Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Daily Mapper

The Daily Mapper

Yeah, I know there's a lot going on: the possible shutdown, the caucus date fight, the impending invaion of Michele Bachmann, winning in Wisconsin... but one of my journalistic mantras is "if you can't find the story you want to read, write it." And I want to read All Map All The Time.

Swing State Project has Best. Analogy. Ever.:
The situation here reminds me of gym class in middle school. Our stereotypically sadistic teacher would ask us if we wanted to play, say, basketball - and we had to either accept the choice right there, or decide to risk taking door #2, with no chance of going back. The alternative could be dodgeball (yes!)... or it could be running laps. Faced with the possibility of doing suicide drills (that is to say, a much worse second map from the commission), Republicans and Democrats alike seem ready to play a little b-ball instead.
Some grumbling at the Cedar Rapids public hearing about the Johnson-Linn split. As I've noted, historically those two were split from just after statehood till the 1991 map. And from my own archives, December 2008: "The last time Black Hawk and Linn counties were in the same congressional district was back when we had two districts-—at statehood."

Civic Skinny has the first localized Polk County look:
The map carves out a new Senate district that House Democrat Janet Peterson could win pretty easily, if she wanted it. Republican Pete Cownie, who keeps his safe House seat, is hemmed in a bit because the newly redrawn senate district where he lives would be hard for him to win.

It’s notable that while statewide there are 13 new districts that would pit incumbents against one another — nine where Republicans would face one another, three with Democrat against Democrat and one where an incumbent Democrat would face an incumbent Republican — no Polk County House members would face one another. In that sense, all members of the entire Polk County House delegation are winners.
That's what population gain gets you.

On Radio Iowa, Grassley advises Grassley:
“Pat’s gotta’ make up his mind what he wants to do,” Grassley says. “I always advise people that if you would like to stay in politics, you oughta’ take on any challenges that come to you. You’ve gotta’ be the right person at the right time at the right place and if you leave politics, it’s a little harder to get back in.”

Under the proposed new legislative maps, Pat Grassley would be in the same district with Representative Annette Sweeney, a Republican from Alden. The elder Grassley says his grandson will make the choice that’s best for himself and his family. “He is pondering whether or not he ought to go into a primary but I believe that he’s determined to do it, based on his own judgment, not mine,” Grassley says. “I just give peripheral advice.”
At the Ottumwa legislative forum last weekend, the talking was mostly unofficial (what I call "beret off").
A crowd gathered around the map, and before and after the forum, the hottest topic seemed to be the change in Iowa’s political districts. During the forum itself, it never came up.

Instead, the four lawmakers — two Republicans and two Democrats — talked about the approaching end of the legislative session during the forum, hosted by the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ottumwa chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Sen. Sandra Greiner, R-Keota, said because of an unusual situation in Des Moines, there are some things the four speakers wouldn’t have control over.

“There isn’t one of us on this panel who is in the majority in their chamber,” she said.
Brief mention in Fayette of the two Dem Andrew Wenthe-Roger Thomas pair. And in Spencer, Senate Dem Jack Kibbie is down on his own chances.

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