It surprising to me how few Americans know that Gerrymandering is perfectly legal and Constitutional. Most think that it is a surreptitious practice of unscrupulous pols that defies democracy.
Elbridge Gerry was one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He is notable for refusing to sign the Constitution of the United States because it did not include a Bill of Rights. Hardly someone whom you would characterize as a miscreant. Yet, he is known primarily for having his name attached to the practice of carving out representative districts to favor an incumbent or a political party. When a strangely shaped district appeared in the Boston area, someone quipped that it resembled a lizard or salamander. Since it favored Gerry, it was dubbed a Gerrymander.
Redistricting is mandated by the Supreme Court after each decennial census. The objective is to insure equality of representation. Every citizen has an equal proportionate share of his representative. The court has further extended the principle to all levels of government including state legislatures, county commissions and city councils.
Naturally it is a political process and it is recognized as such. There are attempts to encircle areas of concentrations of support and divide areas of opposition. A party in power will try to cement that control and enlarge their majority. A party in the minority will struggle to gain a foothold in new districts. Incumbents will always seek to retain their districts. And, since the Civil Rights revolution of the '60s and '70s, redistricting has been encouraged to specifically create majority-minority districts drawn with specific consideration of ethnicity. All of these are Constitutional applications of gerrymandering.
The problem is that redistricting is typically the responsibility of the state legislatures. That creates incredible partisan emphasis and often leads to deadlocks and inability to accomplish the task. The job then falls to the courts where it is no less partisan and only slightly more satisfactory.
Pelosi Seeks Strangle Hold On Redistricting
There is a very strong argument for a citizen's board doing the redistricting. It detaches the process a bit from the partisanship of the legislatures. There still is linkage through the appointment process for the commission, but it offers a bit of removal from politics and a bit more clarity of focus. Pelosi doesn't like that.
"Financial Accountability..." is exactly the sort of terminology that tells voters who already don't understand the process even less about what is going to happen. Who could possibly argue against accountability? I guess that would be someone who actually wants more of it in the redistricting process.