There's a reformatted version of this letter here: blust_to_kidd.rtf.]
From: John M. Blust
To: Kenny Kidd
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 1:27 PM
Subject: Propaganda Piece

Your propaganda piece [in support of Rep. Richard Morgan] ignored some
critical issues.  It made no mention of the fact that Morgan and Brubaker
also helped pass Senate districts that your same sources say give an added
advantage to the Democrats.  It made no mention of the venue provision
Morgan helped pass that was designed to try to get sympathetic judges to
decide the lawsuit which Morgan, Black and Basnight filed against the
Republicans to have their maps upheld!  (Did you realize that those three
bedfellows filed a lawsuit against Republicans right after they
collaborated to pass redistricting plans, to try to beat Republicans to
court?)  If Morgan is so intent on helping the Republicans as you allege,
why would he join with Basnight and Black to prosecute legal action against
Republicans?  You support Patrick Ballentine for governor.  Well, Morgan is
plaintiff in a lawsuit in which Ballenine, Bill Cobey, and Party Chairman
Ferrell Blount are defendants!  This is a lawsuit designed to help Marc
Basnight and Jim Black retain their power in the legislature for the next
eight years no matter how the voters vote!

Now for the House districts.  First of all, if the Morgan plan you praised
was so good for Republicans (and it's interesting to note that you admit the
plan was "drawn by our Republican Co-Speaker Richard Morgan"), why didn't
the right honorable gentleman share this great plan with his Republican
colleagues in the House ahead of time?  I talked to numerous Republican
members the day of the Special Session and all claimed they had not seen
the overall plan and knew none of its details.  Some who had shown
sufficient loyalty to Morgan personally (as opposed to loyalty to
Republican principles and loyalty to the voters in their home districts)
were shown only their individual districts.

You made the claim "that is good government."  Is it good government for
members of a legislature to receive a bill only 15 minutes before the
session convenes in which that bill is to be adopted?  Is it good
government to preclude the members who all represent the same number of
North Carolinians from being able to thoroughly scrutinize a bill, debate
that bill and offer amendments to that bill.  Is it good government for the
people of North Carolina to be kept from being able to able to see what is
being proposed for their communities all over the state.  Should Randolph
County Commissioners, Asheboro City Councilmen, Archdale City councilmen,
and all other local governments around the state, not be given a chance to
comment about what is being proposed for their areas before a plan is voted
on?  Should members vote for something that will last until the end of the
decade and affect every community in the state without knowing the details
of what they are voting on?  The bill was never even passed in committee -
the treatment given every other bill!  It came directly to the floor, the
question was called, and a quick vote was taken. The fix was on.  Don't
come back now and claim this was all good government!  Ask yourself why
redistricting would be handled this way if everything is above board.

Your letter didn't address the peculiar timing of the redistricting session
or explain the long delay in holding the session, a delay which has now
caused a delay in the primary and greatly inconvenienced the voters and
every citizen who might want to run for governor, Congress, council of
state, state senate, state house, county commissioner, school board and any
other offices all over this state.  Since you are a big fan of good
government, please explain to me why the legislature waited until
Thanksgiving week to take up redistricting.  The maps used for the 2002
elections were clearly marked "interim" and everyone knew all along the
legislature would have to re-draw the legislative maps in 2003.  Why wait
until late November when there would be no time for challenges or for
Justice Department pre-clearance of a "good government" plan?  Why not take
up the matter during the long session when there was ample time?  Why not
follow the normal process?  Why wait until Thanksgiving week and call a
snap session when many legislators may have made family plans?  Is that
"good government?"

I received my notice of the session by e-mail on Sunday afternoon that we
would go into session the next morning at 9:30 am. I had to cancel
appointments at the last minute.  Many other members I talked to that next
day were treated the same way.  Of course, those who demonstrated loyalty
to Morgan during the long session were given more advanced notice.  I hope
you will ask yourself the questions I have posed for you.  Would someone who
had drawn good maps for Republicans, as you have claimed, treat other
Republicans like that?  And answer this question too - why is the drawing
of districts the job of the Speaker and not the job of the whole House of
Representatives?  I am from Guilford County, but I respect the people of
Randolph too much to cut off Arlie Culp or Harold Brubaker from
representing those good people.

