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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:34 PM

ProPublica - "How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters"

A nice investigative article discussing how Republicans continue to act as nothing more than the political arm of corporate America.


In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber. Instead, despite getting fewer votes, Republicans have maintained a commanding control of the House. Such a disparity has happened only three times in the last century.
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Republican strategist Karl Rove laid out the approach in a Wall Street Journal column in early 2010 headlined "He who controls redistricting can control Congress."

The approach paid off. In 2010 state races, Republicans picked up 675 legislative seats, gaining complete control of 12 state legislatures. As a result, the GOP oversaw redrawing of lines for four times as many congressional districts as Democrats.

How did they dominate redistricting? A ProPublica investigation has found that the GOP relied on opaque nonprofits funded by dark money, supposedly nonpartisan campaign outfits, and millions in corporate donations to achieve Republican-friendly maps throughout the country. Two tobacco giants, Altria and Reynolds, each pitched in more than $1 million to the main Republican redistricting group, as did Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads; Walmart and the pharmaceutical industry also contributed. Other donors, who gave to the nonprofits Republicans created, may never have to be disclosed.

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Reply ProPublica - "How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters" (Original post)
TomCADem Dec 2012 OP
ShadowLiberal Dec 2012 #1
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #2

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:02 AM

1. This shows the problem with redistricting & gerrymandering, not so much with money

A lot of the state legislatures we lost were in the 2010 wave year that was really bad for us, especially since it was right before redistricting, which met republicans could quickly redraw the lines and we didn't have a chance to recover.

Gerrymandering is the reason why state legislatures rarely change hands. It wasn't until 2010 that democrats actually lost control of state legislatures in a number of southern states, despite republicans having a massive southern vote advantage for decades.

The same is true in some mid western and mid Atlantic states that are reliably democratic in presidential elections, like PA, & MI.

WI & OH are pretty badly gerrymandered as well, but control has switched hands in at least one house of the legislature for brief periods in the last decade.

Edit: This is the reason why I prefer a parliamentary system for the legislature, that makes it impossible to gerrymander, whoever gets the most votes wins if it's two parties. And it allows for third parties, so you aren't stuck in the middle if you hardcore agree on economics with one party but hardcore agree on social issues with the other party.

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Response to ShadowLiberal (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 09:11 AM

2. Rachel Maddow did a BRILLIANT job laying it out

as she is prone to do.

She showed a core of about 5 states, Pa, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, and I think Wisconsin, where they were able to pull this off.

The President and Bob Casey won Pa by over 5 percent, we have nearly 1,000,000 more registered democrats than republicans, democratic house candidates have FAR more votes than republican candidates, and out of 18 congressional districts we ended up with 13 repubicans and 5 democrats.

The disparity was nearly the same and even worse in the other states.

That is the House, right there.

And, because of 2010, and also because we had long had some of the worst gerrymanded districts in the country in place already, the Rs had a mortal lock in the state senate, a majority in the House and the governor.

In Pa, FIVE people set up the districts - the leaders from both parties in both chambers and the governor, in essence.

Oh, and for the record, it is the republicans being partisan jackasses, and it is the DEMOCRATS worrying about their own skin. YES, democrats put a snit when it goes to vote, but there are PLENTY of them who know that the districts, both congressional and state level, protect THEM.

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