gerrymandering

W-S Journal feature story on Republican gerrymandering

The Winston-Salem Journal has an in-depth front-page look at the Republican gerrymandering that has mucked up North Carolina's political landscape, including a helpful infographic.

The 2012 election should have been a good one for Democrats running for Congress in North Carolina.

They received a total of 2.2 million votes — about 81,000 more than their Republican opponents. But when those votes were divvied up among the state's 13 House districts, Democrats came up short. Way short.

Republicans won nine seats and Democrats only four.

Slaying the gerrymander?

Former Gov. Jim Martin weighs in on "the Justus plan", an idea to overcome the illegitimate gerrymandered elections that gave right-wing nut jobs super-majorities in Raleigh with about half of the popular vote.

Could it work? Maybe. But it would take significant voter engagement and turnout, and that's been chronically difficult.

But if something isn't done soon, the GOP's efforts to further dilute and ultimately deny the votes of those who don't vote for them will be effective.

A map that might be useful for challenging NC's voting districts

Slate has a piece on a map created from 2010 census data that visualizes race in America in a new way.

The researchers who created it, used census data to pinpoint every single person in the country, based on race. It allows you to see specific distribution of whites and minorities in towns and neighborhoods.

Anyone with some computer expertise that could do some custom views of this map and analysis about NC's voting districts?

Any other ideas on what you could do with this kind of data and visualization?

Article at Slate - Map at Cooper Center

Redistricting litigation: a question for lawyers

This is an open question to the attorneys and others involved in challenging North Carolina's legislative and Congressional districts. Why not challenge the foundation of partisan redistricting as violating the fundamental principles of democracy and equality ... not limited to issues of race?

It's my understanding that the legal arguments have been constructed around racial discrimination, relying on historical precedent (which was undermined by the US Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act). That's fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. As happened in Texas, Republicans in North Carolina have set out to increase their electoral strength through gerrymandering. Yes, it's a long-standing practice of corruption, but that doesn't make it any less despicable.

Redistricting: NAACP files appeal to State Supreme Court

Redistricting: NAACP files appeal to State Supreme Court

Their notice of appeal comes two weeks after a panel of three Superior Court judges validated the legislative and congressional districts intended to be used through the 2020 elections. They had 30 days to decide whether to appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court.

The NAACP, Democrats and voter-rights organizations challenging the maps argue that they are racial gerrymanders designed to weaken the influence of black voters.

Gerrymandering in NC gets national attention

I thought computers were supposed to free us from tyranny:

The point man for the strategy was Thomas Hofeller, who would not speak with the Globe on the record, citing ongoing lawsuits in multiple states in which he has been called to testify, including in North Carolina. Hofeller, a redistricting consultant to the Republican National Committee, has been hired by state legislators across the country to gain maximum political advantage without running afoul of the law, including the Voting Rights Act designed to ensure that African-Americans are not disenfranchised.

Yeah, this dude's a veteran at the art of disenfranchising voters, and for the edification of any attorneys and other court officials adjudicating the redistricting lawsuits, he's also a good coach:

GOP apologist Christensen strikes again

Creating a fictional moderate majority:

House Republicans rolled out their voter ID bill, which was less restrictive than the one vetoed by Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue two years ago. Democrats and others will still hate it, but it will take some of the air out of the opposition. Because of some of the provisions, it is far less likely that grandma, students or poor people won’t be able to vote compared to the earlier version. The GOP had the votes to adopt any voter ID bill they wanted. But House Republicans decided against the hard-line approach.

What Rob has missed (or chosen not to include in his narrative) is that there is no substantial difference between the phrases "won't be able to vote" and "won't vote", as far as how they impact elections, anyway. There's a reason Republicans have different (harsher) versions of the same bill, and Christensen just proved the reasoning for that was sound. It's a basic sales technique (bracketing,) which creates a false "moderate" that can be chosen. And if you want to create a false moderate group of people, you set aside a smaller group via "labeling":

Bent Supreme Court helps NC GOP conceal evidence

Begging the obvious question, what are you trying to hide?

The North Carolina Supreme Court sided Friday with legislative leaders who withheld emails and other documents between them and state-funded private attorneys about redistricting maps approved in 2011, ruling that those documents can be confidential. Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, who was chairman of the House Redistricting Committee when the maps were drawn, praised the ruling Friday. "It's very important for individuals to have the common-law right afforded to them of being able to have confidential communications with their attorneys," he said.

Pay attention, Einstein: as a taxpayer, I paid those attorneys, making me the client, and I want to see those damn e-mails. By withholding those e-mails from me and my fellow taxpayers, you're not only concealing your apparently questionable behavior, you're also violating our attorney-client privileges.

Just in from NCDP - R's trying to throw out challenge to their gerrymandered districts

Yes, it's a plea for funding, but this is a cause that just might be worth supporting.

Link to donation page here.

From the email ...

There is no question that we have the law on our side and have the evidence to show that these illegally drawn maps are not in the best interest of the people of North Carolina.

In fact, in a previous court ruling, the three-judge panel noted:

“Plaintiffs, in their challenge, have raised serious issues and arguments about, among other things, the extent to which racial classifications were used in the enactment of these Plans.”

We need your help now to have the resources to be heard in court! Our fight requires retaining the best legal counsel and expert witnesses to show how the Republican maps do not comply with the law.

Spread the word if you please.

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