Tag Archives: Redistricting

Two Wrongs ≠ A Right

gop-extinct ObamaIt pains me to criticize Republicans acting aggressively on their own behalf, because lately it’s been rare. Sometimes it appears national GOP leadership would be content to emulate the panda and sit contentedly munching bamboo shoots in a special preserve where one is protected from predators and challengers alike.

There is some indignity involved when the media pokes and prods you with questions regarding your sex life. And it is disquieting knowing the Chinese own you body and soul. But in its entirety the situation would not be all that different from that of the debt–ridden USA.

Besides, once a species is practically extinct trend–setters put your face on cool coffee mugs and fashionable people throw parties on your behalf. Unfortunately, we already have the panda so there is little room for Republicans in the National Zoo. Still our “leadership” continues this death–wish behavior.

But consistency and intellectual honesty compel me to take aggressive Virginia Senate Republicans to task for the redistricting ambush they sprang on Democrats last week.

You may recall the Virginia Senate is evenly split: 20 Republican members and 20 Spendacrats, with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling there to break any ties. A minor GOP House redistricting bill had been languishing in committee for some time. Although not exactly in a persistent vegetative state, the bill wasn’t at the top of anyone’s legislative agenda. But that was before Sen. Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R–The Re–Animator) went to work.

The bill metamorphosed from an innocuous housekeeping bill into a Pearl Harbor equivalent all out attack on Senate Dems.

The bill concentrates minority voters in a new Southside district and alters almost all other Senate district lines. According to Dems interviewed by the WaPost, the new lines would make eight districts distinctly more Republican — and since six of the seats are currently held by Dems — the new lines have the potential to result in significant GOP gains in November’s election.

As an added bonus, the bill puts two incumbents — R. Creigh Deeds (D–Lost My Race for Gov) and Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R–Who Did I Anger?) in the same district where only one will survive.

Norment knew he could not depend on Bolling to break a tie on the new bill, because the Big Bill has been acting squishy lately. So the majority leader had the legislation waiting in the weeds until Sen. Henry L Marsh III (D–I was 3 before RGIII) left Richmond to attend the Dear Leader’s celebration.

With Marsh absent, the bill passed 20 to 19.

WaPost editorialists set their vituperators on ‘stun’ and described the event thusly, “The Republican move was executed in the style of a putsch, arising from a conspiracy and with no warning, public input or debate. “ Which sounds suspiciously like the regulation writing process at EPA and is reason enough to oppose the effort.

They continued, “Unlike the GOP dominated House of Delegates, the Senate has been in Democratic (sic) hands or closely divided since 2007. The Republican gerrymander, which could deliver several seats to the GOP, would change that at a stroke.”

What the WaPost doesn’t say is the former redistricting bill, authored by Dems, is also grossly gerrymandered and designed to protect Dem incumbents. For example, Prince William County — where I live — in the words of County Executive Corey Stewart, is “carved up like a Christmas Turkey.” The third most populous county in the state doesn’t even have its own senator. Instead it is split between five different Senate districts, which only serves to dilute PWC influence.

Needless to say, Dems are outraged and they have a point. Using a temporary political advantage to ram an extremely controversial bill through a legislative body is bad long–term policy. It was bad when Obama rammed Obamacare through a lame duck Senate before Republican Scott Brown was sworn in. It will be bad policy if US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–Prevaricate) violates established Senate rules to change the filibuster procedure and punish Republicans.

And it’s bad policy in Richmond.

What’s more, the repercussions threaten to put a Saslaw–sized Jersey barrier in front of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan. After the redistricting bill was passed, Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw (D–Hoppin’ Mad) said the governor’s transportation bill was dead and so was any hope of cooperation from Senate Dems.

And here is the trilemma: if McDonnell vetoes the bill it makes Senate Dems happy, while at the same time offending Senate Republican leadership. If the governor could depend on every GOP Senator to vote for his transportation bill, he could hold his nose and sign the redistricting bill. But unanimous GOP support is not a given. On the other hand, vetoing the bill could mean his transportation plan never gets out of committee in the Senate.

There is a third way that doesn’t put the governor on the spot and still gives the redistricting bill a decent Christian burial. Saslaw and Speaker Bill Howell (R–In the Driver’s Seat) could work out a behind–the–scenes deal where the bill is killed in the House in return for Saslaw guaranteeing Senate Dem votes for the transportation plan that Howell is sponsoring in the House. But then again, if the House kills the Senate’s bill, angry GOP senators may take revenge by killing pet projects of House members.

I won’t shed any tears for the demise of the governor’s transportation plan for reasons outlined here, but the Commonwealth is in need of a good transportation program. The Senate’s redistricting bill is an unnecessary complication that may thwart that goal and makes Republicans look unethical.

It’s times like these that the governor should be glad Virginia is still in the liquor business.

The Maps Are Coming! The Maps Are Coming!

Minnesota’s political junkies and elected U.S. House Representatives are eagerly awaiting the release of redistricting lines approved by a five-judge panel later today.

According to the 2010 Census, more Minnesotans moved out of the cities and into the suburbs, causing massive shifts in population in some congressional districts.

Gary Gross at Examiner.com breaks it down for us.

Each district must have 662,991 people in it.

District 1: in southern Minnesoat, mostly rural communities, must decrease by 18,204 people, currently held by Rep. Tim Walz (DFL)

District 2: mostly 2nd tier suburbs of the Twin Cities, must decrease by 69,524 people, currently held by Rep. John Kline (R)

District 3: 1st tier suburbs of the Twin Cities, must decrease by 12,806 people
currently held by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R)

District 4: St. Paul, South St. Paul and White Bear Lake, must increase by 48,367 people, currently held by Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL)

District 5: Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Robbinsdale, must increase by 46,509 people, currently held by Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL)

District 6: Suburbs and outlying rural areas, St. Cloud, must decrease by 96,457 people, currently held by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R)

District 7: rural northwest Minnesota, must increase by 37,479 people, currently held by Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL)

District 8: “Iron Range” in northeast Minnesota, Duluth, must increase by 2,649 people, currently held by Rep. Chip Cravaack (R)

Govtrack.us has an interactive map by district here: Congressional Map

Obviously there is an enormous opportunity for Republican candidates to pick up seats in areas outside the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, though Duluth could continue to prove problematic for the GOP.

The new district maps are sure to cause a stir among DFL’ers and GOP alike.
_______________________________________________

THE MAPS ARE COMING!
Map Party in the Twin Cities

Happy hour, panel discussion and Q&A for the general public regarding redistricting maps in Minnesota

When: Tuesday, February 21 7pm
Where: Poor Richard’s Common House, Bloomington, MN
Who: Elected officials, media gurus, bloggers and political activists are confirmed to attend. Everyone is invited!
RSVP: not necessary, please join us!

_________________________________________________

Supreme Court Shreds Democrat's Powerplay Attempt in Texas

On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on 3 Texas redistricting cases before it, where the State leglislature had redrawn district lines to reflect the Census-reported 4.2 million population increase during the past 10 years. This dispute came about due to a panel of three federal judges deeming themselves self-important enough to redraw the district lines that the state leglislation had drawn up, in a huge trampling of State’s rights and laws. The desion rendered a very informative lesson on the dangers of  political partisan hacks  being injected into the federal judicial stystem: “The failure of the state’s newly created plan does not, by itself, require a court to take up the Legislature’s task,” the high court’s opinion said. “Because it is unclear whether the District Court for the Western District of Texas followed the appropriate standards in the drawing of interims for the 2012 elections, the orders of implementing those maps are vacated, and the cases are remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.” Keep in mind that the Supreme Court has quietly pointed out that the federal judges in the District Court pointed out that a: The feds had no business redrawing the district lines in the first place, and b: The feds did not follow appropriate standards when they redrew the disctrict maps.( to favor Democrats)

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who had asked the high court for a stay on grounds the San Antonio court overstepped its authority when it drew the maps, was pleased with Friday’s ruling. “As the justices point out, courts are ill-suited to make policy judgments and redistricting is primarily the responsibility of the state,” Abbott said in a statement. “The court made clear in a strongly worded opinion that the district court must give deference to elected leaders of this state, and it’s clear by the Supreme Court ruling that the district court abandoned these guiding principles.” (emphasis added)

Democrats have been getting away with this type of nasty chicanery in redistricting for decades now. Check out the convoluted Florida district 03 map included in this article, which has beed redrawn up to protect career Florida corrupto-crat Corrine Brown. (D-Fl)  That is a perfect example of just how important State’s rights are when it comes to redrawing district lines fairly.

