Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Open Wide

Gongwer tweeted this moves to the House floor today. Vacation calls, you know.

New congressional districts, which include wildly meandering districts in southeast Michigan, were approved this morning by the House Redistricting committee.

Despite repeated calls from citizens to slow down the process at the hearing, the committee approved the map by a 6-3 vote. All the Republicans on the committee voted for the map while Democrats opposed it.

Michigan is losing a seat in Congress because of population declines in the state. As a result, the map throws U.S. Reps. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township and Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, in the same district. It also gives U.S. Reps, John Conyers, D-Detroit and Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, strangely shaped districts that traverse county and city borders in southeast Michigan.

Like the budget, citizen protests have been dismissed, and bipartisan input is never a consideration. But we knew that was coming.

The map, especially the southeast Michigan districts, were called “garbage,” “grotesque,” and “strange” by residents and groups testifying before the committee.

But committee Republicans, who controlled the process because of their majorities in the state House and Senate, the governor’s office and the Supreme Court defended the maps as being the best way to maintain the two Voting Rights Act districts while adhering to standards of compactness, contiguous communities and equal populations.

I'd like to welcome Battle Creek to the 3rd - it's a great city, and I've always had a pleasant time on my visits there. Hope you enjoy your stay.

I'm reading rumors that the Teapublicans are pitching a fit over Amash being "targeted" for removal by this map, which to me sounds like total nonsense because he has the DeVos money behind him. No way the Chamber purposely pisses off the big bucks. If anything, it might dissuade Schauer from a run up here. But I believe the district can lean blue, provided you can get both cities out to vote, and 2012 with Obama at the top of the ticket will be a good test on that theory.

Opponents have thirty days to challenge this in court after the bills are approved. Will they? Good question. I hear people making noises, so we will see.