Ohio, meet Wisconsin and Michigan


I wrote last month about how, as a result of gerrymandering, the representation of Republicans in the state and federal legislatures far exceeds what they should be entitled to by the proportion of votes they got, with 49.2% of the votes netting them 62.1% of the seats in the state legislature. I wrote that Ohio could be called the gerrymandering capital of the US but it looks like Wisconsin can give it a good run for the money.

As Burden points out, the key to gerrymandering is to draw districts so that the other party’s voters are all crammed into as few districts as possible. They will win fewer seats by huge margins while your party wins more seats but by smaller margins.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we see that in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan, where Democrats won the governorships replacing incumbent Republicans, the gerrymandered legislatures are rushing through legislation in the lame duck session to strip as many powers as they can from the governor’s office so that the new governors cannot roll back any of the measures they passed when they controlled both the legislature and the executive. They are following the pattern set in North Carolina two years ago.

A month after longtime Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker lost his re-election bid to Democrat Tony Evers, Republican lawmakers moved forward with legislation to curb his successor’s power over a key economic development agency and over state litigation, including a lawsuit over Obamacare. The measure, which will be voted on Tuesday, would also limit early voting to two weeks. Another proposal to move the date of the 2020 presidential primary, so as not to coincide with the re-election of a conservative state supreme court justice, did not advance out of committee.

And in Michigan, where Democrat Gretchen Whitmer defeated incumbent Gov. Rick Snyder, Republicans put forth proposals to give the legislature authority in legal fights and to create a commission to oversee the state’s campaign finance laws, according to the Detroit News. The moves come nearly two years after the Republican legislature in North Carolina made similar efforts, some of which are being challenged in court, to lessen the power of Democrat Roy Cooper, after he narrowly defeated GOP incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory.

Republicans know that they are currently on a downward slide. Donald Trump’s shameless demagoguery has bought them some time by firing up the racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and anti-Semites but that is a shaky foundation on which to build a long-term future for the party. So this kind of political shady work is a desperate attempt to hold back the tide.

Comments

  1. militantagnostic says

    Hopefully the Rethuglicans will soon discover the downside of Gerrymandering. When you fall you fall hard since it does’t take much of change to flip a lot of your districts. I think this already happened in the midterms since the Dems flippped a bunch of seats by small margins.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    A different tactic, “ballot harvesting” is involved in possible election fraud in North Carolina. A Republican operative collected absentee ballots from voters (which is illegal). It is surmised that the ballots may have been tampered with, or only the R-voting ballots turned in. link

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    get a load of this:
    North Carolina GOP pushes law to take over elections amid fraud investigation in House race

    The bill would require every county’s election board to be chaired by a member of the party with the highest number of registered voters in odd-numbered years, and by a member of the party with the second-highest number of registered voters in even-numbered years.
    Since North Carolina has more registered Democrats than Republicans — and since elections occur in even-numbered years — Republicans would be in charge of every election board in every election year.

  4. johnson catman says

    militantagnostic @1:

    Hopefully the Rethuglicans will soon discover the downside of Gerrymandering.

    For North Carolina, the US House race still reflects the effects of gerrymandering. The vote was nearly evenly split (around 48-51), but the Dems got 3 seats while the Reps got 10. I will be glad when your prediction becomes a reality.

  5. deepak shetty says

    @Marcus
    Nope. A few may do it – but Democrats have pushed for independent redistricting (see CA for eg) and most liberals don’t believe in the when its my turn Ill show them.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    I’m just afraid the Dems will pull the same shit if they get a sip of power.

    In that the corrupt selling of access to power is more likely in those who actually have access to power, I share your concern. Democrat-friendly gerrymandering is a thing in places like Maryland and New Mexico.
    But today’s Republican Party has gone to extreme lengths in its disdain for democratic principles: the voter suppression, the gerrymandering, the lame duck power grabs, the approval of Trumpian hatred for the press and willingness to use official power to suppress political opponents. There seems to be a pattern here.
    In that gerrymandering is becoming a public issue, it is my hope that the Democrats will embrace opposition to it party-wide. When it has gone up for public vote in referendums, anti-gerrymandering measures have done well, so the public seems concerned.

  7. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 Reginald Selkirk
    The bill would require every county’s election board to be chaired by a member of the party with the highest number of registered voters in odd-numbered years, and by a member of the party with the second-highest number of registered voters in even-numbered years.

    So the intend is to declare that there are two official parties in the state? Well I suppose it is one step up from a single party state such as Nazi Germany or the Communist USSR.

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