Texas had already pushed back their state primaries from March 06, to April 3rd to make time for this issue to be resolved. It also appears that this issue isn’t fully reolved, although the Supreme Court’s decision is very clear. Martinez Fischer, like some of his Republican colleagues in the Legislature, agreed if the San Antonio Court and another Washington court — which is also determining the constitutionality of the Texas maps — don’t come with a ruling soon or offer a revision the high court can accept, the state’s primaries will be pushed back again, perhaps as late as mid-June.  The one thing that is set in stone, is the fact that the federal panel of judges that redrew the district lines to favor Democrats will not be used. add to that the fact that the Supreme Court basically stated that the feds had no business redrawing the maps in the first place, and we see just how desperate Texas Democrats are, in their blatant attempt to ignore the state leglislature and the will of the people who elected them.

 

Florida Judge Blocks Democrats Attempt to Go Against the Will of the People

In the 2010 elections, Floridians voted for Amendment 6, also known as the Fair Districts Amendment by an overwhelming majority. Informed voters across Florida see Amendment 6 as a way to prohibit career politicians from re-drawing congressional districts that protect incumbents and enable one-party control. Florida is a very divided state in that while it is considered to be a conservative red state when looking at complete voting statistics, some districts have remained under Progressive/Liberal Party control for decades. Amendment 6 aims to correct that type of gerrymandering by the fake Democrats to remain in power. The people spoke up and voted for the Fair Districts Amendment in 2010, and low and behold, here comes long-time corrupt Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D) and the Liberal race-baiter in chief of Miami Florida,  Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (P for progressive) to file a lawsuit against the citizens of Florida and their vote for Amendment 6.

Corrine Brown, seen speaking on the House floor in the picture above just doesn’t seem capable of understanding the principles of a free Republic where Democracy and the will of the voting public are not to be denied in any way, shape or form. We voted for Amendment 6, and it is nothing short of disgusting on how you deem yourself so all-powerful that you can file a lawsuit against the very will of the people here on Florida. Apparently a U.S. District Court Judge agrees with that statement. From The Florida Independent we see this:

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro this morning rejected the lawsuit challenging one of Florida’s “Fair Districts” amendments.
The lawsuit was brought by Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, the day after 63 percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 6 at the ballot box last fall. The lawsuit hinged on whether the U.S. Constitution bars Florida voters from restricting how the state Legislature chooses to redraw congressional district lines ( emphasis mine)

Judge Ungaro explains to Brown and Diaz-Balart that no, prior supreme court decisions do not support their argument, but in fact, they prove them wrong:

“Supreme Court case law, consistent with the original debate over the Elections Clause, contradicts plaintiffs’ and plaintiff-intervenor’s various arguments that amendment VI is unconstitutional, and supports the defendant’s and defendant intervenors’ claim that Amendment VI is a valid regulation of the legislative process,” Ungaro concludes.

To even the most naive of observers that statement is pretty much cut and dried: Their frivolous lawsuit has no merit, yet in their desperate power-grab to remain in power by gerrymandering congressional districts these two Liberals say they will appeal the judges decision. They may as well be telling the citizens of Florida to go to hell when looking at their actions here. We have spoken at the ballot box and apparently the people of the Miami area and Corrine Brown’s district need to reemphasize their vote by looking for better candidates in 2012. As a matter of fact, there is an excellent candidate running against Corrine Brown in 2012, a man who actually respects the wishes of the people and the U.S. Constitution, one Mike Yost. You can check him out here, and show support for his pledge to restore honesty and integrity back into a Government Of the people, For the people and By the people, as our Constitution mandates. Check back in with us here at CDN in the Florida politics section later on this week, as I will be doing an in-depth interview with Mr. Yost and will publish it no later than Friday.

.