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jerryking : gerrymandering   4

“Ratf**cked”: The Influence of Redistricting - The New Yorker
JUNE 27, 2016 ISSUE
How redistricting turned America from blue to red.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
books  gerrymandering  politics  political_partisanship  political_polarization 
march 2017 by jerryking
National Black Caucus of State Legislators: Preparing for the Age of Trump
Posted: December 4, 2016

As bad as that may look, however, don’t sleep on the NBCSL. With those numbers, none of the above eliminates the NBCSL’s truly massive importance as an august national body of black political power. Even if we can’t link to its website at the moment, it still manages to somehow connect and coordinate these 700 legislators, occasionally corralling crucial policy coordination on a wide range of issues when needed.

Black state legislators are like a first line of defense standing between national sanity and the global tempest that is Donald Trump, plus a fully decked GOP Congress. Need to change police-conduct standards? Call your local black state rep or senator because that’s in their wheelhouse. When Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan rolls out and trickles to states, black state officials will be key on oversight. And issues like education reform, charter schools and vouchers can’t really move without black state legislators’ eyes on them....."expressing frustration that the census woefully undercounts the national black population and that, unfortunately, many black constituents don’t help the situation by avoiding it. The significance of redistricting and racial gerrymandering cannot be underestimated: It plays a central role in structurally consolidating Republican political power to a gargantuan and potentially tyrannical degree."....New Jersey state Sen. Ron Rice (D-Newark), argued that’s why black elected officials must press aggressively for more collaboration among the state-, local- and federal-level groups, like NBCSL, the Congressional Black Caucus, the African American Mayors Association and the National Black Caucus of Locally Elected Officials. “This day and age, we can’t be playing around,” said Rice.

“We have to acknowledge the need to coordinate on a number of issues, like jobs, crime, education, and know what the other is doing,”
African-Americans  politicians  redistricting  constituencies  census  under-representation  undercounting  gerrymandering  organizational_capital  collaboration  coordination  policymakers  policymaking 
december 2016 by jerryking
Medicare Debate: How Obama, Paul Ryan Fooled Themselves -
June 02, 2011 | TIME | By Joe Klein.

Why, in a media atmosphere dominated by infotainers and telecharlatans, have our politicians suddenly gone all high-minded on us?

The answer is, they haven't. They just define "the public" differently than we do. Their public is smaller, and also plural. One of those mini-publics is their base: the diehards who show up for every primary and midterm election. Because of gerrymandering, those elections usually yield a crop of Congresspeople who reside on the left and right wings of their respective parties. And Congress itself constitutes a second, crucial public. If a President wants to get things done, he has to pay close attention to what the congressional members of his party want. And so Obama, who didn't even propose universal health care in 2008, finds himself enslaved by the desires of Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman. And John Boehner finds himself the servant of the Tea Party and hermetically sealed ideologues like Ryan. "It is a serious structural problem that has developed over the past 40 years," says William Galston of the Brookings Institution. "Both the electorate and the political parties are growing more polarized — but the parties have moved farther and faster to their respective sides of the spectrum than the public has." The result has been a series of public rebellions in reaction to ideological overreach by both parties.

There is a cure for this disease, but it's not high-minded. It is called politics, especially the sort of pragmatic politics Clinton practiced after he had his own hubristic, near-death, health care hallucination. It is an ugly process, involving compromise and small-time bribery for the public good — the slathering of pork on recalcitrant Representatives, the trimming of ideological sails.
Obama  Paul_Ryan  Bill_Clinton  Medicare  polarization  public_goods  gerrymandering  high-minded 
august 2012 by jerryking

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