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Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay Paperback – September 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bickerstaff does a good job of putting an otherwise hard-to-grasp subject into terms a layperson can understand. And he teaches a lesson about one of the greatest political tragedies in recent Texas history. (Rebeca Chapa San Antonio Express-News 2007-03-04)

The book is a compelling story of the Tom DeLay inspired mid-decade redistricting that rocked the state and riveted political junkies around the country. (Harvey Kronberg Quorum Report 2007-03-01)

About the Author

STEVE BICKERSTAFF is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and has written extensively on redistricting. He is retired from the law firm he founded and lives in Austin, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292726457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292726451
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Robert Heath on February 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of Tom DeLay's effort to redraw Texas' congressional district lines in a largely unprecedented mid-decade redistricting. While Texas Republicans had a clear electoral majority in the state, a majority of the congressional delegation were Democrats. Republicans generally, and Tom DeLay in particular, set out to change that. Far from a simple task of redrawing lines on a map, it is an epic tale of long-range political strategy, the corrupting influence of big money in the political process, innovative parliamentary tactics, the impact of race on politics, and ultimately the hubris and overreaching that caused Tom DeLay's fall from his position as perhaps the nation's most powerful member of Congress.

While the 2003 Texas Legislature was committed to changing congressional district lines, it was far from easy. Democrats did not have the votes to defeat the redistricting, but they could break a quorum by staying away. That is exactly what they did when more than 50 House Democrats spent four days in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and later eleven Democratic senators stayed in New Mexico for more than 40 days. The Democratic strategy, however, was effective only at slowing the process, and the congressional redistricting bill passed after three special sessions. The book details how Tom DeLay was actively involved in the shape of the final plan, which resulted in switching six seats from Democrats to Republicans and caused a net twelve-seat change in the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay
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