You heard the complaints Friday, with varying degrees of factuality, from both Republicans and Democrats about the other side’s proposed redistricting maps and the underlying strategies they reflect. The Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reported this weekend:
[House Speaker Frank] McNulty alleged that Democrats were trying to draw a map that Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, could use to beat freshman U,S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma.
Heath criticized McNulty for casting aspersions on his motives. Under Heath’s map, voters in Shaffer’s 4th congressional district would be 27 percent registered Democrats and 37 percent Republicans.
“If that’s carving out a district for someone, I’ll eat it,” Heath said.
Democrats, meanwhile, charged that the GOP plan would isolate Hispanic voters in one Denver district. [Pols emphasis]
While the geographic changes in the GOP maps are not big, they would move big blocks of voters from Denver’s close-in western or eastern suburbs into the heavily Democratic district in central Denver.
“What they’re attempting to do is pack Hispanics into one district,” said state Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, a member of the redistricting committee.
Much like Rep. Mike Coffman’s bogus allegation that Democrats had drawn maps that “take his home in Aurora out of the 6th Congressional District,” Speaker Frank McNulty’s inference that Democratic maps were somehow drawn to help Sen. Brandon Shaffer run for Congress are quite plainly ridiculous: last time we checked, a ten-point registration advantage for the GOP does not equal a district “carved out” for a Democrat. Similiarly, state Sen. Morgan Carroll tells the Colorado Independent she has no intention of running for Congress.
Republicans, on the other hand, have some pencil marks to rightly explain:
This is the area of the inner-ring West Side suburbs of Edgewater, Wheat Ridge, and Lakewood that Rep. Dave Balmer’s “Balmer 1” map would shave off from the competitive 7th Congressional District, and “pack” into solidly Democratic CD-1. According to the stats we were forwarded, this area breaks down as just over 41% Democratic, just about 35% independent, and a little over 23% Republican. In 2008, President Barack Obama received over 64% of the vote from this area, and in 2010, Sen. Michael Bennet garnered over 58%.
This is an area of Aurora proposed for “packing” in one of Speaker Frank McNulty’s maps. In exactly the same manner as Balmer’s map does on the West Side, this proposal shifts around 56,000 people into CD-1, nearly all the “adjustment” required to balance its population. In McNulty’s case, we’re talking about 56,000 people with a registration breakdown even more solidly Democratic than in Balmer’s proposal: almost 47% Democratic, over 33% independent, and not even 20% GOP. Obama got nearly 69% of the vote in this area, Bennet got 62%.
In both cases, it’s pretty easy to see why Republicans want these voters out of CD-7.
So folks, given that these principal complaints from Republicans–that Democrats had drawn Coffman’s house “out of his district,” or that Democratic districts were drawn to benefit specific future contenders–are readily shown false as you see above, how do you think Republicans are going to answer these much more straightforward charges of “packing” CD-1?
Perhaps the misinformation and hammed-up outrage is their attempt to not have to.