Tag Archives: Redistricting

Political Roundup for November 8th, 2017…Remember, remember, the 7th of November…RRH Elections

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Populist/Nationalist Uprising…or not: The Economist posits that despite conventional wisdom purporting the opposite, political power follows economic power. The magazine explains that the global upper class has been successfully flexing its muscle. As proof, it notes that Brexit has resulted in a wage squeeze due to the Pound’s decline and that the Donald’s “revolution” has resulted in… a tax cut bill that benefits the wealthy.

Hudson Valley Hasids: Mutual contempt between the Hasidic residents of the Hudson Valley and their neighbors is at an all-time high. The Village of Kiryas Joel’s Haredi residents and their longer-tenured neighbors in the Town of Monroe have, for years, experienced severe tensions. These tensions and KJ’s rapid growth catalyzed a vote yesterday on the question of KJ secession from Monroe.

The Irrational Electorate: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has published groundbreaking work on “the attribution error, or voters’ tendency to believe that politicians have more control than they really do. Of course, we the people would never elect anyone of importance thinking that they could snap their fingers and quickly enact massive, structural changes…

The Year of the Womyn: According to lyin’ NBC News, there were a record number of female candidates on the ballot in Virginia’s elections yesterday.

Redistricting: While no surprise to RRH readers, the elections yesterday mark the beginning of a three-year course of elections that will determine control of 2020’s decennial redistricting process.

Big City Mayors and Millenials: Big city mayors are finding that pocketbook and infrastructure issues, such as affordable housing and good public transit, top the list of millennials’ concerns. While condescending conventional wisdom says that millennials are attracted by “cultural districts” and the like, this new information flips that narrative on its head….

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Could Paul Ryan see his House GOP Majority cut in half next year?

FiveThirty Eight thinks that is possible….

And THAT would be a MAJOR headache for Ryan….

At the moment, the likeliest outcome seems like a Democratic gain of five to 20 seats (the Cook Political Report rates 22 GOP-held seats as Toss Up, Lean Democratic or Likely Democratic, compared with four Democratic seats in Toss Up, Lean Republican and Likely Republican). In other words, the first few GOP targets are very winnable for Democrats, but the last few needed for a majority would require a wave.

However, don’t underestimate the effect that Democrats cutting the GOP majority in half might have. It could have big consequences for governing. Back in October, we predicted that Paul Ryan wouldn’t have it any easier than John Boehner did when it comes to fundamental spending and debt votes, thanks to rebellions from the very conservative House Freedom Caucus.

If Ryan were to lose half his 30-seat majority, he could be the last backstop against a Democratic White House and Senate. But Ryan would also likely be forced to reach across the aisle for Democratic votes even more often than Boehner did, giving the minority more leverage and possibly branding him as the GOP’s RINO-in-chief for good.

For reasons beyond simply the Trump conundrum, the speakership is looking less and less like the job Ryan signed up for eight months ago….

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Daily Kos Morning Digest 4/5/16… Democrats avoid a redistricting disaster at the Supreme Court

Leading Off:

Redistricting: In a huge victory for voting rights advocates on Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that states may count all residents, rather than just eligible voters, when drawing election districts, preserving a practice that states have almost uniformly used for 50 years. Plaintiffs in the case, Evenwel v. Abbott, had argued that map-makers should only take voters into account, which would have shifted power to rural areas and away from cities, where there are larger concentrations of non-citizens, children, prisoners, all of whom cannot vote. Such a move would have benefitted Republicans, largely at the expense of minorities, particularly Latinos.

The court, however, firmly rejected the plaintiffs’ claims, which ran counter to half a century of jurisprudence on the concept of “one person, one vote” that requires districts to have (with only small exceptions) equal populations. What’s more, as a practical matter, relying on eligible voters counts would have been almost impossible as such data does not exist in a consistent, dependable format, since the Census doesn’t gather such information.

The justices also declined to say whether states may (rather than must) use eligible voters in the future, reserving that question for another day. As Rick Hasen explains, that serves as a “deterrent” to states that might have considered doing so after the next round of redistricting, because any attempt to draw new maps based on eligible voter counts would guarantee another round of litigation, one that might end up just as unfavorably for them Evenwel.

