Welcome to this week’s edition of REDMAP Rundown, a synopsis of redistricting news brought to you by the RSLC’s REDistricting MAjority Project (REDMAP). This weekly email gives you the latest on what those in the beltway, and across the country, are saying about the impending reapportionment and redistricting process.
In this week’s REDMAP Rundown: Republicans hit 60; already looking at the “biggest story of 2010”; Ohio plan fails, others still alive; Indiana on the cusp; Maryland to play it fair; Corrine Brown doesn’t; Texas redistricting appointments.
Republicans across the country marked a significant milestone, this week, with the 59th and 60th state legislative special election victories since President Barack Obama was elected President. The two wins took place in Virginia House Districts 26 and 27 as Republicans Tony Wilt and Roxann Robinson handily defeated Democrats in the races to fill those seats. RSLC Chairman, Ed Gillespie tells FOX’s Hannity, “I think people are quickly coming to the conclusion this president may not be up for the office, may not be up for the job. And that’s a major determination if the voters come to that conclusion.” Watch video HERE.
Texas State Representative Jim Jackson “has been appointed to joint subcommittees with the Redistricting Committee. The joint subcommittees will hold hearings throughout the State on the drawing of Congressional & House — Senate District lines as a result of the new 2010 Census.”
Pollster David Hill writes in The Hill, “I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. While many look at control of Congress as the biggest story of the 2010 elections, it’s likely that state legislative races across the nation and some Florida ballot measures will end up having more impact on party and other political fortunes in the long run. The parties that control the legislatures after the 2010 elections and census will be masters of the redistricting process in many states, deciding which party is advantaged when legislative and congressional lines are redrawn for the next decade. And in Florida, where competing ballot measures pit supposed reformers against insiders who have dueling amendments on the ballot to tailor the districting process, the stakes are already high and evident, months before the election.”
“Lawmakers have failed to pass a plan to create a bipartisan board to draw Ohio’s future legislative and congressional districts. The General Assembly was unable to overcome differences in proposed bills updating how Ohio draws its political maps in a rush to finish business overnight Thursday.” The Columbus Dispatch’s Joe Hallett opines, “Despite the best efforts of officials such as Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, and Peg Rosenfield, head of election reform for the League of Women Voters of Ohio, another opportunity has been lost to change the way Ohio draws new districts every 10 years for its members of the Ohio House and Senate. There still is time for the General Assembly to pass a redistricting-reform bill by Aug. 4, the deadline for putting it on the Nov. 2 ballot, but don’t hold your breath.”
“Bills have been introduced in several such states to create independent commissions to oversee redistricting instead, beginning in 2011 after the once-a-decade U.S. census count. A redistricting bill in New York has gained the support of Democrat Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rick Lazio, the leading candidates for governor, but not the legislature. … “New York Senate President Malcolm Smith was quoted as saying Democrats would ‘draw the lines so that Republicans will be in oblivion in the state of New York for the next 20 years.’”
University of Notre Dame political analyst Robert Schmuhl points out that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is a busy man. “The governor is hoping to help turn a slim Democratic majority in the Indiana House of Representatives into a Republican majority with this year’s election. Redistricting for state and congressional legislative districts will be on his agenda in 2011.”
“Whoever wins the gubernatorial election in November will have an effect on Maryland politics long after he leaves office. The victor … will guide the process to redraw congressional and legislative district lines, influencing who runs and who wins elected office for the next decade. With the candidates representing two different political philosophies, people familiar with the process have two different expectations of how the redistricting process will go forward.”
“Rep. Corrine Brown is known for being a feisty congresswoman and often has a lot to say when asked a question. But when she was asked a question about how the boundaries of her congressional district on a radio program Thursday morning, she talked for a while, then hung up on the interviewer.”
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