Saturday, May 6, 2017
We do highways: why not adopt legislative districts, too?
Night before last, The Rachel Maddow Show featured video of New York Congressman John Faso assuring a constituent with a brain tumor he would not vote to cause her to lose her insurance cover.
Then he did vote to cause her to lose her insurance cover.
Last night, an adjoining district's congressman, Sean Patrick Maloney, offered- only partly in jest- to go over to Faso's district and answer questions Faso won't.
It got to be kind of humorous as Maloney went on about adopting the next-door district.
Of course, lots of voters in North Carolina wish they could be adopted by a different legislator that they one or two they've got.
See, the thing about gerrymandering is that it doesn't just help the party in power get and hold way more seats than they actually won in total votes.
Minority party voters get stacked in their own ghettos- sometimes literally. If you're a North Carolina Democrat and can win a seat in Raleigh, you're pretty much in for life unless you annoy Senate boss Phil Berger or his poodle, Speaker Tim Moore.
I know this is true.
I wrote District 37 Senator Jeff Jackson a year and a half ago, asking him to adopt me out of District 38. My District 38 senator, Joel Ford, is a doofus who wins by staggering margins and is dividing his time between backbenching in Raleigh and running for mayor of Charlotte.
Ford is a thin-skinned DINO. Jackson is also a Democrat, but he isn't endlessly trying to get votes based on how much Republicans like him. Republicans in Raleigh would saute Joel Ford in a wok and serve him on toast points if Phil Berger woke up one day and found he was having a bad facial stubble day. They think Ford is a complete tool, and not a useful one.
Ford's dismally offhand responsiveness to constituents would be terrible but for his House colleague, Rep. Beverly Earle. She's my state rep. I wrote her abut a bill in March.
Nearly seven weeks later, she hasn't even felt the need to acknowledge receiging it. She got 76% of the vote last fall: she doesn't have to pay her voters any mind.
I wrote Senate boss Berger, too, asking if he could run a line from my house the mile or so over to Senator Jackson's district back last year, when the US Court of Appeals tossed out my district's lines for being surgically drawn to stack minority voters in it, and Senator Jackson's, and give the rest of Mecklenburg's seats to Republicans.
Surely it is easy to do, I pointed out. You guys created a noncontiguous district joined only by an interstate overpass up the road from me. My congressional district has been notorious for over twenty years as the most-gerrymandered in history.
Berger didn't respond either.
But Senator Jackson answers my mail, and he doesn't hafta. I can't imagine Ford or Earle calling him up, wanting me back.