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The Process is Political: A Surprising Win for Kucinich

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Alex Wong/Getty)

Our daily look at the details that can change everything.

Redistricting Survivors: Remember when Rep. Dennis Kucinich was searching for a new Congressional district on the other side of the country from his Cleveland-area seat? Turns out, the new redistricted map has him looking a lot safer than he thought. "I can't account for it. But I am grateful that I have a chance to serve," he told Politico in their roundup of five pols who unexpectedly came up unscathed in redistricting processes controlled by the opposing party. (Politico)

In Pennsylvania, Local Republicans Leery of Electoral College Change: A Republican state Senator from Chester County, Pennsylvania, is the lead booster of a plan to divvy up the state's electoral college votes by Congressional district, abandoning the winner-take-all approach that has made the swing state such an important prize for presidential candidates. The state's Republican governor supports the proposal, but it has Pennsylvania's GOP Congressional delegation nervous that it will make their districts more of a target for Democratic organizers if they can't just make up their margins in more heavily Democratic urban districts. Democrats are predictably opposed to the plan because the different calculation would have given Obama ten fewer electoral votes had it been in place in 2008, but some local Republican legislators are also slow to embrace the proposal. "To base such decisions on the politics of the moment might work to one party's advantage today but to its detriment in the future as political landscapes change," said a Republican representative in Chester County. (Chester County Daily Local News) 

Fumbling for Answers on New Districts for the Latino Voters: In Los Angeles today, the county Board of Supervisors is being asked to weigh in a straightforward question: should new maps create a second district with a majority Latino population. Latino civil rights groups are watching closely, and have already threatened to sue. The LA Times editorialized today that even if the board decides to go with just one Latino majority district, "the complexion of the board would most likely remain the same in the short term. But that won't stop change for long." The editors called for lines that "encourage minority voting, not dilute it" — but acknowledged that the final decision here will likely come from a federal judge, who will decide based on loads of data on demographics and historical voting patterns. It comes days after Texas was rebuffed by the Department of Justice for its treatment of Latino voters in its congressional redistricting. The feds declined to immediately approve the new map because it appeared to have "the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group" in violation of the Voting Rights Act. (LA Times)

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