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Archive for Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lawrence could be consolidated into 2nd U.S. House District

January 21, 2012

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— A plan to place Lawrence in one U.S. House district — the 2nd — is forming in the Legislature.

“Basically, it corrects a wrong decision made 10 years ago,” said Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka.

The Senate redistricting committee is scheduled to meet Monday and may vote on a proposed congressional district map that would consolidate Lawrence into the 2nd U.S. District, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka.

Currently, east Lawrence is in the 3rd Congressional District, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and west Lawrence is in the 2nd.

Hensley said the Legislature’s splitting of Lawrence between the 2nd and 3rd districts in 2002 was an injustice.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said, “Lawrence probably needs to go into the 2nd District.” He said that will preserve the 3rd District as a Kansas City-metro district.

Davis said that many in Lawrence were unhappy when the city was split 10 years ago but that it hasn’t turned out as bad as people thought it would.

In fact, he said, it has probably benefitted Lawrence in some ways to have two representatives.

Consolidating Lawrence into one House district has more to do with a proposal by Senate Redistricting Chairman Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, to move Manhattan and Fort Riley from the 2nd into the 1st District, which is in need of population. Moving Manhattan and Fort Riley means more people must be shifted into the 2nd.

Every 10 years, the Legislature redraws district lines to even out population shifts and make the districts as equal in population as possible.

The congressional districts in Kansas should be as close to 713,280 in population as possible, but currently:

• The 1st District is 57,970 people under the ideal size.

• The 2nd is 3,233 under the ideal size.

• The 3rd has 54,289 more people than the ideal size.

• The 4th has 6,912 more than is ideal.

Comments

KS 2 years, 11 months ago

I can only imagine what is coming next in the comments section. There will be sooooo many experts and the bad mouthing will begin.

realisticvoter 2 years, 11 months ago

Should give us enough sensible voters to get rid of snarky.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

"Every 10 years, the Legislature redraws district lines to even out population shifts and make the districts as equal in population as possible."

Sure, that's what's suppose to happen. What happens is gerrymandering.

Jonathan Fox 2 years, 11 months ago

It's only gerrymandering if the districts are drawn to keep a party from having a majority in that district. There's really only one blue city in Kansas, and unless it was it's own district it's not going to change anything. Put all of Lawrence in any district you want it's still not going to make any district go blue. Gerrymandering is the only way you'd ever get a blue district in Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

If all of Douglas and Wyandotte counties were placed in a single district (along with Johnson County,) there are enough moderate Republicans in Johnson County to elect moderate Democrats. But that ain't gonna happen again.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

The post you thought so nice that you had to say it twice?

average 2 years, 11 months ago

It's not going to happen for the simple reason that JO+WY is enough population to be a district now without much if any add-on. Yes, if the KS Democratic party had their dream map, it'd be Lawrence, Wyandotte, and either parts of Topeka or the more old-moneyed parts of Johnson county (Repubs, but more socially moderate than Olathe). That's one district they could reliably win. But, they don't get much say in the matter.

Lawrence going back to unsplit and probably in with Topeka in the 2nd is kinda the default assumption. Nothing to gripe about. Jenkins doesn't want to lost Fort Riley, but nobody really cares what she wants (she's very slightly more consequential in political power than Huelskamp, but all the KS delegation are featherweights).

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 11 months ago

The best way to do redistricting is to adopt a set of policies to guide the process. I propose the following. Congressional districts should be...

1) As compact as possible. 2) contain entire counties to the greatest degree possible. 3) preserve "communities of interest."

By doing this, the states four districts would include

1) a KC Metro district comprised of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in their entirety and a small portion of either Miami or Leavenworth County the balance of which would go to the NE Kansas district.
2) a Wichita metro district comprised of Sedgwick County and all of the surrounding adjacent counties except Sumner County. It would also include the counties north along I-135 to Saline County. Chase County may need to be split with the NE Kansas district. 3) a northeast Kansas district that in uses all the counties along I-35 from the KC metro district to Chase County than north to Nebraska including Geary and Riley Counties. This would basically be a district composed of the Kansas river basin and the north half of the flint hills. 4) a rural KS district comprised of everything else which is why Sumner County would not be in the Wichita District.

Only two counties would be split. Every district would have at least one regents university. Both army bases would be in the same district along with the state capital. The Wichita district would get an air force base.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, this is a good plan, as long as the numbers are equivalent.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

"The 1st District is 57,970 people under the ideal size."

"The 3rd has 54,289 more people than the ideal size."

Wow, that's around 8%. This means that a vote in the first counts 1.08 times a vote in other districts.

The 3rd, KC Metro, is 8% under, so their vote counts 8% less than others (16% less than a vote in the 1st).

1st district = rural white people.

2nd district = urban pigmented people.

Racism is always difficult to prove, but certainly this districting does nothing to dispel notions of racism.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Check that:

3rd district = urban pigmented people.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

At least some of the population disparity would be explained by shifting populations. if say Olathe grows rapidly while Hays shrinks, there would be a disparity that would only be addressed every 10 years. Nothing sinister. No "isms".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

The US population has nearly tripled since the number of representatives was set at 435 in 1910. And prior to that, it was a regular practice to increase the number of representatives as the population grew. We probably couldn't triple the size of the House, but doubling it to 870 would give Kansas at least 7 representatives, and each would be able to represent a much more concise district, and hopefully leave less room for gerrymandering. Same would be true in every state.

I know Kansas has in the past had at least seven representatives

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

And as a side note, at the country's founding, a single district had approximately 50-60 thousand residents. If that were still the case, Kansas would have ± 55 representatives.

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