Entries Tagged 'Redistricting Sioux Falls' ↓

Republicans continue their chokehold on South Dakota voters

Okay, read Megan ‘Patron’ Luther’s story, it has all kinds of great information on redistricting, but this line towards the end says it all;

With 12 Republicans and three Democrats on the committee, support is expected for the Rausch and Olson (Republican) map.

Why even have Democrats on the committee? IMO there should be 5 indies, 5 Repubs and 5 Dems on the committee to make it fair. The current makeup is completely partisan. Dumb.

Representative Thompson has a great idea, but is anyone listening?

Thompson

I couldn’t agree more with Bill’s idea;

The plan is based on Montana’s approach, which has worked well. The majority leaders of both houses choose the first two members of the seven-member citizen commission. Then the minority leaders of both houses choose the next two members. These four commission members choose the final three, with each member coming from one of the seven designated regions of the state. The commission will create the districts, submit the plan to the Legislature for suggestions and then finalize the districts.

Oh, but Bill, that approach sound fair. How can the Republicants in our state continue their chokehold if they can’t hand pick these commission members? Than there are all the utopian results it would produce;

Now is the time for South Dakota to change its method of legislative redistricting. Redistricting plans should:

•  lessen the impact of incumbency on redistricting.

•  lessen the impact of partisanship on redistricting.

• create more districts that are competitive.

•  maximize intradistrict competitiveness to make it easier to recruit candidates willing to challenge incumbents. Competitiveness and better candidates will encourage voter participation and satisfaction. Voter satisfaction will foster better, more responsive government.

There is a reason why your bill continues to fail Bill, a SD Democrat proposed it.

Fair redistricting or political games? Not sure.

Okay, I know this week I said it didn’t matter, but I am starting to get more suspicious after reading a letter against the proposal in the Gargoyle Leader today and even more suspicious after seeing who makes up the committee members.

The bounderies have never concerned me until Mary Glenski pointed this out in her letter;

It did seem strange that the original option L would take away precincts from the Northeast District (4-2 and 4-3) and then add another (3-4) instead when the Northwest District was already low in numbers.

Keeping precincts 4-2 and 4-3 where they now are in the Northeast District enables Precinct 3-4 to be moved to the Central District, which also needs to increase its numbers.

Mary points out early in her letter that the option they rejected and she was for would basically keep the population in each district close to equal. But the options they are proposing would make the populations uneven. So some council members would have to serve more people than others. There are advantages and disadvantages to that I guess, but is it fair? Not sure. And what are the members motives for doing it this way?

I also get more suspicious when I see who the commission members are;

  • Susan M. Sabers (Chair)
  • Roger Berggren
  • Vance Goldammer
  • Elaine Roberts
  • Joel Rosenthal

Mary points out in her letter;

The charter only requires that “no more than three members may belong to the same political party,” and the districting commission membership complied with this provision.

Yet there are three members who belong to the Republican party. Technically it doesn’t matter what political party the chair belongs to, so why couldn’t this person be a registered independent? She is Republican that is very active in the party.

The other thing that concerns me is that they are all very politically active and given a lot of time and money to their respective parties, that’s what makes this political.

They are all armchair politicians in one way or another even if they are not holding a political office currently.

I can’t understand why it is so hard to appoint members to commissions in Sioux Falls that don’t make everything ‘political’. I find it amusing that they would think this is a ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ commission with absolutely NO independents on the commission. I also find it humorous that I get accused of ‘playing political games’ with my tax petition when I have been a strong advocate of keeping the drive nonpartisan with many liberals, conservatives and independents supporting the cause. I am an independent who is a strong advocate of keeping party politics out of politics, especially when it comes to serving citizens rights such as taxes and redistricting.

What color is the kettle of the redistricting committee? That answer concerns me.