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The Supremes said that Texas' mid-decade redistricting was legal. Time for Dems to follow suit.

"Look for several states to rejigger congressional districts in the wake of the Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling upholding the Texas legislature's 2003 decision to draw a new map," advises Kiplinger Forecasts. "The Court made it clear that states can rewrite boundaries whenever they want, not just after the Census every 10 years. That means the congressional landscape in Washington can change every time one party gains control over a state's government. Although the Supreme Court's decision is a big victory for Republicans, and specifically for former Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who engineered the redistricting, redistricting by other states may have the GOP ruing the day."

"New maps may well put more Democrats in the House of Representatives, possibly enough to tip the balance of power from Republicans to Democrats. We expect Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York to wind up with Democrats in control of both the governor's mansion and the state legislature after the November elections. So redistricting in those states might shift enough seats to the Democratic column to give that party a majority."

Richardson could earn lots of netroots and grassroots brownie points by pushing for redistricting in his state. New Jersey and New York could yield a treasure trove of new Dem-leaning seats. And Illinois, while it has passed on such redistricting in the past, could hopefully be prodded to redraw its maps.

We didn't make the rules. Tom DeLay and the Republicans did. We're playing in their world.

And then, once the absurdity of partisan gerrymandering is seen by all, we can work toward a system of non-partisan redistricting. Ultimately, that's what's best for democracy.

But that won't happen until we sweep the Republicans out of power.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:41 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Spitzer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hasn't he stated that he is against redistricting?

  •  hurray for silver linings? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kestrel, Bob Friend, PaulVA

    i really detest chaos, but if it brings us the house, let's do it!

    "our politics are our deepest form of expression: they mirror our past experiences and reflect our dreams and aspirations for the future." - paul wellstone

    by liberalsouth on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:41:01 AM PDT

  •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrats could control 28 or 29 of the 50 governor's houses, so we can jigger the districts in a few more places after 2006.

  •  We should try, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the SCOTUS also ruled that you have to be very careful about breaking up minority voting districts.  That will make it hard for Dems to maximize their reach.

    •  Minorities? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      White people are not minorities. :-)

      Pro-Gun, Pro-Chair, Pro-War, PRO-LIFE?!

      by ZaBlanc on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:43:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geotpf, MNPundit, tmendoza

        much of Dem strength is in the fact that minority voters--especially African-Americans vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  Thus, in many places, to create a map with more Dem-friendly seats, you would have to take minority voters out of heavily minority/heavily Democratic districts and spread them throughout a few other districts.  This is exactly the type of dilution you have to be careful with.

        Following the 2002 redistricting, there were actually a handful of lawsuits filed by the Republicans protesting minority dilution which were opposed by African American Congresspersons and local African American leaders.

    •  True, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the Republicans are the ones whose modus operandi is systematically denying minorities their voting rights. I don't think the Democrats would have any reason to break up minority voting districts.

    •  Increasing representation? (3+ / 0-)

      Right now minority districts are crammed into smaller areas than are strictly required.  Diluting the minority vote in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York is more likely a recipie for increasing minority representation.  I don't think the SCOTUS would get involved unless they diluted the minority vote so much that they were at risk of losing representation.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:46:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To say nothing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        besieged by bush

        of how long it would take to have any argument wend its way up to SCOTUS. SCOTUS review is a crapshoot and even if it deigns to take on review, it takes years to make it through lower courts and then ripen. It's mid-2006 -- look how long it took since DeLay undertook his redistricting ploy.

        "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

        by Kestrel on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:07:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we don't even try, it takes longer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...I'll say that about the GOP, they know what they want (to stay in power) and they know how to get it.

          I also think as long as we don't dilute minority votes too much, it can have a real impact, maybe just enough to make certain seats competitive year in and year out, force the GOP to spend heavily as a matter of course.

    •  That's what computers are for. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ignacio Magaloni

      You had a "good" map in 2002.  Just make sure the new districts have the same ethnic makeup.  Shouldn't be hard.

  •  ideal vs. real (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, SecondComing

    i don't know where i come down on this, it's so hard to say to politicians "That's ok, you can be fair for real later."

  •  I prefer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, sodalis, libertyisliberal

    the term "flush" rather than "sweep."

    "Don't blame me, I voted for the smart guy."

    by frsbdg on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:42:09 AM PDT

  •  I think that's great, but (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think that Dems in NY will take control of the State Senate so I wouldn't count on NY being one of the states.

    However I'm really concerned about what's going to happen here over the long haul.  If states consistently redistrict every time a party changes hands, this could really wreak havoc in the Congress.

    •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "could really wreak havoc in the Congress"

      And that would be a bad thing?  What, are they going to start rolling over for Bush in 30 seconds instead of the current pace of about 1 minute???

      "I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice" ---Albert Camus

      by peaceandprogress on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:48:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm more concerned that (14+ / 0-)

      every time Republicans take control of a state, they redistrict but Dems do not.  

      In the end, it's bad for democracy.  But maybe eliminating Denny Hastert's seat or some other prominent Republican's seat will bring bi-partisan calls for Iowa-like neutral redistricting nationwide.

      Democrats cannot unilaterally disarm on this issue.  They will literally be legislated into permanent minority status.

      If you could, I'd gerrymander Illinois into a 14-5 Dem delegation.  New York should be made 24-5 from the current 20-9.  

      •  Perhaps a 'spoke' (0+ / 0-)

        approach wherein you draw several narrow but long districts combining parts of Chicago with suburbs and exurbs, weighting the districts toward city voters would get you to 14-5 in Illinois.

        Northwest IL will have to get a seat that will be GOP.  Downstate IL has to get 5 seats, at least 2 of which would need to be GOP (I think you could have 3 Dem seats based in the Springfield, Champaign, and East St. Louis if you balanced it just right).  Thus, you'd need to limit the GOP to one Chicago suburb/exurb seat.  Currently, they have the 6th (Hyde), the 10th (Kirk), the 11th (Weller), the 13th (Biggert), and the 14th (Hastert).

    •  Trust me I'm not saying we shouldn't do it (3+ / 0-)

      I agree that the Goopers will do it in a heartbeat.  I also think that this will make state legis races HUGELY more important now, esp in states where the term is only 2 years.

    •  Wreak havoc in Congress (0+ / 0-)

      And the problem with that is?

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex"

      by bobdevo on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:10:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I doubt... (7+ / 0-)

    seriously that gerrymandering will dissappear if Dems take over.  But don't take this as a call for unilateral disarmament.  The Republicans set the rules.  We can't lay down and let them roll over us.

  •  I don't think we should be celebrating this (10+ / 0-)

    guys. This redistricting bonanza that is about to start is going to wreak HAVOC on the country. State legislators are going to drop important business in an effort to gain more power and both parties are going to majorly screw over the entire country. This was probably the worst decision the Supreme Court ever made.

    -6.00, -4.41 "The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions" - poet James Russell Lowell

    by Deano963 on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:44:11 AM PDT

    •  Trickle-down theory. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FindingMyVoice, anotherdemocrat

      State legislators are going to drop important business in an effort to gain more power and both parties are going to majorly screw over the entire country.

      You mean like they've done to the country?
      Finally, something that actually trickled down... but not in a good way.

      I would point every attempt to do this right back on the Repubrigands, so the country knows who wanted to allow this garbage to fly.

      "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

      by zeitshabba on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:48:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, the Texas lege already did (0+ / 0-)

        we had three special sessions to real with the big emergency of redistricting. Not the emergency of there being children without health care, not the emergency of unemployment or the poverty level or air pollution, any other actually important thing. And the Supremes just said that's perfectly ok.

        Three or four million each session -- even after the Dems made it clear that they'd do anything (have you ever been to Ardmore?) to stop the redistricting. Gov. Goodhair just kept calling special sessions. And it worked. He got what he wanted, almost -- Congressman Doggett is still in office, which Perry & Tom Delay have to really hate.

        So, redistrict over and over and over until they grasp the concept that this is a bad idea. At least, we'd get a session or two of Congress with some decent people in it. As many people have said, let us not unilaterally disarm.

        We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

        by anotherdemocrat on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 06:34:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think both parties... (0+ / 0-)

      ... will need to show some restraint in not redistricting after every election. But Democrats who want to argue that their states ought to redistrict twice a decade instead of once would probably come off as being reasonable (in addition to achieving the desired political gains).

      •  it wouldn't happen anyways (0+ / 0-)

        State legislatures don't change partisanship after every cycle.  Sometimes it takes decades.

        ~~~~~~ Be sure to check out Professor Derwood Cardinal's Poli-Scienticious Blogging Orgasmaganza ~~~~~~

        by cardinal on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:09:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Heh (22+ / 0-)

      This was probably the worst decision the Supreme Court ever made.

      You mean, after Bush v. Gore?

      My other car is a pair of boots.

      by FutureNow on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup, it's horrible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      But, they will do it, so we must too.  To do otherwise is to be "polite losers".

    •  And that changes things how exactly? (0+ / 0-)

      For sure it will result in the tyranny of the majority in each state.  You betcha it's going to wreck havoc.  But in another way, won't it almost render the parties obsolete if voters know the only reason they are stuck with a knuckle dragging idiot for a congressperson is because the lines are redrawn on a regular basis?  Maybe they will stop paying attention to the party and start paying attention to what the candidate is actually saying.  

      -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

      by goldberry on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:52:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  otoh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, anotherdemocrat

      Maybe if it does start wreaking chaos, that will finally be enough for the citizens to rise up and demand that redistricting be done without partisan considerations, such as is done in Iowa. I've long thought that clean elections, fair redistricting, and guaranteeing our right to vote (which, never forget, Bush v. Gore took away) are the kinds of ballot initiatives that progressives could use to pump up the vote.

      But, in the meantime, I'll root for Dems to take over the Ohio statehouse as well. Redistricting there should be another prime opportunity for Dems.

      We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

      by kainah on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:15:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A 'fix' to mid-decade redistricting (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, kainah, SecondComing, SDorn, jct

    Can the Congress pass legislation to prevent mid-decade redistricting?  They do have the power to regulate Federal elections...

    Will they "go for it" if they see a wave of Democratic redistricting proposals coming down the pike?

