Mid-terms Matter – packing and cracking


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is time to take Republicans onto the floor of Congress and wipe up the floor with their ideologies.

just another rant …

The things on my mind while Congress continues to take a few days here there … everywhere ~ off …

 Hopefully members of Congress have heard their constituents voices about Gun Safety, understand that  ACA is the law of the land,  respect Women and their reproductive rights, find courage to end the Sequester, the compassion to implement save or reform Paycheck Fairness, Immigration and Medicaid just to name a few. Lest we forget that Republican Governors continue to pass, ridiculous Family Values bills while squashing social service programs for the poor.

I also hope the constant racial comments by people voted into Public Office, which, sadly is slurped up by people who seem to be listening and following like lemmings  not only affects people of colour ends. It shows the World how primitive we truly are while our constitution, civil and human right achievements seem like documents and sensibilities with absolutely no value or power.  The public needs to stay informed; elections suffice it to say have consequences. The fact is midterm elections are just as important as the National Elections … especially in years when gerrymandering or as they say when redistricting goes into full effect that lumps, separates, destroys diverse communities and robs some of their voting rights allowing more extreme tea party members onto the Congressional floor.

~~ Nativegrl77

The information below is a history and timeline regarding the Census and Gerrymandering ~ Packing & Cracking

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

Republicans on the floor of Congress continue to stall, block, scale down bills, and or add nasty amendments no one could vote for in good faith while providing misinformation and misinterpretation to the public any chance they can. We the People, cannot afford to vote for politicians who put Political Party over doing the People’s business; though Republicans would have the public believe it is in our best interest.  Remember Speaker Boehner said, his main concern was jobs jobs jobs among other things… the question is how many jobs bills did Republicans bring to the floor, how many Senate jobs bills were rejected and last how many awful amendments were attached. Yes, biased, but I don’t think it’s in the best interest of Americans to side with the party of no; people need to make the effort to listen to what and how bills are handled by Republicans.

We need and must move into the 21st Century if we plan to get back on track and to do so Republicans must accept that PBO won a second term has earned the right to govern … Americans … 53% of us said YES to his ideas, policies and desire to move forward.

For your information wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you …

~~ Nativegrl77

~ Packing opposition voters into districts (concentrate as many voters of one type -( maybe party&race ) means they already win and by …

~ Cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki
Voters who believe in Equality in all its forms …
We Must Stand & Stay in LINE
Mid-term Elections Matter
~~ Nativegrl77
written 4/7/2013

They’re Defending Lawlessnes​s Now?


MediaMattersweekly_email_header_logo_altSome other things I’ve read this week: Grace Wyler’s reporting on how right-wing militias are mobilizing, an examination of David Foster Wallace’s warnings about irony, Sarah Kliff’s explanation of the recent Census changes, and Simon Maloy’s advice for reporters covering Paul Ryan.

John Whitehouse
Twitter: @existentialfish

Pure Hypocrisy

BundyConservative media have spent years accusing the Obama administration of lawlessness. But now they’re lining up to defend a rancher who refuses to even acknowledge the existence of the federal government: http://mm4a.org/Q6GzVK Related: Media Matters Investigative Reporter Joe Strupp spoke to Nevada journalists, who told him that the rancher is clearly breaking the law: http://mm4a.org/1kye9Py

From The Fringe To The Mainstream

IngrahamABC News announced that it has hired right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham as a contributor. She regularly uses inflammatory rhetoric to be a voice for the fringe: http://mm4a.org/1m0k2aq Related: Laura Ingraham is one of the right-wing radio hosts whose shows have deep financial ties to the tea party: http://politi.co/Qr0ApD

 

 

FEATURED VIDEO

BoehlertEric Boehlert and Chris Hayes discussed why the conservative outrage machine embraced the lawless rancher in Nevada: http://mm4a.org/Rk87I5

SPEAKING OUT

Lily LedbetterMedia Matters Radio spoke with Lilly Ledbetter about conservatives like Fox News who pretend the gender pay gap does not exist: http://mm4a.org/1khQPW7

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Race In America
Five White People On Fox News Discuss “Race In America”

This is what segregation looks like


Right-wing attacks on voting and equal representation are pushing Black Alabamians out of the picture.

Gov. Bentley bill signing

Now the state’s unaccountable government is taking it to the next level. Help stop extreme legislation that mocks and vilifies our history:

Take Action

Aggressive gerrymandering efforts designed to dilute Black Alabamians’ votes have delivered supermajority control of the state’s legislature — and Alabama’s entire executive branch — to the extreme right wing. With Black voters largely blocked from electing their candidates of choice, Alabama’s unaccountable politicians are hard at work shredding the social safety net and attacking federal laws that protect our health.

Demonstrating just how reckless Alabama’s political leadership has become, the GOP is actually invoking Brown v. Board of Education in its latest campaign to harass and vilify Black women and families. Comparing herself to civil rights champions fighting to end school segregation, Rep. Mary McClurkin (R-Indian Springs) just pushed a package of bills through the House that would force women to carry pregnancies to term even where pregnancy results from rape.1

The GOP is appropriating the civil rights struggle to ram through its extreme, unconstitutional policy agenda,2 while depending on massive civil rights violations to win and hold office. And with November’s election already heating up, we can expect the hypocrisy will only get worse — unless national attention makes Alabama’s government’s predatory behavior toward its own Black constituents too difficult to publicly justify.

It’s time to take a stand: Demand Alabama’s Senate leadership and Gov. Robert Bentley recognize the House is committing a repugnant, costly overreach and reject HB 489, HB 490, HB 493, HB 494, and HB 31 now.

