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The Process is Political: Judge Orders Review of Hispanic Voting Power in Nevada

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Voters line up to register at a caucus precinct in 2008 in a the largely Hispanic neighborhood in East Las Vegas, Nevada (Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images)

Our daily look at the details that can change everything.

Nevada Judge Orders Review of Hispanic Representation: A federal judge in Nevada ruled on Wednesday that a separate redistricting panel should decide whether the state needs to draw new districts with a majority Hispanic population. The Las Vegas Review-Journal notes that the state's Hispanic population has jumped more than 80 percent in the last ten years and now make up more than a quarter of Nevada residents, while a Hispanic has never been elected to Congress from Nevada. Nevada's redistricting plan landed in federal court after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval — the state's first Hispanic governor — vetoed two redistricting plans passed by Democrats in the last legislative session, and both parties sued. Democrats oppose create Hispanic-majority districts and are accusing Republicans of "racial gerrymandering," while Republicans charge Democrats are trying to divide Hispanics into as many districts as possible to improve the chances of electing white Democrats. (Las Vegas Review-Journal

Campaign Finance Limits = Incumbent-Protection: So writes George Will in this morning's Washington Post. He starts by referencing "the pleasant sound you hear" of "the clatter of bad laws crumbling," but he argues there's more to do and points to a state law in Washington state that limits individual contributions to recall campaigns to $800. Restricting spending to recall elected officials, Will argues, is proof positive that the real intention of campaign finance laws is to protect incumbents from vigorous, and constitutionally protected, challenges. The Washington Public Disclosure Commission, meanwhile, argues that the contribution limit serves as a deterrent to corruption. Of course, it should be noted that the Washington law Will cites is actually not in effect right now — a federal judge temporarily blocked the contribution cap in July. (Washington Post

Fundraisers Return to 'Obama University' for Training: Obama supporters gathered this week for an updated fundraising boot camp. The Obama campaign created the fundraising university during the 2008 campaign, but the syllabus has been adjusted to account for the current landscape. One new challenge this time around, Obama fundraising chief Matthew Barzun tells Bloomberg, is that the president and First Lady have a lot less time to be personally involved in bringing in bucks, so fundraisers are experimenting with video conferencing to replace some of that face time. (Bloomberg)

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