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1st Annual RRH Turkey of the Year Awards (and Open Thread)

by: BostonPatriot

Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 07:00:00 AM EST


Here at RRH, we have a lot to be thankful for today. If politicians weren't all nuts, we wouldn't really have that interesting of a blog. So before you carve the bird this afternoon, let's carve up the biggest turkeys of 2011!

Runners-Up--Redistricting Category: Charles Boustany and Lacy Clay. In the fight to preserve one's seat in Congress, it doesn't matter if you throw your party under the bus along the way.

Winner--Redistricting Category: Gary Herbert. No explanation needed.

Runner-Up--Campaign Category: Peter Kinder. Surprisingly, palling around with strippers isn't how you lay the groundwork for a run for Governor.

Winner--Campaign Category: David Weprin. Losing is excusable but running an ad with a plane buzzing Manhattan on 9/11 weekend? That gets you on the Turkey list.

Winner--Combover Categoy: The Donald.

3rd Place Overall: David Wu. When this unfortunate image actually marked the better part of the year, you know something's seriously wrong.

2nd Place Overall: Chris Lee. Memo to new members of Congress: When you're going to send pictures of yourself to women you find on Craigslist, remember three things. 1. Keep your shirt on. 2. Don't use your Congressional e-mail. 3. Make sure they're really women.

And the 1st Annual RRH Turkey of the Year is...

Who else?

To relive one of the memorable threads in RRH history, click here.

But Weiner aside, we're very thankful for your support and your readership over the last 11 months. Here's wishing a happy holiday to you and yours.  

BostonPatriot :: 1st Annual RRH Turkey of the Year Awards (and Open Thread)
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Turkey poll of the year
SUSA finds KS competitive after finding Romney up 25 points and Gingrich up 17 points 2 weeks ago. Now http://www.surveyusa.com/clien... and 2 weeks ago http://www.surveyusa.com/clien...

I honestly think that they are doing the cellphone inclusion part wrong somehow.  

25, Male, R, NY-10


Wow, what're they smoking at SUSA?


22, Conservative, NC-02 (SC-04 college) Matt 6:25-34    

[ Parent ]
It amazes me
that polling companies can come up with outrageously ridiculous results like this, and they actually report them a straight face. First of all, the idea of Obama winning or even being competitive in Kansas is so ridiculous that anybody who reports results like this seriously needs psychological help. Second of all, do they really think that there has been a 16 point swing with Romney and a 22 point swing with Gingrich in just 2 weeks? Rather than telling us what their results are, why don't they try to explain the wide swing in results in just 2 weeks?

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
What else should they do?
Suppress results they don't like? I admire SUSA for publishing this poll, but obviously they need to check what the hell they're doing wrong.

[ Parent ]
Their sample seems to be just extremely odd.
42% Republican, 35% Conservative, ....3% Tea Party? How do you come up with that crap?

[ Parent ]
Don't report it
Why report something you clearly know doesn't make sense?

42, R, NE-1.

[ Parent ]
Slippery slope--
first, if all pollsters only put out polls that don't defy conventional wisdom, we're very fast going to be at a level where pollsters manufacture results to be what they think the election probably looks like.

Second, it's integrity. If you conduct a public poll, put out what you find. It's only fair-- if your poll turns out to be a pile of shit, then that's likely reflective of a problem with your methodology, and people will know to discount other polls made by you with the same methodology even if they seem somewhat more realistic. For example, I'm not going to put a single ounce of weight onto the Oregon poll SUSA just released that has some of the same crosstab oddities this Kansas poll has. If you don't release the Kansas poll, people won't know that your polling produces weird results.


[ Parent ]
A question of integrity
A true scientist reports all results. While I see the KS results as a probable statistical quirk, a pollster who reports all results can be most fairly judged.

In statistical terms, if SUSA doesn't have the occasional bad result, then they're doing something wrong.  

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"


[ Parent ]
Yes, True, But...
...while a true scientist reports all the results, they should also report those that they think are suspect as being "suspect".

I have no problem with SUSA putting out this poll. But the analysis that goes along with it should be along the lines of "...these results are surprising, and deviate strongly from previous polling - it will take more polling to confirm whether this poll is picking up true movement in Kansas, or is simply a statistical outlier..."  


[ Parent ]
That becomes a question of datasets
Yes, there are ways to "toss out" outliers, but it requires some minimum number of data points (aka > 1).

Sure, you could assume datapoints from other years, but the correlation varies by the rate and type of population changes.

I'm guessing that we'd agree that KS hasn't changed much w/r/t population distribution. Thus, datapoints from previous years --should-- be somewhat valid in evaluating the latest result. But perhaps that's an assumption SUSA is unwilling to make.

It's certainly "easier" just to present the data as is... aka "it is what it is"

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"


[ Parent ]
Somehow I think the President
deserves some sort of Turkey award for this economy.  I am thankful for my blessings but its painful to see the shape our country is in right now.

For those who think our young folks will join the Obama parade in 2012 the recent OWS chanting at a recent Presidential was interesting.  Young folks starting to notice who is in charge in DC and who has influenced our economic situation.  


Martin O'Malley
The Turkey who makes the ugliest carvings.

I don't know but it really pains me to see four 70% McCain
districts in Texas. There are also other districts in the high-60's. They could have been unpacked to help other districts.


Not too much. The Republicans in the Lubbock area are
just wasted, like the ones in the Florida panhandle, unless you want to draw an Amarillo-Austin district or something like that.

[ Parent ]
It is possible to unpack West TX
I'm working on it; it won't be ready for a while, but I can say the key is drawing a fourth West Texas based seat.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's possible
I did it in my first map...it was just super ugly.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
agree that it would be very ugly
my own Texas map that ignores completely political considerations only has one or two districts whose core is West Texas; depending upon exactly where the eastern boundary of West Texas is.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Map of west Texas
How to see ur map of this. Please show ur maps. Thanks

[ Parent ]
description of W Texas districts in mine
Panhandle district: All the panhandle plus everything in the Lubouck row of counties exception for the county Lubbock is in and the southern half of the county west of Lubbock.
This district also includes Witchia Falls (along with the adjoining counties to it)

The district that might or might not be primarily in West Texas:

County Lubbock is in and southern half of county west of it.
The row of counties south of Lubbock
Most, but not all of the row of counties south of that
The rest of it is probably east of the West Texas line; counties east of the below district

Then a SW Hispanic district (which would be Republican) incorporates a large chuck of West Texas including Midland, Odesa, and possibly Big Spring. (Going SE, This version doesn't go close to Austin nor does it include Laredo, it stops around Piedras Negras)


42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
There isn't
anything you can do about the West Texas districts, but TX-26 is definitely a vote sink.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Calling BS!
As someone who lived in Denton for most of the last 8 years, TX-26 is a COI district. It's nice to have our own quarter of the metroplex to our own. Sure, it got more republican, but I like chopping out Fort Worth so Burgess can focus more on Lewisville growth and project like our A-Train.

It's no vote sync, it's COI.


[ Parent ]
Um
yeah, since CoI was obviously not a consideration in the court's Dem gerrymander, I'm calling it a vote sink.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
....
'One man's vote sink is another man's community of interest.'

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
You are arguing this region
I'm telling you about the region. YOu want to have the debate elsewhere regarding it, that's fine. But in this area. It's legit.

Also, if this is a dem gerrymander, was the previous map a GOP gerrymander?


[ Parent ]
I'll get you started
In my book:
10 D - 24 R is a GOP gerrymander
16 D - 20 R is a Dem gerrymander
12 D - 24 R is a fair split

So open thread this: define a DEM, GOP, and even split of Texas


[ Parent ]
Correction
13-23 would be a fair split in my book. Dems representing 36% of the state. In line with lowed of statewide performances (Gore and Kerry got 38%)

[ Parent ]
So
Courts have to gerrymander 3 seats for Republicans in MA according to your "logic".  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
2 and a swing
But yes

[ Parent ]
We don't
use proportional representation to determine the breakdown of a state's congressional delegation. Republicans win the suburbs in Texas and therefore are entitled to a disproportionate share of the seats. This whole idea that a state's congressional delegation should reflect its presidential results is nonsense and that's about as far as I'll go here.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
So you refuse to define what is a gerrymander?