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:44:24 AM PDT

    •  Voting Rights Act is the way to go (0+ / 0-)

      Since the House GOP has decided to go all Dixiecrat on the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, it seems perfectly appropriate to raise the stakes—I see no reason why Congress couldn't forbid mid-decade redistricting (except to respond to court decisions) and set down some standards at least for federal elections (reasonably compact districts, etc.).

  •  hate gerrymandering (13+ / 0-)

    I don't care if it's short-sighted, I can't support gerrymandering. Citing the logic of doing something because the other side did it too might work for a five-year-old, but I'd hope we figure out another solution.

    •  I agree 100% (7+ / 0-)

      and yet it appears to be necessary to protect the Decmocratic Party against the Republican'ts. We talk about country before party, which is of course patriotic and good, but sometimes when directly threatened, you have to do what you might otherwise find wrong.

      I'm sure one or two movies cover this theme. :)

      If trickle down economics is not working for you, obviously the wealthy are not pissing hard enough.

      by Still Thinking on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how about... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      each party submits a plan. Districts are built out of zip codes or census tracts.

      Compute the length of all the district perimeters. (short perimeters=simple districts)

      The plan with the lowest value wins.

      •  Like a low-bid process? (0+ / 0-)
        That's a great idea, if we can just tweak this a bit...

        * There is a deadline in each state for submitting sealed redistricting plans
        * The redistricting plans are first evaluated by the DOJ and a court for conformity with the Voting Rights Act. The plans either pass or fail.  
        * Of the plans that pass muster for the Voting Rights Act, the plan that has the shortest combined interdistrict boundaries is the one that is adopted.

        •  Why have them sealed.... (0+ / 0-)

          It just makes it easier to rig....oh my, will you look at that, or horrendously unfair districts win again....

          Also, why bother with the voting rights act if the districts are drawn in a formulaic way. That would just introduce a loophole...Oh my, we have to draw a district around this black neighborhood, extracting plenty of democrats from these other four districts, look at that....

          Just have open admissions, everything is public. Don't like a winning proposal, get your computer to draw up one of your own. Give people a year or so, and then draw the lines of the winning map.

          I also think sum of squares of distances from each person to center of district is the best.

      •  maybe better... (0+ / 0-)

        Plot each person after each census. Draw district plans. Sum of distance from each person to the center of their district. Lowest sum wins, provided all the usual constraints (same population, no overlap, no spanning multiple states, right number of districts per state, etc..). This could be done by computer in 20 minutes.

    •  I gotto stick (7+ / 0-)

      with "Fearless Leader of the Left Blogosphere" (May He Live Forever) on this one.

      The Republicans started a street fight and the Marquis of Queensbury rules of "Gentleman's Boxing" go out the window just as soon as your opponent hits you in the groin with a crowbar.

      They upped the ante. Time to call.

      They want down and dirty? My baseball bat with the nails protruding sideways from the end?? Call me "Slugger." Hope you already that those kids there bud, 'cause...

      Thank you Lord, for this generous rain and abundant lightning. -8.88 -5.08

      by SecondComing on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:37:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The choices are: (4+ / 0-)
      1. Gerrymander what we can and take back the House.
      1. Don't gerrmander, and don't.

      Politics is dirty.  If you aren't willing to slog in the mud a bit, don't bother showing up, because there's no point.

    •  I hate gerrymandering too.. (0+ / 0-)

      But, the republicans will never do anything about it.

      They have shown their contempt for the law, and now we must use every means to stop them.

      Lets gerrymander the hell out of the blue states.  We will elect Democrats who will stop it.  

      If our democrats dont fix it.  we yank em leiberman-style until we restore the constitution.

      the only true democracy left will be democratic primaries.  thats fine with me.

  •  Where's the knife? (8+ / 0-)

    Let's carve up CA like a Thanksgiving turkey.
    We could make one district from Cunningham's old seat to Jerry Lewis'.

    "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"

    by OCMIHOP on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:44:33 AM PDT

    •  would love to see CA gerrymandered (6+ / 0-)

      Republicans took their biggest red state and gerrymandered the sh*t out of it.

      I find it quite unfair that being the biggest blue state, CA has 33 democratic representatives and 20 republican representatives.

      I think democrats can squeeze at least 5 (if not 10) seats there.

      •  will never happen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, OCMIHOP

        not only is there a big push in California for nonpartisan redistricting, but we have Gov. Arnold, remember. He will veto any overly partisan plan passed by the Democrats.

        The Dems were right to go for incumbent protection in 2002. Any more gerrymandering and they'd start losing weaker seats.

        California is not as blue as Texas is red. A 33-20 Dem delegation is actually about as blue as you're gonna get in California. Orange County, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, and the mountains are just too Republican.

        •  Just a little imagination (0+ / 0-)

          I have to suffer in OC.
          It's not all RED. There are plenty of areas to mix together. Loretta Sanchez took out Bob Dornan.
          Granted, there are some districts that are REALLY red.
          I'm in CA-48 (Irvine, Newport Beach)
          I have lived here my entire life and can honestly tell you that PROPERTY VALUES are the only values most seem to have.

          "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"

          by OCMIHOP on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:47:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The biggest treasure troves that we currently have the power in are Illinois and Louisiana (and New Mexico, but the best case there is picking up the Wilson seat that we may well win in November anyway).  

          The real effect, in my opinion, is that this makes the close fight for control of the Pennsylvania legislature (and, the longer shot chance to flip the Michigan legislature) that much more important.  Those two states have masterful GOP gerrymanders in place and could net Dems 10 seats (4 in MI and 6 in PA) if the tables were turned.

        •  last time (0+ / 0-)

          There was some redistricting near the Los Angeles Harbor after the last census that put Palos Verdes and Hunnington Beach together in a very gerrymandering kind of way. The district actually passes through part of the harbor (where no one lives, of course) and this "lane" is only about a block wide, but it suceeded in hooking two republican districts together and making the two incubents fight it out.

  •  NOW you're playing with fire! (0+ / 0-)

    And this should work wonders. Republicans always do this to themselves. Look at Presidential term limits. Ha!

  •  Birthplace of the Gerrymander (7+ / 0-)
    Be careful what you wish for.  Here in Massachusetts, we're gerrymandered for Dems on every level, and while we have some great Congressmen (McGovern, Frank, etc) we also have a largely unchallenged Dem party with a huge sense of entitlement.

    .08 Acres
    .0000016% of Massachusetts political commentary

    by sco08 on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:46:05 AM PDT

    •  that's what i worry about (5+ / 0-)

      at its heart, gerrymandering is anticompetetive(sp?), producing a political monopoly in an already duopolistic system. hardly democratic, and if I had it my way, it wouldn't be Democratic, either.

      •  The GOP can always appeal to the Supreme Court. (0+ / 0-)

        Talking to yourself again, Black Adder? Yes, it's the only way I can be sure of intelligent conversation.

        by Predator Saint on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:09:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but (5+ / 0-)

        It is best to make the GOP squeal like the pigs they are, after hoisting them on their own petard.  The Dems need to gerrymander the shit out of every state possible, doing their best to eliminate any and all GOP representation.  THEN, when the GOPers are good and whiny, pulling their short hairs out, and spitting blood, go, "NANANA!  BITE ME!", to get them really blown out of whack.

        After they've rotted in the filth they have directly caused, and after all the damaging GOP policies and laws have been scrapped, and taxes re-balanced to sit on the wealthy rather than the poor, THEN the Dems sit down and offer them one and only one solution:  nonpartisan redistricting nationwide.  No alternative.

        The damage wrought by the GOPers has to first be corrected by solid Dem control, the GOPers have to be so blown out of sanity by being shoved aside in all policy matters that they literally come begging for succor.  Then and only then spring the only acceptable fix:  nonpartisan redistricting.

        •  Have a '4' for the vivid imagery! n/t (0+ / 0-)

          We should deport all immigrants and descendants of immigrants immediately!

          by Shiborg on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 02:33:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  if that's satire (0+ / 0-)

          you should write for colbert. if not, i think you need to take some political theory classes.

          •  Politics is war (0+ / 0-)

            Especially these last 10 years or so of insane GOP-based control of government.  Particularly since the senate has been invaded by a host of insane, former House GOPers where the looniest of the loony go to play in their own feces.

            Overwhelming (political) force is required to drive out the Vampire Circus that the GOP has made of government.  It must be so bad (for them) that they beg for a chance to burp, let alone have anything at all to say in the halls of government.  What I wrote was only 30% Colbert-style word gaming.  The remaining 70% is a real call for specific action:  Dems gerrymander the GOP (virtually) out of existence ASAP and lock them out until they are willing, without complaint, to accept nationwide non-partisan redistricting ONLY after each census.

            •  all you had to say was (0+ / 0-)

              'No, that wasn't satire, I really believe this.'

              no matter how much you hate the GOP, think twice about trusting the Democrats (or any group, anywhere) with a one-party government. power corrupts, and dems are not exempt in the slightest.

    •  I don't see it (0+ / 0-)

      If there's any gerrymandering, it probably keeps the Democrats at 85% of the legislature instead of 80%. Most of the gerrymandering was done to take out specific enemies of Tom Finneran in both parties. There's no chunk of 650,000 people in this state living close together who want to elect a Republican to Congress.

      The sense of entitlement goes WAY deeper. We're like Kansas, only inverted. Everyone is in the Democratic party because everyone wants a piece of the action, but as a result you have people who really don't belong in the same party trying to share power.

      •  You don't see gerrymandering? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Have you seen the district maps?  It's like an orgy of deformed snakes.

        .08 Acres
        .0000016% of Massachusetts political commentary

        by sco08 on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:15:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          I love maps, I've seen them all!

          But the Congressional maps aren't that way to hurt Republicans; they were drawn because they tried to eliminate districts after new censuses while causing as little disruption as possible to the sitting Congressmen. That's why Barney Frank's district includes two very different parts of the state. It's no coincidence that the worst abuses were fixed last time when they didn't have to worry about losing a district. Also, Bill Weld had a hand in drawing the 1991 maps and the 5th district was designed to provide an opportunity for a Republican; under those maps the Republicans actually won the 3rd and 6th districts for a time and came close to winning the 1st district with Jane Swift in 1996.

          As for the legislative districts, they're so small and voters in a given area are so homogeneous that gerrymandering doesn't become an issue. Were there any legislative districts you had in mind? Scott Brown's senate district was drawn to elect a Republican.

