Archive for Monday, May 7, 2012

Kansas House panel to vote on Senate remap plan

May 7, 2012


— The political war between conservatives and moderates escalated on Monday.

Conservative Republican legislators approved a plan to redraw Senate district boundaries that is similar to one that has already been rejected by a bipartisan coalition in the Senate.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, said his plan was for the House Redistricting Committee to finalize the proposal today and then have the full House vote on it Wednesday. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Friday, although it can extend the session.

Redistricting is one of several key issues, along with the state budget and proposed tax cuts, that legislators are fighting over.

“I’d like to keep pushing forward,” said O’Neal, who also serves as chairman of the House Redistricting Committee.

While the committee’s redistricting plan will probably gain House approval, House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he didn’t think the proposal would fare any better in the Senate than the last time a similar plan was rejected.

“It’s a map that a lot of moderate Republicans as well as Democrats would have difficulties with,” Davis said.

A bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats have approved a Senate map, 21-19. But conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the conservative Republican majority in the House don’t like that map.

On Monday, a parade of conservative Republican senators told the House Redistricting Committee that the Senate-approved map had numerous flaws.

They got agreement from their conservative counterparts in the House.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, said moderate Republicans agreed to a Senate map that reduced Republican voting strength in several districts.

“That is not in the best interest of Kansas,” she said.

The Senate-approved map collapsed a district in western Kansas, which is losing population as a region, and added a district in fast-growing Johnson County.

But conservatives argued the collapse of the western Kansas district diluted Hispanic voting strength, while the additional Johnson County district was added to an area of the county that wasn’t growing.

The map approved by the House committee, however, would change boundaries in Sedgwick County to boost the chances of Landwehr, who is challenging moderate Republican Sen. Jean Schodorf.

“To say this map was not drawn for political considerations, is absolutely false,” said Davis, who was on the losing end of a 12-5 vote for the map in the committee.


Grump 5 years, 5 months ago

O'Neal and the House conservatives get to dictate Senate boundaries to the Senate?

House conservatives really care about dilution of Hispanic voting strength?

Pregnant womens' doctors don't have to tell them about fetal abnormalities?

Pharmacists don't have to dispense the drugs prescribed?

There's the slightest risk of Sharia being imposed as law?

Our state government is going down one deep rabbit-hole.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Conservatives are just trying to return private decision making back to the individual. No one should be forced to distribute contraceptives or abortion pill from their pharmacy. No one should be strong-armed into violating their sacred principles which are protected by the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States! This battle is about limiting the power of government not about some obscure "war on someone"! No this is about allowing privated decision makers to make those decisions privately apart from being forced at gun point by the police powers of the State to comply with some kind of social engineering that certainly no every one agrees with.

Lacy Mohler 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's not pretend our representatives are professional.

From the Topeka Capital Journal:

"Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, said the House took the correct policy step by intervening in the Senate mapping endeavor. The map passed by the Senate won't pass constitutional review because it violated the goal of maintaining communities of interest in the 36th District in southwest Kansas, he said.

"By stretching the district from the Oklahoma line to Ellis County," Bruce said, "the population of a Hispanic, Spanish-speaking ethnicity is joined with a Volga German population whose native language, in certain areas at least, is slop-bucket German."

As a representative of the Slop Bucket German speakers of Kansas (What is that?) --I'm appalled.

Will this argument hold up in court?

tomatogrower 5 years, 5 months ago

The people of Kansas should be appalled by these radicals. Are you paying attention voters? Get rid of these people. Bring back the sane, moderate Kansas (of any party) who have always run this state moderately. I hope this election sees more elections of people who want to work for the people of Kansas, not for the corporations that do not and should not hold the same rights as people, and not for their own self interest of promoting their career in politics.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

The people of Kansas have been appalled by the liberal agenda that the previous two governors gave us. Sebelius is now in Washington doing for the nation what she did for Kansas. The true radicals in Kansas have been those that have driven the liberal agenda of pro-abortion and anti-family policies. The previous liberal governors made this State the high tax island in the region. These liberals laughed at conservative family-minded Kansans when we demanded that late-term abortion end and the tax and tax spend and spend policies be curtailed. Governor Brownback at least is trying to make necessary changes here in Kansas that will make our State much more competitive and a vital location for private sector jobs to be created by the private sector. How can you say this State was being run moderately when George Tiller late term abortionist was being honored by Sebelius at the governor's mansion and millions of Tiller's dollars were being used to falsely accuse and destroy our former Attorney General! Conservatives are angry about these liberal excesses of the past and we are not going back--we will fight this liberal agenda every step of the way--on to the elections we shall see which side is more concerned for our future.

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