[ Parent ]
Districts are geographic entities, so
I define a gerrymander loosely as a plan that disrespects compactness, county lines, and COIs for political gain.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
So tx10
What is the geographic coi it serves? Seems by that definition there should be 2 Austin based districts

[ Parent ]
COI is a joke. Always has been IMO.
You might argue a state like DE does not even have a pure COI.  Denton county might deserve its own county based on population but get real its part of DFW.  Many people there work elsewhere and for that matter many people in Dallas or other counties also work in Denton county.  

Denton county has a geography defination but no more a unique COI then any other area in DFW.  There are so few 700K areas that qualify as a COI.  Lancaster County in PA might come close.  Bucks county is pretty COI but even then think of the folks who work elsewhere or focus their attention on Philly.  

IMO people say COI but really its a city or county that should not be split.  Is there a census metro area that's about 700K.  That's a COI that justifies a CD. Other then that you are just cutting up Metro areas and someone's particular political subdivision  -City or County should not be split.  


[ Parent ]
Interesting
-City or County should not be split.

I take it you agree, then, that the North Carolina maps should be thrown out?

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Only if...
Maryland's, Illinois', Arizona's proposed, Massachusetts', and Rhode Island's (that will of course split Providence) get thrown out. Oh, and Oregon's that splits Portland three ways.

[ Parent ]
Only if the state constitution forbids
any city or county splits?  Or if the state constitution forbids gerrymandering?  Or if the state is exempt from Baker V Carr?  I would be surprised if the state constitution of NC defined COI and said that redistricting must respect COI. I suspect NC has a very reasonable standard for redistricting such as "have at it folks".

[ Parent ]
NC Constitution
Sec. 3.  Senate districts; apportionment of Senators.

The Senators shall be elected from districts.  The General Assembly, at the first regular session convening after the return of every decennial census of population taken by order of Congress, shall revise the senate districts and the apportionment of Senators among those districts, subject to the following requirements:

(1)        Each Senator shall represent, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, the number of inhabitants that each Senator represents being determined for this purpose by dividing the population of the district that he represents by the number of Senators apportioned to that district;

(2)        Each senate district shall at all times consist of contiguous territory;

(3)        No county shall be divided in the formation of a senate district;

(4)        When established, the senate districts and the apportionment of Senators shall remain unaltered until the return of another decennial census of population taken by order of Congress.

Sec. 5.  Representative districts; apportionment of Representatives.

The Representatives shall be elected from districts.  The General Assembly, at the first regular session convening after the return of every decennial census of population taken by order of Congress, shall revise the representative districts and the apportionment of Representatives among those districts, subject to the following requirements:

(1)        Each Representative shall represent, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, the number of inhabitants that each Representative represents being determined for this purpose by dividing the population of the district that he represents by the number of Representatives apportioned to that district;

(2)        Each representative district shall at all times consist of contiguous territory;

(3)        No county shall be divided in the formation of a representative district;

(4)        When established, the representative districts and the apportionment of Representatives shall remain unaltered until the return of another decennial census of population taken by order of Congress.



Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Trumped by Federal One Man One Vote
So for legislative seats in NC, if the Democrats could show a plan that splits fewer counties with no larger a deviation than the legislature used, the state court might throw the map out.

But the thing is, the remedy by state court is usually instructions back to the legislature draw map in compliance with the federal & state constitutions. (Which will in turn need preclearance in the case of NC).

I'm also noting that when in the 90s in TN when the Republicans successfully sued in state court over violations in the state constitution that the Democrats took the opportunity to double bunk a few more Republicans.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
Yep
The problem with county splitting provisions is that courts seem more than willing to ignore them when other requirements conflict.  In theory, you cannot split a municipality or county unless absolutely necessary under the PA legislative maps, but the Supreme Court has allowed four maps to pass that clearly violated those rules.  Ironically enough, we are moving closer to that standard now than in the past.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Thankfully NC constitution
does mention COI or gerrymandering.  

I myself would prefer to leave it up to the states to decide these matters.  I believe Baker V Carr and for that matter Voting Rights act are mostly instrusions into states rights.

I personally would love to see NC return to giving two or three senators to Guilford county or one to Wilson or whatever would be close to population standards.  If some counties or county totals deviate 15% instead of 10% would that really cause more harm then slicing and dicing the countryside up to get to some small %?  Yes I assume there has been some sort of abuse in the past perhaps a pattern of rural counties being over represented.

Sadly Baker V Carr and VRA has allowed the justification of slicing and dicing NC up like a turkey.  Both parties have done it now!!! Finally the GOP gets its chance.


[ Parent ]
I'll only add this for myself
I was opposed to the Democratic gerrymanders just the same as I'm opposed to the Republican gerrymander. To be sure, I was happier at the idea of electing more Democrats than I am at the idea of electing more Republicans, but I did not support doing so with those dreadful maps. Melvin Watt is probably the only person in the state who approves of the Twelfth District. lol

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
if I control over drawing maps
in 50 states  I install  a Michigan style plan.  Only cut cities and counties when to comply with one man one vote.  I personally would remove VRA from redistricting.  Of course I oppose a Federal redistricting law as it restricts state rights.  So welcome to redistricting 2011.

Yes even under Michigan rules either party can draw to its advantage but cities and counties are sliced and diced quite a bit less.

 


[ Parent ]
I Find Michigan's Law Too Restrictive...
...with all its talk of "not double-crossing" counties, etc.

I'm in favor of plans that attempt to keep counties whole (in states where it makes sense - e.g. not out West), and that attempt to keep municipalities whole, as much as possible. But MI's law is too anal about it, IMO...  


[ Parent ]
Who would draw the interim maps
if the NC legislative maps are thrown out? But I do believe that the maps won't be thrown out.  

[ Parent ]
Depends
The two current lawsuits raise very similar claims and have been filed in state court. They will almost surely be consolidated and the NC Supreme Court will assign a three-judge panel to hear them (or two separate three-judge panels in the unlikely event that they're not consolidated).

The all but inevitable federal lawsuit/s will presumably be heard by a three-judge panel drawn from the 4th Circuit. On the Appeals level the 4th Circuit has 9 Democratic appointees and 5 Republican appointees. I imagine that any challenges would be filed in the Middle District which has 2 Democratic appointees and 2 Republican appointees (the Western District is 4-1 GOP and the Eastern District has 3 Republican appointees).

In my view, the legislative maps are more likely to be struck down in state court and the congressional map is more likely to be struck down in federal court. Whatever panel strikes down whatever maps would then issue interim maps for the 2012 election.

The NC General Assembly has already scheduled sessions on February and April to reschedule the May 8 primary and issue new maps consistent with the rulings in the event that any of the current maps are thrown out in court. If replacement maps were precleared, and if there were no stay pending yet another challenge, then the election would proceed accordingly. Otherwise the 2012 election would take place under the interim maps drawn by the state and/or federal panels.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
BTW
In my opinion, odds are that the congressional map will be thrown out if for no other reason than the 1st District is not "narrowly tailored" to meet the race-based objectives for which it was drawn. You can readily achieve those same objectives while dividing seven fewer counties and splitting just one precinct.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
It won't be thrown out, IMO
It was already pre-cleared by the DOJ. The courts will surely defer to the legislature in drawing the maps. They can't just strike the congressional maps down because there is a better way of doing it.

Question: Is there a case in the past wherein the congressional map were already pre-cleared but the federal court struck it down because of VRA violations? Just curious.  


[ Parent ]
*aside from TX-23


[ Parent ]
The answer to #2 is yes
North Carolina and others:
US Supreme Court rules one of the districts drawn after Bush 41 refused to preclear the first version is itself a VRA violation. (Keeping an AA district contingous only by the width of the interstate median not "reasonably compact")

In fact, it seems more US Supreme Court rulings involving VRA cases involve states that were required to be pre cleared in the first place than those in which it wasn't needed.


