Posts tagged: redistricting
Jeers … to Idaho state Treasurer Ron Crane. Crane spends lavishly. He's above the rules. He's entitled to live better than the taxpayers who cover his $93,756 salary. If he hasn't crossed ethical boundaries, he's getting awfully close. Yet voters trust this man to fly to New York City and handle hundreds of million of dollars? Here's what a legislative audit of Crane's affairs reports: Crane expects the taxpayer to buy his gas when he commutes between his Nampa home and Boise. No problem, says Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. After auditors referred the case to Taylor, he concluded state travel policies - which bar state employees from charging taxpayers for commuting costs — don't apply to elected officials. That's only an interpretation. Even if Crane's behavior is legal, fleecing the taxpayers at the gas pump isn't right, nor is it common/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Complete Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Will recent controversies involving state Treasurer Ron Crane cause you to support another candidate when/if he runs for re-election?
A subdued House Speaker Lawerence Denney said after a 45-minute closed GOP caucus today that he apologized to the caucus for his handling of the attempted ouster of GOP redistricting Commissioner Dolores Crow. “Most of the comments were very, very supportive,” Denney said. He said he gave “kind of a statement as to what happened and what went on,” lasting two to three minutes, then took questions from caucus members. Then, he said, “We talked about two or three other things that kinda came up in the course of that”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Can Denney unilaterally declare as over the botched attempt by Stormin Norman Semanko and him to dump Dolores Crow & Randy Hansen from redistricting commission?
Twin Falls county commissioners have announced that they've decided not to file any further challenge to Idaho's new legislative redistricting plan, though they're not entirely happy with it. The county led an earlier challenge to the Idaho Supreme Court that overturned the previous plan submitted by the state's citizen redistricting commission. County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said, “It’s not a good plan, but it’s an acceptable one. It’s considerably better than the previous plan that extended Twin Falls districts all the way to Chubbuck”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Are you ready for the new districts? Do you understand the ones in North Idaho?
Idaho's six citizen redistricting commissioners have been working straight through since 9 this morning, either in small working groups or as a full commission; they worked through lunch, while reviewing all seven of the plans that already have been submitted to the commission that have the minimum number of county splits - five. (The way the Idaho Supreme Court counted it, it's seven - five with external splits, and two, Ada and Kootenai, that must have internal splits due to their population, without any district lines crossing their borders.) The five that mathematically must be split are Bonner, Canyon, Twin, Bonneville and Bannock/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.Q
House Speaker Lawerence Denney, left, and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko are shown during a North Idaho tour they took in May 2009 with Gov. Butch Otter.
Following is a joint Statement from Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko regarding the adverse Idaho Supreme Court’s decision on their redistricting lawsuit: “Unfortunately, the Idaho Supreme Court was unable to reach the merits of the case yesterday, opting instead to dismiss it on procedural grounds. As a result, the Court did not decide whether the Redistricting Commissioners can, in fact, be replaced. We are hopeful that the Court will have the opportunity to address the issue in the near future and are continuing to evaluate our legal options as we review the decision. In the meantime, the Commission will reconvene today with a cloud of uncertainty continuing to hang over it with regard to the ultimate legality of any new plan that it may adopt. That is the unfortunate reality of yesterday’s ruling.”
Question: Will the Idaho Republican Party be hurt/helped if it continues to try to replace redistricters Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen?
In targeting Idaho's independent redistricting commission for decapitation, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko and House Speaker Lawerence Denney are all in. They're ignoring history. They're disenfranchising voters. They're wading deeply into illogical waters. And they've partnered with the legal equivalent of the Flat Earth Society. Where would they get the notion that they might pull it off? From the highest court in the state. Last week, the Idaho Supreme Court voted 4-1 to strike down the citizen commission's plan for realigning Idaho's population growth with its 35 legislative districts. That redistricting plan was a remarkable feat, accomplished quickly and unanimously by the commission's three Republican and three Democratic members/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Should the redistricting process be taken out of the hands of the Idaho Legislature altogether?
Idaho Republican leaders announced their appointments to the new Idaho Redistricting Commission today, and a Kootenai County resident is one of them. State GOP chairman Norm Semanko appointed Angela Cross of Post Falls to the commission. House Speaker Lawrence Denney selected Bob Forrey of Nampa. Semanko and Denney filed the necessary documents with the Idaho Supreme Court today to ensure the appointments are recognized by the time the commission convenes Thursday in Boise. Cross is a community activist who is deeply involved with the Idaho Republican Party. She serves on the board of directors of the 3Cs (Cancer and Community Charities) and helps coordinate Kootenai Medical Center's annual Festival of Trees benefit/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you want to see Angela Cross and Bob Forrey replace Dolores Crow and Randy Hansen on the Idaho Redistricting Commission?
The Idaho Democratic Party issued a statement this afternoon decrying the latest move by Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko (pictured) and GOP House Speaker Lawerence Denney to attempt to fire their two appointees to the state's bipartisan citizen redistricting commission. “Make no mistake, this is a Republican against Republican fight and a clear example of the unacceptable culture in the GOP-controlled Statehouse. That culture is one of ongoing bullying and arrogance as GOP leaders seek to purge moderate, reasonable lawmakers from their ranks,” the Dems' statement said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Republican House Speaker Lawerence Denney may fire his appointee to Idaho's redistricting commission, former GOP state Rep. Dolores Crow, because party members don't think she protected their interests. That's after Idaho Supreme Court justices threw out the new political boundaries Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon, Denney told the Associated Press that GOP legislators are angry and believe Crow and other Republican commissioners in October backed a plan that's too generous to minority Democrats. They want commissioners who will support a map more favorable to Republicans. Denney says he'd prefer Crow to resign, not force him to fire her/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Obviously, supermajority Republicans believe that the best redistricting plan is one that favors them. Do you agree that what's best for Idaho Republicans is best for Idaho overall?
The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled 4-1 against the new legislative redistricting plan, L-87, developed by Idaho's second bipartisan redistricting commission this year, holding that it violates the Idaho Constitution. A court challenge led by Twin Falls County contended the plan was unconstitutional because it unnecessarily split counties. The court found that since the plan's unconstitutional, it “must be revised,” but didn't say how; that presumably opens the door for Secretary of State Ben Ysursa to reconvene the redistricting panel to make changes to its plan to bring it into compliance/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
The Idaho County Commissioners Tuesday voted to join a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a proposed plan that reconfigures the state's legislative districts. The county joins Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Shoshone and Clearwater counties that have hired Boise lawyer Christ T. Troupis to represent them against the state in the action. … The proposed plan groups Idaho County with Clearwater, Shoshone and the southeast portion of Kootenai counties. Idaho County Commission Chairman Skip Brandt explained the main reason for objecting to the proposal is the difficulty of traveling from one end of the district to the other/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: With so many counties, including Twin Falls in southern Idaho, protesting against the current redistricting plan, do you think this one's going back to the drawing board?
The Kootenai County Commissioners have asked Prosecutor McHugh on behalf of Kootenai County to join a lawsuit being filed by Twin Falls County challenging the redistricting plan that has been adopted by the state. The Idaho Constitution states that the division of counties shall be avoided whenever possible. The current map, L-87, removes the southeast portion of the county and combines it with Legislative District 7. District 7 stretches from Kootenai County all the way south to include Idaho County. Approximately 5,000 Kootenai County residents would be part of a district that will make representation very difficult/Kootenai County commissioners news release. More here.
Question: Do you support the commissioners' decision to join lawsuit against redistricting plan?
With the ink barely dry on Idaho's redistricting maps, one senator has announced she's leaving following the 2012 session: Joyce Broadsword of Sagle. The four-term Republican was pushed into a district where Broadsword would have faced Republican Sen. Shawn Keough in next May's primary if she'd campaigned again. Broadsword resignation clears the way for Keough to run without opposition from a GOP incumbent. Broadsword had represented voters in District 2, covering Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties. With the 2011 redistricting maps that were drawn last Friday, however, Broadsword's home now falls into District 1, reflecting population changes on Idaho's northern panhandle/AP. More here.
North Idaho Sens. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint (left), and Joyce Broadsword (right), R-Sagle, have submitted a proposed redistricting plan for North Idaho that they say addresses concerns they've heard from their constituents, particularly about the current oddly-shaped District 2; you can see the plan here. Addressing only the North Idaho Panhandle, it does away with the backward-C-shaped District 2 in favor of a more compact District 2 that combines southern Bonner County with northern Kootenai County, including the Athol area. A new District 3 would take in the Post Falls area, and a new District 4 the Coeur d'Alene area. a new District 5 would include all of Benewah and Shoshone counties, the southern portion of Kootenai County including the Coeur d'Alene Reservation, and most of Latah County except for the Moscow area/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: The redistricting plan offered by Sens. Shawn Keough & Joyce Broadsword makes sense. Does it have a chance?
Among the revelations from the hearings so far: North Idaho's District 2 is likely to be completely realigned, and that could mean that District 2 Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, right, ends up in District 1 - along with District 1 Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, left. Even Broadsword told the commission the district has to change. “It isn't about seated legislators. It's about what's best for the citizens who live in those districts, what's easiest for them to be able to get to the polls and participate in the system,” she said at the hearing in Sandpoint. “That's just the reality,” Frasure said. “I think all of us are committed to do the right thing. … She testified against her own legislative district”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Which two incumbent GOP legislators from North Idaho would you like to see forced to run against each other in a primary race? Why?
At the KEA Blog, Terry Harris writes: “New lines for Congressional districts are not likely to affect north Idaho, as the entire panhandle is expected to remain in the 1st Congressional district. However, new lines in legislative districts are likely to shift significantly. Census data shows a significant migration away from rural areas and into more urban and suburban areas. Kootenai County and the Rathdrum Prairie cities kept pace with Idaho’s overall growth, but Shoshone and Clearwater Counties lost residents and Boundary, Bonner and Benewah counties grew at a somewhat slower rate than the rest of the state. The result is that the more rural panhandle — consisting of Districts 1 through 8 — has lost about half of a legislative district.”
Question: Wouldn't it be a hoot if District 2 is realigned to force Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, or his other 2 District 3 playmates to run against the current District 2 legislators, including Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries?