Political watchers have been hovering over their keyboards for a day and a half, waiting for the Redistricting chairs to release their final set of proposed maps, those redrawing state House and Senate districts.
This afternoon, before any maps had been released, the John Davis Political Report landed in inboxes around the legislature, touting a "first peek at the new Senate districts."
Davis, a longtime North Carolina political observer and consultant, writes a subscription-only daily report on state politics. He's been sending it out to some non-subscribers (including the press corps) for free for some time, perhaps attempting to attract new business. Davis apparently had early access to congressional maps, too, since his analysis beat their release earlier this month by a couple of hours as well.
It's hard to imagine a more avid audience for the "first peek" than the many senators who hadn't yet seen their new districts. That list included Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, a member of the Senate Redistricting committee. He called a press conference to criticize the GOP leadership for leaking maps to an outside consultant while leaving Democrats in the dark.
"It's just a hell of a process when something this important is handled this way," Nesbitt said. "There's just absolutely no excuse for this. They could've at least given 'em to us."
Davis did not respond to an emailed inquiry about his access to the information. Senate Leader Phil Berger's spokesman Ray Martin said he knew nothing about it. The maps were released to the public shortly after the press conference concluded.
Nesbitt also said his caucus may not back Governor Perdue on all six vetoed bills up for an override in the Senate tomorrow. Nesbitt on Senate map leaks
The Buncombe Democrat said he "totally disagrees" with Perdue's contention that S781 Regulatory Reform violates the state constitution, which passed the Senate three times with unanimous bipartisan support. But he was less certain Dems would agree to override the veto of the Medical Malpractice Reform bill, S33, which he says contains mistakes that could have serious unforeseen consequences.
Watch Nesbitt's unedited comments today at right.