42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
Clarification
What I really meant is if there was ever a case in the past where the DOJ just pre-cleared the congressional map but federal courts struck it down just months later, before the scheduled election where the map was supposed to be used.


[ Parent ]
The NC legislative and congressional maps
are absolute mirror images of what the D's did in 2002.

1. The NC maps move voters around from county to county just as the D's did in 2002.  In 2002 the map was precleared and survived all legal challenges.  In 2002 the D's moved voters from minority majority seat(CD1) to majority white seats at their leisure.  The GOP did as well. I believe Wake county (where the state capital is located) is in Eastern NC federal district.  Judges there are quite conservative.  The Current GOP plan will survive any VRA II as it already has passed VRA V muster.  Since it has passed VRA V the NC map is on the same level now and in the same circuit as MD's CD map.  Does NC move minorities around more then MD's map?

2. The legislative maps passed by that GOP split county and city lines in nearly the same pattern that the D's did in 2002.  Anything they look more compact then the D map. The court system in NC leans a bit to the right IMO and I suspect if the current D map passes judicial muster the GOP map will.  


[ Parent ]
OK
1) I didn't say anything about moving voters around from county to county. I said that the district is not "narrowly tailored" to meet the race-based objectives that the state articulated in its rationale for drawing the district.

The Democratic map in 2001 did not split Chowan, Gates, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Washington, Martin, Edgecombe, or Greene counties. You do not need to split those counties to achieve the General Assembly's race-based objective of restoring the district to majority AA VAP. That's 8 counties rather than 7 as I mistated earlier.

In total, the First district of 2001 divided 9 counties. The First district of 2011 divides 18 counties.

As I said above, the lawsuits that have been filed in Wake County are filed in state court and challenge the maps based on state law. A federal lawsuit need not be filed in the Eastern District.

2) The 2001 legislative maps passed by the D's were ruled unconstitutional under the Whole Counties Provision by the NC Supreme Court. So, I guess we agree. If, as you say, "the legislative maps passed by [the] GOP split county and city lines in nearly the same pattern that the D's did in 2002" then they are unconstitutional under the Whole Counties provision.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
Yup and what was the remedy for the
D lawsuit in 2002?  A map that splits a ton of counties.  I think the GOP can contend that their county splits were required under VRA. The current GOP map looks alot like the current NC map.

The GOP in NM & CO tried the idea of filing lawsuits in podunk towns.  100% of redistricting lawsuits either end up in state capital or Supreme court designated panels.  You are not going to get a lower court in Bertie county to decide state legislative maps for NC.

If the core of any Federal lawsuit under VRA revolves around CD1 I think its unlikely to end up in Middle NC.

So is your contention that dividing 18 counties as opposed to 9 counties makes the new CD map for NC unconstitutional? In 2001 divided counties and moved people in and out of the CD into several other CD's to accomplish 50%AA.  So if the GOP divided a few more counties that makes their map invalid?  How about this for quick math.  The 2001 map divided 9 counties but Pitt was divided 4 times while Lenior and Craven was divided 2 times.  So by my count CD1 has 14 divisions?  Of course by my math the new GOP CD has +20?  I am not sure.  Once I get counting over 10.  My point is that if you want count county splits 18 or 9 for a CD if required under VRA states have been given leeway over and over again how they accomplish their goal.  

This is certainly some sort of VRA II assertion that dividing counties either violates state law or VRA.  State law is certainly subject to VRA and yes the CD map in 2002 could have certainly done away with numerous county splits in CD1 and accomplished its purpose.  

Under VRA II in federal court I guess MD and NC are certainly messes but NC1 looks smooth compared to MD7.

Best wishes on either case but I think they are legal long shots.    


[ Parent ]
Under the Court-drawn interim maps,
did they not split cities and counties? Did the court defer to the legislature and just fixed the passed maps, or it drew completely different maps? Again, just curious.  

[ Parent ]
They were completely different maps
I've placed them at the bottom of the page so you can actually see the maps. The court obviously did not defer to the legislature because the legislature's maps were not even remotely compliant with the Whole Counties Provision.

Before 2002, the Whole Counties Provision had been considered inoperable based on a 1981 advisory opinion from the US Department of Justice that stated it was incompatible with the Voting Rights Act.

What the NC Supreme Court basically said is that the Whole Counties Provision is still a part of the NC Constitution just the same, and must be applied to the maximum extent possible after complying with federal law.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
2011 GOP legislative maps in NC
I believe they just split counties to create more minority-majority districts. But I don't really know the details regarding non-MM districts.  

[ Parent ]
That is the GOP contention
The court challenge contends that you can comply with federal law just as well by splitting 14 counties for the NC Senate and 44 counties for the NC House as compared to the GOP legislature's maps that split 19 counties for the NC Senate and 49 counties for the NC House.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
OK, assuming that you can really comply
to federal law just by splitting less number of counties, but does the plaintiffs intend to create the same number of majority-minority seats that the legislature intended to?

[ Parent ]
No
That's the crux of the lawsuit: Whether the VRA requires subordinating all other redistricting criteria to the "maximization" of minority-majority seats, and/or whether the degree to which the legislature did so amounts to illegal "packing" of minority voters.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
I don't buy that "illegal packing" thing
because the DOJ just pre-cleared the NC maps.

And I might add, what is your opinion on LULAC's and Veasey's Texas maps advocating for the "maximization" of majority-minority seats in the state?  


[ Parent ]
Johnson v. DeGrandy
My view is that the Supreme Court's 1994 Johnson v. DeGrandy ruling settled the issue: "Failure to maximize cannot be the measure of ยง 2."

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
This is just my opinion
It is better to "not follow" the NC Whole County provision to create majority-minority seats than to create minority-influence or cross-over districts. In the last redistricting cycle, the legislature violated the state law just to create a crossover district. In Bartlett v. Strickland, "Section 2 does not impose on those who draw election districts a duty to give minority voters the most potential, or the best potential, to elect a candidate by attracting crossover voters.". So for me (again, this is just my opinion), it is better for the legislature to violate the Whole County provision but created majority-minority districts with more than 50% VAP than to violate state law and just create districts with, say, 35% VAP.  

[ Parent ]
*correction for my last sentence
I meant 50% BVAP vs 35% BVAP.  

[ Parent ]
Its clearly a legislative decision
to create a 50% VRA seat in one area as opposed to minority influenced.  The GOP map certainly does not maximize the number of seats.  There is no major number under VRA for number of seats.  You can't do retrogression but clearly using state law to violate VRA V or VRA II is illegal.  

There is no right or wrong answer and if the justification for splitting counties is VRA state courts can overstep their bounds.  As noted state court maps still have to preclear.  A state court maps that creates fewer AA majority seats then a GOP map could be liable for a federal VRA II lawsuit


[ Parent ]
The NC lawsuits
If you want, you can read the lawsuits for yourself and get a better sense of their arguments.

Lawsuit #1

Lawsuit #2

Incidentally, the Democratic Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court will choose the three-judge panel/s that will hear the lawsuits. The overall NC Supreme Court that will ultimately hear any appeals is 4-3 GOP.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
the Democrats usually flip on that theory
In some states one asks for 'maximization' as you put it, and in others, they ask for 'minimization'.

It's what I call the Bullseye experiment, namely, complains will be made unless you hit their target. Just take them in stride.

27, R, PA-07.


[ Parent ]
to use, well, your own argument
The North Carolina districts are likely already in place for 2012 regardless, are they not?

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Oh, definitely not
There's plenty of time for the courts to rule and issue interim maps between now and the May 8 primary. They actually had even less time to act in the 2002 cycle because those legislative maps weren't even ratified until November 13, 2001.

Texas begins voting two months earlier than North Carolina, and the federal courts move at a much more glacial pace than do North Carolina state courts.

