Outrage in rural Colorado has forced Democrats to re-think their position on splitting up rural districts and forced them back to the bipartisan drawing board.
Doubt it backfired? Just check out the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Pueblo Chieftain, the Durango Herald, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Steamboat Pilot and just about every newspaper with a rural circulation.
In the middle of this mess for Democrats, in comes redistricting Committee Co-Chair Rep. David Balmer (R-Centennial) suggesting that rather than engage in partisan bickering that will lead nowhere, the Democrats should work with Republicans on identifying where they agree and agree to work towards a compromise on areas where they differ.
Balmer, per the Denver Post:
"We have to stop referring to Republican maps, Democratic maps, your map, my map," he said. "Let's start talking about our map, a bipartisan map."
Democrats initially seemed thrown by the idea, happy to continue calling Republicans racist and anti-competitive. But soon thereafter they came around and agreed to go back to the drawing board.
Interesting spin has already emerged out of this new Republican-led bipartisan effort from the liberal PR machine at ColoradoPols. They realized they've lost their ability to continue spitting nails at Republicans and are trying to spin the move as Democrats agreeing to deal with Republicans who've finally come around to supporting districts that are easier for Democrats to win.
Unfortunately for Democrats, today's post at Pols is so convoluted, and cleary searching for a partisan advantage where there is none, that it is destined to fail.
At the committee hearing Senator Greg Brophy pushed Democrats to admit to a willingness to keep the Western Slope (minus the ski communities) and Eastern Plains intact and to not break up El Paso County.
This can be seen as nothing other than a win for Republicans and a win for the chance of this map being drawn by elected legislators and not appointed judges.
If this bipartisan process fails now, Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.