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Smart Politics to Live Blog Conference on MN Redistricting

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On Monday morning Smart Politics will live blog a conference on redistricting reform in Minnesota at the Humphrey Institute.

Toward More Open Government:
A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process

Monday, December 1, 2008
8:30am - 12:00pm
Humphrey Forum
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

From the Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance:

“How are the boundaries of legislative districts determined? In Europe, non-partisan boundary commissions draw the boundaries. In the United States, state legislatures usually draw the boundaries for their own districts. Civic groups warn that legislators draw their own districts in ways to help themselves and their fellow partisans. In Minnesota, the process has the added challenge of not working over the past several cycles of redistricting. These questions take on urgency now because Minnesota may lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives owing to the state’s population size relative to that of other states.

The process to draw legislative districts is picking up speed in Minnesota. Leaders and citizens have questions about how the redistricting process will work, what risk Minnesota faces in terms of losing a congressional seat, and how other states draw legislative districts.

Toward More Open Government: A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process will examine the current process for drawing legislative districts, learn lessons from other states approaches to drawing legislative districts, and consider the risk of losing a congressional seat.

Center director Larry Jacobs will be joined by Michael McDonald of George Mason University, Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy, John Griffin of the University of Notre Dame, legislators, and other experts to discuss this timely issue.?

View the conference agenda here.

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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