PS. The 2001 maps that were thrown out by the NC Supreme Court and the 2002 interim court maps are at the bottom of this page.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
ah I was referring to the congressional map
You were alleging a federal violation in your previous post.

27, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
That timeline's tighter
but there should still be enough time assuming that a challenge gets filed within the next month. The key issue is at what level the maps are initially thrown out, assuming they're thrown out at all. If it's at the district court level, then there's plenty of time. If it's at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals level then it gets dicey. If it's at the Supreme Court level then it won't be in time for 2012.

To be sure, the congressional map has also been challenged in the state court lawsuits, but as I mentioned above I think the odds will be stronger to get a favorable ruling for the plaintiffs in federal court.

There's also another big difference between the Texas situation and the North Carolina situation, which is quite relevant in court proceedings. The NC legislature can essentially call itself back into session whenever it feels like it and has a long history of promptly acting in response to redistricting orders. The Texas legislature has to be called back into special session by the governor and has a history of resistance to reconvening for such reasons.

Democrat, NC-11


[ Parent ]
TX-10
It doesn't serve a COI. No matter what it amounts to on a final breakdown basis, the court drew a tame incumbent-protection gerrymander with a few moves that help Democrats. I wouldn't call it a Republican gerrymander, a Democratic gerrymander, or a fair map.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
This
I can agree to.

It is incumbent protection above all else with 3 of 4 (27 is the new district, not 34) going to the dems. If 90% growth is minority growth, this new map sounds fair enough.


[ Parent ]
Well, not all Hispanics are Democrats.
So logically, one of the new seats might need to go to a Hispanic Republican. But hey, life isn't fair, and even the Lege didn't try that.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
If you insist
Any map that gives the Dems more than 12 seats in a good year is a Dem gerrymander...end of discussion.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
We had 13 in 2006
Y'all drew that map.

[ Parent ]
No
A court drew that map and further y'all made damn sure that DeLay would appear on the ballot in TX-22 even though the NJ Dems made a switch in 2002...oh wait...I forget, that kind of thing is only okay if Democrats do it...

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
One positive way to look at Texas interim map!
We now have a likely pick-up district in Texas in 2014.  

Which one are you talking about?


21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
The legislature will surely redraw the maps in 2013
Of course you could expect that the GOP will pick-up at least 1 seat from the Dems. A 23-12-1 map isn't really acceptable. If they will do a mid-decade redrawing, maybe they could make it 25-11 or 26-10.  

[ Parent ]
4 more turkeys in WV
as Supremes there rule legislative maps are okay:

http://sundaygazettemail.com/N...

Not a major surprise as 98% of redistricting lawsuits fail.  It was a split decision and even the D judges more or less said the plaintiffs had good points.  Its just the deference to legilsative authority over rules other aspects of the state constitution.


Why am I not surprised that
Brent Benjamin dissented?

[ Parent ]
Boston City Council Redistricting
Cracks Chinatown to help Bill Linehan of South Boston, who won very narrowly this year. http://www.dotnews.com/litdrop...

R - MD-7

Dennis Kucinich
You need to include Dennis Kooky in your "Runners-Up--Redistricting Category" for his support of the GOP gerrymander in Ohio.

In addition to Kucinich,
please also include Emanuel Cleaver in your redistricting runners-up. IIRC, it was Cleaver who called up the Dem who casted the deciding vote in the veto override of the map.  

[ Parent ]
Three turkeys
the San Antonio judges for drawing Dem gerrymanders when they weren't required to.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

Speaking of turkeys
Harrisburg bankruptcy thrown out by court. http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/4541...

25, Male, R, NY-10

I'll Say It Again: Judicial Supremecy Is The Rule of The Age (nt)


[ Parent ]
No
Quit blankly bashing the judiciary.  The judiciary here is clearly upholding Pennsylvania's 10th Amendment powers to regulate municipal governments.  This was a blatant power grab by Harrisburg as state law clearly says it cannot file for bankruptcy.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
You Have a State Law That Municipalities Can't File For Bankruptcy?!
Why?!!  

[ Parent ]
Many states have such laws
Seeing municipal governments are essentially adjuncts of the state and exist merely because the states let them exist, to invoke Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, you must have consent from your state government.

The rationale for such laws is pretty clear: bond ratings.  If you have municipal bankruptcies, the bond ratings in your state will be substantially lower.  As municipal bonds are very rarely secured, they need certainty they will be repaid.  Seeing Harrisburg's problems are tied to municipal bonds for an incinerator, the bond issue is really acute here.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
I certainly think states, cities and counties should stand behind their
debt.  Period end of story.  I feel for Harrisburg but I would not be in favor of any easy outs for the city.  I assume the taxpayers/voters of this town elected a series of big spenders.  Of course some cities also struggled with DC mandates like water/sewer systems. Either way the city needs to cover its debts.


[ Parent ]
Harrisburg court decision is more complex
The city council voted to declare bankruptcy but the city mayor did not consent.
I read the decision as in PA, the council alone may not declare bankruptcy but needs the consent of the mayor as well.

To read the decision as towns in PA may not declare bankruptcy at all is a misreading of the decision.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
A question to the community
I'm putting together a Christmas list. Is there anything political, especially electoral, that I should put on it? I already have the Almanacs of American Politics on the list.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

A Washington Button
that or any vintage campaign button from any race. Preferably one with a picture of the candidate.

20-Cubano, R, CA-38
City Commissioner, College Republican Club President


[ Parent ]
I Have Some On Mine
Master Of The Senate, book on LBJ
What It Takes, book on 1988 Presidential Race

I would also like a RFK letter, but thats probably too pricey.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat


[ Parent ]
Master of the senate is a good
retelling of the life and times of Richard Russell.  Yes LBJ is in there hey its his bio but Russell is the towering figure in it.  Its a good book to show why we have the Russell office building.  I recommend highly all of the Caro books on LBJ and of course his book on Robert Moses.


[ Parent ]
Caro LBJ Books
Is it ok to read Master Of The Senate first?  Or are the others kind of needed to be read before it?

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
No they stand alone fine.
In fact the book on the 1948 election is a great read as a political thriller.  

In earlier years the LBJ guys really went after Caro because of what they saw as bias or an unflattering picture of LBJ.  


[ Parent ]
RRH gift exchange!
lol.

[ Parent ]
RRH Secret Santa
LOL, I promise I won't get anyone Crashing The Gate lol.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Preview of Next Week
I got two diaries coming out next week:

1) Court drawn Pennsylvania, and

2) Could you draw a Republican Allegheny County Council.

What else would you do?

28, Republican, PA-6


And.... The biggest turkey of all
Ed Koch changes his mind for the third time on who he supports for president. http://www.vosizneias.com/9560...

25, Male, R, NY-10

Wiener and Lee
Seriously, if you're gonna have a sex scandal, at least get some!

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  


Yeah. These guys could have learned something
from Spitzer and Sanford.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Sanford all the way
There was something romantic about his affair at least (insofar that it seems like the two are really in love), except for his poor wife.

Lee and Weiner and Spitzer? They were just getting temporary joy.

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04


[ Parent ]
Holden anticipates losing Lebanon County
http://www.ldnews.com/ci_19398...

Least surprising news of the day.  

Holden's comment about the partisanship of districts is interesting.  While it sounds nice, it would be pretty difficult to make many seats less partisan.  Maybe he should use his clout as the most senior PA Democrat to move them a tad to the right.

28, Republican, PA-6


As we are celebrating Thanksgiving
The evil turkeys at OWS turn into an anarchist anti-capitalism movement, plan to occupy retailers tomorrow, disrupt shopping. They are trying to remind us that they still exist. http://www.foxnews.com/politic...

25, Male, R, NY-10

Texas State House
I'm just through going over the data for Plan H302 (the interim state House map). Here's my assessment:

Safe R-           82
Lean-to-Likely R-  9
Toss-up-           3
Lean-to-Likely D-  2
Safe D-           54

Not really that bad, but still, some lean-to-likely R districts could have been safe.  


