The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 23, 2013

GOP gerrymandering aolidifies control of House


"In the '90s, there were four or five marginal seats in Michigan, and I was in one of them," Levin said. "I had tough races four times in a row. That's much better."

Competitiveness is not required by Michigan's redistricting rules, said State Rep. Peter Lund, a Republican who led the Michigan House committee redrawing the congressional map. Complaints about the Republican success in packing Democrats into districts to minimize the party's success ring hollow to him.

"I understand Democrats don't like" the reconfiguration, he said. "If they were the ones drawing the maps, I'm sure we wouldn't like what they drew."

The districts he and other Republicans crafted and that Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law reflect that "Democrats tend to live in areas that are more Democratic," Lund said. Also, requirements under the federal Voting Rights Act to maintain two Detroit-centered districts in which minorities are a majority of voters influenced the process.

What Republican-controlled redistricting did in Michigan occurred in other states. In Ohio, with Republicans shepherding the redistricting process, the party won 12 of 16 districts even though Obama won the state by two percentage points.

In Florida, just six of 67 counties gave Obama more than half of his votes, three of them in the Miami area. As the president carried Florida by just shy of one percentage point, Republicans won 17 of 27 congressional districts.

The clustering of Democrats in urban areas, including in disproportionately black and Hispanic districts as mandated by the federal law, hinder the party as it seeks a majority of House seats, said Tom Davis, a former Virginia representative who led the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2000 and 2002 campaigns.

"If you wanted to carve it up to the Democrats' advantage, you can't," said Davis. "You just go miles and miles with nothing but Democrats, and that hurts them."

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video