Doing a Few Lines

You hear that?

Yeah, I can’t either. I’ve been straining myself trying to hear Republican complaints about how the Independent Redistricting Commission is a Star Chamber run by puppeteers in a White House sub-basement, taking orders from Rahm Emanuel, Van Jones and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Hmm. Can’t hear anything.

That can’t have anything to do with the release of the legislative maps yesterday, can it? You know, where the Republicans got more than they could have hoped for?

Well, maybe not all they could have hoped for: Rick Stertz still voted against it. He heard that the draft map would allow a Democrat to win an election somewhere, I guess.

Before I set my phaser to “rant,” I should tell you a little bit about what I think “competitive” means.

It doesn’t mean thirty districts that are even politically. Such a map would be just as gerrymandered as a map to benefit one or the other party would be. What it means is that a change in the overall political wind would result in a change in the legislature. The current map doesn’t do that: a strong Democratic year in 2006 elected Janet Napolitano by a large margin and replaced Republican congressional incumbents with Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords. That year, the Democrats made gains in the legislature, but didn’t tip either house. The math made changing the legislature impossible.

This could still mean there are safe seats. A district drawn in Mesa will be strongly Republican, one drawn on Tucson’s south side will be strongly Democratic, and that makes perfect sense. But, will there be enough seats in play that the legislature changes when public opinion does?

If you ask that question of this map, the answer is no.

The commission is claiming eight competitive districts, which would have to include districts with as much as 55 or 56 percent Republican registration. It’s a bit of a stretch, to be sure.

I’ve gone over the numbers, performance and registration, with two people, and the conclusion is the same: nine solidly Democratic districts and fifteen solidly Republican districts. Democrats could run the table, and the best they can hope for is a tie. In other words, it is near impossible for the people of Arizona to change the face of the legislature.

Well, there’s one good thing about this. It will put an end to the tired and whiny trope that the commission is working at the behest of Democrats.

Hmm…I think I do hear something. It’s the Republicans celebrating yet another decade of guaranteed legislative control, no matter what the people want.

12 thoughts on “Doing a Few Lines

  1. If “the people” want Republicans to be in control, why do Republicans have to lie about their agenda, cheat using unscrupulous shenanigans to get their way, and steal elections as the Bush boy did in 2000?

    The answer is simple – If the Republicans were honest about who they are, their true policies, and what they stand for, nobody in their right mind would ever vote for them. This was confirmed by Michelle Bachmann when she told a crowd of supporters last month that if Democratic (read liberal) policies succeeded no Republicans would ever get elected again.

    And considering the Republican governance track record, both national and statewide, that would be good thing.

  2. WhoCares,

    Party registration is currently R-35%, D-32% (give or take) with the remaining being PND/Other.

    Of course these numbers suggest that Arizona is anything but a Republican Mecca, but a few well-placed electoral scams have assured GOP power. I’d cite some examples, but I’m pretty sure that you are well aware of what they are and how they work (despite the dumb-act you play around here).

  3. WC – Instead of answering my criticisms of Republicans, you try to deflect them to Obama. Nice try!

    True, he hasn’t lived up to his campaign promises, has flip-flopped on his positions, and foolishly tries to govern like a center right Republican; but he hasn’t committed anything so egregious as the Bush Administration planning on invading Iraq before they were even inaugurated, Dick Cheney’s continuing lies about non-existent WMDs, GOP governors attacking firefighters, police, and teachers (and not mentioning anything about that during their campaigns), etc.

    WC, I’m sure you know that the majority of politicians lie to some degree, it’s the extent of those lies and their impact on the country (including national security) that matters.

  4. Ted, I understand your anger, but am less and less confident that ANY of Arizona is blue anymore. Even Tucson itself is, at best,maroon–

    The Rothschild dog whistles have begun and will continue, on the right AND the left. While numbers of registered Dems and this morning’s Star endorsement may suggest otherwise, we are looking at an inevitable sea change. I want my Tucson back.

  5. Walt, if you think that Democrats are entirely happy with the Congressional map, then you are obviously not reading much other than the talking points that you have been handed. Check out Blog for Arizona, or even Rhonda’s stories in the Star for the last few weeks.

    There are still significant problems with the Congressional map, and there are folks on the Democratic side who have been speaking up about it. As Tedski has pointed out here, the fundamental flaw in this map stems from the ill-considered creation of three “border districts,” which was a demand of the Tea Party and Rick Sterz. You got what you wanted, despite the fact that many of us tried to point out how non-sensible it was given Southern Arizona’s geography and demographics, and you have been bellyaching about it ever since. This is really tiresome.

  6. Dearest Commenters,

    Instead of worrying about competitive districts, the concern should be about representative districts — with reasonable geography and no gerrymandering.

    I don’t really give a toss if those districts lean one way or the other as long as they envelop voters without boundary gymnastics.

    Too many Democrats? Too bad. Campaign harder!

    Too many Republicans? Too bad. Campaign harder!

    Gerrymandering and grousing about competitiveness is the lazy solution to ineffective campaigning. And given how many people in Arizona are telling both parties to go somewhere under the earth’s crust, it’s becoming an exercise in futility… and given this partisan dust-up, I’m sure more people are finding a reason to be independent.

    Your Humble Servant,

  7. In the early 1980s LD14 was a solid Republican “safe district.” We plugged away election by election, and by 1990 we had 3 Democratic seats, all held by women. Run good candidates with a real message, and votes will be swayed and earned.

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