Monday, April 25, 2011

2012 - Barbour is out

Haley Barbour is one of the individuals I was considering. Not anymore.

From the AP

ACKSON, Miss. – Republican Gov. Haley Barbour bowed out of presidential contention Monday with a surprise announcement just as the 2012 campaign was getting under way in earnest, 18 months before Election Day. The Mississippi governor said he lacked the necessary "absolute fire in the belly" to run

That could be good or bad. Good that the more well known retreads will be dividing up their votes and the darkhorse types have less votes dividing them up. Bad in the fact that Barbour is a very competent governor who can credibly rip the poor mismanagement of the current idiot-in-chief.

I won't be making any decision until at least after Mackinac Conference, but as of now, I'm looking more and more at Daniels, Johnson, and Pawlenty. Don't expect me to jump on the Trump bandwagon either. If I liked "celebrity politics", I'd support the current idiot there.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another bullshit commission/task force from Obama

One of my favorite sayings is "Talk is cheap." That goes double in politics. I don't care what most politicians say what they are going to do. I care about what they have done.

Obama's record on fiscal matters is horrific. He's now pulling the same stuff with gas prices. As the famous line from the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime goes - Same as it ever was.

Here's his classic method of operation.

1. Politician does a piss poor job on an issue for years.
2. Same politician talks a good game about needing to fix the piss poor job that he has done.
3. Same politician forms a commission or task force or other do nothing measure.
4. The press will buy into politician's task force/commission because that's a good story.
5. Nothing gets done to fix the piss poor job, but the politician can pat himself on the back and say he's doing something.
6. Repeat on other issues.

That's Obama's MO. Like the budget.
1. Obama talks a game in 2009 after signing record deficits.
2. Obama claims a new awakening in early 2010. It was bullshit then.
3. More cheap talk in June 2010
4. Obama talks about deficit again in October

What's happened since? He won't even accept the Paul Ryan budget, which frankly isn't good enough. Now he's spreading his bullshit from budgets to gas prices.

From the AP.

LOS ANGELES – President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Justice Department will try to "root out" cases of fraud or manipulation in oil markets, even as Attorney General Eric Holder suggested a variety of legal reasons may be behind gasoline's surge to $4 a gallon.

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said at a town-hall style meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno, Nev.

And we have this gem from the story.

There's not much Obama can do to affect the price of gasoline in short term, something he acknowledged in his remarks. Gas prices have risen steadily as a result of tensions in the Middle East and northern Africa and rising demand from China and other emerging economies.

Given that no evidence has yet surfaced of actual fraud or price manipulation in oil markets, Obama's remarks appeared, at least in part, as more of an attempt to assuage public anger over rising gas prices.

So this whole thing is a crock. There's admittedly no evidence except a politician running his mouth. This isn't new. Speculators. Unrest. Increased demand. Supply artificially stopped thanks to big government in some areas. That's how it was in the past, is now, and will always be unless things change.

This is a long term problem years in the making. Obama has a long piss poor record on this. Unlike some, I'm not giving him a free pass for his record as a senator. For the last six years, he could have helped on this. Not only didn't he help, he LIKES high gas prices. It's easier for the Chicago Machine to support social engineering to move people to the city and increase their revenue and their power. Screw global warming. Screw a perceived and unreal threat to polar bears and/or caribou. It's time to put America first and start thinking of energy as a national security and economic issue. That means we need to take advantage of what we have. We need an all of the above America first energy policy and that includes both fossil fuels and non fossil fuels.

Talk is cheap, and when it comes from Obama, it's worth about as much as Bill Clinton's promises.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

County Redistricting

Today was the 2nd meeting of the redistricting process in Livingston County. While there's a lot of hype about redistricting at the state level, the process at county level is largely ignored, but just as important. The redistricting process for county commission districts goes on every ten years much like the state rep/congressional redistricting process.

The process at county level is different. Commissioners do not redistrict their own seats here. The redistricting committee is made up of the County Prosecutor, Clerk, and Treasurer, as well as the GOP and Democrat Party Chairs of the county. In Livingston County, the committee is David Morse, Margaret Dunleavy, Dianne Hardy, Lana Theis, and Jordan Genso. What makes this different than a normal partisan redistricting is that in addition to party chairs, the other committee members have to work with the commissioners in a business setting.

It's early to tell which maps are gaining momentum. Right now there's three nonpartisan maps, three democrat maps, and a republican map currently in the works that I haven't see yet. The guidelines are actually broad for county level in a legal sense. There's a 11.9% variation allowed in the districts. The other requirement is that the maps aren't redrawn for clear partisan advantage. Those are based from a court case, I believe involving Clinton County. I have to look that up in more detail.

