Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
This type of coverage drives me nuts. From this morning's New York Times article on state legislative elections:
"Most significantly, the groundwork for redrawing Congressional districts after the 2010 census will be done under the 50 capitol domes, and the party in power will set the table for those discussions in ways favorable to its interests. Gains made this year, analysts say, will help give incumbents a leg up in the final elections leading up to the redistricting."
Right, because the subjects on which legislatures make policy -- health care, transportation, taxes, gay rights, abortion and immigration just to name a few -- don't matter to anyone. What's really important is who gets elected to Congress, where elected officials make policy on pressing issues like health care, transportation, taxes, gay rights, abortion and immigration.
The Times article is especially ironic because it was reported from Iowa, where non-partisan legislative staff draw congressional lines. Approval of those lines by the legislature is typically a mere formality.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.