While Alabama’s white political bosses mock both the civil rights movement and Deep South’s continuing legacy of chattel slavery to the faces of their few remaining Black colleagues in Montgomery,3 everyday Alabamians are struggling to survive. Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dollars are consistently diverted to projects that have nothing to do with fighting Alabama’s staggering poverty rates, and the state has flirted with becoming the first to end TANF entirely.4,5

Alabama insists single adults making just $1,332 a year are too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid,6 blocking access to basic medical care for hundreds of thousands of residents. Gov. Bentley could easily expand Medicaid coverage with funding from President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — creating 30,000 much-needed jobs, growing wages, and generating nearly $1 billion in new revenue — but he’s refused.7,8 Alabama’s already low abortion rate could be further reduced under the ACA’s expanded access to contraception, but Attorney General Luther Strange is suing to keep that from happening.9,10

It’s clear the right wing’s retrograde agenda has nothing to do with standing up for families or protecting the vulnerable — it’s about foreclosing opportunity for Black communities and suppressing Black political power. Despite our growing numbers — over 26% of Alabamians identify as Black — and record levels of voter registration, Black voters and elected officials now have less influence than at any time since the civil rights era.

The GOP strategy is to “pack” Black constituents into fewer districts, “crack” up influential communities in non-majority Black districts, and otherwise “bleach” formerly diverse districts prone to cross-racial coalition building. The resulting, unearned Republican wins have stripped formerly influential Black legislators of leadership positions and the ability to move policy or conduct oversight,11 making Alabama’s government increasingly indifferent to Black constituents’ interests. Even before last year’s Shelby County Supreme Court ruling validated Alabama’s “unbroken chain of repetitive discrimination” dating to the early days of the Voting Rights Act,12 this ruthless redistricting push has sought to reinstate the bad old days of political apartheid, when representing Black folks was simply not required of white officials.13

What’s happening in Alabama should be a national scandal. Tell the state Senate and governor to do their jobs representing all Alabamians — and ensuring the state doesn’t fall farther behind — instead of finding new ways to victimize Black families and communities.

Thanks and Peace,

–Arisha, Rashad, Matt, Kim, Johnny, Hannah and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
April 1st, 2014

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

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References

1. “Alabama House Passes Extreme ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban, Three Other Anti-Choice Bills,” RH Reality Check, 03-05-2014
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3386?t=9&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

2. “Alabama Lawmakers Propose Near-Total Abortion Ban, Other Severe Restrictions,” RH Reality Check, 02-20-2014
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3398?t=11&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

3. “Equating Slavery and Abortion: Where are the Women in this story?” Feministing, 01-24-2011
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3387?t=13&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

4. “Alabama Voters to Decide Whether to Save Poor Kids,” Mother Jones, 09-18-2012
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3389?t=15&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

5. “Alabama: The sixth poorest state in America,” AL.com, 01-16-2014
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3390?t=17&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

6. “As Alabama Cuts Benefits, Desperate Man ‘Robs’ Bank To Get Food, Shelter In Jail,” ThinkProgress, 07-11-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3388?t=19&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

7. “Study: Expanding Medicaid would create 30,700 jobs,” AL.com, 10-09-2013
blog.al.com/wire/2013/10/study_expanding_medicaid_would.html

8. “Senate Democrats Remind Governor Bentley that Alabama Must Expand Medicaid,” Alabama Political Reporter, 10-12-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3391?t=21&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

9. “Alabama joins EWTN in new lawsuit against Obamacare contraception mandate,” AL.com, 10-28-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3392?t=23&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

10. “Study: Abortion rate at lowest point since 1973,” Washington Post, 02-02-2014
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3393?t=25&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

11. “The Decline of Black Power in the South,” New York Times, 07-10-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3394?t=27&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

12. “What Is Alabama’s Problem With the Voting Rights Act?” The Nation, 02-26-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3395?t=29&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

13. “Keeping Black Voters in Their Place,” New York Times, 11-05-2013
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3396?t=31&akid=3341.1689899.mOw4eJ

 

Round 2


The gun lobby won this round.

The gun lobby killed a bill in the legislature ensuring that all gun sales go through the same criminal background check system — so we’re going to take this simple, commonsense reform that will save lives directly to the voters of Washington in November.

What the gun lobby did in the legislature is nothing compared to the millions of dollars they’re poised to spend to stop us at the ballot box in November. We’re going to need to really push hard to make sure that we organize a movement so large that it simply can’t be ignored — and we’re going to have to do it fast.

By the end of August, we’re going to organize 126,380 Washingtonians to pledge their votes to make Washington safer — that’s 10 percent of the votes we need to win — and I’d like you to be one of the first.

Thank you for your endorsement of 594 — click here to make it official, and pledge to vote to save lives in November!

Pledge Your Vote

The next round of this fight started today, at 11:00 a.m., when I stood alongside survivors of gun violence, prosecutors, moms, and clergy members — all of whom had one thing to say: 594 will save lives in Washington.

It won’t eliminate gun violence — but it’s a simple, effective step that we can take this year to make our communities safer.

I’m not kidding when I say it’s simple. You have to pass a similar background check when you apply to many jobs, volunteer at a school, or coach little league — yet anyone can buy a gun online or at a gun show without any checks whatsoever.

I’m ready to fight back against the gun lobby’s millions of dollars: Are you?

Pledge your vote to save lives in November!

The gun lobby may have stopped us from extending background checks to all firearm purchases in Olympia — but your emails, calls, and support made a huge difference. We succeeded in increasing protections for victims of domestic violence, and made history in the process.

Without your support, and the support of thousands of Washingtonians, that never would have happened.

We have a lot to be proud of — but a lot more work to do to organize 126,380 voters by the end of August.

Are you with me?

Pledge your vote to save lives in November!

Thanks for all of your support. With your help, we’re going to make history again.

Zach Silk Campaign Manager Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility