Political News and Commentary with the Right Perspective. NAVIGATION
  • Front Page
  • News
  • Multimedia
  • Tags
  • RSS Feed

  • Advertise on RightMichigan.com


    Get the RightMighigan.com toolbar!



    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Michigan Redistricting: Analysis of Democrats State Senate Plan

    By Conservative First, Section News
    Posted on Thu May 26, 2011 at 04:36:34 AM EST
    Tags: redistricting, census, state senate, Mark Brewer (all tags)

    The Michigan Democrat Party has released its proposed redistricting plan for the Michigan state senate. I previously released two possible maps and discussed the standards that such maps must follow.

    Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible State Senate Maps

    Here is the map.

    Let's consider their press release.
    Michigan Democrats Introduce State Senate Redistricting Map
    Map is Fair, Representative, and Avoids Partisan Gerrymandering

    LANSING - Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer announced today that he has filed a redistricting plan with the State Senate Committee on Redistricting that would ensure voters are fairly represented in Lansing by creating sensible and competitive districts.  The Committee had invited the public to submit maps for consideration and Brewer stated that this map deserved their attention.

    "Redistricting should be politically fair and avoid partisan gerrymandering when drawing district boundaries," said Brewer.  "The map we've submitted is politically fair with 15 Republican, 15 Democratic, and eight swing districts, doesn't create a single district boundary that would split a city or township in two, and only splits six counties.  In short, it's a map that simply makes sense."

    They don't say which districts they consider which. I will rate them myself below. It is technically true that "doesn't create a single district boundary that would split a city ... in two", but the release doesn't mention that it splits Detroit in five pieces. It is false to say that "doesn't create a single district boundary that would split a ... township in two" since Browntown township in Wayne County is split between districts 1 and 3.

    It is also false that the map "only splits six counties", since it clearly splits seven (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Genesee, Washtenaw, Ingham), including a double split of Genesee. In comparison, my maps both split only six counties. One has a double break in Genesee, the other does not.

    Brewer added that the map also follows the requirements of the Federal Voting Rights Act by creating six "majority-minority" districts, five of which would be based in Detroit and one in Oakland County due to the growth of the African-American community through southeast Michigan.
    Brewer is wrong about what the Voting Rights Act requires. This article is the best guide to the VRA that I could find.

    (Before you flip out, yes I realize that the article comes from Daily Kos. It appears that the author is playing it straight. Of course, second opinions from the legal-minded commenters here are welcome.)

    The VRA may require black-majority districts, but it almost certainly does not require "majority-minority" districts, where all the racial minorities are grouped together to form a majority. The second and third standards from Thornburg v. Gingles are definitely not satisfied. While there is nothing prohibiting a majority-minority district in Oakland, it is definitely not required.  It is not even clear that Michigan is required to maintain five black-majority districts, given the massive population loss in Detroit. This would be a much closer call, however.

    "This is Governor Snyder's chance to show that he's willing to put the interests of Michigan's voters ahead of the interests of his own political party," added Brewer.  "If he is willing to dismiss this fair redistricting plan and instead sign one that is simply a partisan Republican gerrymander, he will send a very clear message to the people of Michigan; that he is just another Lansing politician beholden to special interests."

    There is nothing terribly outrageous about this map, but it is a modest gerrymander and is probably about the best democrats could do without massively violating the rules. Their strategy is not hard to understand. Since they have no control over the process, they will present a slightly slanted plan, claim it is "fair", and hope to guilt-trip Republicans (Snyder?) into compromising. It isn't terribly likely to succeed, though it has some nonzero chance (a similar gambit seems to have worked for Republicans in Arkansas).

    What is gerrymandered?
    Mt. Morris is included in the Saginaw-based district. Mt. Morris is the second most      democrat area of Genesee, after Flint. This is not necessary and serves only to create a safe democrat district.
    Ypsilanti area is included in a district with SW Oakland.
    The minority-majority district in Oakland.
    Cutting Detroit into strips. This is probably necessary due to the VRA, but it is nonetheless gerrymandering.

