Thursday, July 21, 2016

'Gerrymandering On Steroids': How Republicans Stacked The Nation's Statehouses

No one will be surprised to hear that I don't like Republicans. I have notices for years that the Republican Party is getting good at winning elections. A good example is here in Kansas where most of the major Republican incumbent candidates were losing in the polls. Yet they won the election and that includes re-electing the most unpopular governor in the history of Kansas. Some of their tricks we know about, such as the new voting laws that discriminate against minorities. Others are more of a secret. This latest article opens a whole new explanation of how and why the Republican Party never seems to lose. It isn't just politicsits also dirty tricks. This is one of the worst I have seen yet. That party has circumvented democracy to the point of making it out to be nothing more than a joke. What amazes me are all the comments after this article where conservatives defend what their party has done. For example:
Oh please. Democrats do the EXACT SAME THING when they are in control!
Republicans generally do better in midterm elections because Democrats are too lazy to vote in the midterm years (or maybe they aren't aware there is a midterm election, or the van with the free lunch never picked them up for early voting)."
This is not only undemocratic it is paaathetic! -SJ Otto

From WBUR:
It was never a secret. In 2010, the conservative political strategist Karl Rovetook to the Wall Street Journal and laid out a plan to win majorities in state legislatures across the country.
"He who controls redistricting can control Congress," read the subhead to Rove's column.
The plan, which its architects dubbed REDMAP for Redistricting Majority Project, hinged on the fact that states redraw their electoral maps every 10 years according to new Census data. REDMAP targeted states where just a few statehouse seats could shift the balance to Republican control in the crucial Census year of 2010.
That plan worked spectacularly. It's why today Republicans have a majority in nearly two-thirds of the country's state legislative chambers. And it's why in 2012 Democratic statehouse candidates won 51 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, which voted for Barack Obama in the presidential election, yet those candidates ended up with only 28 percent of the seats in the legislature.
Here & Now's Robin Young learns how this happened from David Daley, editor-in-chief of Salon and the author of "Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy."

Interview Highlights: David Daley

On what gerrymandering means:
"Gerrymandering is the word that put us all to sleep in eighth grade civics class, but it is the most important factor in the building blocks of our democracy, which is how the lines are drawn in our legislative districts. Politicians on both sides do it in order to get revenge on an enemy, maybe steal a seat here and there where they didn't deserve it. Gerrymandering changes in 2010. What the Republicans hit upon is a brilliant new plan to put gerrymandering on steroids, and build themselves a voter-proof firewall and it holds up in 2012, as you said."
On what the Red Map Project was:
“The Democrats cleaned the Republicans clocks in 2008. Republicans get depressed. One day, Chris Jankowski is reading a story in the New York Times, and he realizes, wait: 2010 is a zero year. My party is on the out now, but historically the party on the out does better in midterm elections, and Jankowski is a state government guy. He runs something called the Republican State Leadership Committee, so he understands how redistricting works at the state level. What he also understands is that there are 18 state legislative chambers in the country that the margin of control is so close that it's four votes or fewer. So he says, "Hey, it wouldn't cost me a whole lot of money to try to flip four or five legislative districts in these states.' So they go into Pennsylvania.”

or the rest click here.

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