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Gerrymandering…..

Nassau County (mine) on Long Island is a fine example of what can go WRONG with the political process….

The current map is close to what it has been for a half of a century….

But as the demographics of the county change from majority Republican to major Democratic (By over 40,000 ) the GOP has resorted to cutting up the existing legislative boundaries and Adding 4 MORE seats to lock the NOW majority party out of government…..

This phenomia gets explained in the below linked Atlantic piece…….

Be discreet. Plan ahead. Follow the law. Don’t overreach. Tom Hofeller relishes the blood sport of redistricting, but there is a responsible way—as Hofeller himself demonstrated this past cycle in the artful (if baldly partisan) redrawing of North Carolina’s maps—and also a reckless way. So that his message will penetrate, he tells audiences horror stories about states that ignored his warnings and went with maps that either were tossed out by the federal courts or created more political problems than they solved.

Already Hofeller has picked out which cautionary tale he will relay during the next decennial tour. The new horror story, he’s decided, will be Texas, which stood, this past cycle, as a powerful example of how reckless a redistricting process can become. That mangled effort also provides a stark contrast to the maps Hofeller helped create in North Carolina—­drawings that demonstrate how in the blood sport of redistricting, the most cravenly political results are won with calculating prudence….

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The Long Island story here and here.….

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: The number one redistricting villain in the nation: Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo as the villain?

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

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Leading Off:• NY Redistricting: Late on Wednesday night, Albany lawmakers passed the unholy legislative gerrymanders agreed upon by Democratic leaders in the Assembly and their Republican counterparts in the Senate. Indeed, Senate Democrats were so enraged that they stormed out of the chamber en masse, leading to a 36-0 vote in favor of the maps. (The four members of the so-called “Independent Democratic Conference” shamefully sided with the GOP: David Carlucci, Jeffrey Klein, Diane Savino, and David Valesky.)

Then on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave final testament to the fact that he spent a year lying to New Yorkers about his promise to reform the redistricting process and signed the maps into law. What did he get in exchange? The mere possibility that a deliberately crappy redistricting commission might come into effect a decade hence. In order for that to happen, the next legislature would have to pass the proposed constitutional amendment again—something they may well not bother to do, given that they already got what they wanted (their maps)—and then voters have to approve it in a referendum.

Hopefully they won’t: SUNY New Paltz Prof. Gerry Benjamin, an expert on government process, rated the commission a “C-” on behalf of the Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution (a good-government group) and said he’d vote against it himself. Cuomo also pushed the legislature to pass a statute that is identical to the amendment in case the amendment never happens… but of course, a statute can be undone by an act of the same legislature which passed it in the first place.

All in all, this is an extremely raw deal for New Yorkers, and for Democrats, this truly is the worst of all possible worlds. We gave up the ability to draw a congressional map, and we allowed the GOP to produce another outrageous gerrymander of the state Senate—in other words, worse than bupkes. If Cuomo had kept his word and vetoed any maps produced by the legislature, we’d be taking back the Senate this fall, guaranteed, and then we’d have an opportunity to re-do the congressional map next year.

But instead, Cuomo’s for some reason in thrall to Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who appears to be his closest ideological soul-mate in Albany. It’s absolutely disgusting, and if there’s a singular villain who stands out above many others across the nation in this dismal season of redistricting, it’s Andrew Cuomo. When he tries to run for president, don’t forget this. (David Nir)…..

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NY Governor Cuomo makes a deal on Pension’s in exchange for Redistricting….

As expected….

The Governor got Something (not much ) on pensions……

So he will be able to say he DID get Pension reform……

The state legislative leaders got THEIR say on redistricting….

Something they wanted dearly…..

Politics IS about COMPROMISE….

The important thing is the Governor continues to move towards accomplishing things ……

2016 is less than FIVE years away….

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Gov. Cuomo, on the brink of another major victory, makes his case for pension reform yesterday……..

State lawmakers passed a landmark bill this morning to cut pension benefits for future public employees — saving the city about $22 billion over 30 years.

The state and other localities would save around $60 billion.

