Posts tagged: Redistricting Commission
Rep. Lawerence Denney plans to gather his 57-member Republican caucus this week to make amends for his botched attempt at firing Dolores Crow, a woman he calls “an institution.” “I’ll probably just apologize if I made any of them uncomfortable and explain kind of what I did and why,” the House speaker told me Thursday. “That’s probably about it.” The Midvale Republican’s misstep is by no means the first in a six-year reign. The blowback has been more intense because it included revered former Gov. Phil Batt, who said Denney sullied the redistricting process by introducing rank partisanship to a reformed system approved by voters in 1994. But there’s a far greater force at play than a publicity snafu over trying to force Crow from the redistricting commission. Lawerence Denney is playing King Lear. Instead of three daughters he can’t figure out, he has three ambitious men who aspire to the throne and don’t want to wait until 2014 to be crowned/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Has Lawerence Denney overstayed his time as House Speaker?
In a big table in a small room on the first floor of the Capitol stand six paper tents with the names of six redistricting commissioners: Republicans Dolores Crow, Randy Hansen and Sheila Olsen, and Democrats Ron Bietelspacher, Shauneen Grange and Elmer Martinez. The names have been reprinted since Oct. 18, when the commission agreed on plans for congressional and legislative districts. But legislative staff made no accommodation for the efforts of House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and Idaho Republican Chairman Norm Semanko to fire Crow and Hansen, a move rebuffed by the Idaho Supreme Court late Wednesday. Did they even print name tents for the prospective replacements, Bob Forrey of Nampa and Angela Cross of Post Falls? “No, we didn't,” said Jeff Youtz, director of the Legislative Services Office/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Which redistricting team would you rather have on the job now — the one with Dolores Crow & Randy Hansen or the one with Denney/Semanko new picks Bob Forrey & Angela Cross?
Angela Cross of Post Falls was in high spirits at a September 2009 Tea Party rally at the Greyhound Track in Post Falls. But she probably isn't as happy today. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled moments ago against a lawsuit by House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko to make her one of two replacements on the Idaho Redistricting Commission. The two GOP leaders tried to “fire” Republican redistricters Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen for not being partisan in drawing their boundaries. Betsy Russell's story here.
The Idaho Supreme Court has issued an order denying the petition from House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko asking the court to order Secretary of State Ben Ysursa to declare two vacancies on the state's citizen redistricting commission; you can read the order here. The court essentially ruled that Denney and Semanko hadn't come up with sufficient legal reasons why the court should take that action; this means their challenge is dead, and the citizen redistricting commission is good to go as-is; it's scheduled to meet tomorrow morning at 9/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Supreme Court decision on petition by Norm Semanko & Lawerence Denney?
The Idaho Republican Party announced today that State Chairman Norm Semanko and Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney have removed Randy Hansen and Dolores Crow from the Idaho Redistricting Commission effective immediately. The names of the two new commissioners will be released Tuesday morning. The Redistricting Commission will convene on Thursday, January 26th at 9am at the Idaho Capitol/Idaho GOP news release.
Question: What do you think of this move in light of an opinion last week that the redistricters can't be removed from their appointed position?
Redistricting commissioners can't be removed by those who appointed them, according to an Idaho Attorney General's opinion issued today in response to an inquiry from Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. “No mechanism exists for the removal of a Commissioner once appointed,” Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane wrote in the opinion. “A vacancy can occur if a Commissioner resigns.” You can read the full opinion here. The question comes up because House Speaker Lawerence Denney said yesterday he wants to fire commission GOP Co-Chair Dolores Crow of Nampa (pictured), whom he appointed to the panel/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Isn't it nice that Boss Denney & Co. aren't above Idaho law … yet?
There’s no point in letting the corpse cool. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a bipartisan citizens’ commission hit its final deadline, with no plan in hand to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative districts. At 5:53 p.m., Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko issued a statement kicking the dead body — and declaring the redistricting process a waste of public money. You see, Semanko isn’t worried about getting fellow Republicans elected. Perish the thought. He’s worried about you and your taxpayer dollars. What a guy? No. What a crock/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Would you want the Idaho Redistricting Commission to have more Republicans than Democrats, as GOPoobah Norm Semanko suggests?
Pitting all eight Republican senators who opposed public schools chief Tom Luna’s education reforms against incumbents is the talk of the Statehouse this week. “We feel like we have targets on our backs,” said one of the Endangered Eight, who was spooked enough by the Republican legislative redistricting proposal to ask not to be identified. Said Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, “I’m content to put the best construction on it, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen in my 62 years that much coincidence.” Coincidence it is, said the author of the GOP plan, redistricting Commissioner Lou Esposito of Boise/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Is the Redistricting Commission another front for hardline GOP conservatives who are still trying to purge their party of any elected officials to the left of Atilla the Hun?
(Coeur d'Alene Councilman John Bruning, pictured) noted that his city's population grew by more than 9,600 people in the past decade, nearly 28 percent growth since 2000. “Coeur d'Alene grew at a faster pace than the overall state of Idaho, for many good reasons,” Bruning told the (redistricting commission), “among them a healthy business climate, a good place to live, a caring community … a desirable place to call home.” Speaking for the whole city council and the mayor, Bruning urged the commission to keep Coeur d'Alene and other cities whole in redistricting, rather than dividing them among legislative districts. Given the numbers, Bruning said, “Keeping Coeur d'Alene whole in redistricting is not just sensible, it is almost mathematically perfect.”
Question: Should Coeur d'Alene be kept as a single legislative district or be split among other districts?
JEERS … to former state Sen. Evan Frasure, R-Pocatello (pictured). His launch as co-chairman of Idaho's newly ordained redistricting commission is a visceral reminder of why he's not been missed from public office: He's a partisan mischief-maker who makes Peter Lorre look like a novice. Now he's sitting on the six-member citizens commission - half Democrats, half Republicans - responsible for redrawing Idaho's political map. At Tuesday's inaugural hearing, Frasure all but declared open season on the Democrats: “This is a very partisan event. There's no getting around it. It's political bloodsport”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you have faith that the Idaho Redistricting Committee, co-chaired by former state Sen. Evan Frasure, will do what's best for Idaho residents not the Idaho Republican Party?