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Spin Control

Posts tagged: redistricting

Light blogging on Spin Control; warm up for big Newsquiz

With the possible exception of the Washington Redistricting Commission, not many creatures are stirring in Olympia this week and blogging on Spin Control will be light.

But we did want to put in a shameless plug for the upcoming 2011 That's News to You quiz being prepared for this weekend. It's a bigger quiz with a bigger prize.

If you haven't taken our weekly quiz for a while, you might want to warm up with this week's quiz, which can be found by clicking here.

Redistricting: A numbers game?

Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton had a logical, sensible suggestion last week when releasing his proposal for Washington’s new congressional districts.
So logical and sensible, in fact, that it has almost no chance of happening….

To read the rest of this item, go inside the blog.

Kucinich to WA: Never mind

Whether you were wishing that U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich would pull up stakes and move to Washington because you really, really like him, or the exact opposite, you're not going to get your wish.

The Associated Press is reporting that Kucinich is likely to stay in Ohio after all, rather than relocating to Washington state to run for Congress here. And the congressman is telling supporters in that state with their help he has a good chance to keep his seat.

Apparently the redistricting in Ohio is going better than he expected, and his district in Cleveland won't be completely wiped out in the latest redrawing of boundaries. But he will have to run against another Democratic incumbent, Marcy Kaptur, who is saying she's not stepping aside.

This may disappoint a few Western Washington progressives, who are strong supporters of Kucinich's brand of liberalism. During a recent appearance at Seattle's Hempfest, he touched all the bases from ending the wars and abolishing nuclear weapons to protecting the environment and legalizing marijuana.

It may disappoint even more Republicans, who seemed extremely anxious to have Kucinich roiling the mix out here. (Update: Go inside the blog to see State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur's sorrowful comments regarding the news.)

Washington's redistricting, meanwhile,  may not be providing Kucinich with any good landing spot, even though it will have a new congressional district and at least one open seat. Asked yesterday at the end of the Redistricting Commission meeting which district might be best for a Kucinich run, House Democratic appointee Dean Foster replied: “One in Ohio.”

Redistricting: Spokane districts could change a little or a lot

Slade Gorton and Commission Chairwoman Lura Powell review a redistricting map.

OLYMPIA — The state Redistricting Commissioner released its first round of maps for congressional and legislative districts, as described in the story here.

Maps are online at the commission's website .

While most of the public testimony revolved around creating a congressional district in which racial and ethnic minorities are more than 50 percent of the population, among the more interesting things is the way the four commissioners treat the legislative districts in and around Spokane County. The Democrats on the commission seem intent on doing away with the current 9th District, forcing all of those GOP legislators into another district where they'd be running against  other Republicans.

Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, the appointee of Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, makes the most changes to boundaries inside Spokane County, esentially moving the 3rd District, a Democratic stronghold in central Spokane, to west Spokane and the West Plains.

Gorton denied this was an attempt to create GOP districts throughout the county. Instead, he insisted it was a way to make all the Spokane districts “competitive.”

The congressional district lines are all over the map, so to speak, with some very interesting and innovative approaches to adding the new 10th District….

Maps coming today

OLYMPIA — The state Redistricting Commission will release its maps of proposals  to redraw Washington's congressional and legislative boundaries at their meeting today, which starts at 10 a.m.

Could be as many as eight very different maps — one congressional and one legislative — for each of the four voting commissioners.

Up for grabs: Where will the state's new 10th congressional district be drawn. Bet the rent that it's not in Eastern Washington, where the 5th has a few too many folks and the 4th has quite a few too many folks, based on the 2010 Census. The real growth is in Pugetopolis, so the smart money says somewhere in the burbs between Snohomish and Thurston counties.

Spokane's going to want to watch how the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th Legislative Districts are redrawn, because some have too many folks, and others don't have enough. Don't expect a district to up and move completely west, but there could be some significant rejiggering of boundaries.

Stay tuned.

Redistricting Commission meets Tuesday

The Washington State Redistricting Commission, which is redrawing the lines for the state’s congressional and legislative districts, will be at Spokane Falls Community College Tuesday.

