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Leading Off:

TX Redistricting: This is some fun legal-flavored cat fud. If you've been following the Texas redistricting saga closely, you know that Republican AG Greg Abbott—tasked with representing the interests of his GOP colleagues in the legislature—has made a royal botch of the entire affair. Admittedly, he was handed a crappy map to begin with, but he's victimized himself with plenty of unforced errors of his own, too. Late last week, Abbott tried to deflect attention from his myriad mistakes by picking a fight with the Department of Justice, publicly accusing them of dragging their feet to screw up his case. The DoJ fired back and, in my opinion, struck a lot harder—but the heaviest blow of all was landed by Republican state Sen. John Carona, who in essence told Abbott to STFU and litigate properly, rather than try to "shift blame" to the Justice Dept. Choice quote: "The attorney general’s office appeared to be late in the game and they obviously made some critical tactical errors from a Republican perspective." Ouch!

While we're on the subject, Texas GOP chair Steve Munisteri is already threatening to push yet another round of redistricting if (as seems likely) his side doesn't prevail in the courts this year (via Michael Li):

Second, the Party supports the Attorney General's efforts to obtain a favorable final ruling from the Washington D.C. federal panel. As a safeguard and backup strategy, I will be asking the State Republican Executive Committee (which meets this weekend in Austin on Saturday, December 2nd) to pass a resolution authorizing the State Chairman to request that each of our legislative candidates pledge to support a new redistricting effort in the next session of the legislature, in the event that the maps drawn by the Legislature are not enacted by the courts. The resolution will also request the SREC to grant the State Chairman the authority on behalf of the Party, to request in such an event, that the Speaker, Lieutenant Governor and Governor, all support the efforts to lead a new redistricting effort in the 83rd Legislative Session. If granted the authority by the SREC, I will also instruct the RPT political staff to begin preparing a legislative lobbying blitz to push for redistricting at the next session.

Finally, if the legislative maps are not upheld prior to the next election, the Party will redirect resources toward swing districts under the court panel's maps, so that we minimize the damage of the Court's map and increase our chances of having a Legislature favorable to appropriate redistricting in 2013.

Senate:

CT-Sen: This isn't the most clear-cut indication that state Rep. William Tong is about to bail on the Senate race, where's he's been a minuscule third wheel (a training wheel, perhaps) in the Dem primary between Rep. Chris Murphy and ex-SoS Susan Bysiewicz. But reading this article between the lines makes it sound that way: In response to reshuffling of his district lines under the new state House redistricting map in Connecticut, Tong says "I’m disappointed that I won’t be representing New Canaan anymore. I’m proud of what we accomplished there, and I’m looking forward to working with the people of Darien." And the article itself says "He said although some have reported he will not seek re-election to the state House of Representatives, he has not ruled out the option." That kind of lack of fire in the belly isn't the kind of thing that you publicly broadcast when your donors might be listening, so, between that and his lack of polling traction, it doesn't sound like he'll be in the Senate field much longer. (David Jarman)

MA-Sen: The Center for Public Integrity has a good, in-depth report on the right-wing groups that are gearing up like never before to help Scott Brown ward off defeat at the hands of Elizabeth Warren, whom they view as enemy no. 1 (because she, you know, actually wants to protect people against the depredations of Wall Street). Click the link to read how these dark armies are preparing for battle.

MT-Sen, MT-Gov: Well, this ain't something you see every day, or even every other day. Someone at the Montana Chamber of Commerce (or their pollster, Market Research Insight) leaked a recent survey they conducted to Dave Catanese, and the numbers are not what you'd expect. They show Dem Sen. Jon Tester ahead of GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg by a 42-37 margin, a contrast to other polls (particularly from PPP) which have found slight Rehberg leads. The poll also contained a presidential matchup (generic R leads Barack Obama 36-31), and a gubernatorial component on the Republican side (Rick Hill is at 29 and Ken Miller 15, but 40% are undecided).

NE-Sen: Rolling out an internal poll showing that he has a lead over all comers (like he did last week), to me at least, seems like a pretty clear tell that Ben Nelson is running. But it's important to note that the Nebraska conservaDem hasn't actually confirmed that he's seeking another term. And according to Politico, Dem insiders are increasingly leaning on Nelson to actually say something one way or the other this month. Nelson, who has a knack for stringing the national party along and then climbing aboard at the last minute after extracting concessions, has already been the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside advertising from outside Dem groups bolstering his re-election case. (David Jarman)

PA-Sen: Bob Casey, Jr. can breathe a little easier—not that, given his current dominance of the race, he was likely having heart palpitations over the specter of Dominic Pileggi. But the state Senate majority leader and consummate Harrisburg insider has, after a brief moment of being courted by national GOP powers, decided against a run against the first-term Democratic incumbent. Big-picture, it's not a surprise, but it is a unexpected given last week's news that Pileggi had started hiring campaign consultants. (I would guess the consultants' first order of business was to commission a poll, which didn't yield encouraging results for Pileggi.) (David Jarman)

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO going up with a $170,000 buy to run a positive ad in favor of Casey. While Casey is certainly among the less-endangered freshman Democratic senators, he has a very strong pro-labor record, so it makes sense that unions would want to help him out. You can watch the spot at the link or below:

Gubernatorial:

AR-Gov: Businessman Curtis Coleman, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP Senate nomination last year, says he's now thinking about a run for governor, though that post isn't up against until 2014. Coleman pulled in a very unimpressive 5% in a huge field that was dominated by a much stronger candidate, then-Rep. John Boozman, who went on to defeat Dem Sen. Blanche Lincoln. If he makes a gubernatorial bid, he'd likely face another big name in the primary: Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, who said in June that he was interested in the job.

WA-Gov: Dem Rep. Jay Inslee just secured the backing of the state's largest teacher's union, the Washington Education Association. The move is no surprise, but it's the earliest the WEA has ever gotten involved in the governor's race—and they're doing so because Republican AG Rob McKenna completely blew them off rather than sit down with them for an endorsement interview.

House:

AZ-02: This profile of Gabby Giffords' chief of staff, Pia Carusone, includes an interesting tidbit near the end: She's raised her profile enough in the wake of Giffords' shooting that she's now getting mentioned as a potential candidate for office... including as a prospective Giffords successor, given that Giffords' slow recovery might preclude a re-election bid. (If you're having some nomenclature confusion, this is getting filed under AZ-02 since most of the old AZ-08 is now the 2nd under new Arizona draft maps, which seem to be back on track with the Colleen Mathis reinstatement.) (David Jarman)

FL-27: Alan Grayson seems to have chosen where he's going to make his return engagement. Greg Giroux spots that in Grayson's latest filing with the FEC, he makes reference to the 27th CD. That's the newly-created Hispanic-plurality district in the Orlando/Kissimmee area, which is a probably-safe seat in the general election (59% Obama) but one where he'd have trouble emerging from a primary against a Puerto Rican politician. It's still likely the better of his two choices, the other of which was his old FL-08. It was already GOP-leaning and became a few points more Republican in redistricting. (David Jarman)

GA-02: Republican businessman Rick Allen, who pulled in just 11% in last year's GOP primary for the right to take on Dem Rep. Sanford Bishop, says he'll run again this cycle. Former state Rep. Mike Keown, the guy who beat Allen and then nearly upset Bishop, lost a bid for local office in November and had previously said he didn't plan to run for Congress again.

MA-06: I'm not my brother's keeper, and neither, I hope, is Dem Rep. John Tierney. But with the way things work these days (sigh), it's not especially helpful that his brother-in-law Daniel Eremian was just convicted of 50 racketeering-related charges in connection with running an illegal Internet gambling business. Last year, Tierney's wife, Patrice, pleaded guilty to helping her other brother, Robert (who was also involved in the gambling enterprise), file false tax returns and served a thirty-day jail sentence. While Tierney's never been accused of having any involvement in this whole mess, it has, unfairly or not, dogged him on the campaign trail.

MS-04: Roll Call's Joshua Miller digs into the life and times of freshman GOP Rep. Steven Palazzo, who has backed his way into a few episodes of trouble in his short career. Miller summarizes:

He went through two chiefs of staff before hiring his current one during the summer. A raucous house party arranged by Palazzo staffers in October led to the dismissal of his scheduler and a legislative correspondent. And on Thursday, Roll Call reported that in complying with House ethics rules, Palazzo may have bumped up against Mississippi law when he moved his certified public accounting firm to his wife’s name.

One Republican consultant (who may have some self-interest here) calls Palazzo "a little toxic" and suggests a primary challenge could be in the offing in this very red district. One possible name belongs to state Sen. Michael Watson, while another state senator, Chris McDaniel, says he definitely is not running. (Palazzo, you'll recall, knocked off longtime Rep. Gene Taylor last year, an old-school Dem who had managed to entrench himself despite the seat's extremely conservative nature. Few Republicans had ever shown a willingness to take Taylor on until Palazzo emerged, though of course he got a huge assist from the prevailing winds.)

NM-01: This poll's pretty old (dating back to June!), but it's new to us (and probably you). An internal from Lake Research for former Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez gives him a substantial lead over his more progressive challengers in the open seat Democratic primary, state Sen. Eric Griego and Bernalillo County Commissioner Michelle Lujan Grisham, thanks to a big name rec advantage. Chavez leads Griego and Grisham 32-15-8, with 41% undecided. (David Jarman)

NV-03: Hmm. Harry Reid just endorsed Assembly Speaker John Oceguera in his race against Joe Heck in the swingy 3rd CD, which makes it seem like he's either trying hard to box out ex-Rep. Dina Titus, or he's just given up entirely. What am I talking about? Well, as Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun explained last month, Reid is widely understood to be supporting state Sen. Ruben Kihuen in the much bluer 1st, where Titus is also running (and kicking ass, if her Democratic primary poll is to be believed). Reid's preference apparently is (or was) for Titus to run in the 3rd, which she represented for a term until losing last year. But since he's backing Oceguera now, that would seem to preclude any further efforts at getting Titus to switch over to that district. So either he's now going to play Byron Georgiou-style hardball on behalf of his man Kihuen, or he's making peace with a perhaps inevitable Titus victory.

TN-03: Chris Carroll of the Chattanooga Times Free Press nails Zach Wamp and his son Weston pretty good:

Behind in the polls a day before he lost Tennessee’s Republican gubernatorial primary last year, former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp skewered the eventual nominees — Bill Haslam and Mike McWherter.

“Both of them are really running on their daddies’ fumes,” Wamp told supporters near Nashville. “They wouldn’t even be in this game if it weren’t for their fathers.”

He might regret saying that.

Wamp’s 24-year-old son Weston recently mounted a primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, the man who replaced the elder Wamp in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District. Records show 72 percent of Weston Wamp’s top donors to date gave money to his father’s gubernatorial campaign, congressional campaigns or both.

Zing! Carroll details exactly who some of these big donors are and unsurprisingly also learns that the elder Wamp has been making fundraising calls on behalf of the younger. What a miserable way to spend your (unexpectedly early) retirement. A couple of major Wamp supporters from yesteryear aren't playing ball, though, and plan to back Fleischmann.

Other Races:

PA-Auditor: Outgoing Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato will not run for state auditor after all, contrary to expectations; instead, he's endorsing state Rep. Eugene DePasquale for the post and taking a job in the private sector. This downballot race was only on our radar because it looked like Onorato, who was the Democrats' unsuccessful nominee for governor last year, might have used the auditor position as a stepping-stone for another gubernatorial bid in 2018 or perhaps for Senate in 2016.

WI Recall: An organizer says that Democrats have collected 59% of the petitions they need against state Sen. Terry Moulton in the 23rd District, in just 25% of the time available. A positive sign, if accurate.

Grab Bag:

Michigan: Republicans in Michigan, smarting over last month's recall of GOP state Rep. Paul Scott, are proposing to make it harder to initiate recalls of elected officials… but Democrats are apparently interested in the idea, too. (Good for goose = good for gander.) However, it would take a constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of the legislature and a statewide vote of approval by the public.

Minnesota GOP: Here's the first of two state Republican Party organizations in turmoil: Minnesota, where chair Tony Sutton resigned on Friday, leaving his party over a million dollars in debt (that includes a special recount fund from last year's close gubernatorial race). Activists have appointed an interim leader, but it sounds like things are still quite a mess.

Ohio GOP: I hope you're not feeling too full, because this here is a very generous helping of cat fud. Gov. John Kasich and state House Speaker William Batchelder are both trying to oust their own party's chairman, Kevin DeWine, a cousin of AG and former Sen. Mike DeWine. This feud is a long-standing one, since Kasich wanted DeWine to step down after defeating Ted Strickland last year (DeWine refused), and also personal rather than ideological. Some highlights:

On Friday night, Batchelder sent a memo to House GOP members accusing DeWine of undermining the incumbents among them during the 2010 election campaign. Batchelder said DeWine attempted to persuade donors not to give money to the members’ campaigns. Batchelder also said in the memo that DeWine, in a speech to central-committee members on Friday, accused Kasich of trying to push him out as chairman “for personal profit, ego and power.” […]

“This has nothing to do with ideology or political philosophy. It has nothing to do with performance,” DeWine said. “It’s about the consolidation of power, it’s about money, and it’s about trying to control as much of the process as they can.”

DeWine added: “I refuse to let this party be overtaken by lobbyists. I will not let this party be dominated by a single officeholder.

Fun stuff!

Primary Calendar: We missed this last month, but Wisconsin moved its primary from Sept. 11 to Aug. 14, to make it easier to comply with the federal MOVE Act, which requires that absentee ballots be mailed to overseas voters at least 45 days before election day. Meanwhile, for the same reason, the state of Massachusetts recently shifted its primary as well, though the move was as minimal as possible: From Sept. 18 to Sept. 6. But then someone realized that the new date conflicts with the Democratic National Convention, so there's some half-hearted talk about changing it yet again. Anyhow, to keep up with all of these moving targets, be sure to check out (and bookmark) our sortable primary calendar, which includes filing deadlines and is fully up-to-date.

Redistricting Roundup:

CO Redistricting: Add one more state to the finished pile, redistricting-wise. The outcome probably isn't a surprise to redistricting watchers, given the tenor of last week's oral arguments, but the Colorado Supreme Court signed off today on the map that a state district court had earlier picked (after the split-control legislature deadlocked). The map that had been picked was the one favored by Democrats, which turned suburban CO-06 into a swing district at the expense of briefly-Dem-held CO-04. (David Jarman)

FL Redistricting: I hope you haven't gotten too attached to the Florida redistricting map that came out last week from the state Senate (I know I have); remember that the state House hasn't even weighed in with its version yet, to say nothing of the inevitable litigation that will occur over whether it comports with the Fair Districts initiative. At any rate, another puzzle piece will get added tomorrow, as the map from the state House (also GOP-held) is reportedly scheduled to be released tomorrow. Sources say they'll "follow the Senate's example," so the changes may not be too great (if any at all). (David Jarman)

NM Redistricting: Trial began on Monday in the redistricting lawsuit in New Mexico, where, interestingly, Republicans and a number of Democrats actually agree on what the state's new congressional map should look like, a so-called "least change" plan to balance out population disparities between the three districts. However, a group of dissident Dems is pushing a separate plan that would make the swingy 1st CD bluer, while the civil rights group LULAC wants to create a majority-Hispanic district in the south-central part of the state.

DRA: Dave has a new version of his world-famous redistricting app out. Click the link to check out the new features and maps available.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Observations of the Republican focus group (CSPAN) (15+ / 0-)

    If you have time I really recommend watching the Northern Virginia focus group on CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/...
    It helps you get inside the mind of the Republican primary voters.  Now the caveat is that its only 10 people but I learned a lot, since I think very differently from these people.

    1)  Romney’s support is paper thin and I mean paper thin.  They really don’t like the man and except for electability he wouldn’t be in the conversation (called a flip/flopper often in the conversation, a buffer, his Romneycare came up a lot etc)
    2)  These voters really think Obama is dumb (and could be taken by Newt in a debate, “Would Love to see Newt debate him” etc etc)
    3)  This group thinks Newt is smart enough to take Obama in a debate and thus could be electable that way, by beating him in a debate (it explains how Newt can be tieing Romney when it comes to electability)
    4)  One really insightful question was when they asked what family member each of candidates was, Newt was the likable uncle or dad, Mitt Romney wasn’t even in the family
    5)  Newt immigration stance hasn’t affected him at all even amongst the tea party in the group, (its like they have already made up their minds to like him? I don’t know not sure I can explain that one)
    6)  Immigration really divides this group  but most are realistic about deportation etc
    7)  Ron Paul wont win the Republican primary (shock I know), there was one young white male (surprise) who was for him but a good 2 or 3 republicans who said it was a dealbreaker for them if he won the nomination
    8)  People seem to like Michelle Bachmann as a strong believer, most wont vote for her though
    9)  No one in the group loves any of the candidates but if the majority were going to choose someone it was probably going to be Newt (but Newts support is still soft with a lot of people)
    That’s what I remember. Again if you have a chance watch it, it really helps explain some of the stuff going on in the Republican primary right now.

    •  Republicans think Newt is likable? (5+ / 0-)

      Are they from outer space?

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:16:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're idiots but their bottom line is sound (6+ / 0-)

      They're making lemons into lemonade and Gingrich is the tastiest all-around.  The idea that he'd best Obama in a debate is delusional but he'd do much better than Romney.  Words have no meaning to either of them but Gingrich is a better verbal tactician.

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:53:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, askew

        As a person old enough to remember the Nixon/Kennedy debates, I think everyone attributing this staggering brilliance to Newt (which I also disagree with — I don't see how he can make nonsense and cruelty sound brilliant) are forgetting a major factor: visuals. Unless Newt loses a ton of weight and spruces up considerably, he will be at a huge disadvantage. Many still believe Nixon lost because he was sweaty and looked shifty on TV. And decades' worth of studies show there's something to that.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:59:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent, they're morons (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, GMFORD, sapelcovits, askew

      First of all, only by the already poor standards of Republican "debating" is Newt a "good debater".    He's mostly berated the moderators and stroked his ego.  

      And I know the Republicans would love to forgot this because of their teleprompter jokes (hurr durr), but Obama is a very good debater and wouldn't simply take Newt's bullshit lying down.

      Called out on his bullshit, Newt's natural douchebaggery will come out.  

    •  Thanks for doing this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xenocrypt, GMFORD, xcave

      so I don't have to! I really feel badly about it but I just can't take it when Republicans talk about Obama being dumb. Just really frosts me-to think they think Newt is smarter. Geesh.

    •  Newt's Alleged Debating Prowess Is Entirely.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      ...the product of context insofar as he's sharing the stage with these other jesters.  The primary rabbit in his hat with debates is waging war against the media, which only serves him well in primary debates catering to right-wing voters.  No undecided voter will choose in favor of Professor Gingrich based on his incessant sneering at the press.  

      Beyond that, what has the Professor's most memorable debate moment been thus far?  Claiming that the right-wing bogeyman of Freddie Mac paid him $1.6 million based on his services as a "historian".  If he tries to pull a stunt that lame in a general election debate--and you know he will--he will be eaten alive.

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        People often times think people are smarter than they are when they question the questioner.  Its a strategy politicians have used at various times, and I certainly used it with my college professors.  And no, I wasn't a philosophy major :-)

  •  Calling our VRA experts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Setsuna Mudo, Odysseus

    What factors should be considered when determining whether or not the Texas interim plan, if upheld, will be the VRA benchmark? In particular, which districts would likely be protected by §5?

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:19:19 AM PST

    •  . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      If the state drawn plan gets preclearance from the D.C. court then it will be the benchmark, IMO, if that happens soon (doubtful). If it does not, then whatever final interim map exists will be the benchmark.

      Any district which has a majority Hispanic population will be protected, whether or not it is likely to elect a the Hispanic candidate of choice reliably (I.E. the 23rd is protected, but isn't reliable for the candidate of choice). There are no protected AA districts.

