Archive for redistricting

VIDEO: Dems didn't lose the House in 2012. Gerrymandering won.

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gerrymandering maddow

Rachel Maddow, December 2012:

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Short version: Gerrymandering delivered disproportionate representation.

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Chuck Todd, October 2013:

But let's remember, this is a gerrymandered house. Democrats actually won the generic ballot in 2012.

More people voted for a Democratic member of Congress than a Republican one in 2012, and yet there are more congressional held Republican seats, 234.

Democrats only have 201 even though they won a majority of the vote in 2012.

When gerrymandering wins, democracy loses. We lose. All of us.

Here is the entire segment:

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Thumbs Up: AFL-CIO plans to emphasize state-level elections in 2014

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The AFL-CIO is doing exactly the right thing, the very thing Democrats need: Concentrating some badly needed support and attention on state and gubernatorial elections, not just national ones. This is where some of the most bigoted, anti-women, anti-union, and anti-civil rights laws have been passed by the GOP: state legislatures.

2014 is exactly the right time to throw some of their badly needed weight around. Unfortunately, they're not too optimistic about taking control of the House of Representatives.

Via First Read:

The focus won't come at the exclusion of efforts to help Democrats win in Congress. But four years after the 2010 elections swept to power a series of Republicans who would enact sweeping collective bargaining reforms, state-level races are at a premium.

"Right now, the Republicans are moving ferociously anti-worker, anti-women's health agendas … in the states," [Michael Podhorzer, the labor group's top political official] said. [...]

The AFL-CIO is banking on the unlikelihood that Republicans won't be able to count on the 2014 electorate resembling the more conservative-leaning makeup of the voting public in 2010. As immigration reform falters on Capitol Hill, Podhorzer argued that the 2014 electorate could even tend toward Democrats, especially as Latinos who are embittered by the failure of comprehensive immigration reform extract a toll on Republicans. [...]

But Podhorzer also acknowledged that the 2010 elections — which also saw Republican dominance in state legislative races — helped the GOP shape the decennial, Census-mandated redistricting process to their benefit.

That last sentence packs a punch. Because of redistricting, Republicans have made Democratic victories nearly impossible. Just one more reason for getting out the vote, helping Dems to register, and again, getting Progressives into office starting with the most local races on up, including school boards and city councils.

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VIDEO: Wait-- if lawmakers agree the government shutdown won't happen, then STFU, stop playing games, get back to work

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political games dems gop tic tac toe

Here's an excerpt from an op-ed by Doyle McManus in today's Los Angeles Times:

A visit to the House side of Capitol Hill these days feels a bit like an excursion to an alternate universe, where the voters are all conservative, the will of the American people is crystal clear and the only mystery is how that Obama fellow ever got reelected.

"This is all a result of redistricting," a Republican strategist told me. "The only election these guys have to worry about is the Republican primary. The only danger they face is from the right."

bingo2

Now watch this short clip:

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That happened this morning on Meet the Press:

David Gregory: I want to start with a question for all of you which is really a yes or no question. Senator Lee, is the government going to shut down?

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah): No. we all know that the government is going to be funded. The question is whether it will be funded with Obamacare or without.

Gregory: Senator Klobuchar, do you think there will be a shutdown?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)No, because I believe in the end the people of good will will come together and do the right thing and stop this political brinkmanship.

Gregory: Barbara Lee, what do you say?

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA):  No, and we're not going to allow the defunding of the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): No. As much as the president wants a shutdown, he's not going to get it.

Gregory: ... You all think somehow this is going to be avoided.

If that's the consensus, then stop playing with our lives, stop playing games, stop creating phony crisis after phony crisis to score political points and win primaries, get back to work [sic], and do something-- anything-- constructive for a change.

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New court filing: Democrats say Wisconsin redistricting files deleted at "suspicious times"

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Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

I've been covering the "alleged" corruption and attempts at voter suppression that have "allegedly" been occurring under Governor Scott Walker's alleged watch, the most recent being: Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing. And before that, WI officials were subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans.

You know, the alleged usual. Here's the alleged latest, via WisPolitics:

According to a new court filing, a forensic investigation of computers GOP lawmakers, their aides and their lawyers used in the redistricting process found some files were deleted just after a federal court ordered three witnesses to turn over documents to the plaintiffs. Other files were deleted one week before the lawmakers’ firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, turned over its redistricting files to Dems after they took control of the state Senate following a recall election. [...]

Yesterday’s filing updated the court on a forensic examination of the computers and noted the cost of the review had now reached $100,000. The plaintiffs asked the court to require the Legislature, its employees and/or its attorneys to cover the costs of the forensics.

Ohhh Scotty, you've got some reinventing to do!

lucy you've got some reinventing to do

In other news, Walker won't push for gun background checks.

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"The GOP is hanging on to its old ways thanks to its very skillful management of the vote."

