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Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Senate committee approves map putting Lawrence in 2nd U.S. House District

February 1, 2012, 1:26 p.m. Updated February 1, 2012, 7:07 p.m.

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— The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and state Republican Party on Wednesday blasted Republicans who supported a bipartisan congressional redistricting map that consolidated Lawrence into the 2nd U.S. House District.

Kansas Republican Party Chairwoman Amanda Adkins said the proposal “appears to be a coldly calculated attempt to create a Democrat 2nd Congressional District to the detriment of the dean of our congressional delegation.”

The 2nd District is represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka. Currently, Lawrence, which leans Democratic, is split between the 2nd and 3rd Districts.

Ivan Crossland, chairman of the Kansas Chamber Political Action Committee, said, “This map hurts Republicans and helps President Obama’s agenda. Just the latest example of why we need a new state Senate.” The chamber is working to defeat moderate Republicans in the Senate during the Republican Party primary in August.

But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said the comments by Adkins and the Kansas Chamber were “clearly out of bounds, off the charts in terms of reaction.”

Currently, he said, the breakdown of registered voters in the 2nd District is 42 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic and 29 percent unaffiliated. Under the proposed map approved by the committee, the breakdown is 40 percent Republican, 30 percent Democratic and 30 percent unaffiliated.

He said a change of 2 percent in the share of Republican voters isn’t that large. And, he said, the redistricting process isn’t about protecting incumbents but drawing the best districts for Kansans.

Kansas legislators are redrawing congressional district boundaries to accommodate population shifts over the past 10 years.

According to Democratic and Republican legislators, Jenkins has been pushing for a congressional redistricting plan that would place all of Lawrence in the 3rd District, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park. That plan also would extend the vast 1st District all the way to Kansas City, Kan., which is currently in the 3rd.

Several legislators, both Republican and Democratic, have said placing urban Kansas City, Kan., with the mostly rural 1st would be inappropriate.

While Adkins noted Democratic support of the plan that was approved in the Senate committee, it was authored by a Republican and supported by several Republicans on the panel.

The measure will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

“It’s as nonpolitical as we can make it,” Committee Chairman Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, said of the committee proposal.

Ten years ago, Lawrence was split between two districts with west Lawrence in the 2nd and east Lawrence in the 3rd.

The ideal congressional district should have 713,280 people. But U.S. Census figures shows the 1st is about 58,000 people short, while the growing 3rd, which includes the Kansas City metro area, has about 55,000 more than it should.

The map approved by the Senate committee would take Manhattan, which is currently in the 2nd, and place it in the 1st to add population.

Manhattan officials oppose this move, saying the city is linked with military bases and Kansas University in the 2nd. After the committee’s vote, Dick Carter, representing the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s important to realize we are very early in the process.”

Owens said Manhattan is a growing area, and the 1st needs population.

Meanwhile, the 3rd would lose eastern Lawrence. The 3rd would include Johnson and Wyandotte counties and southeastern Leavenworth County.

Earlier in the committee meeting, Sen. Mike Peterson, R-Wichita, proposed a map that would have split Topeka, which is in the 2nd, between the 1st and 2nd districts. But that proposal failed.

Comments

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

And why would Republicans be engaged in such a dastardly act??

Authored by a Republican, and supported by others on the panel, according to the article, and yet it's still some sort of Democratic plot.

thebigspoon 2 years, 10 months ago

Jafs, this is a strong indication of the divisiveness in the Kansas Republican ranks. With any luck at all, the moderates in the party will be able to slow the Koch/Brownback juggernaut to a crawl and, even better, bring a modicum of sense to the republican voters who are not crazy about all the lies Brownback has promulgated on the state. Moderate Democrats in Kansas have real reason for hope in this, and I believe we'll see a lot of changes in Kansas politics in the near future.

As sfor the Chamber, it becomes clearer each day that it is not in favor of the good of all Kansans, but only the business/money interests who want Brownback crowned king.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Agreed.

I was just commenting on the KRP's chairperson's attempt to blame it on Democrats.

Hooligan_016 2 years, 10 months ago

It's unfortunate that Manhattan may end up in the 1st District.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

What business is it of the Chamber of Commerce over and above the fact they became a PAC for the RINO party.