      22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

      by wwmiv on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:44:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  whenever I've tried making a hispanic majority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    district in NM it's ended up being Republican.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:39:32 AM PST

    •  It's possible (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo, SaoMagnifico

      I usually find creating a Hispanic-majority district in New Mexico creates a Democratic vote-sink; the sort Republicans would try and create. I can understand why you might get a lean R one though; I've definitely made a Hispanic-plurality district in NM that the Republicans would win. It'll probably become Democratic over time; from what I've heard Hispanic turnout and political participation in New Mexico, the southern half of the state in particular, is pretty poor, and a lot of the Hispanic residents can't vote (under 18, for the most part).

      British guy with a big interest in US politics.

      by General Goose on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:16:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Possible (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo, SaoMagnifico

        The only way to make an effective Hispanic majority district is to split the state in three pizza slices a la Utah instead of a donut hole on Albuquerque.

        22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

        by wwmiv on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:41:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I said it was possible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          not that it would be pretty. :P

          British guy with a big interest in US politics.

          by General Goose on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:45:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  what do you mean by "effective"? (0+ / 0-)

          I just drew a 50.8% Hispanic district (over 55% by total population) that didn't touch Albuquerque.  It only had one split county, too, and the deviation was +2.

          It was also only a 49.8% Obama district.

          Albuquerque's district was still only plurality white, but a 59.5% Obama district, and my 3rd was 19.1% Native and 33.1% Hispanic by VAP, over 60% Obama.  My 2nd and 3rd were both about 39.5% white by total population.

          I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:50:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's basically two ways to draw. (2+ / 0-)

        An effective Hispanic district in New Mexico.  

        The first is to combine Latino parts of Albuquerque with Southwestern New Mexico (mainly for the Copper Canyon, although the Latino population is high here except for a few rural counties).  The other two districts draw themselves then, and end up around 55% and 52% Obama.  So Safe D, Lean D, and Tossup.  

        The second is to combine Latino Albuquerque with the traditional Spanish heartland of the state.  This ends up a lot more Democratic (67% Obama).  You can then either create two tossup districts from the rest (one running from Navajo country to the south, plus some of "Little Texas" - the other the rest of the reactionary counties and white Albuquerque/Santa Fe), or try and create a district pretty similar to NM-2 (Republican vote sink, essentially) and create a 57% Obama district linking together the reservations and the white urban areas.  

        Honestly, I'm not sure a good rationale exists for a Latino district in New Mexico.  It's now plurality Latino, and within a few years it will be plurality Latino by VAP too.  It will probably never be majority Latino because the Native American population is growing.

        Still, it's clear Latinos do fine statewide.  The current Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Auditor are Latinos.  So are the State House Speaker, House Majority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Majority Whip.  Oh, and Ben Lujan Jr. in NM-3 of course.

        •  Yeah, I tend to do the second option (0+ / 0-)

          if I'm trying to create a Hispanic-majority district. If I'm creating a Dem or GOP gerrymander (or even a fair map, if I'm feeling boring and nonpartisan), I stay away from both of those options.

          British guy with a big interest in US politics.

          by General Goose on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:08:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm starting a series of diaries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Setsuna Mudo

      Where I find out what would happen if the House was doubled in size. I actually did New Mexico last night (it would get 5) and was able to draw two Hispanic-majority districts and one that was 34/33/31 VAP white/hispanic/native

      23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

      by HoosierD42 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:14:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Utter chaos (0+ / 0-)

        Can you imagine organizing ANYTHING in a body with nearly 1,000 people in it? I've heard one or two other people suggest this idea and I don't even begin to see its value. i see the only countries with legislatures that large are China and Libya, and I expect those are mostly ceremonial, not working legislatures (if anyone knows more, please share).

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:03:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Using 3rd grade math (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rdw72777

          Doubling the House would give us 870 members, 130 off from 1,000. And I think it would go a long way towards making the House more representative and accountable to its constituents.

          In any case, the diary is posted

          Link

          23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

          by HoosierD42 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:43:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Today's digest is up (0+ / 0-)

            Don't forget to post there too.

          •  I think they would be LESS accountable (0+ / 0-)

            and there would be MORE jockeying for power and selling out to special interests. Unless it was accompanied by the elimination of corporate personhood and Citizens United, and preferably the institution of public campaign financing, it would be a debacle of mammoth proportions.

            Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

            by anastasia p on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:57:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Try Las Cruces to Albuquerque. (0+ / 0-)

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:31:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think I'm ready to ditch most of my RSS feeds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    There's just too much junk that I don't have time to read through.

    Google Reader becoming like an evil second inbox--especially since the share features were stripped out last month.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:59:43 AM PST

  •  Just this headline gives me such (5+ / 0-)

    a big happy, you've no idea...

    FWIW, John Carona is what passes for a sane Republican in Texas.  

    And Greg Abbott is an ambitious, hypocritical idiot.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at Texas Kaos.

    by boadicea on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:19:09 AM PST

  •  Weston Wamp? (7+ / 0-)

    Charles Dickens would have said that name was unrealistic.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:38:56 AM PST

  •  Dems have a great opportunity in Texas. (0+ / 0-)

    If they will go with some independent pacs to focus on how much taxpayer money these idiots in the GOP are wasting in Texas.

    They also have a lever with Perry's WH bid, he's spending taxpayer money and neglecting taxpayer business.

    If I was a national Dem I'd look at Texas and see an enormous ripe watermelon.
    Yummy.

