HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Gerrymandering questions.
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:39 PM

Gerrymandering questions.

A thought bouncing around my head got renewed after reading remarks about Marsha Blackburn.

Is there any way to limit or reform district gerrymandering rules? It seems so many time we are stuck with these bad legislators who are gerrymandered in to a life long gig? Where would this action come from Fed, State, County, local municipality? It just strikes me that something should be able to be done about something so adversely affecting the political system.

13 replies, 1043 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:46 PM

1. I could propose one idea, but it may not go over well here

In most deep South states we have one or two majority black districts that end up electing a liberal black Democrat. That makes all the other districts overwhelmingly white and Southern teabagger conservative. Then we get people like Marsha Blackburn, Joe Wilson, Steven Palazzo and Virginia Foxx, and they have seats for life.

If you redistricted the Southern states in a way that more evenly spread out the black and Hispanic populations, you would have more competitive districts and more incentive to compromise. In other words, a Republican would not be able to get away with just appeasing their teabagger base. The downside is that you might end up with fewer black or Hispanic Democrats being elected at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:52 PM

2. The usual idea is to make them a.) compact and b.) along natural geographic divisions.

The idea being that they represent an integrated geographic community, not some particular composition in terms of political dogma.

I would start with natural geographic divisions, then prune off extensions, split up the big ones, mash together nearby little ones, and so on, never paying the slightest attention to the political composition of the results.

In California we have a citizens commission that does it now, and that appears to have been a considerable improvement, in terms of getting the legislature to represent the population.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bemildred (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:12 PM

7. Marsha's district was gerrymandered

 

In 2000 by Democrats after Bart Gordon won a close election over Steve Gill. It moved Williamson County, the most affluent in the State. It was combined with the Memphis suburbs and Clarksville, where Ft Campbell is located, so Democrats combined the largest counties of Republicans in 2 different parts of the State, that is gerrymandering. She doesn't even campaign and wins 80 percent of the vote!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Allencollins (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:21 PM

8. Yeah, that's what you DON'T want to do.

Representatives that don't have to worry about re-election are free to pursue their own self-interest, and they do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:58 PM

3. if they can be drawn

To be majority gop they can be rigged to be 50-50. They get away with it by throwing a bone to have a few majority vdemk districts. The dem state legs take it to have a seat. But will always be minority. Keep own seat safe but give away majority. Has to come from outside politics imho. If fistricts were competitive we would cut out a lot of crap from reps more worried about primary challenges than general.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:11 PM

4. .

http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/7866/2011-12-28.html


^snip^


Attorney General Eric Holder gave an interesting speech on Tuesday December 13, 2011 at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in which he took on the issue of redistricting that has been causing some concern, particularly across the South, as the nation gears up for the 2012 national elections; perhaps the “most important national elections of our lifetime.”

President Johnson, who signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act would have been proud of Mr. Holder whose Justice Department promises to move aggressively in reviewing any attempts at voter suppression.

.
.
.


However, what led to the Attorney general’s intervention is the manner several state legislatures under Republican control seem to rush to target black areas that potentially vote democratic, because he believes, “We are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble, and essential, ideals.” That is why he moved against “a deliberate and systematic attempt” to restrict “millions of voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in democracy.”

Like every other issue, once the people mobilize and particularly with the support of a friendly government and courageous individuals like Attorney General Eric Holder, the nefarious Republican genii will be put back in the bottle where he belongs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:18 PM

5. Take a look at Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District

for an extreme example of gerrymandering. IMHO, Pennsylvania wrote the book on gerrymandering.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:33 PM

6. Proportional voting or we will lose anything else resembling democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:40 PM

9. Not allowing the legislatures to set the boundaries would be a good start. (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Posteritatis (Reply #9)


Response to Allencollins (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:04 PM

12. Electoral fraud doesn't become okay when it benefits your party

Rigging the vote is rigging the vote, whether you're physically preventing people from casting their ballots or "just" drawing the boundaries so the ballots they do cast are nothing more than a formality. You can't be okay with gerrymandering and still pretend to like democracy.

Boundaries in my neck of the woods are determined by independent commissions with judicial oversight and strict regulations governing what they have to bear in mind when redrawing districts. The legislatures don't get a say in the results and it's considered gauche at best for them to even try to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:43 PM

10. blackburn's district is shameful....pic

that's 200 miles between memphis (germantown) and nashville....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BarbaRosa (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:17 PM

13. Districts are set by states.

A few states are ordered to present their new plans to courts for approval because those states had a history of using gerrymandering for racial discrimination.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread