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View Diary: Did Gerrymandering Cost Dems the House? A 34-State Look at Alternative Nonpartisan Maps Suggests Yes (161 comments)

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  •  Independent Commissions for State Legislatures (1+ / 0-)
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    Stephen Wolf

    First, an impressive and thought provoking piece of work, congratulations!

    I expect that there has been lots of gerrymandering for the state legislatures as well as the U.S. House. Drawing all of the maps independently would help balance the state legislatures and hopefully create a much better government overall. We don't have a really independent commission for the state legislature in Colorado, but there is a commission with members of both parties and a couple of people who are deemed independent.

    I'm impressed by how much the Colorado Legislature has been able to accomplish this year after redistricting (and gaining Democratic majorities in both houses). We also have term limits so there are many fewer entrenched politicians to fight for their current district.

    Couple of examples: a fourth gun control measure passed yesterday and a fifth on the way, civil unions passed, and a measure to mail ballots to every registered voter and allow election day registration is in the process of winding its way through the legislature. Well worth fighting for a better redistricting system for state legislatures!

    •  Thanks. Yes this is unfortunately an area where (1+ / 0-)
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      philipmerrill

      Republicans have a huge advantage too thanks to the 2010 bloodbath. That was really the electoral equivalent of winning the lottery for them since it was a redistricting year. States like Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, among others all have GOP legislatures because they're heavily gerrymandered, while states like Ohio that are swingy make it still impossible for us to win the majority.

      Then you have states like Georgia where the GOP can gerrymander us into superminority status so that even if we elect a governor they can override our vetoes.

      Colorado came within 200 votes of having a Dem trifecta in 2010 which would have locked the state up for us. We could have gerrymandered a comfortable majority in the legislature and 2 more congressional seats and that would have led to a wave of progressive legislation even more so than the great things we've already seen from the state.

      On the other hand, Minnesota's governor race came within 7,000 votes or so of them winning the trifecta and that would have been an utter disaster for the state. Instead we now have a Dem trifecta but unlike Colorado they've been fumbling issues like the budget.

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