By Deborah Carl
Matheson Losing in Utah Redistricting
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Utah Democrats claim the urban-rural
redistricting is a ploy to break up Democratic strongholds.
Republican leaders claim the mix of urban and rural concerns makes
for a united congressional delegation.
The Legislature's Redistricting Committee has approved the Republican
plan to divide Salt Lake County among the state's three U.S. House
members -- Republican Reps. Jim Hansen and Chris Cannon and
Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson. Matheson's district would go from 43
percent Democrat to 30 percent Democrat as the west side of Salt Lake
County is split between Hansen and Cannon and more rural areas are
added to Matheson's district. The plan awaits formal approval of the
full Legislature in a Sept. 25 special session and the signature of
Republican Gov. Mike Leavitt.
Democratic Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson said, "Regardless of
people's political party affiliation, their sense of fairness is
going to be offended by this," said Anderson. "This is just part and
parcel of the arrogance that comes with having a monopoly on
Matheson said the map proved that "the legislative redistricting
process has been a sham. ... (Republicans) have chosen to ignore what
the people have told them in every public hearing," to keep
communities of interest together."
Rep. Chad Bennion, R-Murray, was the only Republican on the committee
to vote with Democrats against the congressional plan. "I still want
an urban-rural mix, but I don't want to split Salt Lake City," he
However, Rep. Katherine Bryson, R-Orem, said she found it "rather
insulting" that Salt Lake City Democrats believe they are the only
residents with urban problems in need of creative solutions. The
entire congressional delegation, she said, ought to be "back there
doing their duty for the state as a whole."
Redistricting Committee adopts plan to trisect Salt Lake County
St George UT Spectrum (AP) 15Sep01 T2