“This bold and transformational pension reform plan is a historic win for New York taxpayers and municipalities,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Without this critical reform, New Yorkers would have seen significant tax increases, as well as layoffs to teachers, firefighters and police.”

The “pension Tier VI” bill, praised by Mayor Bloomberg, received final passage from the Assembly 93-45 around 7 a.m.- after a struggle to round up enough votes from reluctant majority Democrats. It passed the state Senate earlier this morning.

The bill capped an all-night session and was part of a mega-deal to expand the state’s DNA databank, move toward legalization of casinos and redraw state legislative district lines.

Gov. Cuomo’s original pension proposal would have saved $113 billion over the next three decades.

But he agreed to concessions demanded by lawmakers who are all up for re-election this year and rely on donations and political ­organizing from unions that strongly opposed the Cuomo plan.

Organized labor fought hardest against a Cuomo proposal to give future government workers the option of a 401(k)-style retirement plan as an alternative to a traditional pension.

But the final deal included the 401(k) option for ­future non-union high-earners with salaries of $75,000 or more.

Cuomo also agreed to raise the future retirement age from 62 to 63, not 65 as he had proposed.

And he agreed to keep pensions fully vesting at 10 years rather than the 12 years he had wanted.

While his original plan required pension contributions of 4 to 6 percent of salary, the deal keeps the lowest earners at 3 percent. Those earning $45,000 will contribute 3.5 percent, with incremental increases up to six-figure earners, who will kick in 6 percent.

The deal spared city cops and firefighters from some of Cuomo’s proposed cuts, and reduces benefits for ­future city sanitation workers and correction officers.

It requires the state, rather than the city or other localities, to fund any pension enhancers.

It further limits overtime and lengthens from three years to five years average final salaries for pension calculations, while prohibiting any pay over the governor’s $179,000 annually from being used to figure retirement benefits.

Capitol insiders said Cuomo leveraged today’s court deadline on redistricting — lawmakers’ ultimate self-preservation tool — to get the deals; he agreed to support the redistricting plan, which he had repeatedly threatened to veto……

More….

More specifics on the Pension Deal here…..

Note….

In the past, the State Legislator’s have been known to occasionally go back and change pension reform laws to be MORE favorable to union members before election times….

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House GOPer’s have their own worries….

While one might think the Republican majority in the House would be smog with themselves and their ability to cause the Democrats and the President headaches….

Looking at the majority under the microscope finds them having their own internal problems…

House Republicans Nervous

House Republicans “return to Washington this week a restless bunch in the wake of an embarrassing legislative defeat and months before they face primary voters in the 2012 election,” The Hill reports.

“The stunning downfall of a stopgap spending bill, which 48 Republicans rejected on Sept. 21, is a clear sign that managing the House GOP Conference in the coming months will be extremely challenging. While House Republicans were able to pass a second spending bill with only 24 defections, the flawed strategy of moving the first piece of legislation has left some battle scars.”

Also producing anxiety: Redistricting pitting incumbents versus incumbents, coupled with the threat of Tea Party primary opponents….

Politcalwire…

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…9/22/11

by David Nir

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

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Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

Leading Off:• OH Redistricting: As expected, the state Senate followed the House in passing the new Republican-drawn congressional map yesterday — and once again, pathetically, two Democrats voted in support of the GOP plan (both of whom were, as with the House aisle-crossers, African American). More importantly, though, Republicans included a provision designed to thwart any attempts to over-ride the bill at the ballot box:

The bill included a new appropriations provision inserted by the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee that essentially prevents Democrats from collecting petition signatures to temporarily block the bill and place it on the November 2012 ballot.Under the Ohio Constitution, bills with appropriation provisions aren’t subject to a referendum. Because of the change, the bill has to return to the Ohio House for a concurrence vote.

The Toledo Blade has more, but it’s not perfectly clear-cut:

As a general rule, appropriation bills, such as the state budget, take effective immediately and are not subject to a petition effort to put the law directly to voters. That, however, has become less clear. The Ohio Supreme Court last year derailed then Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland’s plan to install slot machines at racetracks by inserting the language into the budget, ruling that that language could be separately subjected to referendum.”That’s a question for lawyers and legal authority, but I think the law is clear, if the appropriation is relevant to the issue at hand, the appropriation generally makes those portions effective immediately,” said Sen. Keith Fabor (R., Celina), the committee’s chairman and a lawyer.