The Chamber doe not do squat for Kansas Commerce.

thebigspoon 2 years, 10 months ago

I think you mean they DO squat for Kansas commerce. Unless you mean that they squat for anything commercial and anti-populace.

Steve Jacob 2 years, 10 months ago

Keeping politics out of it, the map looks pretty good. Sure it hurts Jenkins, but not that much.

gccs14r 2 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree that it looks about as sensible as possible, given the distribution of our population. Now if we could just get back to having a reasonable number of people represented by each Representative, maybe we'd actually be represented.

The Constitution calls out a minimum number of people to be represented (30,000), but not a maximum. I think this was an oversight. They had no idea that we'd still be using their document more than 200 years later or that it would be governing 300+ million people. I think we should set a maximum of 60,000, and increase the number of seats in the House to reflect our population. We'd also have a better chance of having multiple viable parties among the House membership, and it would be more difficult for a large national organization to throw a gazillion dollars at every district to influence the outcome of elections (or for the House leadership to strong-arm the members to vote against their principles).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

"I think we should set a maximum of 60,000, and increase the number of seats in the House to reflect our population."

That'd mean having a House of Reps with 5000 members, which would be just too cumbersome.

But I certainly agree with your larger point. We could easily double the size of the house to 870, which would mean that Kansas would have 8 Reps instead of the current 4, and the redistricting process would be much less susceptible to gerrymandering, and Republicans would be unable to draw district lines with the primary purpose of ensuring the that majority of Kansans who are not Republicans get represented, too.

The Senate should also be restructured. Give each state a minimum of 1 Senator instead of 2, and allow heavily populated states to have up to 7 Senators, and divide the states into districts. This would still give an advantage to small population states, but not the idiocy that we currently have. -- Or better yet, get rid of the Senate altogether, and roll those seats into the House, instead.

gccs14r 2 years, 10 months ago

No, I like the idea of a multi-thousand member House precisely because it would be very difficult to use coercion to get members to vote for things they don't like. Also, there would be no practical way to get them all in the same room, so House sessions would become virtual, with the members working from their home districts and voting from there. Everything could be handled electronically.

The Senate needs to return to members being elected by the States, not the People. That's who they represent, and that's who should choose them. That would get the big political dollars out of those campaigns.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 10 months ago

"Douglas and Wyandotte counties has seen a shift to the right as many moderates are upset with the constant whining and crying from the likes of Holland and Kultala."

Not true. If anything the moderate Republicans are shifting away from the radical right. Moderates will NEVER support Brownback's dynasty.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

Maybe Brownback is trying to turn Kansas from red to blue? Slapping people's grandma will turn generations of republicans into democrats.

lgrant 2 years, 10 months ago

Boo hoo Amanda. Some legislators are trying to approach redistricting in a sensible, non-partisan way. Have you looked at any of the maps for state representatives? Now there is some gerrymandering!

mloburgio 2 years, 10 months ago

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins? always remember lynn voted to end meficare, medicaid and social security. the ryan bill on medicare is coming up for a vote again be sure and call our senators and the house rep in your area and tell them vote no! the gop lied said the ryan bill would not affect people 55 and older but like always they lied.

District by District Impact of Republican Medicare Plan and Medicaid Cuts http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=page/district-by-district-impact-of-republican-medicare-plan-and-medicaid-cuts

overthemoon 2 years, 10 months ago

And she hasn't done one single worthwhile thing for Kansas or the Country. She's just a placeholder for the ALEC machine.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 10 months ago

A simple map with straight lines. Clearly drawn by people who represent Kansans and not just a rabid mob.

conservativejayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Why should we trust Mr. Rothschild's reporting? "Lawrence, which leans Democratic." That's the second time in a week he has used that phrase. How about, "Lawrence, which votes consistently and heavily Democratic" as an accurate statement?

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 10 months ago

I applaud the Moderate Republicans for being bi-partisan and representing the true views of most Kansans. Just say no to far right extremism...

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 10 months ago

We can only hope that the moderate Republicans will get so ticked off that they will put one of their own up in the primary against Brownbut.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 10 months ago

We all know that chambers of commerce have members who historically have leaned toward the republican party. This kind of overt political bias should trigger an IRS review of their tax exempt status.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 10 months ago

I think a lot of churches did last year lose their tax exempt status as did many charities though I think it had more to do with not filing the required paperwork.

Eileen Jones 2 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't make sense to split Lawrence.

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