Hammett won't back redistricting

Published 5:35 pm Monday, November 19, 2007

By Staff
For people who desperately want good government in Alabama - particularly government where partisan interests come in a distant second to the needs of the citizens - there's a bit of good news. Seth Hammett, a Democrat from Andalusia and speaker of the state House of Representatives, has come out against any attempt by the House to redraw congressional districts for next year's elections.
The idea … would have been aimed at giving Democrats a chance to capture the congressional seat in the 2nd District in southeast Alabama. There, incumbent Republican Terry Everett has decided not to seek re-election.
Talk of the possible redistricting sent Republicans into a rage. They threatened to shut down the House in 2008 if such an attempt is made. Because a lingering dispute in the Senate is expected to block most action there next year, a House shutdown would almost paralyze the Legislature.
But Hammett, the most powerful Democrat in the House, stepped in. He said he didn't favor a congressional redistricting for next year, that legislators in both parties need to work together to act for the good of the state. Hammett's declaration was greeted warmly by Republican leaders.
… Now that the leaders of both parties are in an agreeable mood (at least for the moment) maybe they can rise above partisan interests and establish a tone that will help them settle other differences. Small accomplishments don't necessarily lead to larger ones, but they can.
The Huntsville Times