The impasse over the redistricting of Connecticut's Congressional political map is jeopardizing New Britain's place as one of the major cities in the 5th Congressional District.
Republican Minority Leader Larry Cafero and his GOP cohorts on the stalemated legislative commission want New Britain to vacate the new 5th to join the 1st District where Hartford and New Britain are "communities of interest" that should go together.
In their brief to the state Supreme Court, Cafero and company are using the "communities of interest" factor cynically and falsely to tilt the 5th into a Republican-leaning Congressional District.
New Britain, the home of 12-term Republican Nancy Johnson until 2006, provides the 5th District with the diversity and political balance it needs to be a level-playing field for politicians of all stripes and backgrounds.
Without towns such as New Britain the 5th Congressional District becomes much less diverse. The Republicans, who sabotaged an agreement within the commission, argue for a proposal that promotes a racial and socio-economic isolation on the political map for the next decade. This strategy may serve the GOP's short-term election agenda, but will be divisive, diminishing the influence of New Britain voters.
Congressional districts should reflect a political and demographic balance. The 5th District should remain what it is now: a mix of urban and suburban and the wealthy and the working class voting together.
Taking New Britain out of the 5th District will create an imbalance and reduce the chances of advancing the state's common interests by its Congressional delegation.