Archive for the ‘Redistricting’ Category


Sunday, February 10th, 2013


The Wall Street Journal

  • February 9, 2013,

The Coming Battle Over the Ballot Box

A voting-rights veteran talks about the liberal campaign to expand the electoral rolls—and why Obama is on board.


When President Obama declared victory last November, you might have missed the way he spun his voter-turnout triumph into a grievance: “I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time,” he said on election night, adding: “By the way, we need to fix that.”

He returned to the subject at his inauguration: “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.” And in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the president is expected to call on Congress to enact new voting legislation. Several liberal Democrats have already introduced a bill styled the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013.

The effort is a cynical partisan undertaking, according to election lawyer Hans von Spakovsky. In December, some “three dozen of the most powerful liberal advocacy groups, including union organizations,” held a strategy session, he says, citing a report from the liberal magazine Mother Jones. They agreed to “oppose all voter integrity efforts, things like voter ID,” to push for federal legislation requiring states to permit voter registration on Election Day, and to institute “automatic” voter registration.

“They basically want to use the government to do Democratic voter outreach and voter registration for them,” Mr. von Spakovsky says. “They believe that if they can get, for example, everyone registered to vote who is currently getting government benefits like welfare . . . then that will somehow get them more votes at the polls and make it easier to win elections.”

The Voter Empowerment Act would also mandate automatic registration of individuals on motor-vehicle, tax and university rolls, many of whom are aliens or have multiple addresses in different states: “You’re basically going to be registering lots of people who are ineligible and leading to many duplicate registrations.” The groups pushing such efforts—among them the Brennan Center for Justice, the ACLU and the NAACP—include “the same organizations that have been filing lawsuits over the past few years trying to prevent states from verifying the accuracy and eligibility of people on their voter-registration databases,” Mr. von Spakovsky says. (more…)



Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • NOVEMBER 30, 2011

The Congressman from Fannie Mae retires.

  • It is a newspaper truism that what is good for journalism is bad for the country, and vice versa. Let’s just say that regarding the pending retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, we’re delighted to make the professional sacrifice.

Few House Members have made a bigger legislative mark, and arguably no one so expensively. Mr. Frank deserves to be forever remembered—and we’ll help everyone remember him—as the nation’s leading protector of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before their fall. For years Barney helped block meaningful reform of the mortgage giants while pushing an “affordable housing” agenda that helped to enlarge the subprime mortgage industry.

“I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision],” Mr. Frank said on September 25, 2003, in one of his many legendary rhetorical hits. “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.” The dice came up snake-eyes for the housing market and U.S. economy.

Democracy can be unfair, and for his sins Mr. Frank was rewarded with the chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee in 2009 and an opening to remake the U.S. financial industry. It was like asking Charlie Sheen to teach an anger management class. The result was Dodd-Frank, which didn’t solve the “too big to fail” problem but did make banks even more subject to the wishes of Washington. The crony capitalism exemplified by Fannie and Freddie became more broadly embedded in U.S. financial markets. (more…)



Sunday, May 22nd, 2011


November 11, 2010 – 1:30 pm – by Zombie

(In the first half of this essay, Gerrymandering 101, I explained how gerrymandering works and why it’s so ubiquitous. Here in the exciting conclusion I name and shame the ten most gerrymandered districts of the current 111th Congress — plus 20 bizarre bonus districts not mentioned in the title.)

(10.) North Carolina-12

This is what most people imagine when they think of a gerrymandered district — what I call “Gerrymander Classic.” NC-12 looks very much like the gerrymandered districts of the 19th century, but taken to extremes. As bad as it is, NC-12 at least looks like a congressional district, with meandering lines, consistent width, and hand-drawn appearance. As we’ll soon see, modern gerrymandering is often another animal altogether, with jarring shapes and artificial boundaries that are not just offensive to the eye but somehow feel like an insult to rationality.

