November 08, 2018

Filthy "Clean Missouri" to Steal Districts from Republicans

Timothy Birdnow

One of the bitter disappointments in Tuesday's elections was a Missouri constitutional amendment that drastically altered redistricting. While innocuously named "Clean Missouri" it was basically a backdoor trick by the Democrats to steal control of Congressional districts by gerrymandering.

The Riverfront Times gives us a few details:

"Clean Missouri's Amendment 1 is designed to be a bundle of reforms, simultaneously setting a $5 limit on meals and other lobbyist gifts to legislators, extending the waiting period for lawmakers to become lobbyists to two years from six months and opening legislators' emails to public records requests.

But redistricting is the heart— and most controversial part — of the package.

The plan calls for appointing a state demographer pulled from a list nominated by the state auditor to draw new maps for House and Senate districts, prioritizing fairness and competitiveness.

End excerpt.

See, they bundled some reasonable restrictions against graft and corruption with this political shell game. Most Missourians likely did not understand what the amendment was intended to do; they saw the name and read the anti-corruption clauses and so voted for it. But it is not about stopping corruption so much as stealing power from the Republicans, who are reaching the point of turning Missouri from a purple into a solidly blue state.

RINO Republican weasel and former Senator John Danforth supported the amendment.

The RFT, a left-wing publication in St. Louis, gives us the scoop on the problem with this:

"Some Republicans saw it as a backdoor way for Democrats to erode their power. The Missouri Farm Bureau described it as a "lemon of a deal" that would siphon influence away from rural areas, while a number of African-American lawmakers in urban areas similarly warned it would dilute majority black districts.

"I think it would disperse African-Americans into numerous districts and dilute their power and strength,” U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) told St. Louis Public Radio in October.

End excerpt.

So, what did this do?

The current redistricting process in Missouri is simple; the governor appoints a bipartisan commission, based on representation in the legislature, which works up the new districts and judges step in in the event of a tied vote. This occurs every ten years following the U.S. census. The new scheme is that a "demographer", an unelected bureaucrat, will be appointed to control redistricting. He will be chosen from a list produced by the State Auditor. These will not be politicians, but "nonpartisan" demographers (three will be chosen) who will then act "independently".

"The demographer, selected for a 5-year term, will then be charged with drawing maps prioritizing fairness and competitiveness, using an index of an area's past votes in presidential, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races."

End excerpt.

Ah, ha!

What this means is the demographer will hold huge amounts of power and cannot be removed, and may well outlast the party that appointed him or her to office. And that demographer will create "balanced, competitive, and fair" districts, meaning they will gerrymander districts, guaranteeing representation to, say, minorities who would not normally be in this district. So what happens? Long, serpentine districts will stretch from inner city areas out deep into the bright red rural areas, diluting the voting power of country folks in favor of true, blue Democrats.

Democrats are underhanded, and they are great at worming their way into positions of authority in "nonpartisan" entities. Who are these "nonpartisan" people to be chosen? Likely political activists or well known individuals with ties to the political community. This will allow the Democrats to change the electoral map in their own favor while hiding behind the "nonpartisan" commission. In the end, it will be a bunch of activists doing the redistricting. How likely is it that the commissioners chosen will be drawn from anywhere else?

Does anybody remember the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule imposed by the Obama Administration? It was an order by Obama's HUD forcing areas receiving federal funds to rezone so as to allow low income housing to be constructed in wealthier neighborhoods. The purpose was simple; to dilute the power of the Republicans to redistrict. Obama's people reasoned that, if the GOP controlled redistricting - a perk granted by the Constitution to the winners of elections to better express the will of the People - then the Democrats could simply steal those districts by colonizing them with their own voters. Ben Carson's administration has since overturned the rule.

But this is exactly what Clean Missouri does; it allows the Democrats to steal redistricting from the Republicans by colonizing their own voters in Republican districts. It is nothing but an enormous con.

Also, be it noted that the current Auditor for Missouri is a Democrat, and our unlamented ex-Senator Claire McCaskill launched her national career as Missouri Auditor. The auditor is elected in off-year elections, not during the general election, so voters will less likely to be able to influence the selection of the redistricting commission. The current auditor is Nichole Galloway, who was appointed by democrat Jay Nixon when the former auditor committed suicide back in 2015.

There have been 25 Democrats to hold this office since 1833 while only 10 Republicans. Six Democrats have held the job since 1975 while only 3 Republicans have held the post.

The Democrats know they have a much better chance of controlling redistricting if the auditor controls who decides on redistricting than if the Governor and legislature have the final say. They know they have a much better chance of controlling this post.

This was a dirty underhanded trick, but sadly the citizens of Missouri fell for it. Now the Democrats may be able to move back into contention in Missouri, where they had been imploding for years.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:13 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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