Former President Barack Obama has announced a new effort to battle partisan gerrymandering, though Republicans charge that it only seeks to help Democrats.
Obama announced the "Redistricting U" program on Monday on Twitter, which is part of his "All on the Line" campaign to recruit people to oppose efforts to redraw congressional districts based on partisan objectives.
"Training is at the heart of organizing," Obama said in the tweet. "It's why I've always made it a priority — from my 2008 campaign until now.
"And it's why I'm proud to announce @allontheline's in-person training initiative, Redistricting U," he said.
Obama created "Redistricting U" in February after merging his Organizing for Action tax-exempt nonprofit with the National Redistricting Action Fund, which was founded in 2016 by his former attorney general, Eric Holder.
According to the "All on the Line" website, Redistrict U's goal is to send "dedicated trainers to cities across the country to train volunteers, give them the tools to impact the redistricting process in their state, hear from them on how to best make change in their communities, and empower them to be leaders in the movement for fair maps."
The group is focusing on the round of redistricting after the 2020 Census.
However, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker argued last week that Holder's initiative seeks to better position Democrats in future elections.
"If anyone tells you that @EricHolder is 'fighting against gerrymandering' and for 'fair maps,' just look at the form his organization filed with the IRS," Walker, now president of the Young America's Foundation in Washington, tweeted last week.
"The truth: their mission is to 'FAVORABLY POSITION DEMOCRATS FOR THE REDISTRICTING PROCESS,'" he said.
Walker's post quoted from a copy of the organization's 2017 IRS Form 990 for tax-exempt status that he included in the tweet.
A brief Twitter pat ensued between Walker and Holder.
Holder called Wisconsin "the most gerrymandered state in the country" before Walker referenced the bungled "Fast and Furious" gun-running scheme that plagued Holder's tenure — and the former attorney general then challenged the Republican to state his position on gun-control issues.
"All on the Line" has identified 10 "priority states" regarding partisan gerrymandering. They are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
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