Archive for Saturday, April 14, 2012

Deep Purple — the map not the band — would place Lawrence in vast 1st congressional district

A proposed congressional redistricting plan put together by state Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville, who is vice chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, would place Lawrence in the 1st U.S. House district. The Legislature again will take up the matter of redistricting when the wrapup session starts April 25.

A proposed congressional redistricting plan put together by state Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville, who is vice chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, would place Lawrence in the 1st U.S. House district. The Legislature again will take up the matter of redistricting when the wrapup session starts April 25.

April 14, 2012


In the protracted congressional redistricting war, House Republican leaders have tried splitting the Democratic enclave in Kansas City, Kan., and they’ve tried splitting Democrats in Topeka.

Both of those plans seem to have been defeated.

What to try next?

Lawrence, the most liberal city in Kansas, is already split between the 2nd and 3rd congressional districts, but Democrats believe there may be a move to place Lawrence in the vast 1st District, one of the most conservative districts in the country.

“That’s what we’re hearing,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.

He said the goal of House Republican leaders has been to place Democratic areas of Topeka, Kansas City, Kan., and Lawrence in separate congressional districts in order to dilute Democratic voting strength.

Hensley said the latest version reflecting this strategy is a congressional redistricting map called “Deep Purple” that was put together by state Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville and vice chairman of the House Redistricting Committee.

Deep Purple would make Lawrence the easternmost point of the 1st District, which includes all of western and much of central Kansas and is represented by U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Fowler. The eastern part of Douglas County, including Eudora and Baldwin City, would be in the 2nd District, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from Topeka.

“I don’t think we fit very well with the current makeup of the 1st District,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.

Aurand said Hensley is overstating the potential of Deep Purple to get votes in the Legislature, although he defended the proposal.

“You have to get the people from somewhere,” said Aurand, noting that the 1st District needs about 58,000 more people to be equal in population to the state’s other three congressional districts. The Deep Purple map would give each district approximately 713,280 people.

Aurand said his plan would keep Kansas University and Kansas State University in the same district because it also would split Manhattan. K-State would be in the 1st while the site of a proposed federal biosecurity lab near the campus, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, would be in the 2nd. Republicans have said that Jenkins is better placed in Congress to ensure that NBAF gets funding.

In addition, Aurand said Emporia State and Fort Hays State universities would also be in the reconfigured 1st, as would Kansas’ two major military installations, Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth.

Aurand said that no proposed congressional redistricting map is perfect but that perhaps his is less onerous than the other ones.

Hensley said he believes a compromise plan is emerging that will be considered when legislators return for the wrap-up session that starts April 25.

That compromise, he said, would keep both K-State and NBAF in the 2nd, as Jenkins wants, while also providing the needed population in the 1st by moving several more rural counties from the 2nd to the 1st and moving the Wichita-based 4th farther into eastern Kansas. He said it is important to keep communities of interest together in the same districts.

“What does Lawrence have in common with the 1st District?” Hensley asked. “Very little.”


Hooligan_016 6 years, 1 month ago

Slightly less ridiculous than putting Wyandotte in the 1st, but still asinine.

WilburNether 6 years, 1 month ago

This plan is absolutely ridiculous. The idiots in the People's Republic of Lawrence should be excluded from ANY Kansas congressional district.

i_read_things 6 years, 1 month ago

I would love to hear one of these family values conservatives place his/her hand on a bible and justify this idea. Is it possible to hear news from the Kansas legislature that does not turn my stomach?

chootspa 6 years, 1 month ago

I suspect all the people in the 1st would get pissed when it turned out there was enough collective voting power to oust any tea party candidates they wanted to run.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

So obvious idiocy is OK with you as long as it disenfranchises those who aren't conservative Republicans.

It's one thing to be forever young-- quite another to be forever 13.

coloradoan 6 years, 1 month ago

58,000 more people needed? Well, how about that? If you slice off Smith, Jewell, Osborne, Clay, Cloud, Republic, Mitchell, Ottawa, and Washington counties and put them in the 1st, that is a total of - based on state highway map numbers and a calculator - 56,062 people. Close enough? Something to think about? You betcha. Anything else is dishonest, conniving, gerrymandering.

gccs14r 6 years, 1 month ago

Where's the map the Senate drew up? That one at least pretended to create proper districts.

If the House gets its way, all that's going to happen is a Federal suit that will suspend the whole process for several years while the TPers are chided by a judge who'd rather be dealing with adults.

average 6 years, 1 month ago

Sadly (as someone in favor of the Iowa model), this wouldn't get past an initial hearing at the federal court level. It's not illegal to draw lines politically. Federal courts have accepted much squirrlier districts than any the KS legislature has put forward this time, and since no equal-sized cong. district could possibly be drawn that would have more than even 15% racial minority population, it's almost impossible to say that the minority vote is being diluted.

Fossick 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps is will give you some comfort to realize that this map will not result in any fewer Kansas Democrats being elected to Congress.

Amanda Woodward Davis 6 years, 1 month ago

Obvious political motivation behind this. They don't want any Democrats elected to any seats in Kansas any longer. Ridiculous!!!!!

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

Republicans don't want Democrats elected. And Democrats want Republicans elected?

Hooligan_016 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh yes, why didn't I think of that in the first place. Silly me.

/ laying it on thick // the best ideas come from compromise /// if you don't have trucknutz (TM), you can git out //// slashies

average 6 years, 1 month ago

R-Belleville (Republic County). You'll notice that he is doing his level best to avoid his neck of the woods being represented by Tim Huelskamp, where many plans would put his county in the 1st. Anyone would avoid that. Tim's as unpopular in DC as he was in Topeka... even his own caucus can't stand him.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 1 month ago

According to what I have read, he did not think that the house budget did not go far enough in cuts to social services and "entitlement reform."

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if in 2020 if KS will only have three congressional districts instead of four. If so, we will have a KC district, a Wichita district and a balance of KS district. The KC district might even become a Johnson county only district. That would place all of Wyandotte, Douglas, and Shawnee counties in with the 100 redneck counties...yuck

William Weissbeck 6 years, 1 month ago

What's the deal with the story placement? Today is the first day that it appears at the top of the Kansas Government page. That being said, it should be clear by now that the GOP party in Kansas has no interest whatsoever of ever running a competitive campaign against or representing the interests of any Democrat in Kansas. Hensley should make the not so subtle threat to the moderate GOP - join the reasonable map: Douglas and Shawnee in the 2nd, or he tells Democrats to vote in the primary against the GOP moderates. If the Dems are being thrown under the bus, take the moderates with them.

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