    •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Setsuna Mudo

      That watermelon isn't quite as ripe as Georgia or Arizona.

      22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

      by wwmiv on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:12:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Instead of insisting that Texas is ripe (7+ / 0-)

        and running for Governor or Senate, we need to start seriously contesting the state legislature or even city/county councils. That will produce results far faster than just waiting for the demographics to catch up.

        23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

        by HoosierD42 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:18:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The statewide offices aren't primed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoosierD42

          But there is a lot that can be done locally.  I know we have to establish and expand in the metro areas (DFW, Houston, San Antonio, etc), but there are other smaller areas near and far to the metro areas I'd like to be smaller ground zero's.  

          A place like Denton comes to mind.  With large population growth, college town demographic (Univ of North Texas is rather huge) I think this type of area could be our strategy outside the major metro areas.

          As far as contesting anything statewide, I'm all for finding the best candidates, but none of the national committees should put money in Texas, its simply not smart spending.

          •  Maybe even Lubbock (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaoMagnifico

            Which is 11.4% black and and 33.7% hispanic by VAP. And we could expand into the panhandle from there.

            23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

            by HoosierD42 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:48:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure why not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HoosierD42

              Though Texas Tech seems like more of an ancestral Texas college while UNT seems like more of a new school with possibly less of "Texas" in it, if that makes any sense.

              •  No I agree. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Allen

                I just think we need to start competing everywhere instead of writing places like the panhandle off as "too Texan"

                23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut

                by HoosierD42 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:57:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Texas is too Texan (0+ / 0-)

                  But starting in college towns should be a good place.  The thing that bothers me is just how high of a % of Texas university students are from Texas, which means the seeds of Texas have been planted and grown for 18 years.  

                  Some of these schools are above 85%, I don't think that's altogether different from SUNY, but I expected it to be lower for some reason.

                •  I think a big part of the problem is that the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Odysseus

                  state has been too oil-centric and that extends out to the sticks.
                  With the long term drought that has just begun, and the fires, etc., and with the wind farms and the emergence of small scale solar power, the farmers and ranchers out here have no reason to remain tethered to the Republicans.

            •  Lubbock seems like a great place to start (0+ / 0-)

              I'd like to think we also have some upside in Fort Worth (43.4% non-Hispanic white).

              Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:36:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  WORKING ON IT! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blank
            A place like Denton comes to mind.

            City Council is mostly Dem; new guy elected last cycle in the "African American" seat (who's actually a very progressive white guy who might be to the left of Dems) seems to have ambitions to go beyond council. Current mayor, Burrows, would likely be a Dem if he thought a Dem could win.

            Watch Houston runoffs for place 5 later this month. Jones is a Dem, Christie is a GOP. I'd like to keep the GOP shut out of city wide elections in Houston (Costello in Place 1 is a GOP, but not really. He's so moderate they have excommunicated him). Dallas is pretty well locked down too. Work needs to be done in San Antonio/Bexar County. San Marcos might need some work too. Fort Worth/Tarrant County needs some big work done.

            SSP alumni, 26, Male, Democrat, TX-22 ('10); TX-14 ('12)

            by trowaman on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 11:31:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Arlington/Grand Prairie/Irving (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trowaman

              Those three have all made nice movement in the D column.  (Full Disclosure: I live in Arlington.) Unfortunately, other than former Mayor of Irving Herb Gears, who just got clobbered, I can't think of a single known Democrat on any of the councils.  CD-6, SD-9, and HD-105 should be on the radar, but currently only Don Jaquess has filed for CD-6.

              •  Find Martin Frost (0+ / 0-)

                And tell him to file for CD-6. Now.

                HD-105 should be on the pick up list for this cycle. Kerry got 40.6% but Obama got a plurality with 49.7% and Sam Houston won it with 51.6%. 2008 DPI was 44.2%, Bill White got 46.7%.

                I actually like SD-16 more than SD-9. IN SD-16 Kerry did 0.8% better, and White did 0.4% better than SD-9. In SD-9 Obama did 0.3% better, Houston did 1.7% better, and the DPI was 2.9% better compared to SD-16. Close call, though.

                SSP alumni, 26, Male, Democrat, TX-22 ('10); TX-14 ('12)

                by trowaman on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:15:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Tried that after 2006 election (0+ / 0-)

                  After the 2006 election, I ran the numbers on SD 10 and realized that it was winnable.  I promptly wrote to Martin Frost asking him to run.  Surprisingly enough, he replied (as he did while I was one of his constituents) saying that we was done running for office.  He did say that he would consider a Presidential appointment.  As we know, Wendy Davis went on to win SD 10.  

                  As for SD 16, I hadn't realized that it had moved west into Irving.  The problem is with that district though is Corona is relatively liked Dallas elites, so anyone running in it would have an uphill battle with newspaper endorsements and such.  By contrast, SD 9 is currently open.

        •  I agree we shouldn't wait for the big contests. (0+ / 0-)

          I think the state's "ripe" on several levels. However, there  has been a disconnect between the national Dem party and the state party, and it's time to put that aside and start working more as a team for the state.

