One of Congressman Richard Hanna's pet peeves when discussing Washington gridlock is the subject of gerrymandering.  The 3-term Republican U.S. Representative from Upstate New York blames the age-old process for creating the current stalemate in Washington.

Listen to Hanna's comments with WIBX's First News with Keeler here:

Officially, gerrymandering is the process by which districts are re-drawn, usually to benefit the incumbent.  In many cases the borders take odd turns and twists that include only portions of the favorable electorate and exclude those that are less friendly to the incumbent's party. The end result is often times uncontested races, especially in the general election, leaving party bosses with the luxury of being able to determine whether or not an elected member is ultimately contested.

Oddly re-drawn districts have affected several state and federal representatives in Upstate New York; but, our area certainly doesn't have exclusivity on the process.  The term gerrymander dates back to Massachusetts in 1812 when then Governor Elbridge Gerry re-drew the state's districts to benefit his Democrat-Republican party. One of the reconstructed districts was compared to the looks of a salamander, at least according to one political cartoonist who likened the district to a dragon-like salamander. That rendering prompted the term 'gerrymander,' which was a combination of the Governor's last name and the amphibian.

In the state of Virginia, one group is so bothered by that state's gerrymandering that they produced a new parody political commercial bringing to light the absurdity of the practice.  It features a new candidate running for office in the state; conveniently, his fictitious name is Jerry Mandering.

"I'll bring change and hope, or whatever, by picking my voters and re-drawing district maps to assure that I always get re-elected," Jerry Mandering proclaims in the commercial.

"My opponents might say that drawing district lines like this undermines the fairness of our democracy, eliminates electoral competition and denies the rights of voters from every political party," Mandering says while standing in front of a John Deere tractor and after a brief awkward pause, he exclaims, "Anyway, check out this tractor!"

The video was produced by OneVirginia2021. Watch it here:

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