Tag Archives: redistricting

Supreme Court to mess with Texas – POLITICO.com Print View

Supreme Court to mess with Texas – POLITICO.com Print View.

Supreme Court to mess with Texas
By: Alex Isenstadt
December 15, 2011 04:56 PM EST

Redistricting is a process fraught with lawsuits — but few make it all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Texas’s plan has, and its path to the nation’s highest court has been a long one — stretching from the backrooms of the state Capitol to a San Antonio courtroom. The stakes are high: how the nine justices rule will help determine who controls the House of Representatives.

Here’s POLITICO’s guide to the Texas redistricting battle.

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For Citizens, Voting Rights and Responsibilities – NYTimes.com

For Citizens, Voting Rights and Responsibilities – NYTimes.com.

December 1, 2011, 2:13 am

Voting Rights — and Responsibilities

This little essay is about voting rights, but let’s start by looking at this national population chart from the 2010 census.

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So it is a bad idea to hire people and award government contracts and admit students into universities on the basis of race — and it is likewise a bad idea to gerrymander voting boundaries along racial lines to ensure a certain number of “majority-minority” districts. Alas, the latter has become the principal use for section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 2006 voting-rights case involving redistricting in Texas, “It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.” Not only sordid but bizarre, since the Voting Rights Act, one of the crown jewels of the civil rights movement, is now being used to segregate voters by skin color and by what country their ancestors came from.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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It’s the Politics, Stupid!

It’s the Politics, Stupid!.

It’s the Politics, Stupid!

Much has been made of the depth of the economic crisis facing the United States, and it should not be underestimated. But only about 30 percent of the trouble facing the U.S. today is economic — the U.S. economy, compared with all the other developed economies, is in the best structural and demographic shape to weather this storm and ultimately regain its health. But a cancer does exist: The real problem America faces is political, and once again today, it is on stark display.

The warring tribes of Capitol Hill rolled out their carefully prepared talking points over the weekend looking to ensure the other side got the blame for the failure of the congressional super committee on Monday. “The President was AWOL,” cried the GOP, “the Republicans sold their soul to the anti-tax lobby,” counter the Dems.

In fact, blame for the failure of the congressional super committee belongs with every American who failed to vote in the 2010 midterm election. Nothing encapsulates the dysfunction of American democracy better than the fact that we abdicate responsibility for governing our country (and running our economy) to a radical minority every four years out of laziness and, to a smaller extent, deliberate efforts by both parties to depress turnout they know will favor their rivals.

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Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

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The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests – ProPublica

The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests – ProPublica.

by Olga Pierce, Jeff Larson and Lois Beckett
ProPublica, Sep. 23, 2011, 10:03 a.m.

Their names suggest selfless dedication to democracy. Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The Center for a Better New Jersey. And their stated goals are unarguable: In the partisan fight to redraw congressional districts, states should stick to the principle of one person, one vote.

But a ProPublica investigation has found that these groups and others are being quietly bankrolled by corporations, unions and other special interests. Their main interest in the once-a-decade political fight over redistricting is not to help voters in the communities they claim to represent but mainly to improve the prospects of their political allies or to harm their enemies.

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Read the full story here: Pro Publica

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Corporations Bankrolling Redistricting Efforts

Corporations Bankrolling Redistricting Efforts.

Corporations Bankrolling Redistricting Efforts

Special interests throwing big bucks into redrawing political borders for political allies.

Who would you rather redraw your voting districts: Politicians, powerful special interests, or corporations? How about the Koch brothers?

It’s a tough call, but don’t worry, the decision is already being made for you.

A new report out from ProPublica says that corporations, unions and other special interests are bankrolling civic-named organizations like The Center for a Better New Jersey, and Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The goal? Redraw the political borders so that come election time, their favorite candidates win with the least amount of resistance.

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Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

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Tampering With the Electoral College – NYTimes.com

Tampering With the Electoral College – NYTimes.com.

Editorial

Tampering With the Electoral College

The Electoral College has stood in the way of full American democracy for more than two centuries, and usually any attempt to reduce its influence is welcome. But it would be better to leave the College alone than manipulate its workings to give one party an advantage over another, as Republicans in Pennsylvania are trying to do. The effort is both entirely legal and entirely wrong, and demonstrates why electoral reform is so urgently needed.

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Let’s Talk About Redistricting – NYTimes.com

Let’s Talk About Redistricting – NYTimes.com.

FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver’s Political Calculus

June 19, 2011, 9:49 am

Let’s Talk About Redistricting

The following is an edited transcript of an interview with David Wasserman, the House editor of The Cook Political Report. Mr. Wasserman is Cook’s resident redistricting expert and the author of “Better Know a District,” the The Cook Political Report’s 2012 redistricting outlook. (Readers might also want to check out Cook’s redistricting scorecard for background).

We will post the conversation in two parts, this being Part 1, which focuses on the more general aspects of redistricting. Part 2 will focus on more granular details at the state and local level. The interview was conducted by Nate Silver and Micah Cohen.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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