Republican and Democrat proposals for redistricting were leaked to The Oregonian today, a few days ahead of a planned public unveiling. Publishing the maps in public before they were ready for primetime could create kinks in the negotiation process, which reportedly had been going well.
Redistricting Committees in the House and Senate were meeting jointly to hash out the Congressional, State House and State Senate districts based on census data.
The leaked maps reflect population growth in Central Oregon and the Willamette Valley. Democrat maps show an effort to split Portland, a heavily-Democratic area, among three Congressional Districts. Republicans put all of Multnomah County into its own Congressional District.
Shortly after the maps went up on Oregonlive.com, legislative leaders posted the maps on the legislature's redistricting website.
It's easy to imagine the kind of damage control legislative leaders and interested groups had to do once the maps were posted on Oregonlive.com. Redistricting is a touchy subject, often fraught with accusations of gerrymandering. Finger-pointing and partisan fights are always a risk when legislators try to redraw district lines.
Many legislators have said they hope they can approve a redistricting proposal during the session. If that doesn't happen, a judge will decide the Congressional district lines, and the Secretary of State is in charge of redrawing state districts.
You can view all of the proposals through Jeff Mapes' blog at Oregonlive.com.