gerrymandering

Don't Forget the City Councils

There is going to be a special election next year and that is a big deal. Many observers have pointed out that it may not necessarily be a boon for Democrats across the state. The Republican legislature will have the opportunity to draw even better maps for themselves and may attempt to draw out rising stars and double-bunk current legislators.

NC House serves Apodaca a bi-partisan rejection of Asheville gerrymandering

A whiff of Democracy returns to the General Assembly:

Fisher: “It is beyond my ability to understand why Asheville has been the continual target for authoritarian and penalizing legislation for much of the 12 years I have spent here. I resent the idea that the current senior senator and rules chair feels he must take one last parting shot at the city of Asheville when he in fact only represents a fraction of the residents of that city, less than 10,000. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I urge you to vote no. And especially if you live in cities and towns that are trying their best to govern your whole city or town. Because beware: Yours may be the next city to be gerrymandered.”

Whether it was Fisher’s words or something else, something shifted. The House would debate for another 40 minutes, with some of the loudest arguments against the bill coming not from Democrats, but from Republicans.

Something definitely shifted, and I have a hunch it was that little voice in the back of some GOP lawmakers' minds whispering: Just because you can do something, it doesn't automatically follow that you should. And then giving words to those thoughts:

Win the vote! -- to expose GOP's illegitimate control of legislature

BlueNC posted my Oct 14 N&O "Win the vote" article, urging Democrats to let no legislative district go without a Democratic challenger. I have updated and sent the article to newspapers around the state. It ties in "Win the vote" with lieutenant governor candidate Holly Jones' effort to recruit candidates for every legislative district. By amassing a larger overall vote than Republicans, Democrats show their voter support across the state and can expose and delegitimize the GOP's gerrymandered control of the General Assembly. It's been published or accepted by 10 newspapers, so far.

http://www.fayobserver.com/opinion/local_columns/lee-mortimer-win-the-vote-if-not-the-seats/article_...

Another lawsuit to stop GOP's racial gerrymandering emerges

Bringing the total active cases to four:

Another challenge of North Carolina's 2011 legislative districts based on accusations of racial gerrymandering is back in court. Three federal judges scheduled a Monday hearing in Greensboro to hear motions in the lawsuit filed by registered voters against the state and legislative leaders.

They say lines drawn by Republican lawmakers for nearly 30 House and Senate districts are illegal because they relied too much on race.

The GOP's mapmakers weren't nearly as clever as they thought they were, and the more detailed the inspection, the more likely the truth will eventually come out. It's been almost five years since these new districts were shoved down our throats, but the fight still continues. Why? Because "wrong" doesn't get better over time, it gets worse.

Allowing Greensboro's voters a referendum a "dealbreaker" for GOP

The blatant abuse of power is breathtaking:

The revised bill emerged in the House on Wednesday afternoon in the form of a conference report. It was written by a joint House-Senate committee that wasn’t fully formed until Tuesday afternoon.

Hardister said Wednesday that he sent word to the conference committee that he wanted the bill to include a referendum. “The referendum was a deal-breaker for a majority of the conference committee. I floated it.” The result, he said, was a compromise. “You don’t get everything you want in the legislative process.”

Pretty sure the voters in Greensboro would say "You don't get anything you want in the Legislative process." The most dumbfounding aspect of this story: Republicans feel justified in taking these abusive steps exactly because Greensboro residents would never approve them. How is that for absurdity? "This is the only way we can make this happen, so it is by default a 'legitimate' action." And you're right, it's straight out of George Orwell.

Vacated.

The US Supreme Court rejected the NC Supreme Court's ruling upholding the NC General Assembly's racially-motivated redistricting scheme, and sent the case back to the lower Court for a second look. This doesn't mean the redistricting itself has been rejected, but it is a step in that direction. Film at eleven. Actually, they don't allow filming in the Supreme Court, which is why we see those all those fancy sketches. And I doubt if we'll know more by eleven...*sigh* You know what I'm talking about.

The GOP's bloodless coup of Wake County

The rise of the mapmakers:

Despite the fact that about 30,000 more voters chose Democrats than Republicans, the Republican candidates would have ended Election Day as the dominant party in Wake County government.

The law stacks up tens of thousands of Democratic voters in a few districts, guaranteeing huge margins but fewer victories. For example, a Democratic candidate could win 80 percent of the ballots in District 4, covering southeast Raleigh, Garner and Knightdale, or 72 percent of District 2, covering central Raleigh.

While Republicans have proven to be very clever at manipulating maps to gain majorities they don't really possess, their arrogance and patently un-democratic motives are becoming more and more transparent each time they do it. And more likely to come apart under the harsh scrutiny of judicial review. This is also another prime example of the folly behind "local" bills not requiring executive review. The Governor's mansion sits square in the middle of this particular crisis, and cutting him out of the loop is a sign of terminal hubris.

Message for Wake GOP: Reagan would not approve of your gerrymandering

Especially considering you're no longer constrained by the "every-ten-years" limitation, and whip up your maps whenever you feel the urge:

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