Archive for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kansas Senate approves congressional map that consolidates Lawrence in 2nd, puts Manhattan in 1st

February 8, 2012


— The Kansas Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan congressional redistricting plan that puts all of Lawrence in the 2nd U.S. House District.

The measure passed 23-17 and now goes to the House, where it is expected to face opposition because it moves Manhattan, which is now in the 2nd District, into the 1st. Fifteen Republicans and eight Democrats voted for the plan, and 17 Republicans voted against it.

Today, east Lawrence is in the 3rd District and west Lawrence is in the 2nd.

Legislators have to redraw district boundaries to accommodate for population shifts that have occurred over the past 10 years.

The vast 1st District, which covers western and much of central Kansas, lost population and needs about 58,000 people to reach the ideal district size.

Most of the debate Wednesday dealt with how to add population to the 1st. A Senate committee approved a plan putting Manhattan in the 1st.

But the Kansas Republican Party, Kansas Chamber of Commerce and key Republican officials oppose that move. During debate in the Senate, all of Gov. Sam Brownback’s top staff members were in the chamber monitoring the action.

Sen. Mike Peterson, R-Wichita, proposed a map that would have kept Manhattan in the 2nd, but it would have split Topeka between the 2nd and 1st Districts.

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said the proposal seemed like a good fit because the Topeka school district had a lot of at-risk students, the same as in western Kansas.

But Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said the proposal needlessly split a community of interest just as legislators had done 10 years ago to Lawrence. “There is no greater community of interest than a city of the first class,” Hensley said. Peterson’s proposal failed, 17-22.

Earlier, Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, proposed a map that would have kept Manhattan in the 2nd and extended the 1st into the top northern tier of counties to the Kansas-Missouri line. But that failed, too.

Reitz said Manhattan wanted to stay in the 2nd District because it is represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka. She has a position on the Appropriations Committee and that is crucial to funding the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and Fort Riley, he said.

But as the debate wound down, Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, said U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, who represents the 1st, would do a good job representing the interests of Manhattan.


jackpot 6 years, 4 months ago

"Today, east Lawrence is in the 3rd district and west Lawrence is in the 2nd." Most of west Lawrence is in the 2nd, I'm in west Lawrence and in the 3rd.

Jeanne Cunningham 6 years, 4 months ago

I would truly appreciate this more if a map could be included.

jehovah_bob 6 years, 4 months ago

I didn't even know you could associate Manhattan with the 1st anything.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 4 months ago

Try Forbes magazine. Manhattan was rated # 1 in "Best Small Places for Business and Careers."

CLARKKENT 6 years, 4 months ago



Steve Jacob 6 years, 4 months ago

Manhattan should love the move, being the largest and richest city in a congressional district has to give much more attention then in the past.

Blue_Stem 6 years, 4 months ago

Huelskamp does not stand for what the people of Manhattan do. He is so far right and a Tea Partier.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 4 months ago

Sure is interesting to see how much Manhattan and K-State despise western Kansas.

You would think the folks out there who have so much "purple pride" would question why their leaders have so many negative things to say about western Kansas. From reading the comments from Manhattan, you would think they were being sent to permanent exile, surrounded by uneducated and uninformed heathens.

Nice to see their true colors finally showing.

Joe Blackford II 6 years, 4 months ago

It is rather unpleasant to live here (Manhattan) & be an educated and informed heathen.

hammerhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

This is absolutely criminal. Gerrymandering at its worst. Kansas is following Texas in doing everything possible to reduce the voting impact of citizens and patriots who believe in making certain that the bounties of our great country are shared by all. In plain talk, that means the republicans in power in Kansas are grabbing for more power by watering down the votes of blacks, Hispanics and others who oppose cutting school budgets, keeping poorer youth from getting food stamps, etc., etc. We are definitely going backward in Kansas.

SinoHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

There is a limited amount of gerrymandering that can take place is a state with only 4 Congressional districts. The issue isn't so much 'party' as it is culture between the different regions of Kansas.

preebo 6 years, 4 months ago

SinoHawk has it right. Gerrymandering is next to impossible with only 4 Congressional Districts. Actually, if anything, this strengthens the Moderates and Democrats. The population growth (as little as it is) is in the urban centers of Wichita, Manhattan, Topeka, Lawrence and Johnson County. This actually consolidates the power of more moderate political views in Kansas. As some people have mentioned previously, this does not bode well for Rep. Jenkins or Huelscamp as their districts were previously structured more to the "Right." Now with Manhattan included in District 1 and bringing in Lawrence into District 2, the political views are likely to be more tempered than in the past.

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

Federal rules and laws don't apply to Ks, or at least the current regime likes to pretend they don't,

Tracy Rogers 6 years, 4 months ago

What does that have to do with this story?

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 4 months ago

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler and the rest of the ks. washington delegation all voted to END medicare, social security and medicaid.

Impacts of the Republican Medicare Plan In Kansas’s 2nd Congressional District

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

This is a good district map. It makes sense regionally and has very little gerrymandering.

Better start campaigning, Lynn.

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