officials. The proposal upset DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and DFL Rep. Collin Peterson, who both characterized the map as political. Martin said he understands their frustration, but he said the party put forward a proposal that serves the public interest and the best interest of the DFL Party.
“My job is to do what’s in the interest of the party for the long-term and to make sure that we’re putting forward a map that reflects the will of the court panel in terms of the criteria established as well as the public testimony,” Martin told MPR News. “We want to do what’s in the best interest of our elected officials and our stakeholders, but it’s very tough to make everyone happy in this process and our job as a party and legally is to make sure that we’re doing what’s in the best interest of the party for the long-term.”
Martin declined further comment about the criticism from McCollum and Peterson.
A five-member judicial panel tasked with creating a set of redistricting plans will now study the maps submitted by the state’s political parties and other groups. The panel will use those proposals and review public testimony before it starts drawing the state’s political boundaries. The judicial panel will take over the process on Feb. 21 if Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature fail to reach agreement on a set of maps.
Dayton, who vetoed the GOP plan during the 2011 session, said he didn’t think the two sides would reach agreement. The state has to redraw Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts to ensure equal population after the 2010 Census.