This diary could just as easily be titled: So You Think Heath Shuler Is Bad?
Anyhow, the right wing fanatics in the NC General Assembly have published their proposed Congressional map, and what will come to no surprise to anyone is that it cuts hard into currently Democratic districts, with Brad Miller, Larry Kissell, and Heath Shuler being the primary targets.
In the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that our erstwhile Democratic Assembly had engaged for years in some of the most egregious pro-Democratic gerrymandering in the Southeastern United States, and the NC delegation was undoubtedly heavy on Democrats in comparison to the state's demographics.
This proposed map, however, rather than seeking to undo the years of Democratic gerrymandering by creating a sensible map instead reverse gerrymandered the state into an even worse and more egregiously disenfranchising mess.
More below Mr. Squiggly:
Unfortunately, I don't have access to an easily read map of the proposed maps, but they can be viewed with a GIS overlay at: NC General Assembly District Map Viewer.
In the District Maps drop-down box on the top right, select "Congressional -2010" for the current map and "Rucho-Lewis-Congress1" for the map produced by the Sith Lords GOP Assembly's draft committee. Both maps can be overlaid at once, or viewed separately based on preference.
Update: Here's a very low res picture that has been released:
Take a look at the NC-10th district, arguably the most pro-Republican in the state, where the liberal bastion of Asheville has been taken from its long and happy home in the NC-11th. This move is aimed at drastically reducing the liberal voting anchor that had started giving a Democratic edge in the Mountain Southwest of the state, and will have the triple-whammy of 1) disenfranchising the liberal voting bloc in Asheville, 2) district-splitting Buncombe County and thereby undercutting the population's quality of community representation, and 3) making the 11th a good bit redder. They also dropped a lot of conservative former-10th mountain counties into the 11th. This is some bullshit, but I can't say I'm surprised.
Over in Brad Miller's NC-13th, he's lost some of his key urban neighborhoods in both Raleigh and Greensboro, and has seen the district extended well to the west in to Surry County (very close to my home and a certified conservative haven; many folks here will be upset to lose Virginia Foxx as their mighty overlord). I don't see how he holds on to this district without a big fight each and every 2 years.
Speaking of evil old Virginia Foxx, she must be feeling awfully sure of herself, as it appears she's picked up some more swing-voting areas in the Winston-Salem area in order to open some of her right-wing stronghold to gerrymandering. She's still safe, however, given she retains the far right-wing areas in the mountains and foothills that have been her base for her whole career. It'll take a miracle (or a really fast implementation of my Retire Liberally © demographic relocation plan to take her out. We have great hospitals, birding, biking, the Blue Ridge, and excellent arts and culture in Winston-Salem - yes, Winston-Salem).
Kissell's NC-8th already leaned swing, but has added a few Republican areas. From what little I know, he may see the least impact of the 3.
Given his value, Miller is the one I'm most worried about, but am still spitting mad given the disenfranchisement of Asheville.
Also, it looks like they kept Mel Watt's horrible old Democratic gerrymander, and, well, made it more gerrymandered and more Democratic, with him gaining areas of urban Charlotte, though losing some of Winston-Salem.
The GOP also helped bolster the chances of some of their own while they were at it: From wxii12.com:
The redrawn maps could also help some Republicans in their upcoming re-elections. The district of first-term GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers would include more of Wake County and lose Democratic areas to boost her re-election chances. Republican Rep. Howard Coble's 6th district will stretch from Greensboro to Fort Bragg and Fayetteville under the proposed maps.
Sadly, it is my understanding that under NC law there is very little Governor Bev Purdue can do to stop this. I'm not up to speed in this area, and will post more when I can find the info.
Update: Looks like a lot of analysts are giving the odds that this is a 3-4 seat loss. Urban area disenfranchisement is even worse than I first noticed - according to The Daily Reflector:
Wake County, home to Raleigh, would have four U.S. House members representing them if the boundaries were to take effect. Mecklenburg and Guilford counties would have three members each.
Mecklenburg contains Charlotte and Guilford contains Greensboro. This is a savage map for Democrats...
Update 2: Excellent diary on the subject by David Jarman from earlier today.