  •  Regarding Florida redistricting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    News reports have come of the "arrangement" between Senate leader Don Gaetz and House leadership to "accept" each other's maps (The House would not object to or have hearings on the Senate's Senate map and vice versa for the Senate in accepting the House's proposed House map), they would have hearings of course on both chamber's Congressional proposals.

    Also, House maps from the House redistricting committee come out today in a hearing at 2pm, not sure about their Congressional proposed maps.

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:03:04 AM PST

  •  Im not sure if this is the right place for this... (5+ / 0-)

    But I have to tell someone and this had elections in it so, here it is:

    Why did Herman Cain Quote Pokemon For the Second Time?

    right place or not, this is too bizarre not to report and I didnt have enough informaiton for a diary. So. There it is. Herman Cain, quoting the second pokemon movie.

    WTF.

    •  At least he properly owned up to & attributed it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico

      the second time, presumably because after that he'd be gone for good. The whole thing of him trying to attribute it the first time to an "anonymous philosopher" was just comical.

      Yami Yugi: Wait a minute! Did you just summon a bunch of monsters in one turn? Seto Kaiba: Yeah. So? Yami: That's against the rules, isn't it? Kaiba: Screw the rules, I have money! — Episode 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series

      by Setsuna Mudo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:26:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny thing about Quotes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, itskevin

      Okay, I sort of feel bad for Herman Cain on this. He first heard this song at the closing of the Olympics and thought it was written for that occasion. An easy mistake to make as that sort of soaring lyric is typical for Olympic songs. Obviously it meant something to him because he remembered it and used it. I imagine that it was a little embarrassing to him when he found out the original source, but my anti-snob side kicked in. Why should a lyric be any less profound if it were written by Donna Summer instead of Lord Byron? What makes something less powerful if it was originally presented in an animated movie and not some long-dead Roman senator's speech? Shouldn't the focus be on the words themselves?
      Now, if someone wants to suggest the words lack meaning or that the message is silly, well, fair enough. That particular quote that he used didn't affect me one way or the other. And of course it's an easy punchline for a comic - you get the impression of Herman Cain watching The Pokemon movie for wisdom.
      True story, when I went to select my 'quote' for my senior year high school yearbook, I went to a source that would probably be considered just as lowbrow as The Pokemon Movie - a 1982 comedic retelling of The Pirates of Penzance called The Pirate Movie. The movie itself had been a bomb and the song I quoted had actually been nominated for a Razzie, but the two lines from the chorus seemed to sum up my philosophy and wishes for life so perfectly, nothing else would have been as good a fit.

      Give me a happy ending, every time
      Don't be unhappy everything will work out fine.

      Now, I would probably never quote that in a political speech; it doesn't roll off the tongue all that well unless it's sung (and I CAN'T sing!) but even though I am now in my 40's, I'm not at all embarrassed by that quote or its origin. It's still my philosophy in life - I'm an optimist and I do think that if you look for a happy ending, you are a lot more inclined to find one than if you go on harping about Murphy's Law. And if I am going to sit down and read a book or watch a movie, I want something with a happy ending! No Nicholas Sparks story about two people who fall in love just so one of them can die tragically in the last chapter.
      I suspect Herman Cain would not have originally used that quote if he had known where it came from and how it could leave him open to being mocked. There are many things I don't admire about the man but the fact that he stuck with that quote and threw it's lowbrow origins back into the teeth of the press gave him back a few points in my book.

      Hush! Hush! see how the Child is sleeping; Hush! Hush! see how he smiles in dreams!

      by Zornorph on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:45:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lol (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaoMagnifico, KingofSpades

      My level 13 Bulbasaur on my game of Leaf Green that I just started probably had a better chance at the Republican nomination than Herman Cain.

      21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:33:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NJ redistricting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, SaoMagnifico

    A Scott Garrett-Steve Rothman fair fight district?

    http://www.politickernj.com/...

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:40:24 AM PST

    •  Interesting. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, SaoMagnifico

      Averaging the two districts together, you get a PVI of D+2.  Not a great district for the most right-wing member of the NJ congressional delegation to try and hold down.  

      Of course, all the territory wouldn't be added.  My guess would be Garret will even be a bit more punked.  He'd almost cetainly lose Warren and Sussex, which would really hurt him (that portion of his district was 60% McCain, the rest, 52%.  

      In contrast, NJ-9 can't really get eaten into too much, provided they intend to keep the Latino population in NJ-13 fairly high.  I expect there would be a general shifting of territory from NJ-8 to 10, and then some of the old NJ-9 would go into NJ-8.  But the communities along the eastern side of the district aren't as progressive as those in the area closer to NYC.  

      The absolute worst I could see this district being is EVEN.  And that's assuming over 60% of the population comes from Garrett's district.  

      •  Won't lose Sussex (0+ / 0-)

        That's where he lives and my guess is that they won't take it from him.  The district would be a band across the top of the state running from the Hudson River to the Delaware River.

        Also, as the article points out, Garrett might become vulnerable to a primary challenge from someone like Kathy Donovan.

        I still think a Lance-Holt fair fight district is a more likely outcome.  But we'll see.

        “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

        by Paleo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:25:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  On the plus side (0+ / 0-)

        I have to think some of the NJ outward migration is coming to PA, so in 2020 Eastern PA outside Philly should be even more Democratic than it is today, so hopefully we get a district (or 4 back) in 2020 re-districting.

