Yeah, I know the next census doesn't even take place until next year, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't start talking strategy now. Minnesota, by most political thinkers, is set to lose a seat in the House after the people are counted. How do we re-carve the state in the best possible way without being stupid or illegal about it?
More discussion past the fold.
I truly believe the wingnut version of the GOP will scare the hell out of MN voters. I've lived here all of my (short) life and have found that most of the people who disagreed with me politically did so for reasons that were decently reasonable. Maybe based in anecdotal logic, but nonetheless not wingbatty illogical.
Therefore, I believe MN has a real shot at ousting Pawlenty (lets hope he keeps fucking up the Coleman fiasco just for the poo we can fling; Legally, the court can screw him after this next round anyway) this next election cycle while improving their DFL ranks in the state legislature. This would give us a stranglehold on how to logically get rid of a district in the state while helping our cause anyway.
The obvious answer: Remove MN-06!! Yep, Batshit Bachmann's district. Hopefully after the 2010 election she will be gone anyway, and (though I live in MN-03) I plan to do everything I can to make this happen, but I am not holding my breath due to this district's conservative streak.
Why MN-06? Well besides the fact that it's Bachmann's district, go look at the Kos electoral map. This is one weird looking district. Stillwater (WI border) to the west all the way to St. Cloud (Central MN exurbs)?? It scraggles around the outskirts of the metro area, and almost appears a Democrat attempt to keep a bunch of conservatives in one district. Unless R's controlled the talks (I'm a little young for the history; Jesse would have been gov, but I don't know who controlled MN Congress after 2000), then it would appear to be an attempt to keep eastern--though slightly conservative--city-ish areas out of MN-03. Areas where, it seems, we have some crazies on our western border that wouldn't be there if we, logically, had the eastern suburbs included.
Assuming MN-06 goes, and we have control over the restructure, how do we re-carve MN legally and to our benefit. Do we move MN-03 a tad west lumping in the outskirts of St. Cloud making an impossible district out of a district that will prove hard to win in perfect conditions anyhow. The rest of MN-06 would go to either MN-07 or MN-08. Which can absorb more R votes? I would argue 07. Yeah, Peterson won by a bigger % than Oberstar, but he is also younger. Duluth is a D stronghold, but the district won't have strong name recognition for as long as Peterson promises to hold in MN-07.
Have a different idea of how to break up the state? Please, leave it in the comments. I would love a plan that would give MN-03 a chance at D representation. It could have happened this cycle but Ashwin Madia? WTF? Paulsen sucks, don't get me wrong, but really someone who voted for Bush, but came to the light? If I'm younger than you and was smart enough to be a Gore for president supporter when I was 13 in 2000, why the hell would I believe you were smart enough to back progressive causes.
Yeah,I voted Madia, but I really wish we had a better candidate this time to give us at least name recognition when our already conservative district becomes more conservative after redistricting. (at least if I am right in my redistricting predictions.)
PS: I have donated $50 to the actblue link in my sigline. It is for whomever the MN-06 condidate is in 2010. I refuse to donate more until I know who the candidate is but some seed money will be helpful in recruiting a good candidate.