The five-member board has a special commissioner meeting at 5 p.m. to discuss its budget and a schedule for releasing and taking public comment on map proposals. A forum for the public to comment on possible changes to the districts starts after the commissioner meeting ends. The meeting and forum are in SFCC Lounges 1 and 2.
The commission also has a public forum Wednesday at the Walla Walla Community College Conference Center and Thursday at the Big Bend Community College Masto Conference Center 1870 in Moses Lake. Both have an open house that starts at 6 p.m. with a forum at 7 p.m.


Sunday Spin: You, too, could be a gerrymanderer

Once every decade, there’s an opportunity for deep political skullduggery. Until now, it was the province of a few masters of electoral minutiae that most of us don’t have and wouldn’t want if the choice was between that and being struck by lightning.
I’m talking about redrawing the state’s congressional and legislative districts based on the latest census figures.
The process involves knowing how many people live where, then arranging them so each of the state’s 49 legislative districts, and its now 10 congressional districts, have as close to the same number of residents as possible and people with “common interests” aren’t unduly separated.
At least, that’s the textbook explanation, for the politically naïve. Any politician will tell you redistricting really about redrawing lines so your party gets an unfair advantage over the other party, and if you have to cobble together an unlikely amalgamation of voting blocks, so be it.

2010 Census: Another legislative district map

Last night's post discussed the population in Washington's legislative districts and had a statewide map. But we also generated more local maps for analysis. Here's a Spokane County map tied to the same color key.

District  2010 population Growth since 2000 Difference from ideal 2012 size  Rank by population
3rd District (central Spokane city, includes Hillyard, Northtown, West Central, East Central, Logan, downtown, lower South Hill.)  120,601 314 -16,635 2nd smallest.
4th District (City of Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Millwood and areas north to Pend Oreille County line) 141,254 20,968 4,018 14th largest
6th District (Parts of Spokane city and county, including Whitworth, Indian Trail, Latah Creek, South Hill above 17th Avenue, parts of Moran Prairie, parts of West Plains east of Airway Heights) 141,123 20,830 3,887 15th largest
7th District (Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry, Lincoln counties, parts of Okanogan and Spokane counties, including Deer Park, Airway Heights, Fairchild Air Force Base and nearby portions of West Plains.)  130,475 10,185 6,761 15th smallest
9th District (Asotin, Garfield, Whitman, Adams counties, parts of Franklin and Spokane counties, including Cheney, Medical Lake, small towns and most of rural areas in the southern third of county.)  136,199 15,879 1,070 27th smallest

It’s official: 10 seats in US House for WA

OLYMPIA — While we've all been proceeding on the assumption that Washington will get a tenth congressional seat this year, it hasn't really been official.

As in not signed, sealed and delivered official from the folks who have the ultimate say in such things, the U.S. House of Representatives.

But the Washington Secretary of State's office now has in its hot collective hands a sealed notice from the Clerk of the House, stating Washington shall be entitled in the 113th Congress (which starts in 2013) and each succeeding congress through 2022, to

TEN REPRESENTATIVES in the House of Representatives.

Capital letters are the clerk's. Not sure if all caps in official documents is like shouting with all caps in an e-mail.

Gorton named to redistricting panel

Slade Gorton and Tom Huff in front of maps of the current congressional and legislative districts.

OLYMPIA — Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton was named today to the panel that will redraw congressional and legislative boundaries because of the state's population growth.

Gorton, a three-term Republican senator and former state attorney general, was selected by Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt for a seat on the Redistricting Commission. Former state Rep. Tom Huff, R-Gig Harbor, was named to the panel by House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt.

They join Democratic appointees Dean Foster, former clerk of the House and a member of the 2001 redistrcting commission, and Tim Cies, former deputy mayor of Seattle. The four appointed members select a fifth commissioner to serve as the non-voting chairman.

As a legislator in the 1960s, Gorton was in the middle of a highly partisan fight over redistricting that tied up the Legislature for more than a month. Out of that fight came a state constitutional amendment that established the commission with appointees from each of the four legislative leaders and a non-voting chair. ” don not believer there is any state…that does its redistricting in a better fashion,” he said.

Washington will gain a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and all nine of its current districts have too many people. It's too soon to tell where the 10th seat will go, but Eastern Washington will gain in the redrawing, Gorton said. Right now, two of the nine districts are located east of the Cascades. Because of population growth, one more district will either have to take in voters on both sides of the Cascades or extend up the Columbia River into Eastern Washington, he said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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