        •  Yes and no. (0+ / 0-)

          Eastern PA will continue to grow.  By 2020 I expect Monroe County, the Lehigh Region, and Berks to all be pretty solid D counties.  Pike will probably be swing too, as it's trending our way.  

          But another district?  No way.  Southwestern Pennsylvania is still hemorrhaging people too fast.  I don't think it's likely PA will lose another seat in 2020, but another seat will shift from the west to the east.  

    •  I DRA'ed this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo

      I saw this and fooled around in DRA last night and came up with a new 9th district that had a little more than half Rothman constituents but had an even PVI (DRA's NJ stats don't include third-party votes, so an even PVI there is 53.7%).  I'm at work right now so here's what I remember from the map last night (probably posting a diary tomorrow)

      NJ01: Still heavily D, now reaches into Burlington County
      NJ02: Changes the least, picks up part of Ocean County, even PVI
      NJ03: Runyan is the real winner under this map, he no longer reaches into Camden County and picks up more of Ocean County, R+5 PVI
      NJ04: Smith's district gets a little more Democratic but it's still R+4
      NJ05: Now the Latino majority district (52% VAP) based in Hudson County
      NJ06: Now snakes into Union County, D+6, which is actually a drop in its PVI, but still fairly safe.  I extended NJ10 out to Irvington, which hurt the Dem performance here.  I might fiddle with it some more to pick up more of NJ12's territory.
      NJ07: Lance is another big winner as he picks up a lot of Garrett's old Western NJ territory and gets a district that's R+9.  I wonder if Garrett might run here instead because Lance has made noises about being moderate even if he rarely acts on those noises.
      NJ08: Pascrell keeps a safe district that loses much of Passaic outside Paterson and picks up some southern portions of the old NJ09 and Hoboken.
      NJ09: Curls from Rothman's home in Fair Lawn out to the Hudson River, up to the NY border and out to Garrett's home in Sussex county.  Even PVI, more of Rothman's constituents.
      NJ10: As I said earlier, it reaches out to Irvington now and has an AA VAP of approximately 55%
      NJ11: Gives up the western half of Morris County to NJ7 and now reaches into Bergen to pick up some of Garrett's and Rothman's old territory, as well as some of the Republican portions of Passaic that were in NJ08.
      NJ12: Gets a PVI of D+10.  Again, tonight I might try to equalize the PVI between this and NJ06.

      Anyway, what do you guys think of that?  Always nice to receive input before I post a diary.

      NY-12 resident, lives across the street from NY-14

      by Bobby Big Wheel on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:53:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reasonable (0+ / 0-)

        I could see Garrett running against Lance, or even Frelinghuisen, if he felt the party was out to screw him.  Kathy Donovan could then run against Rothman, which would probably give him a tougher race.

        “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

        by Paleo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 09:13:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WI-3: Kind draws a GOP challenger (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    non acquiescer

    This is a new name to me so likely a political neophyte.  But Col. Ray Boland announced a GOP challenge to Ron Kind in WI-3.

    link: http://www.wispolitics.com/...

    Also, I don't think it was ever mentioned in the digest though I posted it two consecutive days but Matt Silverman, a former intern to GOP Neb. Sen. Chuck Hagel. announced in the Democratic primary to replace Tammy Baldwin in CD-2.

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:42:27 AM PST

  •  WI Supreme Court: Prosser illness disclosed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    non acquiescer

    it turns out the health crisis Prosser faces is diverticulitis of the colon.   He went into the hospital thinking he had severe flu and ended up under strict Doctors orders.  

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:46:50 AM PST

  •  "Power, money and ego" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Key DeWhiner managed to accurately describe the Ohio GOP However, it's rich he'd say that "refuses to let the party be taken over by lobbyists." Too late, Kevvy. Your party and all its members are wholly owned by lobbyists. This is definitely personal. Why would you push to dump your state chair after he has engineered a victory you should not have had? Kasich won because of some internal issues in the Democratic Party in Ohio. He won by a hair — a mere two points, and only 49 % of the vote. That wasn't Kevin DeWine's fault — it was Kasich's. You'd think if anyone the Democrats would be pushing to dump their chairman, but they haven't and I agree with that. Chris Redfern did not cause our across-the-board losses. He worked hard to mitigate them and stand in the way of OUR governor's loser personnel choices. Luckily, the person at the party I blamed for the losses departed not long after the election.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

    by anastasia p on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:57:30 AM PST

  •  IL-?? Joe Walsh skips his own deadline (0+ / 0-)

    Let's not forget Joe Walsh (Deadbeat Dad-IL8) announced his BIG ANNOUNCEMENT would be Monday. That's when we would learn in which district he'll be running for a second term. Would it be his current IL-8, or perhaps IL-14, where he'd go against fellow Republican Randy Hultgren?

    Alas, yesterday came and went ... without the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.

    Follow the amusing "Where's Joe?" discussion at Capitol Fax Blog.

  •  PA-??? (0+ / 0-)

    I got a Holiday Post card from Joe Sestak. Maybe he plans on running either in 2012 or 2014.

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