House bill may give Dems 2 more seat, not 1
by DaveB, Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 04:25:11 PM EDT
Lame duck House Judiciary chairman Sensenbrenner, the author of the immigration bill that caused mass protests in the spring, now demands that Utah's legislature go into special session to approve the four-district map Huntsman proposed.
...Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., says he won't allow a full hearing on a bill to give Utah a fourth seat and the District of Columbia its first vote in Congress until Utah lawmakers have a 'final Utah redistricting plan,'
This plan would make the second district a safe seat for Democrats, signaling the state GOP has given up beating Jim Matheson. If Jim decides not to play along, it would mean two new Democrats in the House and a net gain of one. I will explain why and how in extended...
Here's the map:
Huntsman, House Speaker Greg Curtis and Senate President John Valentine - all Republicans - endorsed a map Wednesday for four congressional districts, in which Matheson would represent northern Salt Lake County and Summit and Morgan counties.
Even in that super GOP year of 2002, Jim got 60% from his portion of Salt Lake County, which included the southern, more conservative parts of the county and excluded the western liberal parts.
By "Northern Salt Lake County" they probably mean: Rose Park, West Valley, Magna, Salt Lake City, and a few others...in otherwords, the most Democratic parts of the state. Add to that Park City and Morgan country for fun and you have a super safe Democratic seat. I haven't checked, but I bet if you look at the Utah Democratic Party's 2001 redistricting plan, this district would look awefully similar. Jim proposed a more consolidated district based on areas of interest, not voting patterns in 2001.
And it looks like this plan will be implimented...with absolutely no input from Democrats on Salt Lake's Capitol Hill, of course. "The governor is willing to call a special session, if appropriate," said Gov. Huntsman spokesman Mike Mower. Here's to hoping it goes off with out a glitch, and Jim runs in the new 3rd or 4th and a good Democratic candidate runs in the new 2nd.