“In 2008, the Obama campaign was, for the first time in 40 years, spending a considerable amount of time, energy and resources [in the 2nd district],” said Barry Rubin, a Democratic strategist based in Nebraska. “It’s going to make it a more difficult climb.”
The proposed map would move Sarpy County, a GOP-heavy and quickly growing suburban area, into the 2nd district and move Offutt Air Force Base into the 1st district. The Legislature’s redistricting committee approved the new map, which will be debated on the floor of the state’s unicameral Legislature this week.
“The debate will be contentious tomorrow because Democrats have claimed that (the proposed changes) makes it more advantageous to Republicans,” Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Jordan McGrain said Wednesday. “If Barack Obama had the money to play there in 2008, I’m not sure it discourages him drastically from doing it again in 2012.”
Wisconsin: With Recalls On Tap, Mapmakers in a Hurry
This will be the summer of recall elections in Wisconsin, where local officials believe Democrats could actually wrestle control of the state Senate away from the GOP. Perhaps that’s why Republicans, who now control both chambers of the Legislature and thus the redistricting process, may be speeding up the timetable to redraw district boundaries.
“There’s every indication that the Republicans are moving their agenda forward rapidly, and it could be with recalls on the horizon they would want to move redistricting forward in advance of the traditional schedule,” Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) told the Capital Times of Madison this week.
Republican leaders refused to confirm or deny their redistricting timetable, which is traditionally done in the fall after municipalities and counties reshape their wards.
But Republicans appear to be nervously eyeing the recall process — a product of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) controversial union changes.
“You talked to Democrats who ‘think’ that Republican leaders have these grand plots,” Andrew Welhouse, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, told the Capital Times. “I guess I’ll leave it up to your journalistic standards if their motivated speculation is worth reporting on.”
Oregon: Schrader’s Not Happy About ‘the Finger’
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D) had harsh words for the competing Democratic and Republican redistricting plans recently released by state legislators.
Schrader said the Democratic plan gives Rep. Greg Walden (R) “the finger” by stretching Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D) Portland-based 3rd district east within a mile of Walden’s home in Hood River County, according to the Oregonian newspaper. Schrader was not happy with the redrawing of his own district either.
With a Legislature divided nearly evenly between the two parties, Democrats said they realize their plan will need to change if it has any chance of passing through both chambers. Their goal is to protect the current structure in which they hold four of the state’s five districts.
“There has to be a smarter, more bipartisan, less egregious way to do it,” Schrader told the Oregonian.
Nevada: Haven’t We Seen This Veto Before?
Nevada Democrats have crafted new district lines after Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed their first plan on Saturday.