Rep. Ben Ferry, R-Corinne, the one committee member who voted against Plan L, has proposed his own Plan M [PDF] because Plan L created a urban 2nd District. "Having a rural component in every district is very important," said Ferry, a Box Elder County stockman. "You try to have comprehensive seats . . . so representatives are aware of rural concerns."
Rep. Ferry, being aware of, caring about, and doing something about are three different things. If you jam in some rural voters into the 2nd on principle, it doesn't mean that Congressman or -woman will do anything for rural Utahns. So Plan M is dead on arrival right?
Sen. Mike Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, has said he also will propose another map at the special session because Plan L divides Taylorsville.
"We are open to any proposals," said Sen. Curt Bramble, a chairman of the 11-person Redistricting Committee. "But when you have a 10-1 vote coming out of committee - that is sending a pretty strong message."
That is saying no more than yes. Speaker Greg Curtis agrees most lawmakers are going to look to the committee, which labored over computer-generated maps, for guidance. "[Ferry] is going to have an uphill battle," Curtis said. "He's going to have to convince members of the committee why his map is better than the one they adopted." So OK that means this Plan M is for naught. But Waddups wants some changes But then again, so is the whole process:
A senior GOP aide told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday that it's "unlikely" the House would take up a bill that would give Utah a fourth congressional seat that likely would go to a Republican in order to balance a proposed seat for the District of Columbia, which doesn't now have a full-voting representative.
"There's simply too many Republicans who have problems with the bill to bring it up at this late of an hour in the session," the aide said.
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, signaled similar concerns on Thursday. Asked if the bill had a chance at passing, Cannon said, "It is very dicey, I would say."
So I guess I have to applaud the legislature's committee for listening to that woman in Park City and including Park City with Salt Lake and its 'burbs. At the same time, the whole thing was sham partisan map. They are using 6 year old data, creating 3-safe GOP seats and one safe Democratic district. Except Jim could bust their whole scheme.
It will be interesting to see if Huntsman cannot only keep the legislature in line to pass Plan L but also convince the House and Senate in the US Congress to pass this in the Lame Duck. Personally, i think the chances are less than 50%.