Utah redistricting map chosen

Cross Posted at The Third Avenue. Bumped--Chris

In the end, the Legislature's special committee decided on a plan whose map was never released to the public...Plan L(PDF).

 L looks somewhat similar to previous plans.  The new 4th district will be Southwestern Utah (Tooele, Juab [save the Eastern jug end where everyone lives], Millard, Beaver, Iron, Washington Counties). However, the 4th also would include Southern Salt Lake County-- South Jordan, West Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, Talyorsville, Sandy, and parts of West Valley. The new 2nd will be like the 1990's 2nd (Northern Salt Lake County, with the Park City part of Summitt County, and a tiny sliver of Davis and Utah Counties [Woods Cross and Alta respectively]).  The new 3rd will include Eastern Utah "centered" around Provo (Morgan, rest of Summitt, Daggett, Wasatch, Utah, Duchesne, Uintah, Carbon, rest of Juab, Sanpete, Emory, Grant, Piute, Wayne, Garfield, San Juan, and Kane Counties).  The new 1st will be centered around Ogden (Box Elder, Cash, Weber, 99% of Davis, and Rich Counties).  

Bottom line, Matheson could run in the 4th, but he would have to overcome super conservative Washington county.  He was born in Iron County, so he should be OK there. He is excited to get back Talyorsville and would love to kick around House Speaker Greg Curtis some more in Sandy.  I wonder if he will bite.  I will lobby him to, because this 2nd district is pretty Democrat friendly.  I can envision a number of candidates who could be successful and still be A) Democrats B) not named Matheson. I think Matheson could win in this 4th, but it will be tough.  All his pork for St. George will come in handy now.  

"We've had a significant amount of public input," Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, committee co-chairman told the Tribune. "There's been a great deal of discussion about the public perception that this is a majority party whitewash. That we are simply trying to gerrymander Republican Party seats. Nothing could be further from the case."

Um I say that is complete Bull.  No member of the public asked for protecting Matheson, not even Matheson.  The number of people wanting a mix of urban and rural districts were solely Republican partisans.  Why don't you ask the people living out in the rural areas if they want to fight for attention with Provo, Salt Lake County, or Davis/Weber Counties?  Of course they never had a hearing in rural areas, the closest they got was in St. George, our fastest growing city.

Utah Redistricting UPDATE!

(Cross posted on the Third Avenue)

As expected, the Republican-controlled committee assigned with the task of drawing a 4-seat map for Utah released proposed maps when they were sure no one was looking--the day before Thanksgiving.

I will show you what they don't want the public to see in the extended entry.

There's more...

Republicans Push Forward with Plan to Steal Another House Seat

No, I'm not talking about Florida's 13th district, though there's now more indication than ever that those who showed up at the polls on November 7th intended to elected Democrat Christine Jennings and not Republican astroturfer Vern Buchanan.

Congressional Republicans, led by GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Northern Virginia, are pushing a plan to hand the District of Columbia a seat in the House of Representatives in exchange for also giving Utah another seat, temporarily pushing the size of the House to 437 seats. In theory, this plan would be party-neutral, as DC would elect an extra Democrat and Utah would elect an extra Republican. But according to Glen Warchol of The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Republicans are attempting to shut the state's Democrats out of the redistricting process with, perhaps, the intention of making it impossible for Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson to win reelection.

The process crossed into controversy when Republicans barred a Democratic-drawn option from the public short list. The majority party's vote infuriated minority party committee members who say it puts the lie to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s promise redistricting would be nonpartisan and open.

"I'm frustrated. It's the same old thing," said Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City, who walked out of the meeting immediately after Republicans rejected her party's plan as unworthy of public input. "They always say they want input from the Democrats. Why have Democrats on the committee if you are going to ignore what we have to say?"

Led by Biskupski, Democrats Rep. David Litvack and Sen. Gene Davis drew a map that would create a Democratic-leaning district in Salt Lake County and one district dominated by Republican-dominated rural Utah. The other maps, drawn by Republicans, offer an urban-rural population mix in every district.

If Utah Republicans intend to play partisan games in an attempt to steal another seat in Congress, Democrats on Capitol Hill should say no to the Davis plan -- particularly given the view by some scholars that a move to give DC a seat in the House would be "flagrantly unconstitutional", and thus could be thrown out by the courts (perhaps leaving Republicans with an extra seat -- or two, depending on the Utah map -- and the Democrats without even one). If, on the other hand, Utah Republicans realize that the good of their state (receiving a fourth seat) should trump their fierce partisan ambitions and they allow the Democrats to play a role in the redistricting process, consequently giving up on their attempt to use maps to get rid of Rep. Matheson when they couldn't do so in fair elections, then Congressional Democrats should by all means move forward with the Davis legislation and continue on the thusfar too slow process of enfranchising the hundreds of thousands of citizens who live in our nation's capital.

Update [2006-11-22 16:44:4 by Jonathan Singer]: By the way, my questions from back in May still largely apply to the debate today...

  • Will passage of the Davis legislation inhibit the effort of granting DC full statehood -- with two Senators as well as a Representative -- rather than move it forward?
  • Is it constitutional for Congress to mandate that the seat given to Utah be at-large? Unless I'm mistaken, the manner by which members are elected to the House (i.e. the designation of districts) is decided by the state government, not the federal government. If the measure is not clearly constitutional, what assurances can be given to Democrats that the Utah legislature won't redraw districts mid-census to gerrymander Democrat Jim Matheson out of office?
  • How will Davis' measure affect DC's electoral votes? How will it effect those of Utah? Will it be the case that DC's electoral votes stay at 3 -- which would seem to make sense -- while Utah's increase by one, thus giving the GOP an extra electoral vote?

There's more...

Dean Out West

Matt Gouras has an AP article examining Chair Dean's 50 State Strategy from a western point of view:

Democratic Party luminaries back East who think it was a waste of money to beef up local organizations in places like Montana and Wyoming don't understand the gains the party can make in the West, state party directors said.

The state party chairmen are firm believers in the 50-state strategy employed by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who took his victory tour to a weekend meeting in this Wyoming resort town of the state chairmen who elected him.

The DC Establishment isn't looking very popular out west these days.

There's more...

Update: Utah 4th/DC seat bill

This is just a great, great diary--Chris

It looks like Utah's legislature will pass a new 4th seat map by December 4th, barely enough time for an 11th hour effort to revive Davis' DC-Utah House seat bill in the lame duck.  

See the extended for the two proposed maps, what they mean for Jim Matheson and Democrats nationally.

There's more...


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