    •  100% nonpartisan/expert driven (5+ / 0-)

      districting based on census would probably get huge support from Kossacks -- and probably Kos -- if it were applied to 50 states with a truly accountable process.

      But, DeLay and the Republicans have created the battlefield.  

      The Democratic Party can choose not to engage in the same tactics and whine every time a Rethug legislature is abusive in gerrymandering or the Democratic Party can provide a path toward appropriate Democratic Party represenation in the House.

      I would hope that after several abusive election cycles, the 50 governors would figure out how much of a disaster this is ... and seek a path toward unanimous agreement for following the thought of non-partisan/expert run delineation of districts.

      19 June 06, Day 1746, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:18:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Either fight back, or retreat (5+ / 0-)

        ...and cede the battlefield to the republicans. They'll never be satisfied though, so wherever you retreat to, they'll come after you there next--only with even more resources.

      •  Nonpartisan districting (2+ / 0-)

        I'm all for it too in the long term, but the best way to get Republicans on board is to make them feel some pain from redistricting. I'd support a non-partisan redistricting plan if it had a contingency clause. It won't go into effect until states with 2/3 of the Electoral College votes pass similar legislation.

      •  No, not expert run... (0+ / 0-)

        Don't let people be involved at all. Mathematical formula. Minimize the distance from each person to the center of their district. That's it. A computer can compute it in a few minutes, and the only way to game it is to convince large segments of the population to move across town.

        End of story, we'll never hear of this again.

        •  And determining the formula? (0+ / 0-)

          Both like and dislike this thought.  As a dislike, in this form, ignores issues of -- for example -- geography (crossing the river) or other connections (might not make sense to carve a district from 12 local jurisdictions when it could be created with fewer by following jurisdiction lines) and such ...

          But, yes, would be good to have pretty clear criteria set nationally -- with then a requirement for a public (in ENGLISH!) discussion of the justification of any variance from that guidance.

          19 June 06, Day 1746, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

          by besieged by bush on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 03:43:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Redistricting solely by formula can result in cutting apart communities of interest (communities based on racial, ethnic, class, etc. similarities)--which will end up in diluting the vote of these communities. While redistricting is absolutely way too political the way it is now, I don't think we can reduce it to just a numbers game. We have to keep the realities of people & communities in mind--besides which, the states covered under the Voting Rights Act must prove that their redistricting doesn't dilute the minority vote.

          IIRC, Arizona's independent redistricting commission has to start w/a grid (ie. making districts into uniform boxes, kinda like your formula idea) & then they have to adjust the districts to conform to the other criteria--including the Voting Rights Act.

    •  Gerrymandering (0+ / 0-)

      I don't believe you actually get more of any ONE party into office. You just elect power-hungry people into non-competitive seats for them to consolidate MORE power.

      Look at today's republican party. How many conservatives are there in congress? Five? Maybe? Mostly, it's just a bunch of piggy little men grabbing everything they can with their piggy little hands. They put an (R) after their name and bitch about abortion and suddenly they're in the House for life.

      I don't want two pro-corporatist parties -- one pro-abortion and one anti-abortion. I want competitive elections and new blood and the best candidates on both sides of the aisle pitching good ideas.

      You start compromising your ideals on something as sleazy as gerrymandering and you just end up with the democrats being a scuzzy as the republicans.

    •  'A largely unchallenged Dem party....' (0+ / 0-)

      That's music to my ears! One less state we have to fight for. We'll clean up Massachusetts after we have relegated the Repiglican Party to the status of a distant memory.

      We should deport all immigrants and descendants of immigrants immediately!

      by Shiborg on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 02:38:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  senate majority leader? (3+ / 0-)

    Although the Supreme Court's decision is a big victory for Republicans, and specifically for former Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who engineered the redistricting, redistricting by other states may have the GOP ruing the day

    Does this mean Texas State Senate? Or just an editorial mistake?

  •  I think NC has Dem majority in state house! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carolina Grl
  •  Supreme Court Decision for Republicans Only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats will be allowed to redistrict but only if it helps the Republicans gain more seats.

    Exxon Mobil Acquires 3 Additional Senators & 1 Supreme Court Justice

  •  Sadly, for the 4th largest state, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we'll be stuck with one CD for a while.

  •  NJ State Constitution (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, kbse matt, FindingMyVoice, jct

    The state constitution of NJ is very specific about when redistricting can happen, so that one is not going to happen.  (Article 2 Section 2)

  •  Illinois Dems can Knock out Hastert.. (4+ / 0-)

    .. if John Laesch does not knock him out first.  

  •  Can't Win By being exactly like them (6+ / 0-)

    Gerrymandering not only is responsible for the sky high rates of incumbency but the extreme partsian polarization we are seeing in politics right now. We shouldn't do anything that makes us look just as dishonest and ethically challenged as the Republicans.

    And we don't need this edge to win.  A million studies show that the country's population  is far more democratic than republican.  So in any fair system we win anyway.

    So the thing to do is not lie down in the mud with the other side but turn their dishonesty into our weapon.  A lot of moderates of both parties really are pissed about this Gerrymandering, and a lot More GET pissed when you tell them about it.  Running on an Anti-gerrymandering platform would help us not hurt us.

    And what DO I propose instead?  Resdistricting by Jury.

    Our Platform should be to try to  Pass laws that mandate in the future all redistricting be done by a sequestered group of randomly selected voters (called using the grand jury software) of about 100-200 (all elected officals and party officials excluded).  The only too they have available to them is a computer loaded with a population weighted map (all racial, income and party affiliation data excluded)  of the state and software to divide the state into districts using the "least line algorithim".

    Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

    by Magorn on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:49:19 AM PDT

    •  gerrymandering is so below the public's radar (19+ / 0-)

      this is not an issue that the public pays attention to.  You can't say "we won't gerrymander, it's wrong" while the Republicans gerrymander seat after seat into Republican hands.  The prospects of controlling the government will disappear.

      That high road you are talking about leads off a cliff.  Dems should gerrymander first, give Repugs a taste of their own medicine (giving Hastert a 60% Dem district), and then work on a "mutual disarmament" solution a la Iowa.

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

        If you walked up to someone and asked them what gerrymander was, they'd wouldn't know what to tell you.

        Part of winning is taking Republican tactics/language and throwing it back in their face.

        Like the bullys and spoiled-brats that they are, they'll just go whining away.

        Independent Illinois Grassroots:

        by patachon on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:58:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Dems should gerrymander first, and then the Republicans will agree to mutual disarmament? Democrats have been gerrymandering for decades, and it hasn't made Republicans any more amenable to compromise. Gerrymandering has been going on for 200 years; the idea that more of it will somehow solve the problem is misguided.

        •  Except that it hasn't gone on for 200 years (8+ / 0-)

          The large scale computer-driven gerrymander has only existed since 1990.  Before that, there was much less science to it and districts were MUCH more susceptible to swings.  That is why you had big turnovers in a lot of the mid-term elections.  A national "tide" was much bigger in those days.

          Having worked on gerrymandering issues professionally, I can say the type of gerrymandering that is currently taking place is several evolutions away from Gerry Mander's old efforts.  This is scientific, block-by-block, highly effective district drawing.  The Republicans that drew the Illinois map in 1990 knew exactly how many seats were going to go R and how many would go D.  They hit it right on the nose.

          Taking out the Speaker of the House with a mid-decade gerrymander is PRECISELY the type of high profile action that is likely to lead to a mutual disarmament treaty.

      •  Only if you let it be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The oNe common postion that unites votes of every poltical stripe is cynicism and digsut at the current sorry state of poltical affairs.  The average citizen may not be able to tell a gerrymander from a salamander, but they al have an unshaebale feeling that the game is crooked and something ain't right.   And that feeling is correct.  If you put a name to that dread by explaining what gerrymandering is and what it does, you can get them awfully pissed off about it in a hurry

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:15:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the supreme court (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Still Thinking

      and a lot of Democrats, want to see some seats districted so that ethnic/racial minorities get their own represenatives. it's a ridiculously complex issue.

    •  ???? (4+ / 0-)

      "A million studies show that the country's population  is far more democratic than republican."

      The only studies that count are elections, and the past several cycles have shown the country is more Republican than Democratic.  

      "So in any fair system we win anyway."

      I want some of what you're smoking.

      •  Here comes the Science (0+ / 0-)

        According to the Pew reserch center

        The Democratic Party has achieved a small gain in party affiliation and holds a 33%-29% edge over the GOP in Pew surveys conducted in 2004. This represents a modest shift from the two year period following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the Republican Party had drawn virtually even with the Democrats.

        So why do we lose national elections? because it's not a fair system  .  The voters of small virtually unpopulated western States, have their votes count a lot more than those from a populous state like California.   This is  thanks to the current composition of the Electoral college, (number of Reps+2 for the senators) and the fact that the number of representatives is currently capped at 435, but no state can have less than 1.

        This means that a state like Wyoming with its 509,000 people still gets 3 electoral votes or one electoral vote  for every 16,966 voters.  Now California has 55 electoral votes but a population  of 33,871,64.  This  works out to one electoral vote for every 61,585 people

        Which means that it takes 3.62 Californians to have the Same impact on a national election as just one citizen of Wyoming.  And Guess which way most of the under populated Western States Lean in national elections?   Now guess which way the most populous states lean.

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:13:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My radical immigration plan (0+ / 0-)

          is to force all new immigrants to settle in Wyoming and The Dakotas.  Lets close Texas, California, New York and Florida.

          by naufragus on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:38:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  'far more' (0+ / 0-)

          How do those numbers support your contention above that the country is "far more" Democratic than Republican?  It's a 4 pt. plurality -- not even in the ballpark of a majority -- that was even smaller a few years ago.

          Also, to your contention that gerrymandering makes districts less competitive, see Alan Abramowitz's study to the contrary.

          And it will take more than fixing the electoral college math to make Dems win national elections.  We lost the popular vote in '04 by more than 3%.

          ~~~~~~ Be sure to check out Professor Derwood Cardinal's Poli-Scienticious Blogging Orgasmaganza ~~~~~~

          by cardinal on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:23:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wish you were correct (0+ / 0-)

      You wrote:

      A lot of moderates of both parties really are pissed about this Gerrymandering, and a lot More GET pissed when you tell them about it.  Running on an Anti-gerrymandering platform would help us not hurt us.

      If so, then the redistricting initiatives would have won in Ohio and California.  But they didn't.  Unfortunately, goo-goo plans aren't necessarily popular. You don't unilaterally disarm in politics if you don't have a snowball's chance of gaining anything but that.

      •  You really believe the Ohio results? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not a tin foil hatter, in fact I spend most of my time busting conspiracy theories that over eager friends try to spin.

        But I wouldn't draw ANY conclusions from Ohio's results as I find it just a skosh suspicious that initiatives that would have essentially outlawed the voting machines they were cast on, all failed even though they were running well ahead in pre-election polling.

        Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

        by Magorn on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:35:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  'in any fair system we win....' (0+ / 0-)

      Oops! I see a slight problem there. Can you guess what it is?

      We should deport all immigrants and descendants of immigrants immediately!

      by Shiborg on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 02:43:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But we do.... (0+ / 0-)

      And we don't need this edge to win. A million studies show that the country's population is far more democratic than republican. So any fair system we win anyway.

      But we dont win and this aint a fair system. Somehow we still lose. They use gerrymandering and diebold. We have to try to make our elections 'diebold proof'. This is one way to carve up districts so that our elections wont be as close enough to steal anymore.

      Only the dissatisfied can make change

      by pharoah on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 03:16:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well (9+ / 0-)

    New Jersey has nonpartisan redistricting. That being said, in the state of New York, I'm sure that the Democrats could probably eliminate Peter King, Vito Fosella, and Sue Kelly off the map without much difficulty. Otherwise, I think NY has been maxed out for Democrats.

    One state where significant gains could be made is in IL. They could easily imperil several Collar County Republicans and perhaps get a seat downstate.

    This is what I've suggested for IL:

    Create one super-Republican district entirely within DuPage County. This forces Judy Biggert and Peter Roskam (sorry, Dukworth supporters, but I am being realistic about this) into one district.

    Move the Cook County Part of IL-6 that is increasingly Democratic friendly and take some precincts from Luis Guitterez and Rahm Emanneul to make it Democratic-leaning.

    Turn Mark Kirk's IL-10 into a coastal district that is one to two miles wide running from the IN to the WI Border.

    Then have Jan Schiakowsky give a few of her heavily Democratic precincts in Evanston and in Chicago to Melissa Bean, while giving her some of the more conservative parts of Mark Kirk's district. Or perhaps even giving some of what is in IL-7 to her.

    In the Will County area I would bring Jeremey Weller closer to Chicago. I would put his district into the city's South Side. What I would do is take some of the more heavily black Democratic precincts in IL-1 and IL-2 and give them to Weller. I would also extend IL-1 and IL-2 into the Collar counties, giving them some of the more conservative parts of Weller's district. Jackson and Rush would probably go from having an 80% Democratic district to 65% Democratic, but still safe enough.

    Then I would probably try to give some of Melissa Bean's more conservative Lake and McHenry county precincts to Don Manzullo. That way she can move closer to Chicago.

    I would probably concede Dennis Hastert's seat or try to force him into a district that puts him with Ray Lahood. I don't know the exact geography of downstate IL, but it might be possible to throw Dennis Hastert, Ray Lahood, and even Don Manzullo into one district.

    Finally, down in the southern part of the state, I would eliminate John Shimkus's seat by giving some of the more conservative parts to Ray Lahood. I would then take some of what Lane Evans and Jerry Costello have and give it to him.

    •  Prior to 1990 (5+ / 0-)

      Illinois was 15-7.  The Republicans got their map in 1992 and turned it into a 10-10 split (it went to 11-9 R for a while).  Illinois is actually much bluer now than it was in 1990.

      I think that Illinois can go to 14-5 if not 15-4 with a really good gerrymander.  It involves breaking up some of the very safe Dem seats and combining them with the Republican swing seats.

      Your suggestions are pretty much right on.  Weller and Hastert are the easiest targets.  Weller's seat needs to come closer in to the South Suburbs - like it used to be when it was a Dem seat.  Hastert needs the rural areas taken away and be given some of the Dem areas closer to the city.

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        besieged by bush

        I would rather force Hastert into a primary with Ray Lahood. That would probably be better. I think Weller would could really be imperiled if they gave him parts of Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bobby Rush's districts. But that would probably mean that Rush and Jackson, while still representing heavily Democratic distircts, might be vulnerable to primary challenges. I'm not sure if they'd like that.

    •  I love this site (7+ / 0-)

      Kos suggests widespread midterm redistricting and ten minutes and twenty seconds later, a detailed plan to carve up Illinois appears.


    •  NJ redistricting is not exactly non-partisan (0+ / 0-)

      Two members of the commission are chosen by the Senate President, 2 by the Speaker of the Assembly, 2 each by the minority leader of the Senate and Assembly, BUT 4 are chosen by the Governor. How is that non-partisan?

      I have my own beef. Several years ago my town was gerrymandered out of the 9th Cong District into the 5th so I get stuck with wingnut Garret instead of Democrat Steve Rothman. Our district is so screwy and includes a few Democratic towns in the NE NYC burbs and then cuts like a ribbon across the top of NJ and then down the Delaware River in farm country. Repubs did this years ago to try to get rid of Torricelli when he was the congressman from the 5th.

    •  Mid Redistricting in ILand NY (0+ / 0-)

      In New York- Democrats will have to regain control of the State Senate- which is doable- net gain of 6 seats- knock of the Republican State Senators from Long Island.

      NY-3(King-R) which includes Eastern Nassau County and Western Suffolk- will have to give North Shore of Nassau County and Western Suffolk to Gary Ackerman(NY-5)- making NY-5 similar to the pre 2000 Cencus Lines. Give NY-3(King)-Minorty Areas in the Town of Hempstead. Old Westbury. Give Parts of North Hempstead to NY-4(McCarthy).

      NY-13(Fossella)-Staten Island/ parts of Brooklyn should have the Staten Island District Split into three Districts- giving some parts of Staten Island to Brooklyn Area US Reps Jerry Nadler(NY-8) and Anthony Weiner(NY-9).

      NY-19(Kelly)- should be placed into the same District as Nita Lowey(NY-18). Bronx-Westchester-Putnam County. - Create a New District in the WestChester-Rockland County Area-

      In Illinios. I agree with the Roskam-Biggert(Dupage CO) merger. I also think that we have to create a new Lake County District- consisting Bean vs Kirk. allowing Democrats to create two new Democratic Leaning Districts in the Democratic if CBC reps- Rush,Jackson,or Davis relenquish some of the Minority Areas to the New 6th or New 10th or Weller's (IL-11th).

      •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

        I think the biggest obstacles in doing anything in IL would probably be Guiterrez, Jackson, Rush, and Davis. While some of the ideas that we suggested would not significantly weaken their districts, it might leave them vulnerable to white primary challenges. And they may not want that.

        •  Minority Area US REPS in IL (0+ / 0-)

          IL-1(Rush)- 65% Black District
          IL-2(Jackson)- 62% Black District
          IL-4(Guiterez)- 75% Hispanic District
          IL-7(Davis)- 62% Black District

          In Maryland- CBC US Reps like Al Wynn and Elijah Cummings district went from 64% Black(Wynn's) to 56% Black.

          Make IL-1(Rush)- 60% Black instead of 65%
          Make IL-2(Jackson)- 55% Black instead of 62%
          Make IL-4 (Guiterez)- 70% Hispanic instead of 75%
          Make IL-7(Davis)- 55% Black instead of 62%.

          As I stated Before- We should merge- Bean(IL-8)and Kirk(IL-10) into the same District- Lake County-

          and Merge Biggert(IL-13)and Roskam(IL-6) in the same District- DuPage County-

          Create a New District in Northern Cook County. but take some Democratic Voters from Shackowsky's District(IL-9) and add it to the New District in Northern Cook County.

          Create a New District in Southern Cook County/Will County Area.

          Make Weller's (IL-11) similar to the Pre 2000 Census Lines. Weller did not represent Bureau, McClean and Wolford County

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            What I was thinking with Mark Kirk's seat is to make it like what FL-22 is. I would make it very narrow--be only a mile or two wide--and then have it go simply from the WI to the IN border.

            As for Weller I would just extend the seat back into Chicago. In the 1990s the district included the Hedgewsich section of Chicago. I would add that back, but also borrow black precincts from Rush and Jackson.

            But I agree with putting Roskam and Biggert into one seat in DuPage County.

            What about downstate?

            •  Before we talk about (0+ / 0-)

              Mark Steven Kirk's District- we first have to focus of Melissa Bean's District which is strong Red District. Giving McHenry CO to Manzullo-IL-16 will make sense. If we create a newly drawn Purple District in Lake County(Bean vs Kirk) and a newly Drawn District in Northern Cook County. we can protect Bean,defeat Kirk and elect another Blue Collar Democrat like Dan Lipinski.

              Weller's District should be the way it was during the 1990's

              regarding Downstate. We would have to make Shimkus's District the way it was during 1990's this means IL-15 (Johnson)or IL-18(Lahood)will have to be more Red. and IL-12(Costello)and IL-17(Hare)will have to be less Blue.

      •  Long Island doesn't look like the place (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that Dems have a chance to retake the State Senate mainly because Spitzer and Clinton are at the top of the ticket and Republicans are dejected and probably won't show up to the polls.  But Long Island is tricky.  Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think any State Senator on long Island (they're all Republicans) has a challenger.  Im pretty sure about Nassu County, not too sure about Suffolk.  This is troubling to me especially because not even in the 7th district, where Democrats hold a registration advantage, is there a Dem challenger to Balboni.

  •  The floodgates are open (12+ / 0-)

    I think some of us think that the Republicans won't gerrymander the crap out of America every chance they get, now that the floodgates have been officially opened.

    Get Real.

    Kos is right, we need to play hardball by these new rules, and sweep the creeps out, then use that power to reform the system itself.

    Unless the Republicans can be trusted to do it?

    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. - Albert Einstein

    by racerx on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:52:42 AM PDT

    •  i dont know if you've ever read 1984 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, opinionated, SecondComing

      but 'The Book' by Goldstein talks about the history of revolution as segments of the middle class aligning with the lower class, overthrowing the upper and non-aligned middle classes, then forming a new upper class from segments of every class but the lower, betraying the supposed ideals of the original revolution and denying the unwashed masses the power they revolted for in the first place.

      that's stuck with me, for some reason. i fear that too often we say that 'we'll get back to it later', or something like that, and then we forget and become complacent again.

      •  I understand (0+ / 0-)

        We shouldn't trust our own side much more than the other, that's why tossing DINO Joe overboard is a good exercise.

        But until we get our hands on the levers of power, the Republicans will continue to do what they're doing to our country.

        If we take the high road and refuse to play this game, they won't do anything except bury us even deeper than they've already managed to.

        The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. - Albert Einstein

        by racerx on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:37:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  New Rules (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, besieged by bush

      It will be harder to topple protected incumbents of an  unpopular party.
      Gerrymandered districts will create a buffer lag between popular will and the make up of a congress.

      BUT.. once in power, our potiticians  should get the same protected treatment.

      Bottom line- not a good day for representative democracy.  We have taken a step towards government by the House of Lords.

  •  Must have been channeling Kos last night... (3+ / 0-)

    I made the exact same arguement last night:  Good for the goose, good for the gander.  And once each side gets a taste of their own medicine, some group of (as yet undefined and I hope they exist) reasonable people will come together and discuss sane and rational redistricting for the future.

    Until then, no whining from the repubs when it happens TO them instead of BY them.

    The same thing goes for the nuclear option in the Senate, not allowing the other party to have meeting rooms or hearings, keeping votes open for hours, signing statements, selective briefings and general secrecy in government.  Both parties must endure these things before they are willing to talk about limits.

    Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

    by Pennsylvanian on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:56:02 AM PDT

  •  In a more responsible time . . . (4+ / 0-)

    The citizens and legislators of each state would look to examples of non-partian redistricting like Iowa has, and set forth some reasonably fair method of managing elections.

    That time was 100 years ago.

    The time we live in today is decided by who is the most audacious in grabbing power. The Rapeublicans gleefully acknowledge they are bringing guns and knives to the fight. We should immediately start carving up the Blue States to progressive advantage.

    We should also press for a Taxpayer Fairness Act which mandates that the Federal government spend money in the states in exact proportion to the amount the states contribute.

    For example, the State of Washington sends in $1.10 for every $1.00 we get back. I'd like to stop funding the corruption in the Red States which are overwhelmingly the recipients of charity from the Blue States.

    We Progressives, who seem to do pretty damn good job of running our Blue State economies like California, Washington, and New York, need to let Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming and the rest of the country know that we aren't going to continue subsidizing them. And we need to let them know that we are going to start bringing our own guns and knives to the fight.

    If they want to elect people like Trent Lott and Orrin Hatch, fine. But they need to know there is a price to be paid for their actions.

    •  Your post is elitist (0+ / 0-)

      I really don't like the tone you establish there.

    •  booo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i'm from washington as well but i think your idea is crazy.  if you push for that kind of crap (rich states shouldn't subsidize poor states), then you're falling right into the right's bullshit trap about the rich not helping out the poor.  they'll propose their own unfair law which would state that individuals must get back services from the federal government in exact proportion to the amount of taxes they pay in.  can you imagine?

    •  Not simply elitist ... (0+ / 0-)

      but not realistic as to requirements / definition / etc ...

      For example, a good share of the 'federal dollars' that are talked about refer to -- for example -- DOD.  The military has major concentrations around the nation, such as Hawaii & Virginia -- should those forces be moved out of there since those states get disproportionate funds?

      VA/MD have lots of federal dollars due to being next to the seat of government and having offices (like the Pentagon) in them.

      There is also the serious question of counting dollars -- and how one does so.  Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Maryland -- how should you count money going to LM, when they probably have people in at least 40 of the 50 states?  How about Boeing with its HQ in Chicago?

      And, if you do have a state that is doing well (perhaps MA), does that mean that it should not be helping citizens of another (poorer) state?  Where is any responsibility for 'other' in your discussion?

      Now, do we need to rein in horrible pork barreling like that in Alaska (bridge to nowhere, etc)?  Absolutely.  But not by trying to create a 1:1 rule ...

      19 June 06, Day 1746, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:27:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  CA is rich, yes, but not so well run (0+ / 0-)

      Saying CA has a strong economy because it is well run is kinda like saying Exxon had record profits because Lee Raymond is a great CEO. CA has so many resources it's almost impossible for the bozos running things to screw it up. But they sure are trying.

      The Government Performance Project only gave "A"s to 2 states, both red: Utah and Virginia. California tied with Alabama for the lowest score, a "C-".

      Besides, that's not a very progressive attitude - let the poor bastards rot. I agree that Republicans and Republican voters are quite hypocritical in railing against government spending while taking a disproportionate share. But that doesn't change the fact that there are many in red states who need the help. It just needs to be distributed wisely.

  •  How to frame this (3+ / 0-)

    The big problem is going to be the large number of Democrats who believe that such redistricting is wrong even if it is legal, and don't want to be seen as supporting it.  So here is my proposal for any state reps out there trying to write up a bill.

    Such a bill should do two things.  First pro-Democratic redistricting, second include an explicit call for nation wide non-partisan districting laws.

    Agnosticism is no excuse for indecision, it is a catalyst for action. It demands an ethics of empathy rather than a metaphysics of hope and fear.

    by Agnostic Oracle on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 10:59:53 AM PDT

    •  SECOND!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Absolutely ... let's do massive D redistricting with the carrot "if you agree to, let's all follow Iowa's lead ..."  Drive the Republicans, like dogs with tail between their legs, to the "right" answer ...

      19 June 06, Day 1746, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:30:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Er, um, ... what about California (0+ / 0-)

      The big problem is going to be the large number of Democrats who believe that such redistricting is wrong even if it is legal, and don't want to be seen as supporting it.

      So why did the fair-redistricting plan lose in Blue CA?

      •  Umm, (0+ / 0-)

        because it was an Ahnuld issued feint to stack a panel of judges to do the redistricing and was flawed and rushed legislation even if you liked the idea?

        And yeah, what about CA? How many seats do you think we could pick up by pulling a DeLay? Hmmmmm...

        The lone and level sands stretch far away. -Shelly

        by justme on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 03:18:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hello!! (4+ / 0-)

    This is what I was trying to say yesterday amidst all the gnashing of teeth around here.

    It's a big fat open door for us to screw them like they've been screwing us.

    Yes, it's dirty, yes, it's beneath us.

    But let's get a majority first, and then be sweethearts, OK? That's how it's done in the real world.

  •  How much will it cost? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Has anyone actually run the numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ajsnow, dysfunctionalgadfly

    To see what this would yield???

    Someone should look realistically at each state, decide if they're a likely candidate (i.e. Kansas is not, with a Dem Gov and heavily R Leg).

    Then figure out if it really does pay to take the high road (non partisan) or low road.

    I am guessing it pays to take the high road here.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:01:18 AM PDT

  •  Washington state... (0+ / 0-)

    ...isn't likely to mid-decade redistrict.  We have an every-decade board that consists of three or so folks from both major parties, and one person that is trusted by both sides.  People really have no desire to see this changed.

    Further, it would be really, really hard to gerrymander the eastern portion of the state to the Democrats' advantage regarding Congressional or state legislative seats.

    Luckily, we seem to be winning most elections the usual way - with a majority of votes.  ;-)

    "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

    by Palamedes on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:01:39 AM PDT

    •  Not a question of established procedures (0+ / 0-)

      Because you can simply passed a new law setting up new procedures.  You can simply pass a law saying the old three-member commission is repealed, and, oh by the way, here are your new Congressional districts.  

      •  Sorry (4+ / 0-)

        but keep your electoral diarrhea districts to yourself, guys.

        Washington State's system works. It produces compact competitive districts. Not to mention it was a constitutional amendment passed by initiative. It'd be electoral suicide for anyone to mess with it. Why break something that works exactly the way it should?

        And in any case, we'd be hard pressed to improve upon the current circumstances. The GOP only holds 3 seats and we have a very good chance of taking one of those this year. As for the other two seats, there really isn't a better better spot for two GOP seats they'll (likely) hold for the near future without fatally weakening Democratic strength in the 2nd, 3rd and 8th.

        --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

        by Aexia on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:32:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  nope (0+ / 0-)
        It's in the Washington constitution.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 04:15:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hooray for you Washington!!! (0+ / 0-)

      This polarizing talk going on here about Democrats  doing what that asshole DeLay got away with in   Texas is juvenile both it's tone and the thought process behind it. Eye for an eye, shame.

      The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

      by jets ya on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 04:29:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Start with TX-03 (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sick and tired of being represented by Sam Johnson.

    Democrats deserve punishment for not supporting American opposition to the Bush government.

    by LandSurveyor on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:03:40 AM PDT

    •  Not another one (0+ / 0-)

      I believe I have been gerrymandered 3X in the last decade.  The last go-round I totally switched congress reps.  I only became aware of this when I went to vote in 04 and the ballot was not what I expected. The district I thought I was in makes no sense now.  It combined affluent WHITE North Dallas with hispanic Oak Cliff on the other side of town;  Tony downtown Park Cities with suburban middle-class Irving and Grand Prairie.  None of these towns has much in common and without the freeways you couldnt even travel the district

      by naufragus on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:09:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And remember how Delay did this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, sacrelicious, besieged by bush

      He channeled money to state reps/senators' campaigns, in apparently clear violation of Texas state law.  Then, once he promised Tom Craddick the Texas speaker position, the GOP state Leg re-districted in 2003 - - only three years after the Census.  This was after the Leg had, in its previous session, failed to come up with a re-districting plan (twice!), and had to have one imposed by a Federal court.  It was at this point (on two separate occasions) that the Dems in the state Leg left the state (for OK and NM) in order to deny the Repubs their re-districting map.

      This could make ofr some further VERY entertaining politics, but it is indeed a blow to genuinely representative government.  I am of two minds about this - - I have Pete "the Streak" Sessions as my Congresscritter (TX-32), rather than Martin Frost, thanks to all these shenanigans.  But, turn-about is looking like fair play to me, too.

      Stop the politicization of crime!

      by tom 47 on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:25:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep Illinois Blue! (6+ / 0-)

    If you look at the recent congressional elections in Illinois, you see a pattern: the Dems win by huge margins and the Republicans win by far less.

    Why the huge margins?  Because all the Democrats in the state of Illinois are ghettoized in a handful of districts while the Republican Districts are more spread out.

    That's why it's essential that we keep Illinois as Blue as possible -- from the Governor down to every State Rep and Senator -- so that we can correct this injustice.

    Independent Illinois Grassroots:

    by patachon on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:05:46 AM PDT

  •  I agree that we need to play by the rules. . . (0+ / 0-)

    When we are in a position to change the rules, how about a "no amoeba-district" law.  This would be fairly simple to define.  You just set a minimum ratio for area/perimeter.  The immediate objection is that some amoeba-districts have been created do get more proportional minority representation, but this is worth further study and argument.  

  •  What's fair is fair for all. (3+ / 0-)

    Democrats cannot refuse to use gerrymandering to their advantage when Republicans have already done so and when the politicized Supreme Court says it's o.k.  Hopefully, we'll return to sanity in Congress sometime soon and get some fairness into redistricting, but until then, we can't lie down and play dead.

  •  Can yoou spell Gerry Mander, a newly registered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, besieged by bush


    Since SCOTUS has decided that cooking the books electorally is A-OK, seems like this is a unique opportunity to take the rotting albatrosses that are Tom DeLay and George Bush and hang them 'bout the necks of  Republicans for the next generation.  

    The Republicans timing was not good on this, they chose to make the grab for electoral power by jiggering districts at the end of THEIR pendulum swing.

    The momentum has shifted; the voters want change, and once the Democrats start to take power as a result of the changing wishes of the moderate middle from Republican to Democrat, they can redistrict with computerized micro-accuracy, increasing their representation at the expense of discredited Republicanism.

    The only constraints will be on negatively inpacting minorities, and Democrats have pretty much always preferred voting minorities to disenfranchised ones.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex"

    by bobdevo on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:10:15 AM PDT

  •  Texas? (0+ / 0-)

    ... you won't need to gerrymander if Texas is Dem.  At that point it's game over for the GOP.

    Why settle for the truth when you can have Truthiness???

    by wintersnowman on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:10:29 AM PDT

  •  How could the SCOTUS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predator Saint

    hand this opinion down without considering the chaos it will cause in state-level elections?  

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:10:43 AM PDT

  •  As a resident of New Mexico, (0+ / 0-)

    I would like to ask our fine Governor to work hard on changing NM-02.  We Dems are sick and tired of the likes of Steve Pearce.  VOTE FOR AL KISSLING!  Shameless pimping, yes I know.

    How about creating a new district - NM-02 can include all the Dem cities along I-25 like Socorro and Las Cruces, and a new district can include the rest of southern New Mexico.  That way, NM can have 3 Dem reps (I think Wilson is gone come November) and 1 repug.

    Sounds fair to me.

    What the hell is it NOW?

    by TigerMom on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:10:51 AM PDT

    •  nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "That way, NM can have 3 Dem reps (I think Wilson is gone come November) and 1 repug."

      i think nm only has three seats total.  i mean, if madrid wins in november, itll be 2:1 democratic, and i think its safer to just keep it 2:1 and strengthen the two democratic seats rather than make three lean dem seats that could in a republican year in the future go the other way. so if madrid wins, the correct democratic move if they wanted to strike back in terms of gerrymanders would be to  take some conservative portions of wilson's district and trade it with some liberal portions of pearce's district

    •  Torrance County (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A small adjustment would turn NM 1CD solid blue. Push east-side Torrance County into Pearse's CD2 (where all those rednecks and Bible-thumpers belong) and bring Socorro County into CD1. Voila.

      That, of course, doesn't help you, TigerMom, down in Las Cruces, along the Rio Grande corridor. New Mexico isn't too far away from earning a new CD due to population increases, and most of those increases will be along that corridor, so there may be hope eventually.

      -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:04:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much for the argument that the Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    couldn't 'easily' take back the House because of wholesale partisan Republican gerrymandering preventing a 1994 earthquake.

    Thanks, Tom. We owe a great debt to the Texas GOP. (Never thought I'd say that.)

    Can't wait to see what you would think of your Texas scam after, say, Illinois and California (fingers crossed) eventually get convinced to take your lead.

    Oh, and you are going to just loooooooooove it when the Democratic majority keeps EVERY House minority repressing rule the GOP ever dreamed of in place.

    We are going to openly thank DeLay for Speaker Pelosi on the day she's given the gavel. All day, every day.

    Choke on it.

    "I think The New York Times has forgotten that New York is the place 9/11 happened." Mort "Coulter" Kondracke

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:12:22 AM PDT

    •  Dream on... (0+ / 0-)

      The thought that the out-there Pelosi will be speaker is horrendous and laughable.  Some of you are dreaming, big-time. A SanFran liberal ruling the party is abhorent to me, at least.  Do you think she has ever wandered across the aisle? I doubt most there would even talk to her if she did.

      The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

      by jets ya on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 04:41:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  50 state strategy (6+ / 0-)

    Do we need any more proof that the 50 state strategy is the way the Democrats need to go in terms of organizing?  If we can win governorships and state legislatures across the country, we can redistrict the hell out of them.  Now, we don't even need to wait until 2010... we can do it now...

  •  Face Facts. Dems won't do it either (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, SecondComing, dpinzow

    I'm a Democrat. They are, by a zillion miles, the lesser of two evils, at the very least. At most, I agree with most everything Dems stand for.

    But...if Dems get power in a state, you're kidding yourself if you ever think they'll then create a non-partisan way of redistricting. They'll do just as the Repubs do, and they'll try to gerrymander their way into power forever.

    This particular issue is not a Republican-Democrat issue, it's a political-power issue. Only the American PEOPLE can change it (don't ask me how, I don't know) I don't think the Constitution really says what to do when ALL politicians become corrupt and rig the system for themselves only, as is the case here.

    Politicians will always resist a fair system of redistricting (unless they are the powerless minority, of course), no matter which side of the aisle they are on.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:14:52 AM PDT

  •  there are 2 competing interests (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, chemsmith

    To maximize the number of Democrats by creating many 55%/45% districts.

    To maximize incumbent safety by creating fewer 70%/30% districts.

    Would anyone care to guess which will be selected?

  •  I'm disappointed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Republic Not Empire, trill

    that Kos now advocates adopting the tactics of DeLay. Last year he argued for Democrats to stay above the fray, and applauded the decision of the Illinois legislature to not redistrict. The argument against redistricting wasn't made on Constitutional grounds then, nor should it be now.

    What we should advocate are non-partisan redistricting commissions. That's simply good governance. Good governance doesn't change based on what the opposition does. If they found a way to ban blacks from voting in Mississippi, the proper response would NOT be to ban rich white guys from voting in California.

    •  He did? It hought he was pissed (0+ / 0-)

      ...about it because the Dems surrendered their knives to the Republicans. Maybe it was someone at MyDD who was upset. Or maybe it was Armando -- he was always a good bet to be angry about something.

      Here's what you do, gerrymander wherever you can, however you can, until you have an advantage, then when you have the power call for a Constitutional Ammendment on redistricting that is non-partisan. Send it on to the states, and fight for it.

      Then not only will we be seen as being willing to diminish our own power for good governence, but with the power you have from redistricting you'll have a better chance of pushing it through. Of course, all this hinges on electing politicians that would be willing to give up some personal power for the good of the nation.

      Ah, but then you hold the knife to the Rich White Guys of California's throats until blacks get the chance to vote again in Mississippi. Appealing to a Republican's sense of decency never works because 90% of them don't have one.

      •  Forget the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ignacio Magaloni

        Appealing to a Republican's sense of decency never works because 90% of them don't have one.

        You don't have to. Just go on a state-by-state level. Get non-partisan redistricting in every state the Democrats currently control. Do the same as currently Republican states flip Democratic. In 20 years you'll have 75% of the states, with most of the rest being western states that have too few Representatives to be gerrymanderable anyway.

    •  I'm disappointed, too. With the Supreme Court. (0+ / 0-)

      The U.S. Supreme Court had a historic chance to end, or at least mitigate thix the pox of gerrymandering in our society.  They fucking blew it.

      They will return to the issue at some point in the future.  Until then, we follow their rules, win wherever possible.

      Talking to yourself again, Black Adder? Yes, it's the only way I can be sure of intelligent conversation.

      by Predator Saint on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And when we get back the House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, besieged by bush

    through some clever map work and disenfranchisement, then we can really get started!

    First, the re-districting.

    Then, we'll start push-polling like Joe Lieberman.

    Then, we'll use our majority in the House to time a national security vote right before the 2008 elections, say, casting our opponents as cut and run cowards and traitors.

    Then, we have two weeks of election-year votes that won't matter to any actual problems, but will rally the base and look great on TV.

    Then, we'll empty the treasury and blame it on spend-and-spend Republicans.

    Then, we'll leak national security secrets when it benefits us, and cast those who try to investigate us as unAmerican helpers of the enemy.

    Then, assuring that we'll be in power for a generation, we can return to more ethical behavior!

    (Wait a second; where have I heard this before?)

    Isn't SCOTUS' bad decision here analogous to Gonzales giving Bush a permission slip to torture?  Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

    (Just 2 cents from someone who wants to win back the house as much as anyone, but who doesn't believe in arbitrary partisan redistricting.)

    The Yankee Doodler: The sun never sets on New England's opposition to empire.

    by Republic Not Empire on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:17:36 AM PDT

    •  I so agree ... and yet ... (3+ / 0-)

      The "right" path, to me, would see serious Democratic redistricting -- with every legislature having a proviso for going Iowa independent/expert redistricting panel when this is adopted by law for all 50 states (okay, for states with more than 1 rep) ...

      I believe in non-partisan districting after census, but I don't think that it serves the future well to cede 10-15-20 seats (or more) to Republican redistricting efforts ... which is what is happening now ...

      19 June 06, Day 1746, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:40:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Constitutional' or no - pretty crappy decision (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Predator Saint, chemsmith

    We didn't make the rules. Tom DeLay and the Republicans did. We're playing in their world

    Partisans will be playing politics with voters' rights and screwing America upside-down until someone legislates a fix for this garbage.

    Thank you Lord, for this generous rain and abundant lightning. -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM PDT

  •  what would be needed for independent redistricts (0+ / 0-)

    would a simple law in congress pass it? i mean, if voting etc is a state issue, couldnt that be ruled unconstitutional by scotus saying that the federal government does not have the right to tell states how to draw boundries? then i suppose we would need a constitutional amendment

  •  It depends on the state (4+ / 0-)

    here in Illinois, that sort of thing would go over extremely badly. Blagojevich is already not-so-popular, and the legislature too. Neither party is very well-liked in Illinois, this being a state wrought with corruption in every corner of the political spectrum. Same for New Jersey. But in New Mexico or New York, with popular Dem Governors, it could be less damaging.

    Remember also that, as we learned yesterday, the Voting Rights Act can be a major issue in redistricting. In a state like New York, we would need to make sure not to weaken black or Hispanic power in some of those NYC seats. And in New Mexico, a partisan gerrymander designed to oust Heather Wilson would probably go over better if we made that district Hispanic-majority.

    Just remember, this is hardball in the short term, but long-term we want reform.

    •  New York State Fertile Ground for Redistricting (0+ / 0-)

      The secret about New York is that the state legislature has been gradually shifting voters from New York City north to account for the loss of residents in the northern part of the state during the last twenty years.  The heavy African American and Hispanic concentrations in New York City and its environs have already been diluted to allow Republican representatives to hold seats in the Congress.  It's time they were shown the door and retired by redrawing their districts into a little less favorable configuration.  

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:49:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mid-term redistricting and hysteresis (3+ / 0-)

    If I understand the Supreme Court correctly, it is now kosher to redistrict as often as the stage legislature decides they want to do it, meaning that each time a legislature changes party, we will probably now see redistricting. The only limitation is that there cannot be lines drawn that are so counter-intuitive that they could only be a product of partisanship.

    My first reaction was that this is very bad, anti-democratic. But upon reflection, I think it may not be quite as bad as it first appears.

    If we set aside dueling ideologies, the largest practical deficiency of our system is that is falls apart when the results of an election are close. That's when you see a large impact of fraud and dirty tricks, and it's also when you see deadlock and whipsawing in government.

    If the electoral process can be seen by analogy as a digital switch, that is designed to provide a clear up or down response to an input, then what we are seeing in the country as a whole and in many localities is an input in the "linear range", that is, so close to the center that the output swings back and forth in response to tiny changes in the input or in the environment. The traditional solution for this kind of problem is hysteresis, whereby the output of the switch requires an input a certain amount above center to switch from low to high, and an input a certain amount below center to switch from high to low. In the political domain, this is generally handled by supermajorities, but supermajorities are rarely implemented in our system.

    However, a mid-term redisticting designed to favor the party newly in power would have the same effect as hystersis in a linear device: it would make it harder for the "out" party to win. As long as both parties were free to do this, and did do it with an equivalent degree of effectiveness, then you have have a much less noisy switch, meaning that if the legislature changed hands, it would be the result of a genuine change in voters' allegiance rather than meaningless fluctuations and fraud.

    I'm not saying this is great, it's a real kludge, but I've thought for a long time that we could use some hysteresis in our politics, so to the extent that mid-term redistricting after each change of majority party would do that, it might not be as harmful as it appears.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  The big enchilada is California. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    besieged by bush, katrinasolo

    If we concentrate our fire on Arnold, the Democrats can Gerrymander the Republicans into the Pacific Ocean next year.

    •  The Map in CA is as tightly Gerrymandered (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as you can get.  We had a Dem Legislature and Dem Gov during the last redisctricting and this was about the best they could do.

      Remember there are large pockets of CA where absolutley no Democrat has a shot.  They might be able to squeeze 1 or 2 seats out in Congress, but that's about it.

  •  have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Have the Democrats ever redistricted?  Or is that only a practice of Rove and the Repuglican$?

  •  A touch of Ness? (0+ / 0-)

    I have become what I beheld and I am content that I have done right!

    --The Untouchables

  •  It's the wrong thing to do, let's do it (0+ / 0-)

    How would it play to make Democratic optimal redistrictings, all the while complaining that it's the wrong thing to do and we're just doing it to play the game and as a sort of protest to demonstrate the absurdity of the system?

    Then, after enough fur flies, implement mathematically sound impartial redistricting.

  •  Kick the Republicans Out for a Generation! (0+ / 0-)

    Whatever we have to do let's do it.  Since 1980, the Republicans have had free-reign on our system.

    And we see the results everywhere from the dictatorial White House to the complacent almost slavish Congress and the increasing ideological judiciary.

    We need a breather from this kind of politics -- maybe a generation -- in order to fix the damage.

    I say, gerrymander all the way!

    Independent Illinois Grassroots:

    by patachon on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:08:35 PM PDT

  •  Act like you are willing to shoot (0+ / 0-)

    The Repubs have a gun.  They throw us a gun and tell us to fight them.

    We might want to act like we are full well ready to shoot them so that they will be scared enough to let us disarm both of us.

  •  And another contribution to Lamont from me ;) (0+ / 0-)

    this is all it takes to contribute again.
    (would have anyway)
    Hope all of us here (that can) are helping out Lamont with $$$$$

    Progressives - stay UNDECIDED on 2008 -4.63 -7.54

    by AustinSF on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:36:08 PM PDT

  •  Political purposes, OK--discrimination, not OK (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't read the opinion but the quick takeaway I got from the reports was that redistricting for political purposes is OK--victor, spoils and all that--but not if it violates voting or civil rights.

    Next year, if the D's continue the state trend that was staked out in the off-year election and gain or solidify their control, some Dem redristricting would be de facto legal because I must presume it would be for the purpose of gaining more representation for minorities who are more likely at this stage to vote Democrat.

    Of course, there is a better answer for the good of all: A constitutional amendment requiring non-partisan drawing of congressional districts. That would be a proper exercise of constitutional amendment processes and would serve to uphold the democracy.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

    by The Crusty Bunker on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:36:25 PM PDT

    •  my theory on minority representation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Crusty Bunker

      I don't have a major problem with minority-majority districts though I believe that one of the reasons the Republicans did very well in 1994 was in part due to the creation of minority majority districts (through the 1990 census) in the South which packed in many of the minorities (and a large bulk of the Democratic voters) into fewer districts allowing Republicans to knock off moderate white Democrats. Spread out those minority voters again and you may get more Democrats representing the South again. Not a PC thing to say, I know.

  •  Ug. California (0+ / 0-)
    will never be able to make up it's mind. We will have to dock the legislature's paychecks and maybe impose fines for every day they fail to redistrict before deadlines for elections. Lawsuits, oh, the lawsuits. Instead of once every 10 year animosity, it will be every 2 years. This is a horrid decision.

    People should note how important the Voting Rights Act is in the districting process. We need that Act renewed - yesterday.

    What the president says is executive privilege is nothing but executive poppycock. Senator Sam Ervin

    by sailmaker on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 12:44:24 PM PDT

  •  If Dems do it, SCOTUS will rule... (0+ / 0-)

    ... it unconstitutional.

    Holy crap people, haven't you learned by now that IOKIYAR?

  •  they asked for it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Predator Saint

    As much as I may hate to play by the rules of people who are corrupt and evil, in this instance, i'm going to let it slide... as long as it is done in a way that doesn't undercut minorities and isn't super extreme like some of those insane gerrymandered districts in Texas. We have to draw the line somewhere and not sink all the way down their level.

  •  Too complicated ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni

    ..the voting system. Including silly things like gerrymandering.

    In and ideal world, I'd actualy be able to understand what is going on when I vote. When I don't understand, I wonder if it counts anyway. Which benefits pugs.

    When we do run the thugs out of town, we can only hope that the people can come up with a system that is transparent and simple and democratic.

    I've had enough. Kick'm out. Keep it up Kos.

    "Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides." Shakespeare,

    by xrepublican on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:22:24 PM PDT

  •  In 2010 States like NY-and IL (0+ / 0-)

    which will have a Democratic Governor and Democratic Controlled State Legislature- will lose Seats. NY will lose two Seats and IL will lose one Seat.

    In New York- I will save Reynolds(NY-26)Buffalo/Rochester Area District for elimination during the 2010 Census- combine it with Slaughters(NY-28) making Slaughter's District Democratic Friendly for a Blue Collar Democrats once Slaughter retires. Place other parts of Reynolds District in Randy Kuhl's District.

    I will also save Kelly's (NY-19)Putnam Area District for elimination during the 2010 Census and Combine it with either Hinchey(NY-22)or Sweeney(NY-20).

    Prior to 2010- in NY- I will gerrymander Downstate Area Republican Held Districts NY-3(King) and NY-13(Fossella).

    In Illinios. I will save Hasterts(IL-14)for elimination. after the 2010 Census put Republican Areas of Hastert's District into Manzullo's(IL-16) and Democratic Areas of Hastert's District into Wellers(IL-11). a tough primary between Hastert and Weller would help the Democratic Nominee.

    Prior to 2010- put Bean and Kirk into the same District- Lake County- Purple District favoring a Conservative Democrat like Bean. Create a New District in Northern Cook County. put Biggert and Roskam into the same District- DuPage County.- Red District. Create a New District in Will County/Southern Cook County.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      The Illinois delegation is 10 Dems, 9 Republicans right now, with only the 8th district being truely competitive.  I don't know if making it 14-5 is possible, but 13-6 could be done: Take the 6th, 11th, 10th, and the 13th or 14th.  

      Problem is, Madigan and Jones have held up redistricting before because they did not want to piss off Hastert.  All the more reason why Emanuel should be speaker if the Dems take the House: Then Madigan and Jones can district out Hastert and not loose the federal $ that magically makes it to the speaker's home state.

  •  adsurd (0+ / 0-)

    And then, once the absurdity of partisan gerrymandering is seen by all, we can work toward a system of non-partisan redistricting. Ultimately, that's what's best for democracy.

    patently untrue - we all see NOW how absurd gerrymandering is.  Just because the Dems do it doens't make it any less absurd.  It will mean even less competition for elections, and even narrower field of competetive races, and even more girdlock in an already absurd system.

    Then again, I could be wrong - gerrymandered districts could set up for 3rd party challenges from the left and right, and backfire on their creators, in an environment that sees dismal approval ratings for both parties in congress.

    Vote Malachy McCourt for NY Governor in 2006 (50K votes=ballot status), Howie Hawkins for Senate and Chris Owens for Congress (NY-11).

    by green in brooklyn on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:26:23 PM PDT

  •  As a professor of politics & a Dem. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delirium, Ignacio Magaloni

    I'm torn on this one.

