Archive for the ‘Oakland County Executive’ Category

2011 Michigan Redistricting: Gerrymanderliscious

June 22, 2011

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, but I figured this topic is important enough to warrant a return to the blogging world (even if it’s a brief return).  The Michigan Legislature recently released their maps for the 2011 redistricting.  For reference, here are links to the current boundaries:

Now, those were created by the 2001 Legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, and signed into law under Republican Governor John Engler.

They’re not bad, and look pretty good.  This year, it seems as if the Republican members of the Legislature have gotten a little more ambitious, and a little more creative.  So let’s take a look at what they’ve proposed.  Here are links to PDFs of all 3 maps, and I’ve copied the images below, where I’ll analyze them:

This first map is the proposed Congressional districts:

And here’s a zoomed in image of the Metro-Detroit area:

I’ll admit – I cringed when I saw the 14th district, and the 11th district isn’t exactly pretty either.  They’ve got some awkward separations, like putting Farmington Hills in the 14th, but keeping Farmington in the 11th; putting Bloomfield Hills in the 11th, while placing Bloomfield Township in the 9th; Southfield Township is placed in the 9th, while Southfield City ends up in the 14th; Clawson is split up; and Rochester Hills is split up.

In an attempt to squeeze Democratic Congressmen Sander Levin and Gary Peters into the same district and force a primary between the two, saving the Republicans from losing a seat, the map has turned into something I like to call gerrymanderliscious.

But it gets even more creative as we move on to the Michigan Senate map:

And again, a zoomed in view of the Metro-Detroit area:

For the most part, this one isn’t too bad until you get to the Metro-Detroit area. District 1 is incredibly awkward, as is District 6. But the really weird ones are 14 and 25.  You can’t see it on my uploaded images, but if you view the original map at 100% zoom, you can see that Springfield Township and Waterford Township just barely overlap for the 14th to be contiguous.  As for the 25th district, I’m guessing they’ve just connected them along a strip of County Line Road, but I’m not positive.

So that brings us to the state House of Representatives:

And again, a zoomed in view of Metro-Detroit:

And a zoomed in view of Grand Rapids and the southwest corner of the state:

The House map isn’t too bad, other than more awkward county splits than I’m really comfortable with. The Grand Rapids area looks pretty decent, although 86 is a bit wacky. And Metro-Detroit looks pretty good with the exception of the 13th.

So, by far, my biggest complaints are with the Congressional map, but what was really sad was the Republicans claims that they had to draw the lines like that to abide by the Voting Rights Act, which mandates 2 majority minority districts for Michigan.  That’s just nonsense.  There are plenty of ways to draw the lines so that you have decent looking districts that obey the VRA.

Obviously Democrats Sander Levin and Gary Peters weren’t happy with the maps, but even Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is unhappy with the map, because as of the current proposal, Oakland County, the second most populous county in Michigan, would be represented by people who all live outside of the county.

Now, gerrymandering can be a lot of fun; I enjoyed playing around and making this little beauty for Maryland:

Photobucket

But when it comes to ACTUALLY redistricting, our legislature shouldn’t be drawing crap like this for partisan gain. Doing so takes the focus off of the good things the Republicans have done in Michigan and tells voters, “We know you voted for us in 2010, but we don’t trust you for the next 10 years, so we’re gonna cheat to win.”

Am I advocating that the legislature adopts a plan where we have 14 districts and each one is competitive at a 50-50 level?  Absolutely not; that’d be ridiculous.  The GOP won in a landslide in 2010, so it’s expected that the maps will favor us, but there’s no need to mangle the maps the way they’ve done.  That’s just petty politics, and when the people of Michigan see that, it gives them a bad image of the party.

Detroit City Council Session Turns Crazy: Complete with Racism and Hymn Singing

March 9, 2009

Well, if people already didn’t think that Detroit City officials were wacky, this is sure to change their mind.  I heard about this driving home for spring break this weekend, and decided that I HAD to write something about this.

On Febraury 24th, the Detroit City Council voted against transferring Cobo Hall to the Detroit Regional Convention Authority.  Cobo hall is in need of expansion and repair (the roof leaked on some VERY expensive cars this past weekend at Autorama).  On March 4th, Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr. vetoed the council’s vote.  On Thursday, the council called an emergency session (president Monica Conyers called the session) to override the veto.  Well, that wasn’t legal, so nothing really got done there.  An injunction against that veto will most likely be submitted, probably today, and the Council is meeting again tonight.

Now, on to the fun part.  The first video I have for you is from WDIV (Channel 4-NBC).  This is Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins going off on how Detroit cannot give up Cobo Hall to the Regional Convention Authority (a group of 5 people – 1 from each of the counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, 1 person appointed by the mayor of Detroit, and 1 appointed by the Governor):

http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/18865456/index.html

Next we have the video of Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (and she’s joined by Councilwoman Martha Reeves), courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Here Collins defends what she said in the meeting and accuses Oakland County L. Brooks Patterson of being a racist, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Finally, here’s L. Brooks Patterson defending himself and sharing his views on the situation, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Now, this just goes to show how sad of a state the Detroit leadership is in.  Barbara Rose-Collins is pretty much the very definition of a racist idiot.  She claims that Brooks Patterson called her a monkey.  He never did that.  He said that “instead of making decisions about the zoo, they ought to be in the zoo.”  Collins and other racists on the Council took that to mean that he was calling them monkeys, and Collins refuses to work with Patterson today because he won’t apologize.  Well, he has nothing to apologize for in my opinion, because he did NOT call anybody a monkey.

If he had compared the councilmembers to monkeys, even I would demand an apology from him.  Do you know how heartless and mean of a thing to say that is?  If I were a monkey, I would have been devastated!  All joking aside, Brooks Patterson did nothing wrong – he simply stood up to the council and showed how ignorant they were.  But he’s white, and most of them are black, so that makes him a racist in their eyes.

I have one other factual error to correct.  Collins talks about his involvement as a lawyer defending bus bombers in Pontiac.  She claims that he defended NAG, who bombed school buses.  Well, that’s also untrue.  For more about that, see the Detroit News piece on that: http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=161.  I’ll go into quick detail – NAG was the National Action Group, and they opposed busing in Pontiac.  Well, the Ku Klux Klan bombed some school buses.  Patterson represented the head of NAG, Irene McCabe, but neither NAG nor McCabe were ever involved with the KKK bus bombings.  Collins here again twisted the facts to make Patterson look like a racist, but it is COLLINS who is the racist.

It’s not secret that I have great respect for L. Brooks.  Oakland County is one of the most successful counties in the nation, and it’s a county in one of the economically worst states.  Sure, his humor gets him into trouble, but it makes me laugh – I liked his jokes about Collins.

Anyway, I hope that Cockrel’s wish comes true, and Cobo is handed over to the Regional Convention Authority.  We’ve seen before that Detroit leadership ruins more things than it fixes, and I think Cockrel sees that here.  Hopefully his veto stands, and we can move on to fix and expand Cobo Hall.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: Add to diigo :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::


%d bloggers like this: