Republican State Leadership Committee We Can Change Congress


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From the Los Angeles Times

A bookstore owner from Yolo County, a retired engineer from Claremont, an insurance agent from San Gabriel and an attorney from Norco are among those who will determine how legislative districts are drawn as part of an experiment that promises to drastically change the state’s political landscape.

Until now, the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts were drawn every 10 years by state legislators in a process that critics said was often skewed for partisan advantage or to protect incumbents. Many officeholders have been able to skate from election to election without much in the way of serious competition.

But through a series of ballot measures, California voters have set the state on a radically different course with an unknown outcome. In 2008, voters gave the job of drawing legislative district lines to a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. This month, voters gave the commission additional powers, handing them authority over congressional districts. And Thursday, the first members of that new commission were picked by lottery.

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 November 2010 10:59

From the Michigan Messenger

Last week’s unexpected resignation by Justice Elizabeth Weaver, a Republican, and subsequent replacement by Justice Alton Thomas Davis, a Democrat, may not only reshape the Michigan Supreme Court, it could change the entire electoral map of the state for the next ten years.

Next year when the 2010 census data is released Michigan’s political boundaries will be redrawn by the legislature, and if they cannot agree on the redistricting map then the state Supreme Court will take up the matter. Because the shape of districts has an enormous effect on who can get elected, observers are already speculating on what last week’s abrupt resignation might mean for that process.

Bob LaBrant of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce told columnist Peter Luke that the change on the court “puts the Democrats in the driver’s seat as far as redistricting is concerned. (Weaver) would have been a question mark, but that question mark has been removed.”

The term that Davis was appointed to fill only runs through this year, but he has already been nominated for reelection by the Democrats, and he will have an advantage over others because he will be designated on the ballot as an incumbent.

But Richard McLelland is a Michigan State University professor of public relations and practicing attorney with expertise in government ethics, lobbying regulation and campaign finance issues, tells the Michigan Messenger that Granholm’s appointment of Davis was dirty dealing that may damage Davis’ candidacy this fall.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 September 2010 09:55

From the Richmond Times Dispatch

Population shifts portend a potentially dramatic redesign of congressional districts in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, Southside and the far Southwest.

The new boundaries could render the seats more friendly or hostile to their current occupants.

An analysis by the research arm of the General Assembly, which will redraw congressional and legislative lines next year, shows that six of the state’s 11 U.S. House seats will take in more territory because of declines in population.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 09:58

From American Prospect

In bad economic times, the electorate grows surly, and if “Throw the bums out!” is the prevailing mood, you’re in trouble if you’re one of the bums. That presents Democrats with a problem: They are the face of the political establishment not just nationally but in states as well.

Today, Democrats control 27 state legislatures, compared to the 14 Republicans control (eight are split, and Nebraska has a nonpartisan unicameral legislature). This was a dramatic turnaround from just a few years ago: In the previous three election cycles, Democrats gained a net of 374 state house seats and 68 state senate seats.

But that success has made them vulnerable, in much the same way as the gains made by congressional Democrats in 2006 and 2008 made them vulnerable. Democrats have to defend a lot of unsafe ground, including seats they managed to win in traditionally conservative districts. That makes for an unusually competitive year; according to Governing magazine’s Louis Jacobson, “Just under one-third (31 percent) of the legislative chambers that are up this fall are considered ‘in play’ — that is, rated tossup, lean Democratic or lean Republican. … Currently, the Democrats have 21 chambers in play, compared to just four for the Republicans — a burden five times as heavy for the Democrats.”

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 08:39

Via North Jersey dot com

Many political experts are predicting that because of stagnant population growth, New Jersey will lose one of its 13 congressional districts to another state. Many political pundits say that it will be one of the suburban districts that will get carved up. It may lead to two incumbent Republicans facing off in a June primary for the right to appear on the ballot of the November 2012 general election.

Redistricting could have even greater consequences on the state level. Several complicated court cases, specifically Bartlett v. Strickland, McNeil v. Legislative Apportionment and others, may produce a more favorable map for New Jersey Republicans. Both parties will be vying to get a “good map.” A “good map” is one that gives a particular party a better or at least a fighting chance of securing a majority in one or both houses. In 2001, Republicans got a “bad map.”

A good Republican map could result in Republican majorities in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly in 2012. With Chris Christie in the governor’s seat and Republican majorities in both houses, 2012 could make this year look like a yawner. Big changes could come to the state if Republicans can get a “good map” and win.

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 July 2010 07:37