Streams

The Process is Political: Redistricting Leaves Some Feeling Frustrated and Friendless at Capitol

Monday, September 12, 2011

Redistricting Sparks 'Bigtime Feuds' Among Washington Colleagues: “F—- you. Thanks for your help,” was reportedly part of the debate among Democrats in Congress as lawmakers worry about the fate of their districts, and it's not the only intraparty fighting that redistricting jockeying has sparked.

Though the decisions about new district boundaries happens at the state level, the anxiety is causing friction in Washington as vulnerable lawmakers look for political backup and fundraising to help cover legal challenges, Politico reports. Lawmakers looking to their colleagues for help are finding the lack of enthusiasm frustrating. But as one GOP consultant summed up, as important as district lines are, "raising money for redistricting isn’t one of those sexy things.” (Politico)

Campaign Viewing Party + Super-PAC Fundraising Haul:  Ahead of Obama's jobs speech last week, the Los Angeles Times reported on a pretty blatant overlap of campaign organizing and "independent fundraising."

Top campaign fundraisers watched the president's speech at Obama HQ, reported Metea Gold. "Right afterward, the national finance committee members have been invited to another event – a reception hosted by Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, two former White House aides who formed an independent “super PAC” to support Obama’s reelection." A former White House aide who formed the independent PAC, called Priorities USA, defended the invites."

“It’s not exactly a secret when a large number of Democrats get together,” Bill Burton told the paper, and described the guest list as “a lot of your typical Democratic activists and donors.” Ben Smith at Politico took note of the article on Friday and summed it up this way: "You can see the total collapse of campaign finance limitations on the horizon, as the big independent money groups grow more and more open about everything short of actual coordination." (Los Angeles Times)

Wisconsin Memo: 'Refrain from Offering' Free IDs to Vote: We at It's A Free Country are looking at the potential impacts of the photo ID requirement for voters in South Carolina, but be sure to also check out this story out of Wisconsin. A state Democratic senator gave a state agency memo to the press last week that showed a state transportation aide directing DMV staffers to "refrain from offering" free IDs to customers who don't specifically ask for them.

The Wisconsin legislature passed a bill this year to require identification to vote in Wisconsin. The aide confirmed the memo was authentic, and "said he was simply trying to make sure DMV employees honored the intent of lawmakers who passed the law, which does not obligate DMV workers to tell applicants they are entitled to a free ID if they plan to use it to vote." Voters who do not ask for a free identification will be charged $28. (Reuters)

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