Asheville Daily Planet
RSS Facebook
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:23
By LEE BALLARD
Special to the Daily Planet

 

I’m not going to say that REDMAP is wrong.  No, I’m going to say it’s evil.

And I’m also going to say that Democrats wouldn’t do what REDMAP does. RDMAP slime is red.

REDMAP (Redistricting Majority Project) was a national GOP scheme (they say “strategy”) in 2010 elections to take over state legislatures ahead of the 2010 census so they could control redistricting in targeted states. Sounds routine. It wasn’t.

GOP machinations flipped 21 legislative chambers in key states in 2010. Then a sophisticated computer program surgically divided counties, precincts and neighborhoods to create districts that would guarantee GOP majorities in legislatures and congressional delegations for a decade. 

 “REDMAP’s effect on the 2012 election is plain when analyzing the results,” the project’s website says. “Michiganders cast over 240,000 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates than Republicans, but still elected a 9-5 Republican delegation to Congress.” 

Say what?  Uh, folks, you’re bragging that you rigged the election so Democratic voters were given half the value of GOP voters. Wow.

The website gives credit to money.  For example:  “We spent $1 million in Michigan, and….”  But they don’t say what Republicans did with that money.  Hold your nose as you read on.

In a 2011 New Yorker magazine article, Jane Mayer wrote how Republican operative Ed Gillespie came to Raleigh in the spring of 2010 and pitched GOP money man Art Pope on how his millions could fund an ambush that would turn North Carolina red forever. Mayer gave a case study out of the campaign:

“That fall, in the remote western corner of the state, John Snow, a retired Democratic judge who had represented the district in the state Senate for three terms, found himself subjected to one political attack after another. Snow…was expected to be re-elected easily. Yet somehow [his opponent] seemed to have almost unlimited money with which to assail Snow.

“Snow recalls, ‘I voted to help build a pier with an aquarium on the coast, as did every other member of the North Carolina House and Senate who voted.’ But a television attack ad presented the ‘luxury pier’ as Snow’s wasteful scheme….In all, Snow says, he was the target of two dozen mass mailings, one of them featured a photograph of Henry Lee McCollum, a menacing-looking African-American convict on death row, who, along with three other men, raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl. After describing McCollum’s crimes in lurid detail, the mailing noted, ‘Thanks to arrogant State Senator John Snow, McCollum could soon be let off of death row.’ Snow, in fact, supported the death penalty and had prosecuted murder cases. 

But, in 2009, he had helped pass a new state law, the Racial Justice Act, that enabled judges to reconsider a death sentence if a convict could prove that the jury’s verdict had been tainted by racism.

National Republicans spent $1 million in North Carolina.  But an investigation after the election, Mayer says, showed that two “non-profits” created by Art Pope funneled additional millions into targeted races across the state. 

When the surprise attacks were finished, the North Carolina House had flipped from 68-52 Democrat to 68-51-1 Republican, and the Senate had gone from 30-20 Democrat to 31-19 Republican.  Then the computer specialist was instructed to create 10 congressional districts that voted 55% for John McCain – 10 of 13!

Never in history had any party been so contemptuous of the democratic process as Republicans in 2011.    

In seven states where REDMAP was utilized – North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Florida – Democrats got 16.4 million votes in the 2012 election for U.S. Congress; Republicans got 16.7 million.  A 50-50 split, and yet Republicans elected 73, Democrats elected 34.

No, no, don’t say Democrats do the same thing.  Democrats controlled the N.C. General Assembly after the 2000 census, so they drew redistricting maps. In the first election under the Democrat redistricting, in 2002, for State House of Representatives:

Votes received: GOP 1,073,000, Democrats 904,000.

Seats won: GOP 61, Democrats 59.

After the 2010 census, Republicans controlled the General Assembly, so they drew redistricting maps. In the first election under the GOP redistricting, in 2012:

Vote received: GOP 1,998,000, Democrats 1,875,000.

Seats won: GOP 77, Democrats 43.

Democrats had primitive computer programs in 2000 – but they also had scruples.  If Democrats gain control of the General Assembly in 2020, and Governor Cooper is re-elected, they will push for a nonpartisan commission to handle redistricting.  If maps are drawn fairly, it shouldn’t matter what color the hand is that draws them, red or blue.

Before the 2020 elections, courts will rule on the constitutionality of the GOP-drawn redistricting maps. But I’ve read that “REDMAP 2020” has a fundraising goal of $125 million. That’ll fund a lot of “strategy.”
Lee Ballard , who lives in Mars Hill, has a website at Mountainsnail.com.

 



 


contact | home

Copyright ©2005-2015 Star Fleet Communications

224 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801 | P.O. Box 8490, Asheville, NC 28814
phone (828) 252-6565 | fax (828) 252-6567

a Cube Creative Design site