Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives Pat Grassley has come under fire from conservatives for failing to oppose a Democrat-friendly redistricting plan proposed by the Iowa agency responsible for drawing the first draft of new congressional and state legislative boundaries.
Grassley’s soft approach to redistricting is a dramatic contrast to the hardball techniques being used by state legislators in blue states like New York and California. In New York, which will be losing one seat in the House of Representatives after the results of the 2020 Census were released, news reports indicate that Democrats in the New York Assembly and State Senate may try to redraw lines to eliminate as many as five Republicans from the state’s Congressional delegation.
“Considerations of political impact or whether current lawmakers would have to square off against each other should not influence state lawmakers’ votes on proposed new political boundaries in Iowa, Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley said Friday,” the Quad-City Times reported.
Grassley, a Republican, is the grandson of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), and is said to be contemplating a race for governor.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this month:
The nominally “nonpartisan” Iowa redistricting agency released a decidedly Democrat-friendly map on Thursday, setting the stage for a possible rejection by the Iowa Legislature, where Republicans enjoy large majorities in both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives.
You can read the 35 page report dated September 16, 2021 and released by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency [LSA] on Thursday, titled, “First Redistricting Plan,” here.
Under the currently drawn boundaries for Iowa’s four Congressional Districts, three Republicans and one Democrat were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2020.
Under the new boundaries, two districts would be likely Republican, one would be likely Democrat, and one, Iowa’s Third Congressional District, would be a “Toss-up,” Klondike tweeted, though Biden narrowly won the district.
President Trump easily defeated Joe Biden in Iowa in 2020 by eight points.
On September 16, Breitbart News sent a key question about this redistricting plan to Iowa Speaker Grassley and Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver.
“Since this map clearly favors Democrats, will the Iowa Legislature reject it and seek a less partisan map?” Breitbart News asked both Iowa legislative leaders.
Breitbart News has yet to receive a response to that question.
Grassley did, however, answer questions from the Quad-City Times on Friday:
Grassley was asked what he would say to national Republicans or Iowa Republicans currently in or running for federal office who may not like the first proposal’s new Congressional districts. The proposal would make eastern Iowa’s 1st Congressional District–currently represented by Republican U.S. Rep Ashley Hinson–significantly more Democratic-leaning. Eastern Iowa’s 2nd District would become more Republican…
“To draw a map in this state with the way the population shifts have been made, I don’t think you necessarily have an unfair map by any means for either party necessarily,” Grassley said. “And that really, you should not be passing a map based on purely on political motives. That is not one of the criteria that we’re supposed to follow. I know some people on both sides don’t like parts of it. But really you have to look about the things laid out in the (state law) and what the expectation of the legislature is.”
Grassley’s current position on redistricting may cause difficulties for his reported gubernatorial aspirations.
“It’s going to be hard for Pat Grassley to run for governor if his biggest accomplishment is helping Nancy Pelosi keep the majority in the House of Representatives,” a senior GOP strategist who works on numerous Iowa campaigns told Breitbart News.
“This would be a complete betryal to the activists who have worked so hard to turn Iowa red,” the strategist added.
More than a dozen GOP Iowa state legislators are strongly opposed to Grassley’s soft approach on redistricting, another GOP source told Breitbart News, but calls to those state legislators for comment were not returned as of publication time.