Still, if Fabor’s view is right, then the GOP was clever, because they added $2.75 million“to help county boards of elections to implement the new maps.” That certainly sounds “relevant to the issue at hand,” though only a judge can say so for sure.

Finally, it may be moot at this point, but another interesting article from the Blade notes that Democrats successfully blocked a redistricting map at the ballot box… back in 1915. Indeed, the case even went all the way up the US Supreme Court, which upheld the validity of the referendum. We may not get the chance to try that again, though.

Senate:

• CA-Sen: That’s one way to bounce back from having your campaign coffers raided by a corrupt treasurer: Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she’ll put $5 million of her (very considerable) personal wealth into her own race, an amount that equals what she reported to the FEC as having on hand on June 30. Amazingly, Politico also reports that Feinstein is still unable to access her campaign accounts in the three weeks since the Kinde Durkee story broke, which suggests that she had a shoddy or non-existent system of redundancies in place to protect against this sort of thing. It also means Feinstein doesn’t even know how much has been stolen.

Meanwhile, Fox News (sorry, sorry) spoke with Michael Reagan, who says he isn’t running against Feinstein and claims never to have spoken with the San Francisco Chronicle, which originally reported he was thinking about the race. Reagan, by the way, is indeed the name you know: He’s a conservative talk radio host and the son of the former president. Michael was in fact adopted by Ronald and his first wife, Jane Wyman, and apparently didn’t have a great relationship with pops.

• CT-Sen: Huh? Didn’t Rob Simmons specifically say that he and Chris Shays have a non-aggression pact? According to Shira Toeplitz’s Aug. 26 piece, they sure did, with both ex-Reps. telling that only one of them would go up against Linda McMahon in the GOP primary. With Shays moving ahead with a bid, it certainly seemed pretty clear whose turn it was to get steamrolled, but now comes this from Simmons:

“I’m not ruling anything out. Things can change very quickly and drastically. Politics is a calling. I’m always looking for new opportunities to serve.”

Chris Shays certainly won’t be too happy to hear this… but I sure am. A Simmons entry would turn a likely McMahon primary victory into something close to a sure thing, and despite her infinite millions, I have to believe Chris Murphy would rather face her than someone with a more moderate profile like Shays or Simmons.

• MO-Sen, MO-Gov, MO-Pres: PPP has some Republican primary numbers for the state of Missouri, and the most interesting are from the Senate race. There, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman has taken an unexpected 40-29 lead over Rep. Todd Akin, who was up 29-28 four months ago. However, last time, Tom Jensen included teabagger Ed Martin (who has dropped out) and businessman John Brunner (who hasn’t), so it looks like their support has gone to Steelman. Akin getting stuck at 29 is certainly bad for him, especially since he’s supposed to be the frontrunner. As for the other two races, Missouri Republicans really don’t like Peter Kinder and love them some Rick Perry.

• TX-Sen, TX-Gov: Back in July, we linked a story that explained what would happen if Gov. Rick Perry got elected president and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst got elected to the Senate at the same time. The answer was… complicated. But now the Austin American-Statesman’s Jason Embry has added an even stranger wrinkle: What would happen if both Perry and Dewhurst won, but Dewhurst decided he’d rather spurn the Senate and ascend to the governor’s mansion as Perry’s automatic replacement? Read the link to explore this late-night sports radio call-in show-style hypothetical. (Incidentally, Dewhurst insists he would never do this.)

Continue reading Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest…9/22/11

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Election*Projection updates its Redistricting information….

Updates to EP’s Redistricting 2012 page
Several states have completed the process of redrawing congressional district lines for the next ten years.  To reflect progress made, I’ve updated Election Projection’s Redistricting 2012 webpage. If you click on this link, you’ll see the following changes. 

  • Added Latest Updates section
  • Moved Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma from Ongoing to Complete
  • Moved Arkansas and Iowa from Plan passed to Complete
  • Added twitter redistricting feed
  • Updated House change to reflect new Cook Political Report’s estimations

If you haven’t seen EP’s redistricting page yet, check it out – and come back often to see where the parties stand in the struggle to gain once-in-a-decade electoral advantages.  For your convenience, there is also a new link at the top of this page under the banner.

