Texas' redistricting/gerrymandering.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by occupied, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. occupied
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    occupied Gold Member

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    It seems Texas gained 4 million people in the last 10 years, 65% of them Hispanic, and redrew their maps to favor republicans who incidentally are not very fond of Hispanics, legal or illegal, and are involved with a host of legal challenges that threaten to further postpone their primary.

    The trouble lies with the voting rights act of 1965, section 5 that requires them to clear all changes through either the Justice dept. or a special three judge panel in Washington, neither of which signed off on their map. Then some other federal judges got involved with a map of their own and it has turned into a gigantic supreme court mess who may use the opportunity to gut the voting rights act just for laughs.

    Texas Voting Rights Case Heard by Supreme Court - NYTimes.com

    It seems the state of Texas has not reformed enough to be trusted to redraw their districts fairly after 46 years. So what's the verdict on the board to this sorry state of affairs? Is section 5 of the voting rights act still valid or do the former Jim Crow states have the right to be as politically racist as they can get away with?
     
  2. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    No worse than Gov. Quinn in IL redrawing maps to benefit Democrats. Hispanics in IL are probably entitled to two districts, but he has to protect the three black districts while making it easier for Democrats to prevail in districts 8 and 11.
     
  3. Claudette
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    Claudette Gold Member

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    Oh Brother. Like the Dems don't do the same thing??

    You need to get out more.
     
  4. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    Some states HAVE got the redistricting right. They are:

    CALIFORNIA — For the past ten years, California has been a model of the ill-effects of partisan redistricting. A decade ago, California legislators opted to draw a new map with the primary goal of protecting incumbent officeholders. It worked beyond belief. In the following election, every single incumbent in California’s House, Senate, and congressional delegation won reelection, taking an average 69 percent of the vote. Over the ensuing decade, none of the 120 legislative seats and just one of the state’s 53 congressional seats have switched parties.

    This time around, California voters opted to draw the map themselves. In November, they overwhelmingly passed Proposition 20, which turned over congressional redistricting to a citizen commission. Out of 31,000 applicants, eight Californians — including a bookstore owner, an engineer, and an insurance agent — were chosen at random last week to serve. Those eight will soon choose another six citizens to finalize the 14-member commission, which will be evenly split between five Democrats, five Republicans, and four unaffiliated voters. Together, the commission will draw a new map using “strict, nonpartisan rules.” In order to become law, the new map must be supported by at least nine of the 14 members — three Democrats, three Republicans, and three unaffiliated voters.

    FLORIDA — Like California, Florida’s current map is an egregious example of gerrymandering. A perpetual swing state, Florida backed President Bush in 2004 with 52 percent of the vote and President Obama in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote. However, thanks in large part to Republican gerrymandering in 2001, the GOP’s 55 percent of the state’s congressional vote in 2010 translated into capturing 75 percent of the state’s congressional seats.

    Thankfully, Florida voters passed a redistricting reform initiative in November by a whopping 25 points, despite opposition from the state Republican Party, who stood to lose a new opportunity to gerrymander the state’s districts. Now, despite a Republican governor and large majorities in the state legislature, the GOP is barred from drawing congressional districts that “favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party.”

    IOWA — Iowa is a model for fair, nonpartisan redistricting. Rather than allowing legislators to pick which voters they want to represent, Iowa gives the power of redistricting to an independent body, the Legislative Services Agency. The LSA draws a map that uses specific formulas to keep districts as compact and contiguous as possible, while also preserving city and county boundaries. Where current legislators live is a factor that is prohibited from consideration. The map is then voted on in the state legislature, but if it’s rejected, the LSA is then charged with producing another map that the legislature may like less.

    There are a few demographic aspects unique to Iowa that make the state’s redistricting restrictions less complicated and more apt to the type of reform it has implemented. For instance, as Stateline.org notes, “Iowa is so overwhelmingly white that it does not have to craft districts that favor minority voters, as required under the federal Voting Rights Act. Plus, Democrats and Republicans are spread pretty evenly throughout the state.” Still, Iowa’s approach is laudable and other states would do well to replicate its system.

    ARIZONA — Like Iowa, Arizona employs an independent redistricting commission comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent. Instead of protecting incumbents and ensuring their reelection, the commission is charged with drawing as many competitive districts as possible while still creating compact, contiguous and fair borders. Unlike California, Arizona succeeded at prompting competitiveness in its congressional elections over the past decade. Nearly 40 percent of the state’s districts switched parties once, while a quarter switched parties twice. Rather than disenfranchising voters, Arizona has taken positive steps to ensure that its elections are representative and fair.

    Things To Be Thankful For: Redistricting Reform
     
  5. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    How about this for a concept. At large representation. If the vote is 50-50, you appoint 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats. If it's 60-40, you appoint 12 Republicans and 8 Democrats.
     
  6. Seawytch
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    Seawytch Information isnt Advocacy

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    How about Congressional districting shouldn't be partisan at all, period.
     
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  7. grunt11b
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    grunt11b VIP Member

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    Interpretation:
    The redistricting did not benefit the Democrats like it usually does, so now they are going to bitch and moan about it.
     
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  8. grunt11b
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    grunt11b VIP Member

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    I dont think they should be able to gerrymander at all, I think they should be stuck with what they got and if they dont like it they can start to actually represent there constituents instead of the special interest groups.
     
  9. CaughtInTheMid
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    CaughtInTheMid Active Member

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    agreed
     
  10. occupied
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    occupied Gold Member

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    Bump
     

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