Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2012

There may be one last try to put a portion of Lawrence in 1st congressional district

May 31, 2012


— Legislative leaders said Thursday that Gov. Sam Brownback and his supporters may try a last-ditch effort to pass a congressional redistricting map that puts part of Lawrence in the vast 1st District.

Asked about that, Brownback’s spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said the governor “has always hoped the Legislature would resolve the issue.”

The Legislature adjourned May 20 but meets one last time, today, for final adjournment. That final day is usually reserved for ceremonies, but the Legislature has on occasion conducted business on that day in years past.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said he has heard it is likely a conservative Republican senator will make a motion to concur with a redistricting plan that was approved by the House.

That map, approved 64-51 on May 19, would put east and north Lawrence in the 1st, which includes western Kansas and most of central Kansas.

Lawrence is currently divided between the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts. Under the proposed map, the Kansas University campus area would be in the 2nd.

Essentially, the map would put one of the most liberal areas of the state in one of the most conservative congressional districts in the country.

But the day after the House passed that plan, as final deals were settled, an expected motion in the Senate to concur with the House-approved map didn’t happen. Some legislators had speculated the plan didn’t have enough votes as state senators from western Kansas opposed the plan, and so did U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, who represents the 1st.

The Legislature and Brownback failed to agree on legislative, congressional and State Board of Education redistricting plans during the session as a political war erupted between conservatives and moderate Republicans.

Now a three-judge panel is working on redistricting plans for the state.

If a senator makes a motion to concur with the House plan, the motion will need 21 votes in the 40-member Senate to send it to Brownback for his signature.

“I don’t foresee that will pass,” Hensley said. Many times, during the last day of the session — called sine die, a Latin term meaning “without day” — fewer than half of the legislators will attend.

But Hensley noted that Brownback still has the state budget on his desk and could use the threat of line-item vetoes within the spending plan to persuade Republicans in the Senate to approve the map.

Lawrence legislators were vehemently opposed to putting a portion of Lawrence in the 1st Congressional District, saying that the needs of those in Lawrence and western Kansas were not similar. Democrats said the map was proposed to dilute Democratic voting strength, but supporters of the plan said it was necessary to get population in the 1st, which is below the ideal size district.

— Statehouse reporter Scott Rothschild can be reached at 785-423-0668.


Kirk Larson 6 years ago

Definitely gerrymandering. It puts me in the 2nd, but only by about 50 ft.

John Kyle 6 years ago

if it passes it will be the third district I've lived in in less than 10 years without ever leaving the city.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

OMG! You're kidding me! Do these people have no shame?

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

This goes beyond partisan politics. This is spiteful and hateful. For the Kansas legislature to be engaging in childish eye-poking at "liberals" in east Lawrence is just a shameful.

I expect this behavior from posters on this site, but from the Kansas legislature? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Shame on the right wing GOP. They are an embarrassment to themselves and to Kansas.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

I guess Samuel's amicus curiae brief didn't go over very well with the 10th Circuit. He's not a friend of the court, after all it would seem.

verity 6 years ago

Why are the Republicans so afraid of democracy?

Florida is once again illegally purging voters.

cato_the_elder 6 years ago

Alternate fix: Florida is once again purging illegal voters.

verity 6 years ago

Chris Cate, a spokesman for Ken Detzner, the secretary of state, says his office is working to improve the process — spending about $100,000 to update its records. But even with the new list, he concedes it's likely some eligible voters will be mistakenly identified as noncitizens.

Adam Peck, ThinkProgress "But his list, which purports to include only “non-citizens,” targets mostly Democrats and Hispanics and, as ThinkProgress has documented, may disenfranchise hundreds of citizens who are eligible to vote."

From the NYT, May 18, 2012 "The state was found to be using a flawed process to pinpoint noncitizens on the voter rolls by relying on an outdated driver’s license database. Some of the people on an initial list of 2,700 possible noncitizens sent to county election supervisors were either naturalized citizens or were born in the United States. Election supervisors were asked to send letters to these voters, requiring them to provide proof of citizenship within 30 days, or their names would be dropped from the registration roll. In recent days, some of the supervisors had expressed concern over the validity of the state’s search."

From The Miami Herald, May 22, 2012: "In the last few weeks, the state sent a list to county election supervisors of more than 2,600 people who have been identified as non-U.S. citizens. Supervisors have responded warily to the list and have pointed out that it has inaccuracies."

"[Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike] Ertel, a Republican, said he agrees ineligible voters should be removed but questioned the accuracy of the list. He also said it was given to supervisors already in a serious time crunch because redistricting was forcing them to change precincts and district lines. "If the list is so easily debunked, it should have been better vetted," Ertel said."

verity 6 years ago

One might think that. But then one would be overlooking the darkness in the heart of men who lust only for power.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Well it seems the Federal Justice Department is stepping in along with the courts. They've suspended the purge for now. I guess we'll see if it's legal or illegal.

verity 6 years ago

vertigo, might one say "100% illegal" to do so.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Every time I look at this headline I giggle. It makes me think of Pauly Shore and The Son-in-Law.

weeslicket 6 years ago

question: since the redistricting brouhaha has already landed in court, can this legislature's last ditch end run legally stand (if they even agree to it)?

Doug Harvey 6 years ago

A fine example of corruption and even tyranny. Indefensible --

oldexbeat 6 years ago

Gee, I could move from SW Kansas to east Lawrence, and still have Dr. Tim Huelskamp to kick around, but with better bars, restaurants and art galleries. Tim probably better not have this congressional plan approved -- he is not used to highly educated voters - they might make fun of his completely ignorant view of the world. Go Big First --

JackMcKee 6 years ago

One word sums up the 2012 legislative session. Failure.

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