(9.) Florida-20

This is what gerrymandering looks like in the modern era: ugly. Gone are any attempts at aesthetics. In the old days, redistricters at least tried to disguise their gerrymandering by drawing district lines that looked almost kinda sorta reasonable. No more. Nowadays many districts, with FL-20 being a good example, seem to be the result of computer algorithms with no regard whatsoever for human or natural boundaries. Needless to say, all sense of “community” within a congressional is out the window altogether when it is shaped like this, with jagged tendrils reaching out every which way to gobble up the desired demographic.




Friday, April 8th, 2011
April 07, 2011 –
Carolina Journal Exclusive

VIDEO: Is DOT Double-Counting High-Speed Rail Jobs?
By Anthony Greco
RALEIGH — Under the job-years concept, if one person holds the same job for four years, it’s counted as four jobs. That’s how the North Carolina Department of Transportation can claim that federal funding for high-speed rail would create nearly 4,800 jobs when in fact only about 1,200 people would be employed.

John Hood’s Daily Journal

Reality Check on UNC Tuition
As long as legislative appropriations cover the vast majority of the cost of educating students, the constitutional provision is satisfied.


4.07.11 – Legislators see trouble in Perdue’s budget cuts

4.07.11 – N.C. bills aim at constitutional changes

4.07.11 – Private property safeguards OK’d by NC House panel

4.07.11 – Second governor’s residence is getting an update

4.07.11 – NC charter school overhaul bill back in committee

4.07.11 – NC voter ID mandate approved by House committee

4.07.11 – Perdue forms panel to help select judges

4.07.11 – Ruling due on sex offenders’ access to Facebook social site

4.07.11 – Bill to separate crime lab from SBI

4.07.11 – Red-light camera ban zips through panel vote

4.07.11 – Bill would shield citizens from suits like Titan’s

4.07.11 – Charlotte region jobless rate falls

4.07.11 – AT&T says 4G on the way, but some say, not so fast

4.07.11 – Graham, Swain counties spar over Fontana dam funds

4.07.11 – Red wolf litter on the way? Species needs blessed event




Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
March 23, 2011 –
Carolina Journal Exclusive

VIDEO: Pantano Gets Early Start on 2012 Campaign
By Anthony Greco
RALEIGH — Ilario Pantano is not taking any downtime after his narrow loss to U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th. Pantano filed campaign paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. He said he decided to keep his campaign active in order to meet as many potential voters as possible.

John Hood’s Daily Journal

The Perdue Predicament
The best option Democrats have right now is for the governor to recover her footing and make a serious contest out of what now seems a foregone conclusion.


3.23.11 – Plan puts NC health insurance on chopping block

3.23.11 – Lottery funding for public schools on table

3.23.11 – GOP tries to put brakes on high-speed rail in NC

3.23.11 – N.C. held back data on bypass, documents say

3.23.11 – DAs say guilt of suspects affirmed

3.23.11 – High court to rule on Miranda rights of juveniles

3.23.11 – 911 call bill gets Senate approval

3.23.11 – Goolsby seeks more openness in government

3.23.11 – Florida legislator regrets letting utility pass on cost

3.23.11 – Duke to offer free home car chargers

3.23.11 – Bill would allow wider use of digital billboards

3.23.11 – CMS will explore privatizing services

3.23.11 – Experts duel over busing, diversity in Wake

3.23.11 – Census numbers amplify shortfall in Fayetteville budget

3.23.11 – Greensboro landfill savings could top $5 million




Friday, November 12th, 2010


November 11, 2010

A Preview of 2012 Redistricting

By Sean Trende

As bad as 2010 was for House Democrats, 2012 could be even worse. Republicans don’t have a lot of exposure, since most of their gains were in red territory. More importantly, Republicans will control more seats in redistricting than they have since the states began regular decennial redistricting in 1972.

Using census estimates of where population is growing and falling within states, as well as Dave Bradlee’s handy redistricting application, I offer my thoughts on how redistricting will most likely shape things in 2012. If I don’t discuss a state, it just means that I don’t see any meaningful changes occurring. To determine which states will gain/lose seats, I use, which sorts through the complex redistricting formula. Please note that these are based off of census estimates, not final numbers; in 2000, most observers were surprised when North Carolina gained a seat and Utah did not. (more…)

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