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Gov. Perry Calls Special Session To End Controversy Over Voting Districts

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Governor Perry wants lawmakers to approve the voting maps drawn by a federal court in Washington, DC that were already used for Congressional and state legislative districts last year.

But don’t tell that to Rene Martinez, Director of LULAC’s North East Texas District.

Martinez says, “The Latino community has no faith or trust in whatever the Governor’s going to do or the State Legislature as is presently elected.”

But Tea Party member Katrina Pierson and Republicans disagree, and say the existing maps would bring consistentcy to the process.

Pierson says, “We have already functioned under this map. I think people are already used to it, so really it wouldn’t make any sense to try and make that attempt to re-draw the districts knowing that potentially, they could be worse.”

While Tea Party member Katrina Pierson and Republicans say the existing maps would bring consistentcy, Martinez says the maps remain flawed.

He points to the 33rd Congressional district stretching from Oak Cliff to Fort Worth, which was created to boost minority representation on Capitol Hill.

Martinez says, “We do not have a Latino Congressman in this area. We have to be cognizant of giving Latinos that opportunity under the Voting Rights Act to be able to have a chance of having a district and not being packed in a manner that’s not going to allow that.”

Last year, Marc Veasey defeated Domingo Garcia in the Democratic primary, and went on to become Congressman.

Martinez says Latino advocacy groups are prepared to take this matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Though he wouldn’t mind if federal judges in San Antonio try drawing new districting maps first.

Pierson disagrees. “It’s no secret that the court is a fairly liberal court.”

The special session lasts for 30 days.

Many are already expecting Governor Perry to ask the legislature to consider other issues, those favored by Conservatives.

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