There's a lot of talk about the need for transparency in government these days, but former Idaho Congressman Orval Hansen says another part of the problem with how things work — or don't — in Washington is there's too much information.
Hansen offered that interesting observation during a dialogue Monday with students from Salem State University and Salem High School. He and colleague John LaFalce, a former Democratic congressman from New York, spoke at SSU's Marsh Hall as part of the Congress to Campus program.
Not surprisingly, they were asked almost immediately about the current climate in the Capitol, which LaFalce described as "atrocious."
Hansen, a Republican, suggested that part of the problem is the advanced technology employed in redistricting today that fashions districts so they are heavily weighted Democratic or Republican. The result, he said, is to nullify the influence of the moderate voter willing to consider candidates from either party. In order to get elected, candidates must veer left or right depending on the political composition of the district in which he is running.
The result, Hansen suggested, is the bitter divisions you see today and the inability of the Congress and White House to reach agreement on almost anything.