Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Old-Fashioned Gerrymandering Losing Favor in the Nation

  • Sarasota sees surge of independent voters (By Jeremy Wallace, Herald Tribune) Seven of 10 new voters in Sarasota County are rejecting both the Republican and Democratic parties and signing up as independents or with minor political parties. And the record surge of independents is not just happening here. Statewide, while the two major parties have lost more than 120,000 voters combined, independents and minor party registrations have grown by almost 120,000 since November 2008.
  • Wave Elections Might Be Washed Up for Now (National Journal/Charlie Cook's Off to the Races) We could have a fourth consecutive wave election in 2012, but the odds are against it. But here is another theory building on the premise that the "new norm" is volatility, particularly among independent voters.  After having vented at each of the two parties individually, what if voters decide to take out incumbents in a "pox on both your houses" election?
  • No good reform deed will go unpunished-Old-fashioned gerrymandering had its benefits in the back rooms. Gov. Brown could use the tool in budget bargaining. (By George Skelton, LA Times/Capitol Journal) Under the new open primary system next year, there no longer will be party nominations. There will be only one ballot, open to all candidates and voters. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. "Everything legislators think they know about running for office is getting tossed out the window," says former Republican legislative leader Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga, now a government relations strategist.
  • A more transparent future for area politics ( Written by Pacific Coast Business Times) The 14-member Independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission brought its public road show to San Luis Obispo on April 13, drawing a wide range of views about how to reconfigure the political landscape of the Tri-Counties.
  • Citizens seek public review of new maps (Tom Kacich, The News Gazette - Central Illinois) But a strong sentiment for public hearings after the maps are developed was voiced from independents, Democrats and Republicans. "The public should be allowed to see and comment on any new map that is drawn by the General Assembly at least two weeks before they are voted on by the House and the Senate in this session of the General Assembly," said Trisha Crowley, president of the League of Women Voters of Champaign County. "Additionally the General Assembly should give as much rationale as possible when describing the decisions that resulted in those maps that were drawn."

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