Yeah, it's a bad map
total Dem gerrymander. They packed Republicans in many of the metro area districts.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Not that bad, IMO
In the GOP map, we can win more than 100 seats. In the interim, we can win more than 90 seats. It's somewhat a "funny" thing that many of us complain about the interim map where we could win that many seats, but when we look back, after the 2008 elections, the state House balance is 76-74.  

[ Parent ]
That matches the KOS analysis and kudos to anyone
about to go through 150 seats!!!

[ Parent ]
Did any notable R members get shafted?
By 'notable' I mean ones that we would know, such as the minorities or more outspoken members. I know that Pena got hurt.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Incumbents who got shafted
Beverly Woolley, Kenneth Sheets, Rodney Anderson and Dee Margo

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Also
One of either Jimmie Don Aycock or Ralph Sheffield.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Aycock was screwed.
His district is now 61% Obama. Also, Beverly Wooley is retiring.

[ Parent ]
Aycock
got double-bunked with Sheffield.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Could someone figure out what's with District 54?
Aycock should try his luck in his new district (54th) even if it's 61% Obama. What I missed earlier while looking at the data was the 2010 results for District 54. I didn't dare try to look at 2010 numbers for 60%+ Obama districts, but Aycock's district is different. I don't know why, but all the Republican statewide candidates, except Perry, narrowly won in this district even though it's 61% Obama.  

[ Parent ]
Interesting


25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Rodney Anderson
IIRC, Anderson is running for state Senate. I just don't recall if its in the open District 9 or in District 10 against Wendy Davis.

[ Parent ]
Anderson
is running in SD-09 which the "impartial" court weakened from 56% McCain to 55% McCain.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
The 3 toss-up districts are all occupied Republicans
who won in majority-minority districts in 2011- Raul Torres, Connie Scott, and John Garza. All the Dem statewide candidates won the districts in 2008, but all the GOP statewide candidates won the districts in 2010.

[ Parent ]
Yup
At the start of that cycle there was talk of the Democrats going on offense in the Texas House.

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
How many districts did Abbott win?
That is the cutoff line. If he won it it's not safe D and if he lost it it's safe D.  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
There are some districts where Abbott won
but I rated as safe D because of the incumbents. I went through their electoral histories and it seems like they are strong enough incumbents.  

[ Parent ]
But
Anyway, how many districts did he win?  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Probably
Some have called this a D gerrymander.  Considering we held 75 seats in 2008 and this map gives the Republicans probably over 90 seats in most years, I really have a difficult time calling this a gerrymander at all.

The whining from southern Republicans in general over swing seats is kind of annoying.  It seems like Republicans in the south think they should never have to reach out to swing voters and just have a bunch of safe seats.  It comes across as an entitlement mentality that I cannot work up an ounce of sympathy for.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
They were never
going to get something that close under a new map. Many of those districts that were lost in 2006 and 2008 were ones that had to add population (I'm talking to you Dallas and Harris Counties) or vestigial districts that no Democrat would hold after the incumbent left.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Would the new map
Have resulted in a Dem majority under the circumstances (including conservative Ds) of 2008 as there are fewer GOP seats?  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Ok, now you're
showing your lack of knowledge of southern politics. 'Swing voters' in the South are very different than swing voters in other regions. In most cases, appealing to them does not involve being a social moderate like in other parts of the country, but being a pork king. Also of note, most of them are registered (or self-identified) Democrats, and will pull the lever for a Democrat for congress reflexively. In some places, they are a tiny group and what it really comes down to in marginal seats can be racial turnout and a tiny group of 'swing voters' who usually vote for Democrats. I can go on.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
I wonder
if that's the reason why Republicans have a difficulty in winning EVEN or D+1 districts in the South?

[ Parent ]
*excluding Florida


[ Parent ]
Florida
Argh. It really isn't culturally the south.

[ Parent ]
Everything north of the I-4 Corridor
is pretty much all culturally southern. It's basically South Georgia Extended, and a few counties in the northwest are the Lower Alabama exiles.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Of course.
But I mean the majority of Florida isn't. Which CDs would you say are southern in FL?

I'd say FL-01, FL-02, FL-03, FL-04, FL-05, FL-06, and maybe FL-07.


[ Parent ]
Parts of FL-08


21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Of course.
The northern, less populated parts.

What about the Tampa Bay area seats? I don't think any of them are totally southern, although parts of Pasco and Polk counties feel southern.


[ Parent ]
Sure
The I-4 Corridor is a line of mixture. I'm sure that there are culturally Southern people in the Tampa Bay area and FL-24 (we've already mentioned the other Orlando CDs). Polk County as well.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
FL-8
Nah, it's not Southern AFAIK. The northern parts of it are retiree country.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
That's exactly the reason.
You could win those in urban/suburban areas (it has been and still is being done), but in rural 'swing seats' like GA-02 and GA-12, that second scenario that I described often kicks in. In very white seats, it can even reach into the R+ range pretty easily. The current TN-08 is a good example. So is TN-04 (it's been competitive at the congressional level).

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
No Ryan, you are right
The pork projects may be what appeals to the rural communities and was the way things had played for years. However, with the population shifts the rural areas are losing representation and all the rural white Dems over 40 (wd40s) are gone. The battle in the future will be based in the suburbs. There is one issue that matters there: education. If funding education is what others are calling pork, so be it. Fact is the state education budget was slashed 9% last session with 3% implemented this fall and the remaining 6% being implemented next fall. I look forwarding to competing messages in an even district, right now Sarah Davis' district 134 in the house is the closest to even. I'd be happy to compete our ideas on even ground, but as we saw rep. Davis tried to dismiss the map and case because one judge was related to a dem state senator. The court laughed at her for this because this was disclosed before the case and is the identified dem judge.

So, bring it. Give us a 50/50 district anywhere and I'd happily compete (CD23, HD134, SD10).  


[ Parent ]
Well
The battle overall in Texas that led to these budgets are NOT even. Texas is heavily Republican and the districts that regularly elect Republicans will continue to because most Texans approve of slashing a bloated budget as long as their taxes don't go up.  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Is Ellen Cohen running again?
Even if the HD134 was weakened, I'll still rate it leans Republican based on 2008 and 2010 results. Sarah Davis already has the incumbency advantage. She can always argue that the state faces huge economic challenges, so the budget needed to be trimmed instead of taxes being raised.  

For SD10: I've always wondered how a very liberal Wendy Davis can win re-election against a strong Republican in a 52-47 McCain district and where Republicans won by large margins in 2010. Based on election results, I won't even call the district a 50/50 district.

For CD23: I really hope that Canseco survives in 2012.  


[ Parent ]
Cohen is not
She just won election to Houston City Council District C, a safe dem, metro district full of hipsters and urban liberals.

Fmr. State Rep. Thiabaut  of 133 is in a run off right now for At-Large #2.

Regarding 134, White ran up the score in it, outperforming Obama by 4%. This is a toss up seat, that is getting bluer, more urban liberals moving into it. Davis would be a rising star if she held on. I suggested to someone the other day the district is ripe for an openly gay candidate, if dems want to take the risks that come with that.


[ Parent ]
Of course White will outperform Obama here
It would be shocking if that didn't happen. But other statewide Republicans outperformed McCain by more than 5 points. I'd still rate it leans Republican with Davis in 2012. After 2012, this district will become safer for her if she held on. The legislature will surely do a mid-decade redistricting.  

[ Parent ]
Since I've been filling a notebook with data
While one would think White would have outpaced Obama all across Harris, he only outperformed in barely half of the house districts. And half of that half was the increase noticeable.

District 134 had the third largest Obama to White jump in Houston
50.1 Obama to 54.6 White. +4.5D

White outperformed Obama in 14 of Harris' 24 districts.

