Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Utah Republicans carve up map like Turkey

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday. I have been writing a paper for a class and my topic is the Allen-Webb senate race. Boy, did Allen have some great quotes. "For folks to think I would know what sorts of genus of monkeys are in eastern Asia ascribe a lot more intelligence to me than I actually have."--August 17. Now to the Turkey meat, thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune:
"With such a large population concentrated in Salt Lake County, it is very difficult to do it in two parts," [State Rep. Dave]Clark said. "Every possible division into four districts will be considered."

That is the biggest hint I can think of that the legislature doesn't like Huntsman's proposed map. And here was Huntsman's retort:
"We are allowing the Legislature to do its work," said Huntsman spokesman Mike Mower. "But the governor will have the final say. Our goal is to make sure it is fair."

The Deseret News provides a helpful graphic showing when open hearings will be held for this ultra-important process involving democracy

That's right, when no one will be able to attend. I am sure this is the bare minimum required under open meetings laws. So if they do make a map that both a GOP legislature and a GOP governor like, what happens next? The Deseret News explains:
"It would be a clean slate," said Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, the co-chairman of a special legislative redistricting committee. "We'd have to elect four new congressional representatives."
Just how that election would be structured, though, remains to be seen. Bramble, the incoming Senate majority leader, said lawmakers would likely wait until the 2007 Legislature meets in January to figure out the special election process.
But Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, said he wanted to see candidates go through the regular nominating process at political party conventions. Committee members were told, however, that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. could speed up that process.

Meanwhile, leaders in both parties are pouring over 6 year old census data (which the state argued was inaccurate to begin with to the Supreme Court) to draw up their own fantasy maps. With a special election next year, Salt Lake City will have a "non-partisan" mayoral race and two to three Congresscritters to vote on. It seems like it won't be such an "off year" after all.

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