    On the one hand, my classroom objections to DeLay's tactics have all been on the grounds that you "shouldn't" do stuff like this because it's bad for democracy.  It'll be weird having to turn those guns on the Democrats if they follow suit.

    But on the other hand, I get a bit tired of giving non-partisan lectures that make Dems look more righteous, onlt to be followed by the lectures that show how they've gotten the crap beat out of them in recent elections.  

    ~~~~~~ Be sure to check out Professor Derwood Cardinal's Poli-Scienticious Blogging Orgasmaganza ~~~~~~

    by cardinal on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 01:35:27 PM PDT

  •  Nine seats in NY state. (0+ / 0-)

    Every one of them could be gerymandered into a Dem district. Many of them are already lean-dem districts, very few lean-republican districts left in the state.

    How about we start by wiping out King's district, and Vito's as well. That would be easy, just draw the lines to include a few additional city blocks, in both cases.  At the very least, every republican district within 100 miles of NYC could be wiped out, I count about 5 of those, maybe more. (Staten Island, King's LI district, probably all three of the republican Conn. districts, maybe a few closer ones upstate and a couple of northern NJ districts as well.)

    NY state could have an all blue delegation with one stroke of the pen, here's to hoping.

  •  but Markos...would you still be in favor of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jets ya

    nonpartisant redistricting even if Democrats stood to lose seats on account of it?

    Ever wish there were One Big Wiki-Style Clearinghouse for all the GOP Scandals? Well now there is.

    by thereisnospoon on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 02:14:50 PM PDT

  •  Kos, re your call for Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to push for re-districting in light of the Supreme Court decision supporting most of Texas' is shameful.
    You have the morals of a schoolyard bully. Grow the fuck up!!!!

    The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

    by jets ya on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 02:34:34 PM PDT

  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Richardson has a great record on election reform. Why throw that away? My further thoughts are posted here:

    •  I disagree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If the rules are set by the Supreme Court, then they're the rules. If the rules of baseball say you can tag up and run to the next base on a long fly ball that's caught, should the players say, no way, we want to hold the high ground?

      It's one thing to push redistricting as DeLay did. But once the Supreme Court says it's fair game, then it is. Period.

      I applaud Richardson for pushing the paper ballot bill, but he has said himself it was the grassroots push that made him do it. We also should remember that it was Richardson who fought a recount in 2004 in NM despite many identified problems and a very close loss by Kerry.

      Since then, however, he has given the grassroots and netroots a lot of praise, so he may just try the redistricting. One more House seat can make ALL the difference.

      •  I will worry about New Mexico after the (0+ / 0-)

        2006 midterm elections

        The 1st District- Purple District- will go Democratic- Patricia Madrid. in 2006.

        In 2008- Tom Udall-NM-3-Blue District- will probally run for the US Senate.(Domenici's Seat).

        Pearce-NM-2(Red District) will also run for Domenici's Senate Seat.

        Gerrymander Pearce(NM-2)and Udall(NM-3)so New Mexico will have 3 slight Democratic Leaning District.

        •  It's been reported (0+ / 0-)

          Domenici has said he will run for another Senate term in 2008, so Pearce won't be running for that. It's also being rumored that current NM Lt. Gov. Diane Denish may run for Domenici's seat in 2008. But I do like the Gerrymander suggestion!

  •  I don't understand why Illinois (0+ / 0-)

    hasn't redrawn the lines to oust Denny Hastert. Surely there's a way to connect him to downtown chicago.

    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

    by Benito on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 03:50:33 PM PDT

    •  It will, now . . . (0+ / 0-)

      There is nothing to stop them - except the incompetence of the Deomcratic Party in Illinois.  And that is pretty freaking huge.

      I can see it, though:  Just like the Texas districts that are shaped like snakes coming up from the Rio Grande, Illinois can snake their own districts, out from the Loop and across the state, disenfranchising all the farmers outside of Peoria by including them with the South Side or Wrigleyville.

      The inherent strength of the Republican Party - in the rural farming counties - will be subjugated under the real population of the state, Cook County.  If the Dems want to water down the collar counties (including Hastert's Kendall County) in the process, what is to stop them?

      If it is okay for Texas to disenfranchise Democrats (but not Latinos), then Illinois can disenfranchise everyone in the low-density areas of the state.

      If such moves happen to put Hastert into a district with 75% minorities, hey, they asked for it.  If he tries moving to a more GOP district, they can gerrymander anytime they want, so they could do ace him out no matter where he goes - at least in theory now.

      It is a classic case of "You better watch what you ask for - you might just get it."

      [I decry all of this, but the idiots on SCOTUS have changed the lay of the land, evidently forever; this is now "the real world", and the U.S. will rue the day the jackasses did it.  Sanity has left the building. . . ]

      . . . . TD

      •  we're stuck in a Prisoners' Dilema (0+ / 0-)

        playing cooperate to the GOP's defect. Our fucking leadership better realize that quick.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Fri Jun 30, 2006 at 12:06:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Redistricting is built into NJ's constitution. I think you'd have to amend the constitution to implement any mid-decade changes there. Possible, but not necessarily desirable.

  •  could be a pyhrric victory (0+ / 0-)

    Gerrymandered districts tend to favor "machine" politics and party insiders.  We could end up with more Democrats, but the Democrats we do have would be worse Democrats.  Do we really want to get more of our party in control in exchange for losing what control we have over our party?

    "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

    by Delirium on Thu Jun 29, 2006 at 04:12:37 PM PDT

  •  California (0+ / 0-)

    All this wishful thinking about a great reapportionment of CA won't even get one inch off the ground if we don't elect Angelides (who as former state party chairman is a bonafide partisan as well as a good streetfighter).
    First things first my friends.

  •  Redistricting = UNDEMOCRATIC, GOP or Democrat (0+ / 0-)

        I think this is an obvious example of why Democrats couldn't even win an election in a 1 party race.  The Dems only want to use GOP tactics when it comes to DESTROYING DEMOCRACY, but not when it comes to, you know, IMPEACHING BUSH!!!!!!!  The GOP had no problem impeaching Clinton over a blow job, but now Democrats won't impeach Bush for ALL the shit he has done?!?!

        That is because their is NO DEMOCRACY is the US anymore.  The majority of Dems and the GOP are all lobbied by the same corporate entities.  They are lobbied to look out for Corporate America's priviledge and profits.  Mussolini once said "Fascism could be better called CORPORATISM."  I think that perfectly describes the current US political system TO A T.  

        Just look at the 2004 'election' where we had COUSINS Bush and Kerry as the candidates.  Both are from the same FAMILY, from the same college in Yale, from the same OCCULT group the SKULL & BONES, and both had 95% IDENTICAL VOTING RECORDS.  Is that what you call a choice???

        Where's the DEMOCRACY???      

  •  We absolutely shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

    reduce ourselves to the GOP's level by pulling a DeLay in all the Democrat-controlled states. It kind of undermines our railing against the "culture of corruption". In an ideal world, all Democrats would come out in favor of non-partisan redistricting NOW, not after we regain control.

  •  We are through the looking glass, people . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newton Snookers

    YES!  It is a great thing for the Dems now, being given the go-ahead to gerrymander the GOP out of existence in blue states, any old time their hearts desire.

    But what a STUPID, ASININE DECISION by SCOTUS!  The assholes Thomas and Scalia, Alito and Roberts can't see beyond the immediate benifit to their darling neocon buddies.  THIS WILL HURT THEM INCREDIBLY IN THE FUTURE.  The country always was majority liberal, and when the poor in the South and the rural areas realize that the GOP IS NOT ON THEIR SIDE, they will come back to the Democratic Party - especially if the party ever finds its gonads again.  The short-term gain will be long-term suicide for the GOP.

    Overall, however, the ones who are going to be hurt are the voters, because after all the gerrymandering is done, voters will have no choice.  All the districts will be incumbency eternalizers.  We will see Congressmen last even longer in office than any time in the past.  All of them will basically life appointments, passed on from one generation to their grandchildren.  Why not their children?  Because that is how long they will stay in office.

    DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN MURDERED, and SCOTUS did it, in the Court Chamber, with the candlestick.

    . . . . TD

  •  If the problem can be adressed it can be repaired (0+ / 0-)

    If there is enough fraud free elections to make a Democrat majority, then a first act would be to re-establish democracy everywhere.

    This could be done by making Gerrymandering illegal, and insist that no district be a no more than 3times longer than its narrowist point.

    This would force a quick redistricting of all RED States as well as blue, and mean that actual representation might begin.

    As Dems have been much worse gerrymandered, and are the actual majority in most places, this would make a much better Democracy and a moral highground.

  •  Illinios Redistricting (0+ / 0-)

    1)Protect- Mellisa Bean-(D). make IL-8 Democratic Friendly. Create a Purple District in Lake County. placing Bean-D(IL-8) and Kirk(IL-10)in the same District-. -1R  
    2)Create a new District in Northern Cook County that is Democratic Friendly- +1D

    1. Give McHenry CO to Don Manzullo-IL-16 making Manzullo's District- Solid Red. Take DeKalb CO away from Manzullo-IL and give it to Hastert-IL-14.
    1. Jerry Weller's IL-11- should be divided into Three Seperate Districts.

    No 1- Take away Livingston,McClean and Woodford CO(Both Red Counties) from Weller and Give Weller- Henry and Whiteside CO(Both Purple Counties)as well as Rock Island (Blue County.

    NO-2 Split  Weller- IL-11 Three Seperate District.

    The Western Part of Weller's District- will include Rock Island,Henry,Whiteside,Bureau and LaSalle County. +1D

    Grundy and Kankakee should be added to Hastert-IL-14. moving Hastert's District SouthEast.

    Create a Democratic Friendly District in Will  and Cook County- placing Biggert IL-13 or Weller-IL-11 into the same District. +1D

    Regarding IL-6- Create a Democratic friendly District adding Democratic Areas of Cook County to the Dupage CO C.D +1D

    Post 2010. Save Hastert's District from Elimination.
    Give Republican Counties. Lee,Kane,Kendell to Don Manzullo' IL-16

    Give Swing Counties- DeKalb,Whiteside,Henry,and Bureau to Weller-IL-11.

    put Hastert's house in Weller-IL-11.

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