Miller: It's not about revenge

Posted July 5, 2011 3:27 p.m. EDT

Democrat Brad Miller, who would be unlikely to keep his 13th district seat under the new maps, says he's being targeted for his work in Congress, not his role in redistricting a decade ago.

In 2001, Miller was the Redistricting chairman for the state Senate.  He's often been accused of having designed his own congressional district, which he subsequently won and has held ever since.  

Miller disputes that claim.  "If I had drawn my own district, it wouldn't have looked like that," he said. "It had to pass with 61 votes in the House and 26 in the Senate."   

"That is their talking point, and they'll repeat it endlessly, regardless of the fact it's not true," he added.

He also disputes an assertion made by some that he's being targeted because he was responsible for double-bunking current Redistricting Senate chair Bob Rucho, forcing him out of the Senate for a few years.  

Miller said Rucho wasn't drawn into another GOP district until the maps were revised in 2003, by which time Miller was already in Congress.  "That's the kind of misinformation that's going around," he said. 

Miller believes his work in Congress is the reason he's being targeted.

"I've made myself a real nuisance to big interests that have a lot of influence over North Carolina Republicans," he said, "especially big banks. This is more about that than anything that happened a decade ago in redistricting."

Miller thinks the new maps are likely to be "shot down" in federal review. He also expects a raft of legal challenges to the proposal – and should any get to the Supreme Court, he believes the districting provisions of the Voting Rights Act could be thrown out altogether.  

"The Supreme Court has gotten more and more impatient with the idea that race has to be the predominant factor" in drawing up maps, Miller said, "especially when it's to the detriment of African American voters."  

"The Justice Department and courts look at alternatives," he added.