    Let's rate the districts.

    1. Safe D [Detroit shoreline] Coleman Young
    2. Safe D [N Detroit, Grosse Pointes] Bert Johnson
    3. Safe D [central Detroit, Lincoln Park, Southgate] Virgil Smith
    4. Safe D [central Detroit, Dearborn] Morris Hood
    5. Safe D [W Detroit, Redford, Dearborn Heights] Tupak Hunter (TL)
    6. Safe D [SW Wayne] Hoon-Yung Hopgood, Patrick Colbeck
    7. Tossup [Westland, Livonia, Plymouth, Northville] Glenn Andersen (TL)
    8. Safe D [S Macomb] Steven Bieda
    9. Lean R [Clinton, Macomb, Chesterfield, Harrison] Jack Brandenburg
    10. Safe R [N Macomb, Sterling Heights] Tory Rocca
    11. Safe R [St. Clair, Lapeer] Phil Pavlov
    12. Safe R [N Oakland] Jim Marleau
    13. Safe D [Troy, Royal Oak, Ferndale] John Pappageorge (TL)
    14. Safe D [Southfield, Pontiac, Bloomfield, Oak Park] Vincent Gregory
    15. Lean D [Farmington, West Bloomfield, Waterford, Spring Lake] Mike Kowall
    16. Tossup [SW Oakland, Ypsilanti] Open
    17. Tossup [Monroe, Lenawee] Randy Richardville (TL)
    18. Safe D [Washtenaw] Rebekah Warren
    19. Lean R [Calhoun, Eaton, S Ingham] Mike Nofs, Rick Jones
    20. Tossup [Kalamazoo] Open
    21. Safe R [Hillsdale, Branch, Jackson] Bruce Caswell
    22. Safe R [Berrien, Cass, St. Jospeh] John Proos
    23. Safe D [Ingham] Gretchen Whitmer (TL)
    24. Safe R [Livingston, Shiawassee] Joe Hune
    25. Safe R [Allegan, VanBuren, S Kent] Tonya Schuitmaker
    26. Safe D [Flint, W Genesee] John Gleason (TL)
    27. Safe R [Clinton, Ionia, Montcalm, Barry] Judy Emmons
    28. Safe R [Kent County outside Grand Rapids] Mark Jansen (TL), Dave Hildenbrand
    29. Tossup [Grand Rapids, Walker] Open
    30. Safe R [Ottawa] Arlan Meekhof
    31. Tossup [the Thumb, E Genesee] Mike Green, David Robertson
    32. Safe D [Saginaw, Mt. Morris] Roger Khan (TL)
    33. Safe R [Midland, Isabella, Gratiot, Mecosta, Oscela] John Moolenaar, Darwin Booher
    34. Tossup [Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Manistee] Geoff Hansen
    35. Safe R [Grand Traverse area] Howard Walker
    36. Lean D [NE Lower Peninsula, Bay] Open
    37. Safe R [N Lower Peninsula, E  Upper Peninsula] Open
    38. Tossup [Upper Peninsula excluding Mackinac, Chippewa] Tom Casperson

    Here is a summary of the ratings.

    Rating: SR/LR/TU/LD/SD
    Old....... 13 / 6 / 7 / 1 / 11
    New...... 13 / 2 / 8 / 2 / 13

    Some parts of the map are actually the same as what I drew. These areas are pretty much forced by the need to avoid breaks. Interestingly, five of the eight tossup districts would have no incumbent and another would pit two Republicans against each other. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

    In any case, this map is not likely to be adopted.

