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Redistricting Q&A: Mike Thompson Redistricting Q&A: Mike Thompson

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Redistricting Q&A: Mike Thompson

December 24, 2010

The Hotline: What is your main responsibility since you've been appointed by the Speaker? Are you coordinating also with, say, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or the Democratic National Committee?

MT: I'm just working with different delegations.

The Hotline: Let me ask you about fundraising then. Because of all the legal challenges, fundraising can become critical to redistricting efforts. Is that something you guys are in charge of, or how is that working on the Democratic side?

MT: I am not doing fundraising; no members are doing fundraising. That may change, we have asked for clarification as to what members can do. And again, it all falls into that same column of understanding law. And we'll work within the confines of the law to make sure we have a fair redistricting process in every one of these districts.

The Hotline: In states where there's been an influx in the Hispanic population and that are slated to gain seats -- like Nevada and Arizona -- are those states where Democrats can pick up seats?

MT: I'm not involved in that part. I'm involved in making sure that we have accurate numbers and making sure we know what the law is and that delegations have that information.

The Hotline: How confident are you in the preparation you've done? You said you didn't want to get caught like Democrats did in the last reapportionment. Do you have a sense of how well you're doing compared to Republicans at this point?

MT: We'll be prepared.

The Hotline: Is that both on the money and rules fronts?

MT: I can comment on the issues that I'm working on, as far as having the best census numbers and best understanding of the law, we'll be prepared.

The Hotline: When you meet with delegations, can you talk about what goes on in those meetings and what the delegations are briefed on? Obviously complying with the Voting Rights Act and stuff like that is important in this process, but what else do you go through with them?

MT: Just to assure them that we have the experts at their disposal to provide for the delegation. We're not here to dictate what a delegation can or can't do -- or should or shouldn't do. We're a resource for them, and that's the emphasis that I try and bring to those meetings.

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