The only districts in Harris where the jump was larger than 1% was:
128, Smith: 29.9 Obama to 31.4 White +1.5D
133 Murphy: 33.7 Obama to 35.5 White +1.8D
140 Walle: 68.9 Obama to 71.3 White +2.4D
143 Hernandez Luna: 59.6 Obama to 64.8 White +5.2D
144 Legler: 52.8 Obama to 57.2 White +4.4D
145 Alvarado: 61.6 Obama to 66.3 White +4.7D
148 Farrar: 59.0 Obama to 62.7 White +3.7D

Only two Harris districts embraced White more than Obama, both being Hispanic districts where they were more accepting to embrace him, a local, than Obama who was seen as new. There was a significant (1% or more) move towards White in only 2 Republican districts. Davis' swing district is showing evidence it does not want to remain a swing area. The district is getting very organized with Dems and progressive activists. Davis knows it; the district is moving against her. Fast.

I would bet against her in 2012. Especially with her narrow (700 vote) win in '10.

Should she lose, yes, I expect the legislature will try and crack the area, but it will be harder since all sides of her district except 1 are surround by VRA districts (Coleman East, Miles South and Southwest, and Farrar North). This leaves cracking it with Murphy, entirely on the Western border.

I would let it go and try to secure 138 Bohac and 135 Elkins who have safe districts today, but likely won't in 6 years.


[ Parent ]
I'll stick with Davis
The Republican statewide candidates in 6 contested races averaged 55% here in 2010 (against 43% for the Dems). I acknowledge that Davis barely won in 2010, 51-49 against Cohen, but I think that's because Cohen might have been a strong incumbent. Now, Davis has the incumbency advantage and name recognition. And might I ask, who is your candidate here who is supposedly strong enough to topple Davis?  

[ Parent ]
Yeah
since White was Mayor of Houston, I'm not surprised that he would have outperformed Obama there. My guess, however, is that Abbott did well there, meaning it is an R-leaning seat.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Abbott won with 59-39 here.
The only Republican candidate who lost is Perry, but that's because White is the Dem nominee. Dewhurst and Staples won with 57-39 and 57-40, respectively, and Patterson won with 58-39. I don't really buy that "it's trending blue really fast!" thing, since it that's the case, the GOP candidates  (except Perry) shouldn't have won by landslide in this district in 2010.  

[ Parent ]
How about 53R/47D?
Davis has done a good job not actually being a super liberal, but acting more out of practicality and coming from the "government is broken, and I'm here to reform it" wing. While speaking with a former classmate of mine who is a staffer for another Senator, she told me Davis was a rogue to be dismissed, when I asked why her response was to look at Wendy's shoes. They were not of an elite brand and thus she didn't belong in the Senate.

This is the attitudes Wendy has been promoting herself against, and it's working. Also, the stronger republican, Rep. Hancock, got moved into SD 9, leaving the weaker Rep. Shelton to run against her. I'd consider him a second tier opponent, while Hancock was clearly first.


[ Parent ]
Shelton
In the Tarrant County GOP site, Shelton thinks he can win by 6-7% against Davis in the interim map. He was endorsed by some top-tier Republicans such as Rep. Kay Granger and Arlington Mayor Bob Cluck. Maybe later, he could get the endorsement of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.  

[ Parent ]
Of course he will
He's the republican nominee and she's the republican mayor. Brimer had the endorsement of the Coservadem mayor in '08 and all partisan GOPers in the county and Wendy beat him.

I maintain, Shelton is . . . slow. By comparison to what I would want my ideal candidate to be. He's good, but he's B to B+ on the what you're looking for menu. Wendy is A+ which cancels out the slight GOP lean of the district.

Candidates matter.

This race is a toss up and will be one until E-Day.


[ Parent ]
Just shows you bias. That made me lol.
Of course you'll rate your candidate A+ and our candidate B+. I don't know about Brimer but I read somewhere here in RRH that she's an entrenched incumbent. If you'll search for all the comments here, you'll keep reading comments that Wendy Davis won against a weak and entrenched incumbent in 2008. And because it's also 2008, well, you already know what I mean...

[ Parent ]
Nope
the original opponent, Kelly Hancock was A+

No bias, just a local who calls them as I see them


[ Parent ]
Disagree
I think Wendy Davis stands less than a 50% chance of holding an R+7 district. She has spent the entire session acting like she would be receiving a safe seat and that's not what she got even after her temper tantrum through the court. Also, I'm going to say that you may have some bias given this prediction you made in 2010: http://www.swingstateproject.c...

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Chet Edwards winning
LOL

[ Parent ]
Environment
4 months out, environment was bad but the cake wasn't baked yet. Asked me again in late October, I'd have told you he was probably out. I had some last minute hope for Chet with the DCCC's final add buy going big for him. Yes, I was surprised at the margin of his loss, but not that he lost.

Also, I'm not from College Station/Waco. I am from North Galveston and I'm from Denton, and I have worked poitics in Fort Worth.

You say going to court is a temper tantrum, there are 40% of voters who agree, 40% who disagree, and 20% who don't give a shit. Her record that will be brought up is her filibustering the budget, sending the leg to special session. 40% of us see her as a hero, 40% as a villain, and 20% will judge her on that. Her argument is, I was a no because it ruined education funding, 4 months after most of the education cuts hit the state, yeah, I like her chances. This is what most of the state level elections will be about in Texas: education referendums.

And you, need to think about population changes. As of 2008, it was R+7, Kerry got 40%, Obama got 47%. The district in '12 will have the same boundaries. What do you think Obama will get in it? I think lower Obama enthusiasm + better urban demographics is going to result in Obama at 48% in '12. THis assumes we are going into a neutral Presidential election, neither side heavily favored.


[ Parent ]
Okay
First, I am thinking about population changes. There will be some suburban growth on the western edge of that district and I doubt she will be able to fool Republicans into voting for her again. That said, I think 47% is Obama's ceiling in this district and that Davis' is not too far from that. Further, being from Texas, you should know better than to use the 2004 numbers for anything.

Also, I live in a state house district where there was a special election. The Dems got an "A+" candidate who did talk about education cuts. She got 22% which isn't much higher than my former State Rep's Libertarian challengers got. Also, before you say anything about special elections, I live in a place where higher turnout elections help Republicans.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17


[ Parent ]
Looking at 1996/2000 numbers, did Bush actually get a
home state advantage in Texas? He improved 5 percent on Dole+Perot [as opposed to doing about equally well nationally], but he did 2-3 points better in Oklahoma and NM and 7-8 points better in LA and AR, so 5 points isn't actually out of the ordinary for the region.

[ Parent ]
Yes
In 2000, he got 53% in TX-25 and further, he won many of the South Texas fajita strip districts, which is why they have deceptive PVIs.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Slight Lean?!
LOL an R+7 is a slight lean?

Alrighty then.


[ Parent ]
Agree. It's not just slight lean.
If this is an open seat, I'll rate it as likely R, but because it's not, I'll have it at lean R. The GOP statewide candidates also won 57-40 here in 2010. I think this district will elect a Republican in 2012, just as what it has done in the past. Shelton just needs to "scream" to the voters that Wendy Davis is a LIBERAL!

[ Parent ]
I've seen this scream liberal strategy in Texas
It was Van Taylor's strategy in '08.

But the one I will use is the race for sheriff in Glaveston in '08. Galveston gave McCain just under 60%, there were two GOP incumbents up and an open seat for sheriff, retiring Dem. The Republican, a local cop, made his platform: vote for me, I'm the Republican and the conservative. My opponent is a liberal Dem. The Dem was a lifelong employee of the Sheriff's department and ran only on his accomplishments. Come election day, the Dem won 51%-49%.

If this is Shelton's strategy, it's going to end the same. He needs ideas and a vision. Hancock had that, Shelton, not as much.


[ Parent ]
We are talking about the whole South, not just Texas.
Ryan directed his comments at Southern Republicans at-large. As I've already acknowledged, you can do it in the suburbs. That wasn't what I was talking about.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
VRA renewal
How many Republicans out there are probably wish VRA was not renewed when they had the chance to let it die?

28, Republican, PA-6

Even if VRA wasn't renewed under Bush,
it could have been renewed by the Dems under Obama when they controlled both chambers.  

