Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Beneath the Budget Battle, Redistricting Efforts Bubble Up

Bookmark and Share

A Who's Who of Minnesota politics from across the political spectrum continue to speak as one voice in an effort to bring change to the process by which the State draws its congressional and legislative districts.

Back in January 2008, former Vice President and DFL Senator Walter Mondale, former Republican Governors Arne Carlson and Al Quie, and former DFL Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe were among several witnesses who testified on redistricting before the Minnesota Senate Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight.

Mondale and Carlson are co-chairs of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance's Minnesota Redistricting Project, which supports the establishment of an independent commission of non-partisan retired judges to draw new districts, instead of the partisan process that is in place now.

Redistricting has taken on particular importance in light of population shifts that put at great risk one of Minnesota's congressional seats in 2012.

This week, Mondale, Carlson, Quie, and Moe returned to the spotlight by writing a letter to DFL Senator Ann Rest, Chair of the Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight, endorsing a redistricting bill authored by DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller.

The bill, S.F. 182, would create an independent, nonpartisan, and transparent system for drawing the boundaries of legislative districts. In their letter, Minnesota's prominent former officeholders wrote they, "Seek to fix a broken system and restore fairness and accountability of the redistricting process." They added:

"It is unfortunate, but undeniable that our existing redistricting process fosters an environment of mistrust, jealousy, and hunger for power, thus, distracting elected officials from the issues that their constituents truly care about."

The Pogemiller bill would empower the majority and minority leaders in the Senate and House with selecting a retired appellate or district court judge to form the commission, with those four judges selecting a fifth judge. All of the judges must never have previously served in political office. The bill was voted out of Rest's committee this week on a voice vote.

Although talk of budget battles has created headlines at the Capitol this session, bi-partisan support for redistricting seems to be gaining steam and media attention; last week, the Star Tribune ran an editorial supporting the core principles comprising Pogemiller's legislation.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Why MinnPost's Plea for Forgiveness of Minnesota's Famous Fugitive Is Unfounded
Next post: Jobless Claims Rate of Increase Slowed Across Upper Midwest in February

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting