How is it that Forsyth County state reps Donny Lambeth and Debra Conrad are just now getting on the municipal redistricting grift, when the rest of their cronies have been running the play for years — with, it should be said, poor outcomes?

Lambeth and Conrad introduced legislation that would reduce the number of Winston-Salem wards from eight to five, and introduce three at-large seats to keep the total at eight. As always, the purpose of the redistricting plan is revealed in its architecture: It triple bunks the three African-American women currently on council into a single ward. Councilmember Dan Besse, who ran against Lambeth as a Democrat in 2016, was drawn into the city’s lone Republican-leaning district.

Like all of these redistricting plans, they are presented as solutions in search of problems — this is the first anyone on city council had heard of the plan, including the sole Republican Robert Clark. But really, they are designed to erode a city’s naturally Democratic power structure to the advantage of the minority party.

And it’s so very 2015 — the year Trudy Wade and John Faircloth filed something like this, unbidden, for Greensboro. A judge declared the redistricting illegal in 2017, by which time no one cared. It would be wise to remember that Wade lost her next state Senate election in 2018, and that Faircloth faced his first competitive race ever, and that marginalizing the majority is the way of tyrants.

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