[ Parent ]
agreed


42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
VRA
I just wish we'd killed Section V or at least taken my state off the list.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
That's my wish, too.
Section V is the biggest redistricting problem by the GOP, at least in the south, this cycle.  

[ Parent ]
Agree
I am not against Section II, but Section V seems to be redundant at this point.

28, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Ironically several GOP maps under VRA V
increased AA legislative seats while AR (not under VRA V) cut them.  

I for deplore section II as opposed to the election of minorities.  Long term it has helped the GOP and eliminated many of the moderate to conservative elements in the D party.  

You can't rewrite history and the law is not likely to change so there you have it.

I suspect there is even enough room under federal mandates to ensure votes for all citizens without VRA but that's another matter.  


[ Parent ]
I'm against the VRA
Because it discriminates against Republicans. Democrats are guaranteed seats in Republican areas but Republicans aren't guaranteed seats in D areas.  

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
I'm for it
without the VRA, we would have been screwed much harder in Illinois and California.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Not True
Remember, in CA, there's no a "commission".

Without the VRA, the Bay Area and L.A. would have been drawn pretty much the same.

But, without the VRA, you wouldn't have to draw a seat for Sanchez in Orange County, and if you could draw the Central Valley based on CoIs instead of the wretched racial gerrymandering required by the VRA, the GOP would win every district in the Central Valley, outside of any that are drawn in to either Sacramento or the Bay Area (see: the new CA-09...).

The VRA hurts Republicans in CA, IMO.  


[ Parent ]
*Now a Commission, Not No (nt)


[ Parent ]
I think a commission would still draw a
Santa Ana-Anaheim Central OC district even without the VRA.

And yeah, without the VRA, you might be looking at 2 GOP seats in Illinois.


[ Parent ]
Nope - The Commission Started Without a District For Sanchez
I personally think they only drew a district back in for Sanchez in the second drawing because they caught so much VRA flack for not drawing it the first time.

But, without the VRA, I don't think they would have gone back and drawn a district for Sanchez.  


[ Parent ]
Also, 16-2 In IL Is Likely Not Practical...
...short of drawing a map as ugly as Maryland's (which I don't think they would have done), and which would have entailed sending all but just 2 or 3 of the districts in to Chicago metro.

Illinois is state with just too high geographical concentrations of Republicans to make something like 16-2 realistic (short of going really ugly...).  


[ Parent ]
And Democrats always complain
when the GOP tries to protect its incumbents in Hispanic-majority districts. There are guaranteed seats for Hispanic Dems, but none for Hispanic Republicans.  

[ Parent ]
I wish we still had VRA
but that they had cut it down to 45 or 43%. It's ridiculous to think a 47% AA district that's solely in Cleveland wouldn't reelect Fudge.

[ Parent ]
Well, the thing with the VRA is it's not only there
to elect black politicians, it's also there to keep black communities together. Basically, I'd interpret the VRA as "split black communities into as many districts as you can make VRA-compliant"-- as opposed to "draw one black district and then use the rest to make surrounding districts amenable for White D's."

I think it should probably be changed towards "split black communities into as many districts as you can think will reliably elect black politicians". That would vary on a state-by-state level and mostly be dependent on what percentage of the black electorate is needed to make the Dem primary majority-black.

In Florida, 35% Black VAP should be considered a VRA seat, as it will always elect a black Congressperson/State Senator/State Representative.


[ Parent ]
Businessman Steve Rockwell not running for Congress in AR-01
Delta Guy Hall looks to be locking
up support in AR1.

Geographically there's not  many more votes he can get in the Delta.  The majority of votes there are locked in for any D.  He might get a few more R's based in small town of Marvell!!!  So that's leaves  three areas for votes.  1st two are the GOP areas of suburban little Rock and foothills of Ozarks. Historically these are strong GOP areas and Obama will certainly be swamped in them.  Then finally there is Crawford's home area in NE Arkansas.  The Jonesboro, Paragould and Batesville area IMO will not ditch Crawford for Hall. Too much friends, family and area pride.  The 1st re-election is often the only time to get these freshman and AR1 IMO the D's do not have their guy.  


[ Parent ]
What happened to NorCal in 1980?
Shasta and a few other counties flipped by 25% in one year and never looked back. That's not a gradual swing, that's basically what happened to the South in 1964. What the hell went on there?

Not even 1980, so it can't be Reagan.
Shasta voted 55% for Brown when he won the state by 3 points in 1974, and then the same four years later when he won the state by 20 points.

[ Parent ]
Okay, I found the solution.
Anyone wants to guess? It's really not something you'd think about at first.

[ Parent ]
I'm guessing
Something to do with Carter's environmental policy? That area is heavily dependent on natural resources.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Ford-Carter '76?
Northern CA found Ford more appealing than Jimmy Carter. Ford was the father of someone who smoked pot. Betty spoke as if she would be accepting if her daughter became sexually active before marriage.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter was a Baptist, the first major party candidate from the deep south since... James Knox Polk? (LBJ campaigned in '64 as a southwesterner.)

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"


[ Parent ]
Carter won the county though in 1976.
My guess it's that it is because of a simultaneous collapse of the logging industry and Carter's insane cuts of Amtrak's budget-- Shasta heavily depended on the railroad industry, apparently, even since the 19th century, when most of its land was owned by railroad companies.

But the decline is amazing. Brown won the county in 1974 with 55% in winning the state by 3%, and with 55% in 1978 in winning the state by 20%. It used to be one of the most liberal-- even socialist!!-- counties in the nation, having voted solidly for LaFollette in 1924 and having given 20% of the vote to Eugene Debbs, now it's R+15 or so.



[ Parent ]
Amtrak?
No, that really doesn't sound right. Amtrak only has ever had 1 train a day through that region. And Conrail never operated anywhere near there. UP and BNSF control the railroads in that region.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Back to scratch then.
I was going off an oral history interview with a Dem Party Chairman who said that the area was mainly going for Truman because Dewey made disparaging comments about railroad workers. Considering that Carter made cuts to the railroad industry, I was just putting 1 and 1 together.

[ Parent ]
Prop 13 was in '78
Right timeframe... I want to say that the Jefferson movement (secession from CA and OR) picked up steam then.

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"

[ Parent ]
Jefferson Movement
That was in 1941, and it was stopped by WWII. It's mostly been non-serious since then.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Nevertheless, Prop 13 was a wedge issue
I don't know the impact in Shasta specifically, but it was the kind of issue that could very well have led to that kind of vote shift.

Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"

[ Parent ]
Yeah, the railroads there have always been privately owned
I think it has something to do with environmental policy, like we're seeing now with Appalachia and Coal. What specific environmental policy Carter (or Brown) pushed through to turn that region off of Democrats I'm not sure, but that's where I'd look. Maybe some sort of logging restriction or blocking a dam from being built?

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Maybe. I mailed the Assemblyman who represented the
area in the time in question and hope he responds.  

[ Parent ]
Statham?
Yeah, he'd be an interesting person to ask considering as he's one of the most vocal modern advocates of the State of Jefferson.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
It may have just been the collapse
of the New Deal Cialition. The collapse happened in different places at different times at different speeds.

21, Male, Conservative Republican, TN-08 (home), VA-01 (college)

[ Parent ]
Abbott's Stay Request
Missed this yesterday, but here it is (H/t Michael Li at txredistricting.org): http://tinyurl.com/7w85l9e

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

I'm not really that optimistic that the Western District of Texas
will stay its own maps. What I'm optimistic about is that there is a good possibility that the Supreme Court will grant a stay.  

[ Parent ]
And I might add that Abbott could have used better words
when referring to the judges in its stay motion. The wordings, especially against the 2 judges (Garcia and Rodriguez) are somewhat "spicy". He could offend the 2 judges with his actions. Nevertheless, Abbott should ask a stay the Supreme Court as soon as possible after the Western District will deny his stay request.  

[ Parent ]
spot on -until maps are all finalized
its pointless to ask Supremes to stay these maps.

