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Let's do it back to them.

I have never lived in North Carolina, but I have great filial affinity, affection and appreciation for the Tar Heel State, home of my father's large family and the native soil on which my first ancestor in my father's line landed from Spain in 1837.

In the 112trh Congress, about to entertain us with it's Lame Duck finale, there are a majority of 7 Democrats in the 13 member North Carolina Congressional delegation. But, after GOP controlled redistricting, the balance will instead be 4 Democrats and 9 Republicans in the upcoming 113th Congress. That 4:9 ratio presumes that Democrat Mike McIntyre holds on to his slim 507 vote lead. If he loses, the imbalance will be worse.

Of course, it is not as though no one saw this coming. The Washington Post put it none too subtly in their piece titled North Carolina: The GOP's Golden Goose of redistricting

"Republicans would be disappointed in North Carolina if they didn't pick up two seats," said Dallas Woodhouse, the state director for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity. "Three would probably be the maximum."

Either way, North Carolina would likely constitute the GOP's biggest gains in 2012. And much of the GOP's redistricting energy will be spent in this state.

They almost got four seats from us.

I'm a little sensitive to this sort of thing. I lived in Texas in 2003 when the criminal, Tom DeLay, masterminded the off year redistricting of that great state in order to steal Democratic Congressional seats. It is even more of a travesty in this case that it was back in Texas because unlike Texas, North Carolina is really a very balanced, purple place, as demonstrated in MattTX's well received diary.

North Carolina is worth fighting for and we can only hope that worthy Democrats step forward in the Tar Heel State to usurp these 1st term Republicans that North Carolina has so improvidently sent to reinforce the GOP Talibanistas in the House of Representatives.

But I say if Republicans can do this, then so can Democrats. And I have the perfect place for us to start, right now, with an off year legislative redistricting plan designed to unseat Michelle Bachmann in 2014 by jiggering her district, the Minnesota 6th CD, where she has just barely survived a close election. In the regular round of redistricting after the decennial census, Minnesota kind of missed out. Unlike North Carolina, where Democrat, Bev Purdue, caved to draconian redistricting by her GOP controlled statehouse, Minnesota's Mark Dayton dug in his heels and prevented post-2010 ascendent Republicans from doing the same up North. As a result the courts imposed a map that more or less prerserved the status quo. After last week's election, though, the Minnesota DFL has a Governor and control of both the House and Senate.

To all Kossack friends in Minnesota, call and write your DFL leadership. It's time to redistrict Minnesota.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Does Anyone Know of Anyplace Else? (14+ / 0-)

    Where else can we use improvements in Democratic control at the state level to redistrict to improve the position of Democrats in Congress? I took a quick look and didn't spot anyplace obvious other than Minnesota after this election. I'd love to hear any ideas.

    Places like where I live have already been mostly milked dry by Democrats in control of redistricting. I'd love to hear other ideas from elsewhere.

    The stain of Bain is wrecking Romney's name. h/t to Lerner & Lowe

    by LeftOfYou on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:38:44 PM PST

    •  California was in the hands of the Dems (6+ / 0-)

      and redistricting set the status quo.  Republicans had the idea of citizen redistricting, got it on a referendum and it passed:  The result was the new, non-partisan redistricting favored Dems.  Our party was screwing itself over.
      A lot can be learned from that experience.  Get the state houses out of it, make it fair, and Democrats have a better chance.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:01:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  8 years for the next redistricting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Sharon Wraight

    unless there is some kind of court battle, which is doubtful.

  •  Ohio. It's Roughly 1:1 in Voting But 3:1 Republica (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Sharon Wraight, notrouble, JanL

    since redistricting.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:46:52 PM PST

  •  I don't understand how a state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    recovers from gerrymandering.  Here in Wisconsin, I can't figure out how Democrats will ever get a majority at the state level in either the Assembly or the Senate.  

    The new maps were really effective in this last election - at ensuring Republican rule.

    •  It is a 2-edged sword (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftOfYou, notrouble, JanL, Deep Texan, IreGyre

      The way the GOP did it, to maximize seats, means they have to split their solid voter blocks more thinly. That means it is possible to suffer massive losses in one election. If that party has a poor GOTV one year, or if that party has suffered a scandal, they might end up losing big.

      Here in WI our challenge is to keep destroying Scott Walker's reputation and standing. He will be running in 2014 so we can make him the poster-boy for the election. If we can convince our closely divided state that Walker's policies are losers, we have the chance to drag him down and re-take the Statehouse along with it.

  •  Pennsylvania is just as bad now. (3+ / 0-)

    Republicans likely would have lost their majority in the House without all the gerrymandering.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:51:18 PM PST

    •  It could potentially blow up in their faces (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Lawrence

      depending on what's revealed about how Tom Corbett initially handled the Sandusky investigation.  It doesn't matter what party you are--people don't take too kindly to elected officials who don't seem to be serious about protecting children.  Things like that can overcome even the worst gerrymander.

      Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

      by Christian Dem in NC on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:59:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2010 Elections did massive damages to Dems (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftOfYou, stellaluna, notrouble, We Won, JanL

    Taking off in non presidential elections has made it almost impossible to win the House ... even in 2014.
    It will be a very long road to getting the House back. Even the local Government in NC has now been infested with RED all over the place. The NC Senate also is red. And the NC Supreme Court ... is also RED.
    NC is the new Wisconsin. We are in deep trouble ... But, the good thing is: It will help us organize better.

    Don't forget to register to vote here:

    by bepanda on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:58:24 PM PST

    •  Silver Lining. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let people get a good taste of unrestrained Republican governance (if such a thing exists) and their sentiments might change. But immediate improvement certainly doesn't seem to be in the cards.

      The stain of Bain is wrecking Romney's name. h/t to Lerner & Lowe

      by LeftOfYou on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next redistricting in 2020. Gonna be a mess for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, Deep Texan

    dem majorities in states where Gerrymandering was the rule.

    And too late to take things to court.

    So... Yeah, it's a mess. And this is why we also won't win the house back, that I've been able to see through political reading, before that time.

    Yeah, we can make a dent, but we cannot get it done.

    So this is WHY we HAVE to maintain a dem senate and presidency. HAVE. TO.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:59:11 PM PST

  •  There's definitely many of us in NC ready... (4+ / 0-)

    ... to get to work on at least containing the damage if not changing the state-level disaster unfolding.

    We have a horrible mess of a Dem party in the way, apparently.

  •  No can do (3+ / 0-)

    Minnesota's constitution specifies that the lines have to be drawn the session after the federal census and used until the next federal census; same with New York. Some states have it in their constitutions; others only require that new lines be drawn then, not that new lines be drawn ONLY then.

    Also, if nothing else, come the 2020 races, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, et al will all have at least a chance of having a Democratic governor; all it will take will be Republicans losing the trifecta to have those maps radically change.

    NH4JL DIT '04, NHDP DIT '08!

    by realnrh on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:18:10 PM PST

  •  Gerrymandering: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's one of the one things where I'll stand behind the statement: "Both sides do it".

    Just one thing: it's pronounced with a hard "G" and is named after Eldrige Gerry, an early 19th C. Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    I heard Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) pronounce it correctly--for about the fifth time I've ever heard it pronounced correctly--just the other day on Maddow.

  •  Minnesota won't go for it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennis1958, WisJohn

    Sorry, but we are the epitome of "good government" up here. Tom DeLay-like shenanigans just won't be tolerated. That's a good way to get a lot of DFL'ers (Democrats, to you) unelected.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:11:43 PM PST

  •  Lawsuits have been filed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etbnc, DawnN, XenuLives

    There have been three pertinent lawsuits regarding NC redistricting.

    Two of them directly challenge the redistricting plan.  One was filed by dozens of Democratic activists, candidates and former elected officials located throughout the state.  Another was filed at the same time by several non-partisan groups including the NAACP and League of Women Voters.

    The third lawsuit has been filed by a consortium of broadcasters and news outlets.  They have requested that Republican lawmakers release emails and other correspondence relating to the redistricting process.  The Republicans have refused these requests, claiming that the correspondence is protected by client/attorney privilege.  The plaintiffs are making the case that this is public information and that the attorneys were paid with public funds.

    A note of interest:  Republicans used the Voting Rights Act as their excuse for packing Congressional Districts already represented by a member of a racial minority with even more minority constituents.  There was a USSC decision in the 90's pertaining to NC's 12 CD which ruled that districts could be legally gerrymandered based upon political party affiliation but not based upon race.  The remaining Democratic districts have been drawn to include as many minorities as possible, which means that the only Democratic Congressional reps likely to be left in the state will be members of a racial minority.  White Democrats (such as Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre) are put on the endangered list.    They did the same thing with the State House and Senate districts, drawing bizarrely shaped districts to re-segregate those districts.  Again white Democrats (especially women) were targeted for removal.  Thus we are moving towards a state government dominated by white men in the majority party, with a Democratic minority that is increasingly identified only with racial minorities.  Needless to say that the white men in the ruling party will not allow the Democratic minority to have any real say in the governance of the state.  To put it bluntly, the bigger picture is that the Republicans want to segregate the political parties by making it impossible for white Democrats to have any meaningful role in the Democratic party since we have been drawn into whiter Republican districts where we are in the minority.  The email correspondence relating to their thinking during this process should be very interesting indeed.  Very interesting.

    •  And another important fact (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, Flying Goat

      It is my understanding that the 2011 gerrymandering in the NC Senate and House by the Repubs split up precincts.

      A similar gerrymander by the Dems in 2001 was ruled illegal by the (Repub) State Supreme Court because it split up counties too much.

      No one seems to be mentioning this, and it looks like the Supreme Court does not even care.  In 2001, the court made the Dems redraw the lines before the election.  This decade, the court let the election go through with the crazy-quilt maps

      Maybe I have my facts wrong, but if not, hypocrisy, much?

  •  Bev didn't cave--there was nothing she could do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Under our state constitution, she couldn't veto the Repubs' map.  It's a legacy of the years when our governors couldn't veto anything, period.  We were the last state to give our governor veto power.

    However, PPP has consistently shown that North Carolinians want a Democratic majority in the legislature--but the margin was too small to overcome this outrageous gerrymander.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:49:07 AM PST

  •  2010 (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats stayed home in droves in 2010.  What do you expect?

    Oh, 2014 is coming.

  •  I know they split Asheville (0+ / 0-)

    in two...very clever.

    My little precinct in South Carolina got taken out of Jim Clyburn's district and put into Mick Mulvaney's this time around. My city and county went decidedly for Obama, as did most of those around it.

    They've insured, roughly, the makeup of the House for the next 8 years. Why bother voting?

    -5.38 -4.72 T. Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:05:21 AM PST

  •  It all depends on the state's political culture (0+ / 0-)

    And a mid-term gerrymander of Minnesota would produce a backlash against the Democrats, guaranteed. So, no.

    Better to keep litigating the states that are actually gerrymandered, and keep lobbying, and keep hammering on, until enough people in the federal judiciary are convinced that something has to be done.  That's basically how the Federalist Society got us in this mess over the past 30 years, and it's basically how we have to get out of the mess now.

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