    Previous articles on Michigan redistricting:
    Michigan Congressional Redistricting: Two Possible Maps
    Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible State Senate Maps
    Michigan Redistricting: State House Part I: Wayne County
    Michigan Redistricting: State House Part II: Oakland and Genesee
    Michigan Redistricting: State House Part III: Macomb and the Thumb
    Michigan Redistricting: State House Part IV: The Rest of the State

    < A Wednesday Divertere: President Obumbles | And from the OFF THE RADAR file >

    Share This: Digg! StumbleUpon del.icio.us reddit reddit

    Display: Sort:
    Again, a great report! (none / 0) (#1)
    by JGillman on Thu May 26, 2011 at 06:48:54 AM EST
    Thanks for the breakdown, and comparison!

    The summary tells the story quite well.

    Good breakdown. (none / 0) (#2)
    by KG One on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:01:47 AM EST
    I won't fault the Daily Kos citation. Going to the Daily Kos for advice about redistricting safe democrat districts is like asking Sarah Brady about gun control...that just what you do.

    Regarding the VRA, why not go straight to the source? Which, BTW, does not say ANYTHING about requiring black-majority districts.

    The VRA mainly focuses on denying the right to vote by the implementation of poll taxes, literacy tests, character/educational requirements or by threats or intimidation. There is nothing about requiring certain politicians be perpetually kept in office.

    One last thing, has anyone heard anything regarding when the new proposed maps will be available and/or what shapes they'll take?

    Just curious.

    Nevermind. (none / 0) (#3)
    by KG One on Sat May 28, 2011 at 11:34:17 AM EST
    There's a blurb about it in today's paper.

    I hope that this "leaked" map is some kind of feint.

    Instead of putting Clarke & Conyers head-to-head, they've created new districts (9,11 & 14) that just scream, "Hey look! I'm gerrymandered." Breaking that Eight Mile barrier isn't going to get very much support here either.

    2010 Michigan Congressional Map

    On that leaked map (none / 0) (#4)
    by Conservative First on Sun May 29, 2011 at 04:12:05 AM EST
    I'll hold off on a detailed analysis until there is an official proposal.  A few thoughts...

    This is definitely a solid 9-5 map.  The outstate region is pretty similar to what I drew in my incumbent protection map.

    Benishek gets Grand Traverse and surrounding areas.  Good.

    Huizinga appears to add Walker and Kentwood, which probably makes his district even more Republican than now.  Why not take some (all?) of Grand Rapids instead?

    Upton gets the rest of Allegan, as I also drew.

    Walberg loses all of Calhoun (not just Battle Creek) to Amash, making a Mark Schauer comeback all but impossible.

    Clinton and S Schiawasee move from Rogers to Camp.

    The boundaries in the Detroit area are pretty messy though.  I think I see what they are going for.  Keep two black-majority districts, chop Peters up into four pieces so he can't run in any of them, keep Dingell in his own district.  This gets tough since Peters, Levin, Conyers, and Dingell live so close together due to population loss.

    Dingell loses Monroe to Walberg, while taking Scio from him.  Dingell also gets back most of  downriver.

    The Levin/Peters district is actually dominated by Macomb, which would likely provide its next representative when Levin retires.  Oakland could easily end up with no members of Congress under this plan, at least until McCotter retires.

    LOL! VRA and racial gerrymandering (none / 0) (#5)
    by Corinthian Scales on Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 07:44:12 PM EST
    What's the odds today that my bud Denny would have a Cynthia Tucker, of the Atlanta Urinal & Constipation admitting failure in VRA racial gerrymandering posting.

    Yessiree, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer = RWPP*

    Brewer added that the map also follows the requirements of the Federal Voting Rights Act by creating six "majority-minority" districts, five of which would be based in Detroit and one in Oakland County due to the growth of the African-American community through southeast Michigan.

    Oh, and to lard ass Brewer, when playing your race hustling hyphenated American games...

    *Race Warlord Poverty Pimp

    Display: Sort:


    Make a new account

    Tweet along with RightMichigan by
    following us on Twitter HERE!


    When Mark Brewer says there are six counties split, is he...
    Incapable of counting to seven

    Votes: 2
    Results | Other Polls
    create account | faq | search