Now for the question of whether the House maps are good for Republicans.
Republicans don't need to cheat to win.  All we need are fair, neutral,
constitutional districts that respect political subdivisions and
communities of interest.  The people will then elect a majority of
Republicans based upon our optimistic vision of lower taxes, less
regulation and individual initiative, a vision that leads to healthy job
creation, versus the Democrat (and Morgan) record of higher taxes, runaway
spending and job loss in this state.  The past election results show this
to be true.  In 2002, Republican candidates for House seats won 54% of the
vote to the Democrats 43%. (Libertarians got 3%).  Yet the districts were
such that Republicans won only 61 of 120 House seats.  (That completely
refutes the Democrat/Morgan argument that a partisan Republican judge drew
the interim maps used in 2002).  Republican candidates for Senate won 52% of
the vote and won only 22 of 50 seats.  What Morgan and his allies have done
is work with the Democrats to keep such a scenario viable throughout the
decade - Republican votes, Democrat majorities.

If you will carefully read the NCFREE breakdown you mailed out, it only
claims that the House plan you admit was drawn by Morgan, creates more
leaning Republican House seats than the interim plan had - that's all it
says.  I have already demonstrated that the interim plan was not a good plan
for Republicans.  The analysis doesn't say the Morgan plan (and by the way
it's really a Morgan/Black plan and don't think that Black is stupid enough
to have all his House Democrats support a plan which relegates them to a
minority) creates a set up under which Republicans will win a majority of
the seats in the House - which several experts maintain would be the case
if we had fair, neutral, constitutional districts.  A plan that follows the
correct principles would result in Republicans being able to win around 70
seats.  (And don't take the press's position that the Republicans want to
rig the districts!)  Republicans will win by doing what's right!  Winning
70 seats would be great for Republicans, but bad for Morgan personally.  If
Republicans win big, Morgan loses his power.   So he is in the peculiar
position of a player who does not want his own team to win (he would love a
tie but in almost any endeavor, if you play for a tie, you will lose).  So
any way you look at it, Morgan has helped the Democrats protect seats they
would otherwise lose.  Again, don't also forget that he helped pass
Basnight's gerrymander through the House and is suing Republicans in court
to have it upheld.

Here's another reason why Republicans should not believe you when you
assert that Morgan was trying to help the Republicans.  The analysis of the
districts you mailed out assume that both parties will be recruiting
candidates, training them and funding them in an attempt to win the "swing
districts."  Morgan doesn't want Republicans to win more than 60 seats so
that he can remain a co-speaker.  Republicans will not even be trying to
win some of the seats that Republicans might be able to win, even under the
bad for Republican Morgan plan.  Take, for instance, Dem Rep. Arthur
Williams, who hold a swing seat under the district analysis you mailed out.
"Republican" Co-Speaker Morgan has appeared at an event honoring Arthur
Williams which helped him raise money to retain his seat.  Why would a
Republican Co-Speaker help a Democrat in a seat a Republican can win, help
the Democrat raise money?  Local Republicans were beside themselves, but of
course, those local Republicans, like those all over the state who oppose
Morgan must be the tools of the "small handful of Republican legislators
who did not get exactly what they wanted out of redistricting," which you
cited in your letter.

Finally, let me rebut that last statement of yours I quoted.  I got all I
could individually hope for out of redistricting, so I don't fit your
description.  But you can't vote just for your own selfish interests on a
matter which will determine whether Republicans can ever gain control of
the legislature this entire decade.  If Republicans don't win legislative
majorities, this state will never see the improvements we seek - it will
never see "good government."  Redistricting was a team vote and obviously,
we have some who want to claim a position on the team but want the team to
lose!!  Coaches Krzyzewski, Sendek, Prosser, and Williams, and Panthers
coach John Fox would all bench even their biggest stars if they had an
attitude that put self-interest over team interest.  Even the most rabid,
die hard fans would boo such a player.  It's time for a booing and a
benching in the upcoming Republican primaries.

Morgan already has used you at the state convention to hand out his false
literature - which attacked me, among others.  When it comes to advancing
the Republican cause in the future, I am very forgiving.  I still believe,
at heart, you want to do what is best for the team.  Kenny, I ask you,
please, think this thing through and get on the right side!!  You'll feel
good about yourself!!

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