Monday, October 12, 2009

Sure It's All About Politics

City-County Council President Robert Cockrum (R) doesn't even attempt to hide the fact that council Republicans want to redraw City-County Council districts next year before the 2010 census data becomes available the spring of 2011 in order to score political advantage in the 2011 municipal election. "That's the name of the game," Cockrum told the Star's Francesca Juaroz. "It's the same thing (Democrats) did last time." Juaroz continued, "Cockrum said many Republicans view the current map as favoring Democrats, and that's why Democrats are pushing to delay redistricting until after the 2011 election."

Juaroz' story makes it appear that this is a Republican versus Democrat debate. I, along with many of my friends in the Republican Party, strongly object to what the council Republicans are trying to do here. The law clearly mandates that redistricting must occur the second year after the decennial census data becomes available. The Republicans are convinced they will lose control of the council in 2011 under the current map. This must be largely based on their belief they cannot win the four at-large council races, which tend to follow the outcome of the mayor's race. In other words, they don't believe Greg Ballard has a snowball's chance in hell of being re-elected. Assuming a redistricting occurs next year, an argument could be made that Indiana law would require a second redistricting to occur in 2012.

It is particularly galling that Republicans are spending money on something they don't have to be spending money on during these difficult budget times for city-county government. Juaroz story comes a little late. The blogs have talked about this issue at length during the debate over the city budget. The Star didn't say a word. After the money has already been appropriated--$290,000 in the 2010 budget, now the Star writes about the story. A day late and a dollar short if you ask me.

15 comments:

Paul K. Ogden said...

I don't think there is any question that a second redistricting would be required if the council redistricted with old census data for the 2010 election. The law requires you to redistrict AFTER the new census data comes out, not before.

I think she missed the point that rarely in the middle of a 10 year cycle are districts redrawn. I think she also missed the fact that Cockrum and Company were selling the $290K in the 2010 budget for redistricting on the basis that the redistricting was required by law. Now they've switched gears saying they'll do it before the 2011 election using old census data.

If the Council Republicans want to get reelected they might stop rubberstamping the insider initiatives of this administration which has been hijacked by people who are busy making money at the taxpayers' expense.

Wilson46201 said...

Do the current Districts favor Democrats? Compared to the egregiously gerrymandered Districts originally proposed by the GOP, any other map would favor Democrats. Any other map! Are the current Districts as favorable to Democrats as they could be if I drew them? Of course not.

The current Districts were drawn up by outside Judges to be neutral in party balance. Those Judges were forced into that unusual step by the transparently and overly-partisan gerrymanders being forced through by the Marion County Republicans. This new last-minute redistricting by Republicans is yet again another desperate (and transparent) power-grab attempt.

Needless to say, any new egregiously-gerrymandered maps will be fought vigorously in the courts and in the court of public opinion. The GOP wants to use public tax dollars to rig the elections in their favor. It will not stand up to scrutiny by voters or judges!

Paul K. Ogden said...

I actually agree with Wilson, though I would point out that the Court did not drawn the districts to be neutral in party balance. I think Wilson mean to say that partisanship was not considered when drawing the maps.

Wilson46201 said...

I'll accept that as a friendly amendment!

artfuggins said...

If the republicans are brazen enough to do this, we will see a long and expensive court suit....at the public's expense.

varangianguard said...

Who cares about anything but the $290K?
Either side will gerrymander their best (which isn't saying much), then the "at-large" races will turn the Council one way or the other.
This time around the GOP ruled the roost due to too much ego on the party of too many Democrat pols.
Anybody care to bet which way the "at large" seats will likely go next time around?
Then, we'll see.

indyernie said...

Hey Wilson remember what your guy Monre said? Something about using the "juice"...cry a river if you want. It can be done... it will be done. Live with it.

Wilson46201 said...

Ernie, after a while in politics you learn that Americans have a basic sense of decency and fair play. An obviously gerrymandered last-minute powergrab by the GOP simply won't sit well with the electorate.

Based on demographics alone, the GOP is expected to lose significantly in Marion County. This extreme gerrymandering of Council seats is a classical "Hail Mary" pass -- it's about the only way to desperately hang on to eroding power. Frankly, the Republicans have nothing to lose by trying such slick tricks except to lose by an even greater margin...

Paul K. Ogden said...

Indyernie,

I agree. Spending $290,000 to redistrict for one election then spending another $290,000 immediately afterward to redistrict again would be the absolute wrong thing for Democrats to do. But since we Republicans want to do it, hey it's okay!!!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Art, it won't be a long lawsuit. It will go on an expedited basis. The whole thing will be through the courts in a couple months, maybe less.

Not that I'm justifying such a foolish move.

Advance Indiana said...

I would remind people that former House Speaker Paul Mannweiler made a serious miscalculation when he sought to draw new legislative boundaries after his party gained a majority in the 1994 election. It blew up in his face badly. The news media turned on him completely, including the Star. The House Democrats had a big advantage in fighting that redistricting. They could simply walk out as a caucus and shut the House down because of a lack of a quorum. Democrats will have to get Ed Coleman and at least one Republican councilor to block this effort.

Sir Hailstone said...

Democrats will have to get Ed Coleman and at least one Republican councilor to block this effort.

Ed Coleman knows he's a dead man walking so he don't give a crap. RINO Barb Malone will likely be the one to do it.

artfuggins said...

Oh, Sir Hailstone...attack the African American woman......that is class!!

Wilson46201 said...

Ms. Malone defeated Sir Hailstone (Mike Jezierski) who was the slated candidate in the GOP Primary. He's continued to whine about her ever since...

swan said...

The amoral stands of Robert Cockrum and Mayor Ballard, are so disgusting.