Whatever happens, I expect the democrats to make a bigtime snit if one of their maps (which I think is a big gerrymander) is not adopted. There's a set up attempt, at least for a PR standpoint going on here. I was told that at the first meeting, that the democrats filmed this on cell-phone camera. Well, the camera was back today. It didn't catch anything shady outside of influencing Genso who IMO was playing for that camera a bit. What I found more interesting is the nitpicking with the minutes. Part of it was minor and no big deal. The other part was pushing something misleading. Genso wanted the minutes to state that his map only split three townships. That part is true. However, it split Hamburg three ways, and Genoa four ways - but those don't count as splits in his mind. He didn't want that in. The committee let him have his way with the minutes, which I don't have a problem with. There's more important things to argue about.

By law, a split is a split is a split. The republicans are going to counter a map with five overall splits, but it will split a precinct, which Genso did not like very much. Precincts are supposed to be only split when "necessary", but the question is what is "necessary." If this map has five total breaks, is that the necessity, especially if it does a good job at reasonable shaped districts. I haven't seen this one yet, so I can't fully comment. The latest dem map has 8 splits. The nonpartisan maps have 7 (shaped most like current map), 11, and 5 splits. Splits aside, the shape of the districts is also a factor. Nonpartisan one keeps them fairly close together in area. Nonpartisan two and three spreads them out a bit, as do the democrat maps that I've seen so far. Right now, I don't know how the GOP map will be on the shapes of the districts.

There's going to be at least two more maps pushed. One more democrat map, and the GOP map. We'll know more next month about which map will be approved. I think it will be decided next month, but I can't guarantee it.

This is an interesting process. It's also important. Many state reps were formerly county commissioners. Bill Rogers got his start as a county commissioner in Genoa Township. Today's commissioner is tomorrow's state rep.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Primary Poll posted

I'll probably keep this poll up until the Ames straw poll. I'm sure some will run that aren't listed and some listed won't run. This is just a snapshot in time to see who the visitors here are supporting, and/or see where some of the unofficial organization is (Ie internet poll flooding.)

For the record, I'm still undecided.

2012 updates. Romney's in. Foxnews and SCGOP makes a put up or shut up move.

Two things from The Hill. First, Romney's in. I won't be voting for him. For one reason, he couldn't even beat McCain. That doesn't get to Romneycare or his anti-2nd Amendment views.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) filed the paperwork for a presidential exploratory committee Monday, making the long-anticipated first step toward a 2012 bid.

The timing of the announcement also provided him the opportunity to suck some air from the Democrats, who were using Tuesday’s anniversary of Massachusetts’ healthcare law to remind voters that Romney signed the bill into law.

Romney's conservative critics have heaped criticism on his healthcare plan for its similarities to the reform bill President Obama passed through Congress, a measure despised by the GOP primary base.

The other is this. If you want to be in Fox's debate, you better file your paperwork

Republicans who want to participate in the first presidential debate of the 2012 primary cycle will be forced to formally get into the race by the end of this month, Fox News is expected to announce this afternoon.

Fox News Channel, a co-sponsor of May 5's debate with the South Carolina GOP, is expected to outline criteria this afternoon that would, most importantly, force candidates to make a decision by the end of the month about whether to get in the race if they want to participate in the debate.

Fox is expected to outline six criteria for candidates, which are listed below. The candidates and prospective participants in the debate:

— Must register a presidential exploratory committee or have announced a formal campaign for president;
— Must file all necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC);
— Must file all necessary paperwork with the South Carolina Republican Party;
— Must have paid all federal and South Carolina filing fees;
— Must meet all U.S. Constitutional requirements; and
— Must have garnered at least an average of 1 percent in five national polls based on most recent polling leading up to April 29.

The criteria could mean a smaller crowd onstage than is so far expected for the debate, which will be held in Greenville, S.C.

I don't like the polling requirement because polls can change quickly, but the rest of it I have no problem with whatsoever. Put up or shut up. You're either in or your out. Right now there's a ton of "I'm thinking about its" so some pols can get their names in the paper without formal announcements.

I don't know if I'm going to watch it or not. I'm more interested in action, not words.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson visits Michigan

The 2012 rounds are being made. Gary Johnson was at MSU recently, and it wasn't his first trip to Michigan.

From the State News

Potential 2012 presidential hopeful Gary Johnson was at MSU on Thursday evening to share his views on key issues with students.

Johnson opened his discussion by recounting his experiences as a young entrepreneur in Albuquerque, N.M.