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gerrymandering via Doonesbury

Doonesbury strip by Garry Trudeau

Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The GOP's 'autopsy,'" Opinion, March 20

Doyle McManus examines the GOP's problems as it relates to winning the 2016 presidential election. The real problem is not the message but simply the math.

The GOP is hanging on to its old ways thanks to its very skillful management of the vote. Republicans control the House even though they received fewer votes in 2012 than the Democrats. Similarly, they control several state houses thanks to gerrymandered districts. They effectively control the Senate through the filibuster.

But this approach, which ghettoizes the opposition and puts many districts in the GOP column by a few percentage points, creates a house of cards. With just a small shift in key districts, it will all come down.

It is time to change the policies and not just the rhetoric. Republicans cannot maintain their voting advantage forever.

Glen Jansma

Newport Beach

***

With the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq this week, I can only hope that the Republican Party remains divided for a long time to come.

It was this party that took us into war with a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, had no weapons of mass destruction and where more than 4,000 American lives would end up being lost. And for what? Is America any safer?

Republicans should hang their heads in shame this week, and I hope that their embracing of the "tea party" leads to the GOP's demise for once and for all.

Scott W. Hughes

Westlake Village

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Documents were deleted from WI GOP redistricting computers, per court filing

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Previously I posted WI officials subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans:

The subpoenas are being used to force GOP officials to reveal where the mystery computers, external hard drives, discs and documents are located, and the groups who are making these demands want the answers under oath.

It’s been months and months, but the state of Wisconsin never told the plaintiffs, who want to search said computers, where the computers were, and made every effort to block them from finding out, so now the Dems are playing hardball. They want those documents, and they want them now.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin legislature. Wisconsin's governor is the one and only GOP "rising star" Scott Walker. Of course, Walker, along with the legislature, approved redistricting maps that benefited their party

It isn't clear who deleted these documents, but-- call me crazy-- I'm guessing it wasn't a Democrat.

Via JSOnline:

Madison - Documents were deleted from state redistricting computers last year even after a lawyer for the Legislature told lawmakers' aides to preserve all records on the computers, according to documents filed Wednesday in federal court.

Nine hard drives were recently given to groups suing the state because of questions about whether legislators and their attorneys had turned over all the documents they had been ordered to provide. One of the nine hard drives was unreadable and the outside of it was dented and scratched, which suggested its metal housing had been removed, according to affidavits in the case.

In addition, some of the hard drives had a program installed on them that could remove electronic data and hide the fact that files had been deleted, according to the filing. So far, however, a computer expert has not been able to determine if the program was actually used.

JSOnline goes on to say that a "panel of federal judges ruled last year that two Assembly maps on Milwaukee's south side violated the voting rights of Latinos. The court put in place new maps for those districts but not others, meaning the Republican-friendly maps were largely preserved."

And the fun never ends under Scott Walker's watch. Stay tuned.

Doonesbury speaker boehner voter suppression gerrymandering

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WI officials subpoenaed over missing computers, docs involved in redistricting that benefited Republicans

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you've been served

Rev up your motors, Wisconsin, you've got missing computers, subpoenaed Republicans, and redistricting issues to contend with. The subpoenas are being used to force GOP officials to reveal where the mystery computers, external hard drives, discs and documents are located, and the groups who are making these demands want the answers under oath.

It's been months and months, but the state of Wisconsin never told the plaintiffs, who want to search said computers, where the computers were, and made every effort to block them from finding out, so now the Dems are playing hardball. They want those documents, and they want them now.

The fun never ends in Scott Walker's state...

Via JSOnline:

Groups involved in a long-simmering legal fight with Republicans have subpoenaed Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and other officials in an attempt to track down computers they want to search.

The move came a week after a panel of three federal judges ordered that two sides and the state quickly resolve their differences. The groups sued the state in 2011 over election maps drawn by Republicans, but for months the case has focused on documents that were improperly withheld from the plaintiffs.

For five months, the plaintiffs have been seeking to forensically search computers used for redistricting to find out why they did not receive documents that were supposed to be turned over to them and to learn if any other records were improperly withheld. So far, they have not been able to learn where the state computers are located, let alone search them.

The groups involved are asking why these records were withheld, and exactly how many records were there? Republican Governor Walker, along with the Republican-controlled legislature, approved redistricting maps that benefited their party in a big way. So what else is new, right? Especially in light of Scott Walker's fascination with the new RNC-backed plan to rig blue state electoral votes in favor of future GOP presidential candidates.

Democratic and immigrant rights groups sued, and in 2012 a three-(federal) judge panel ruled that the way two districts were drawn had violated Latinos' voting rights, so they made some changes.

But lawyers for the legislature did what they could to obstruct the release of documents and were fined. After that, more documents were discovered, and the plaintiffs asked for permission to search three state computers that were used to draw the maps. GOP anti-union Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who survived a recall election, is one of those who could be subpoenaed.

Remember him?

Stay tuned.

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