This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

We were afraid the Republicans on the Legislature's Redistricting Committee would slice and dice the state to create four new congressional districts that only Karl Rove could love. They have done just that.

As they said they would, they have adopted the "pizza slice" approach, a libel against pizza lovers everywhere.

They have sliced Salt Lake County into three chunks, and grafted two of them onto vast tracts of rural Utah. In the new Second District, Salt Lake City is kept whole for the first time in 20 years, but it is attached to southern Davis County, all of Tooele County and all of southern Utah. In terms of keeping communities of interest intact, with the sole exception of Salt Lake City itself, it's a joke.

To form the new Third District, the committee's preferred map joins the remainder of eastern Salt Lake County with virtually all of the population centers in Utah County and much of eastern Utah to the Colorado line.

Utah north of Salt Lake County forms the First District.

Another laugher is the boot-shaped Fourth District that contains western Salt Lake County from West Valley City south and all of western Utah County, including part of Lehi, Saratoga Springs, and Eagle Mountain, plus Payson and Santaquin. Call it Little Italy. Coincidentally, these boundaries fit perfectly with the congressional aspirations of Carl Wimmer. Utah's two incumbent Republicans, Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, also are well served. Democrat Jim Matheson? Not so much.

Take a look for yourself at Click on "Congress: Redistricting Committee Adopted Congressional Map" under "Recent Posts."

Anyone looking at this monstrosity for the first time is likely to scratch his head and wonder, "How they did they come up with that?"

The only reasonable explanation is that they are trying to create a Republican advantage in each of the four districts. Their cover story, that each district should contain a mix of urban and rural areas of the state because public lands are so important, just doesn't wash. Even if this were the true motivation, there are alternative maps which the committee claimed to consider that would be much more logical and symmetrical than the one the Republicans chose.

The Redistricting Committee held hearings statewide and created an interactive website so citizens could submit prospective maps. In the end, though, that was all a sham. The result argues again for creating an independent redistricting commission.