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Redistricting, California, Hispanics and other things…DSD

California census and redistricting numbers. With 14.8 million Hispano-Californians nearly equalling the 15 million non-Hispanic white Californians, the backlash against the GOP for championing Pete Wilson’s Prop. 187 in the past and anti-immigrant policies in Arizona and Washington, D.C., today has only begun to sting badly; I can’t see it do anything but hurt the once-dominant California Republicans (who won 9 out of 10 Presidential elections before 1992) big-time and long-time.

Redistricting will be done by an independent commission this time; we’ll see what happens.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0309-census-20110308,0,1596789.story

Analyze the state’s district-by-district figures for yourself with this interactive map feature:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-us-congress-census-map,0,4500533.htmlstory

California’s new congressional districts need to hold 702,000 people. Rhode Island has barely over a million people and two Congressmen, so you can understand the resentment Montanans must feel at having only one Congressman for over 900,000 Montanans. (Wyoming with only half of Montana’s population still gets the Constitutional minimum of one U.S. representative and three Presidential electors.)

 

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Redistricting, Gerrymandering And The American Democratic Deficit…The Oligarch Kings…

The original Gerrymander

A fundamental of any democratic system is that there requires to be a meaningful choice available to the electorate at the ballot box for the electorate to exercise its vote.  The 2002 congressional election was felt by many, and by Dr Michael McDonald of the Department of International Affairs at George Mason University, Fairfax VA in particular, to have sorely tried that test   Out of 435 House races only 40 were considered close enough that the outcome was not already known to a high degree of possibility

So, the country which likes to see itself portrayed as the leader of the free world has elections of a state that would make a Commissar of the Old Soviet Union blush.  How on earth can matters have become so sclerotic, so petrified that there is such little change of seats at elections?

Well, one answer is the way that the constituencies, or districts as Americans call them, are drawn.  Every ten years they are subject to be redrawn in a process Americans call  redistricting.  This is ostensibly to reflect changes in demography and such like.  But only in America is the process left so very much in the hands of the politicians themselves.

In dank, medieval old Britain there is sufficient distrust of politicians and their nasty corrupt little ways that the process is undertaken by an independent body to keep it well out of their hands.

Only in USA could the representatives get to choose their voters!

And they do this to further secure their seats and turn each district into a little rotten borough.  The notable exceptions of Arizona and Iowa have individual difficulties of their own…..

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State Gains Would Give Redistricting Edge to G.O.P……

Daniel did let on to this a while back…..

That crafty fellow!….

With the GOP having a majority of Governors added on to state legislatures…

They could tilt the landscape more to their liking in redistricting…


Ah, Daniel……..

Always thinking, huh?

The game is played on so many levels, folks……

The midterm elections are being closely watched to determine whether Republicans will have a majority in Congress for the next two years. But it is the outcome of a lower-profile battle over state legislatures that could strengthen the Republican Party for a decade.

Republicans are within reach of gaining control of eight or more chambers in state legislatures this fall, according to interviews with Republicans, Democrats and independent political analysts. That would give Republicans the power to draw more Congressional districts in their favor, since the expected gains come just as many legislatures will play a major role in the once-a-decade process of redrawing the boundaries of those districts.

Republicans said that they expect to win control of house chambers in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and of the Wisconsin State Senate, and said that they saw at least a dozen other states where they have a reasonable chance of winning control of legislative chambers.

Democrats acknowledge that they will be fighting to preserve their slim majorities in at least 10 chambers — including state senates in New York, New Hampshire and Nevada — but say that they see opportunities to gain control of chambers in four other states.

Redistricting, it has often been said, turns the traditional definition of democracy on its head: rather than allowing voters to choose their leaders, it allows leaders to choose their voters.

The new districts are supposed to reflect the population shifts measured by the census. In practice, though, officials in both parties often try to gerrymander districts to help themselves and their parties win more elections.

So both parties are working frantically to eke out victories in state legislatures, pouring resources into races that are traditionally measured by the number of doors knocked on, not the number of ads broadcast.

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