[ Parent ]
Romney, Electability, and Conservates
http://online.wsj.com/article/...

28, Republican, PA-6

Besides Glenn Beck, George Will and Erick Erickson
I've yet to hear many conservative talkers adamantly opposed to Mitt Romney. Sean Hannity's hour-long interview with Romney last week was an endless series of softballs and Bill O'Reilly's torn the other candidates to shreds. And as for the subjects of my title, Beck thought Obama was better than McCain, Will's wife works for Rick Perry and Erickson's a shill for, of all people, Jon Huntsman.

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
Has Erickson changed?
This is the latest, afaik.

http://www.redstate.com/erick/...

I wrote a while back that I could not support Jon Huntsman ever for what many consider a very esoteric reason - he went to work for the President of the United States and while working for the President of the United States decided to run against his boss. That the President is Barack Obama has no relevance to me.

I am not, at this point, planning on even attempting to walk back that "ever," but consider it a sign of how frustrated I am with the race.



Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"

[ Parent ]
Erickson: "With Romney as nominee, conservatism dies, Obama wins"
http://www.redstate.com/erick/...

24, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Visit me at http://twitter.com/polibeast

[ Parent ]
doesn't sound like a Huntsman shill, n/t


Some of my best friends call me a "Demoncrat"

[ Parent ]
Not that far off
If Romney were to win, he would probably undermine Erickson's angry conservatism driven by a sense of victimhood.  

That is my biggest problem with the RedState types. They essentially have adopted the identity driven victimhood mentality of the Democratic Party. That is why I despise the RedState and DailyKos types with an equal passion. To me they are just identity driven whiners who need to get past their identity and victimhood BS.

28, Republican, PA-6


[ Parent ]
Weiner's Resignation Speech
and the catcalls from the audience were among the best political moments of the year!

Do people think
There will be serious ramifications to this like after last time? http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja...
Last time caused climate to cease being an issue.

25, Male, R, NY-10

In all honesty
I think that the economy and federal debt have done more than anything else to push climate change far down the list of important issues for suburban swing voters.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
But
It definitely made quite of a difference even though it might not have been the primary reason.

25, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]
Climate
No.  I think it will make even more firm people who don't believe in it, but I don't see it swaying many if any.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Canseco's objections to the Congressional map
Hot off the scanner: http://tinyurl.com/7txbhxg

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

brilliantly argued IMO
as the congressman lies out sound points against this map.

This interim is a political act IMO and violates precedence in the drawing of previous interim maps.


[ Parent ]
Veasey and Davis
want separate seats to run in, tells court to screw Barton to accomplish this: http://tinyurl.com/7nrqazy

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

Both Veasey and Davis are from Downtown Ft. Worth
They don't want separate districts, just a Fort Worth centric district and a Hispanic seat in Dallas. Same as what I want. Davis wants her Senate seat, plain and simple. You are misinformed to state otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Fine
That was my initial reaction when I read the briefing. Let me replace what I said with "Veasey and Davis want the 6th turned into a Dem gerrymander and for Hensarling's home to be drawn out of his district because they want to be sure there will never be a Republican Speaker from Texas" that better?

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Plus Freaking One.
Speaker Hensarling? Boy does that sound amazing.

[ Parent ]
Abbott's Congressional Map Objections
He has problems with several districts: http://tinyurl.com/8a637ex

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

another brilliant legal arguement
IMO as AG Abott stresses two  points.

1. No judgement in regards to violating VRA or any other provision has been against the TX map.  Rmapper can choose not to comment on my making this point over and over again but the AG has this point as his 1st.  The Texas GOP map stands with no legal blemish against.  No court has ruled it has violated either VRA II or VRA V.  Yet its being displaced.  This legal action is without precedence.  Yup the Supreme does not have to comment on the GOP map to issue a stay as no Federal court has ruled it against it in any constitutional way.  I have a good reading on Scalia and I suspect this arguement is right up his alley.  You cannot undo legislative maps, duly drawn, by delaying judgement on it.  When and if any court rules against the map then you run smack into Shaw & Strickland.  No protection unless its 50% VAP (think Tarrent county) and no seats have to be drawn if they are racially gerrymandered (TX27, TX23 & TX35) are required. So Abbott is picking my points.  I call them mine but clearly its just legal logic and not special to me. I am saying I influenced Abbott but rather I knew what his legal points would be.

2.  DOJ and DC court has only questioned two seats.  TX23 & TX27.  Why do the whole map?  This is a huge legal overstep.  


[ Parent ]
Abbott followed the line of legal logic
that I thought he would.  No interim map has ever been placed over a legislative map unless these three conditions have been met.

1. If a state legislative body or commission acts no interim map has been in place unless these two conditions are met.

a. A federal court or state court ruled that a map has either violated federal or state law.  Federal law includes Baker V Carr, VRA among other laws and rulings.

b. Denied preclearance by DOJ is state is a VRA V jurisdiction.  Texas maps have not been precleared but they have not been denied preclearance.  Under new federal law TX is trying to preclear its maps through DC court.  No preclearance has been denied.  The Court is still sitting in judgement and as such just as in VRA II trials where no judgement has been rendered the precedent is that legislatively drawn maps stay in effect until courts rule.  


[ Parent ]
Happy holidays as Detroit Mayor
announces a 1000 job cuts

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/r...

Tough times in Detroit


Completely different maps
The NC Supreme Court ruled that the legislature must strictly comply with the Whole Counties Provision and could deviate from the prohibition against splitting counties "only to the extent necessary to comply with federal law."

This was the 2001 NC Senate map passed by the legislature:

This was the 2002 NC Senate interim map issued by the superior court:

This was the 2001 NC House map passed by the legislature:

This was the 2002 NC House interim map issued by the superior court:



Democrat, NC-11


most of the court ones look like cleaned up versions of legislatures
Of course some of the legislature's seats are so messy it's no surprise they got abolished.

It does seem to be the case though that when a state map runs afoul whole county revisions that many more districts are impacted than when the state map runs afoul the VRA over a few districts.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.


[ Parent ]
make that provision
darn auto correct, correcting to wrong word.

42 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
I just saw the newly-passed maps in NC
The state Senate and state House maps look relatively clean in general, except for some districts that have huge Dem advantages, which I assume are majority-minority districts. The maps are much pleasant-looking than the ones that were passed by the Dems in 2001 that you posted above (nasty looking!).



[ Parent ]
I tend to agree that the new NC state senate and house
maps look pretty clean to me.  The only line breaks can be justified under either VRA or Baker V Carr.  

I can't claim to be an expert in NC Supreme court affairs but in 2002 the GOP majority tossed out the D map.  If I recall correctly.  

The same GOP majority may look like at this map and see fewer splits that purely political.  I say purely political because the 2001 map clearly had more splits that had no basis in either Baker V Carr or VRA.  

I find it interesting that Rmapper, in a quote on another post above, quotes a court ruling detailing how maximizing minority seats was not the goal of VRA.  That's been my contention for years and my viewpoint here and at SSP.  Its funny that when various posters drew these VRA two seat AA maps for LA, SC and AL he never brought that ruling up.  

So clearly maximizing AA majority seats are not required under VRA but the only instances of where minority majority seats have been eliminated have been in federal court.  Miller, Shaw and LA cases in the 1990s show seats being eliminated because they were ordered by federal judges to be drawn.  I do not see a state court eliminating AA seats as the map has to be precleared.

Here's point #2.  A state court drawn legislative map must still be precleared under VRA V.  Only Federally drawn court maps are exempt from VRA V review.  Not sure of all the filing deadlines in NC but if a trial takes place in 2012 and the filing deadline is in early 2012 what occurs.

I try to be humble when I make claims on laws like this but this is my memory tells me. This was an issue in MS 2002 where a state court tried a CD map.  In 1992 a state court drew Florida's maps and those maps passed VRA V review.  With the new VRA law would a state court be able to choose where to preclear a map?  That's normally not a judicial decision.  I defer to others on these points.  


[ Parent ]
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