Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week in Redistricting 4/29

It's been awhile since the last TWIR but I've finally been able to cobble together a couple of links for a post, so that's a good thing.

  • Some movement has begun on the actual legislative redistricting effort, the brodkorbmander, with both sides outlining their "principals" for redistricting, which are simply all the things we usually associate with redistricting, equal population, compactness, not splitting counties and cities, etc.

    Aaron Klemz points out that the principals released by Governor Dayton and those released by the GOP have one major difference, the placement of the incumbency language in the principals.

    In Dayton's:

    5. Not be drawn for the purpose of protecting or defeating an incumbent.

    Where is it in the GOP's principals? (emphasis mine)

    As a factor subordinate to all other principles contained in this section, a plan may be reviewed to determine its effect on all incumbents, including determination of whether the plan results in either undue incumbent protection or excessive incumbent conflicts

    In other words, they don't care much for the incumbency language. That's not surprising, they have two congressional incumbents who live on the fringes of their districts so they'll want to massage those lines as much as possible, god forbid Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack get drawn into the same district. Or Michele's stillwater home drawn into Betty McCollum's district.

    The thing is this though, if Brodkorb and Dayton are able to hammer out a deal, it will be an incumbent protection deal, so in the end, this language is meaningless as far as the legislative process is concerned. If redistricting ends up being done in the courts however, then all of this stuff will be considered by the judges who draw the lines, or at least, they'll have that option.

  • In Aaron's above linked post he also talks a little about the relative quite surrounding the redistricting negotiations so far, at least until the flurry of activity this week. He's no the only one worried about that, Mike Dean the Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota talks about his concerns about the lack of attention to such an important issue.

That's all I've got, but I'll leave you with a Friday treat:

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