Newly gerrymandered district conveniently includes senator's new house


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/08/29/newly-gerrymandered-district-c.html


#2

InB4 “but both sides do it”


#3

This isn’t gerrymandering. Gerrymandering isn’t just redrawing a map. It’s redrawing the map to benefit one party over the other. But this doesn’t do that. The new lines cross between two Democratic districts. No party is benefitted at the expense of another. As the article notes, the change was agreed to unanimously by both parties on the committee.

And to compare it to the GOP’s systematic racist gerrymandering that lets them control the legislature something like 60-40 with only 40% of the vote, is bullshit.


#4

This isn’t gerrymandering, it’s just… idunno if there’s a word for it. Amoeba-tentacling? It would only be gerrymandering if those thousand people were all Democrats or something. But I don’t think he was trying to skew the next election; he just wanted to avoid the charge of “doesn’t even live in our district.”

And I suspect both sides would be happy to do it. It’s just a little convenience-corruption, not full-scale election-stealing.


#5

Democratic state Sen. Ben Clark of the Rockfish area in Hoke County has been critical of gerrymandering — the practice of drawing election maps with odd shapes to benefit one political side and harm the other.

This past week, Clark received what critics might call a gerrymander that benefits him.

Maybe he can discuss relief with just-a-few-posts-away-hypocrite Ted Cruz.


#6

Read this bit a few times till it sinks in- “…to benefit one political side and harm the other.” I don’t know what’s up with this place and gerrymandering. Cory at least seems obsessed with it recently. But if you’re gonna criticize it, know what the hell it is. It’s not this. It’s what this senator is critical of.


#7

They did it because they don’t want the Democrat homeowner running in that district, where there is a Republican incumbent. That sounds like the definition of gerrymandering. Even if “both sides” agree to this, it still benefits the two-party status quo, and it especially harms independent and/or third-party candidates.


#8

It’s super weird when you read the article. Clark didn’t propose the change, rather the Republicans that feared he would run in district 19 proposed the change. Clark might have approved the plan but he’s not exactly happy with it. From the article:

“The inclusion of my second home within District 21 is a minor improvement to a still unacceptable plan,” Clark said Friday.

He is unhappy that the new District 21 does not have Spring Lake or the populated parts of Fort Bragg in it. He endorsed an alternative map that puts those communities in District 21 — and that does not have his second home in it.


#9

But that’s not how you wrote it. You make it sound like Clark redistricted his own second home. It seems that the only reason he went along with the idea was that he might be able to use it as leverage later on.


#11

What third party candidates? There is no third party candidate, and if there were, this wouldn’t have any impact on them. Gerrymandering has nothing to do with 3rd party candidates. And it doesn’t “strengthen the two-party status quo.”

Gerrymandering is not about protecting incumbents, it’s about allocating votes in a way that benefits one party over another. It’s actually one of the more common ways that incumbents are finally defeated- redistricting happens and the new lines change the demographic makeup of their district and they lose.


#12

I’ve read a few comments here suggesting that for this to be gerrymandering it would need to benefit one party over the other. Obviously this is the sort of definition that pre-supposes a two party system which is fine since that’s the de-facto world given us by our great leaders. Other commenters suggest gerrymandering doesn’t protect incumbents yet I’ve seen incumbent gerrymandering in action via packing so I’m not sure that position holds much water.
The problem seems to be that we’ve entered into the murky world of the argument of definition. To some of us, it looks like gerrymandering to others it’s not. What is not important here is the use of the term gerrymandering. That’s just a distraction. What is important here is that a politician who would have been unable to represent their own district when they moved to their new house decided to have the maps redrawn in order to sidestep state laws concerning who can represent whom. The corruption here was so systemic that even party opposition agreed with the change. Why? Well that’s simple. They want to maintain the current incumbent on both sides - for what reason I leave you to decide. This is the kind of naked corruption that leaves the public saying, “meh, whatever”. After all, we’ve been conditioned to accept this sort of thing from our elected representatives and since as others have pointed out, there is no third option, that’s what we get.


#13

If I read it correctly, this is a “second home” rather than a “new home”. So I guess his main residence will remain in District 21.

All this talk of numbered districts puts me in mind of District 9, District 13 and Half Life 2; however “the Rockfish area of Hoke County” sound more like something out of Pogo or Li’l Abner.


#14

Nope, not really. You didn’t read the article.

  1. It’s a second home.
  2. The 21st district was redrawn by Republicans fearing the Democrat would run in the 19th district.

#15

It’s not a “distraction.” Gerrymandering is wrong. It’s morally wrong. It’s used almost exclusively by the GOP to set up what amounts to minority rule. We’re living in a country that is rapidly (re)descending into an apartheid state, with a 30-40% white minority ruling over a largely non-white majority. Glossing over what gerrymandering actually is, what it’s being used for, and using anger at the tactic to attack the Black Democratic victim of gerrymandering is bullshit. And using anger at gerrymandering to attack something completely unrelated (the two-party system) is bullshit.


#16

I think you completely missed my point. I’m not saying Gerrymandering is a distraction, I’m saying arguing over the definition is. All arguments of definition are ultimately fruitless. Rather than continue arguing if this act fits a person’s favorite definition, which would change nothing, I’m suggesting we look at what took place and make a decision on whether we think it was corruption or not.


#17

If one side wants to move out of a district and would no longer be able to represent it so they do this I’d say that’s benefiting one side over the other. Running an encumbent has a huge benefit in elections.


#18

How do these facts materially change the event or the outcome? Politicians re-drew a map in order to maintain the status quo in order to keep the incumbents in place.


#19

Whether this is gerrymandering or not it really demostrates that there needs to be much higher oversight of district creation that requires an actual beneficial reason to the communities being affected.


#20

How many in the other party got to move houses and have their district follow them?

Gerrymandering has been used and is currently used in, as you said systematic racist ways, but as a term it originates in AND APPLIES TO redrawing of maps for political convenience. Derived from the name of a MA politician - it means to achieve A RESULT by redrawing an electoral map.

It does not mean to achieve A SYSTEMATICALLY RACIST RESULT. That seem to be your interpretation, by including the adjectives systematic and racist into another word, to suit YOUR experience but not that of others?

I agree that gerrymandering is bad, and systematic racism is real, but lazy thinking won’t help with either. Put their tools down. You will only achieve their ends using their tools, friend.


#21

I know what you mean, though I don’t agree. That’s like saying because I can hit a minority with this hammer, hammers are morally wrong.

Don’t put it on the hammer.

It’s used almost exclusively by the GOP to set up what amounts to minority rule.

That’s because they got better at using it for systematic racist ends than lefties are for systematic progressive ends.