In the mid 1990s, Johnson approached the Republican Party of New Mexico for the state’s gubernatorial nomination and was told he had little to no chance of earning the nod. He went on to win both the Republican primary and the 1994 general election. He served until 2003.

In his talk, Johnson highlighted many of his political stances, including his belief that marijuana should be legalized and taxed.

He also spoke about reining in federal spending and balancing the federal budget, something lawmakers have yet to do for the current fiscal year.

“I’m advocating we balance the budget tomorrow,” he said. “That means reducing $1.6 trillion in government spending.”

Johnson said to reduce federal spending and eliminate the deficit, certain programs may need to be reexamined.

“You have to think some areas of the federal government should be eliminated entirely.” he said.

Following the speaking session, Johnson declined to make remarks regarding his political future, instead saying he plans to focus on potential solutions to issues affecting the U.S.

I first heard Gary Johnson speak last year at a Republican Liberty Caucus event last year. He's one of the likely candidates for 2012. I'm undecided, but "Governor Veto" is someone I'm considering right now along with Mitch Daniels, Hayley Barbour, and Tim Pawlenty. I've all but ruled out most of the rest of the names thrown out there for various reasons unless these four are out.

The main reason I haven't endorsed Johnson is that I have one big hangup, and that's his stance on abortion. The reason I haven't eliminated Johnson despite that is because on budget issues, he is that good. When GOP leaders are pushing for 2008 levels in spending, I'm saying that's not good enough. 2008 levels absolutely suck on the level of Darryl Rogers Lions, compared to Obama's budgets which suck on the level of the Matt Millen Lions. On budgets, Johnson's on the level of the 72 Dolphins. Right now, that is what we need.

I wish I could have made it out to MSU for his speech. I have one major question for him. It's one for all the candidates. Which types of judges would you support? If Johnson supports strict constitutionalist judges which would overturn Doe v Bolton, Planned Parenthood v Casey, and Roe v Wade, I could support him.

At worst, Johnson should definitely be in the debates. He will bring issues to the table that will give many Republicans headaches, but at the same time will give the nominee a test needed because Boss Obama and the Chicago Machine and their media allies will have billions behind his re-election campaign. Our candidates must be ready to street fight the celebrity in the White House.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Why does the War on Drugs bring out the worst in our reps?

I don't know Matt Lori. I know of him and know a lot of people who know him. By all accounts I've heard, he's a good guy, and normally conservative. However, this is a real bad idea, one that I'd frankly expect as a part of Obamacare. I don't know what it is about the War on (some) Drugs that brings out the worst in normally good people. I think it's usually due to police lobbies or in some cases, ex cops themselves. If there is one issue that brings out "big government conservatism" it is this. Liberals are also big government on this issue, but they are usually consistent on big government.

As I feel like I have to do every time I post a War on Drugs thread, I don't use them. Drugs, especially hard drugs like meth, are bad. I know this. We all know this. Everybody reading this who doesn't live under a rock knows someone who has been affected by drugs, or know someone who knows someone who has. They affect every corner of the US. They are illegal. They are still used all the time despite being illegal.We give up much of our freedoms, especially the fourth amendment, due to the War on Drugs. Yet, drugs are still used.

The latest is this. Matt Lori wants to require a prescription for some cold medications. Pseudoephedrine aka Sudafed or Actifed. From the Kalamazoo Gazette

State Rep. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, said he has begun work on a law that would make many over-the-counter cold and allergy medications available by prescription only.

It's a move other states have used to curtail methamphetamine manufacturing and the criminal activity associated with do-it-yourself "meth labs."

Lori, a former St. Joseph County sheriff, said he was prompted to seek the change because he is fed up with the massive cost to taxpayers methamphetamine has brought to Michigan.

So because some people make meth, I'm going to have to pay for a doctor's visit when my allergies kick up in the spring (still winter here in Michigan) and pay extra for Actifed that I can get for about $5. That or go to Indiana and Ohio. That's a waste of time, money, and takes away doctor time from those who really need it. I shouldn't have to go to the doctor, when I do about once every two years if that, for allergies. We talk about rising health care costs as an issue, and this is part of it. Too many regulations, like this.

Oh yeah, Indiana and Ohio. Kalamazoo County has a meth problem, much like much of the state. Kalamazoo County is about an hour or so from South Bend. That's in Indiana. I'm a little over an hour from Toledo here. Do you think the drug pushers are going to follow this law? They'll find away around it by going out of state or elsewhere. Besides this, how often do prescription drugs get abused? Vicotin. Oxycotton.

This is another overreach of big government, and the war on drugs is usually the culprit. We do not need this here. Making Actifed a controlled substance will not stop meth manufacturing, the same way criminalizing pot does not stop marijuana smoking.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dan's 10-4 GOP Redistricting Map part 3 of 3

This is part 3 of 3 in my attempt at a 10-4 GOP redistricting map. I'll fully admit that I'm testing APOL standards on district shapes and county breaks with this. Part one is here. They cover districts 1-5. Part two covers 6-9. Part three covers 10-14.

District 10 - Candice Miller will absolutely hate this map for good reason. She had a safe district. This one is a lot tougher and a swing district, but I think she's strong enough to win this without a huge battle, now that David Bonior's been gone for ten years. The current district is North Macomb and all of the thumb. It went 56.23% for Bush and 49.84% for McCain (won narrowly). The old 10th district went often GOP at top of the ticket, and Bonior (then pro-life) downticket. Bonior flipped on that issue as his price to get into dem leadership.
Dan's proposed 10th District

I split Macomb into east west. The bad news is Roseville, St Clair Shores, Clinton Twp, and Mt Clemens is now here. That's the price for an attempt on a 10-4 map. I removed Lapeer County, and replaced it with Tuscola. Northeast Macomb isn't as good as Northwest and it shows. The proposed district two party vote went 52.7% for the winner both times. This attempt at a 10-4 map is a 9-5-1 map if Miller steps down to run statewide. That's the gamble with splitting the blue sinks.

District 11 - McCotter's map is tough to work with without risking others. The current district is on borrowed time. I think McCotter's Livonia and Catholic Central High strength saves him. If he didn't have strong local strength, this district would have flipped. I really this current district for the next ten years though. It went 53.75% for Obama (34000 vote sink) at the top of the ticket and 51.97% for Bush (18000 vote spread). There's some big blue sinks here though in Westland, Wayne, Garden City, Van Buren, Part of Dearborn Heights, and Belleville. I removed all of them to either Dingell or Clarke except Redford which I had to keep due to space. I removed an automatic 12000-25000 vote sink. Redford's a big one and getting bigger, but I picked that poison instead of Westland because Glenn Anderson is a very strong democrat from there. Westland had to go, because Anderson would give McCotter a very difficult race. I had to give another blue sink in West Bloomfield. Thats a 5-9K vote sink, but still half of what he had before. I also gave him all of Waterford (swings) and the base areas Independence, Commerce, and Rose Twps from Oakland County from the Peters district. I also gave Salem Twp from Washtenaw County.

Dan's proposed 11th District

This one isn't easy, but Obama got 52.15% (16000 sink) of the two party vote and Bush 55.08% (37000 spread). It's much more friendly than the previous district.

District 12 - The current 12th, along with the 9th, I eliminated. It was Levin's Southeast Oakland/South Macomb district. The current 12th is a mix of Levin's district and Conyers West Detroit district, although it's more North/South. It's more like the old 14th district. It's a voting rights act district that is 56.5% black. The difference is that now with Detroit's population loss, it's likely that there will be two black districts, but this will be almost as much centered on the suburbs as Detroit.
Dan's proposed 12th District

The proposed 12th takes in Northern Detroit, Highland Park, The Grosse Pointes, and Harper Woods in Wayne County, along with the City of Southfield, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Royal Oak City and Township, and the rest of Southeast Oakland County and a small part of Madison Heights. I removed Dearborn and the downriver portions.

District 13 - This was Kilpatrick's district, and now Hansen Clarke's. It is still a Voting Rights Act district, although this one is 52.1% black and 8.8% Hispanic. I removed most of downriver here too outside of Ecorse, River Rouge, Melvindale, and Northern Lincoln Park.

Dan's Proposed 13th District

This district is kept within Wayne County. I thought about picking off Eastpointe and part of South Warren in Macomb, but while I'm stretching the APOL standards here, I didn't want to completely disregard them on everything. I also wanted to make sure Dingell's district got to Ann Arbor, which means I needed as much as I could get from Wayne County here. I added all of Dearborn Heights, Westland and Garden City (So Glenn Anderson wouldn't challenge McCotter), Inkster, Wayne, and Romulus.

District 14 - This is similar to the current 15th District for John Dingell. It is intended to give him as much of a blue sink as possible to protect McCotter and Walberg. The current 15th has most of Eastern Washtenaw County, Monroe, and Southern Wayne County.

Dan's Proposed 14th District

The main thing here is that I replaced Monroe County with Scio Township, almost all of Downriver, and the rest of Dearborn. It's more of a blue sink than the previous map.

These districts aren't perfect because I can't get things down to the exact number with the software. My worst discrepency on these is 3000 votes over and 2000 votes under. What I did figure out is that a 10-4 map is possible. I'm probably going to try for the best 9-5 I can do next and compare it with this and see if I think the best strategy for the GOP is to go 10-4 or 9-5. I'm not sure yet. It's a tough go because it's tough to expand some of these districts in any direction without danger due to either a strong candidate on the dem side (Barcia or Anderson), or a big blue sink (Bay, Saginaw, Westland, Pontiac, Kalamazoo).

The question for the GOP is whether it is worth the risk of a 10-4 map like this (and the court fight) or whether it is better to take the 9-5 and try and shore up McCotter, Benishek, and Walberg.

Dan's 10-4 GOP Redistricting Map part 2 of 3

This is part 2 of 3 in my attempt at a 10-4 GOP redistricting map. I'll fully admit that I'm testing APOL standards on district shapes and county breaks with this. Part one is here. They cover districts 1-5. Information on the current districts can be found at the sidebars. These will cover 6-9. Part three covers 10-14.

District 6 - The incumbent is Fred Upton and I think his current district is very dangerous (thought so then). The trouble is that making him safe after a certain point hurts Tim Walberg in the 7th. His current district covers Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Berrien, Cass, St Joseph, part of Allegan, and a very small part of Calhoun. It went 52.84% for Bush and 54.09% for Obama. Obama won this district by almost 10%. Add the fact that you have a Chicago influence there, a college town in Kalamazoo, Jon Stryker's gazillions, a sizable minority population by non-Detroit area Michigan standards, and Obama on the ticket in 2012 tailor made for a district like this, and it needs to be watched, regardless of Fred Upton's local strength (right flank issues with conservatives, strong crossvotes).

Dan's proposed 6th District

Under the proposed map, I gave him all of Allegan County. That can help or hurt Upton. It would hurt him in a primary, but would help in the general. Northern Allegan is some of the most Republican area of the state. I took away St Joe County for Walberg, and carved up Calhoun County. I tried to finesse this so we didn't have a Howard Wolpe situation like the 80's. I think Allegan County prevents this. I wanted to split the four blue sinks in Calhoun County. Albion, Battle Creek, Springfield, and Bedford Township. Upton gets Albion and Bedford Township. Walberg gets Battle Creek and Springfield. Everyone talks about Battle Creek, but little Albion packs about as big of punch as Battle Creek. It's smaller, but much more democrat by percentage. Under the new proposed map, it's still rough. Obama takes 54.29 of the 2 party vote. Bush 53.83% of the two party vote. It was a 32000 vote Obama deficit under the old plan, and 25000 vote deficit under the new plan. It's a little better, but downticket is stronger here than the 7th.

District 7 - This district changed hands several times. Incumbent Nick Smith won in 02. RINO Joe Schwarz won in 04. Tim Walberg (not Wahlberg)  beat RINO Schwarz in 06 and won a close race. Mark Schauer rode the Obama wave in 08, and lost to Walberg again in 2010. The current district is Eaton, Calhoun, Jackson, Hillsdale, Branch, Lenawee, and part of Washtenaw County. This district needed to expand, and it's picking poison. I could expand to Clinton and Barry County, screwing up the Detroit area districts (McCotter especially). I could take a blue sink in Ann Arbor or Kalamazoo sacrificing this district.  Even taking Clinton County would be risky for Walberg because of state workers. Walberg actually does well in some swing areas, and ran ahead of McCain. Lenawee County is a swing county and voted for Walberg just as it voted for Clinton and Obama. I tried to finesse this district too. The current district went 51.75% Obama and 54.26% Bush. The proposed district had 55.20% of the two party vote for Bush and 51.54% of the two party vote to Obama.
Dan's proposed district 7

I added St Joseph County. Good for Walberg. I also added Monroe County. That was my poison picked. I dropped Eaton, and part of Calhoun. Eaton is more Republican than Monroe County up and down the ticket usually, but they do not like Walberg. That's why it went to Camp or Amash. Walberg's style is better in at least part of Monroe County, although neither would have been my first choice. The other part I dropped was subtle. Scio and Salem Township in Washtenaw County. I dropped Salem to McCottr strictly for population concerns. Scio Township had to go to Dingell. Scio Township alone is a 3000-4000 democrat vote spread that doesn't even need to be in this district. I couldn't find a way to get Battle Creek and Springfield out of the district, but I did remove Albion and Bedford Township. Some of the more republican areas in Calhoun were gone too though. This isn't safe for Walberg, but it is slightly better than the old district, even with Monroe County.

District 8 - This map is much better than it looks for Congressman Mike. As I was running the 08 numbers to this in Genesee and Oakland, (Livingston went in last) I was thinking I was going to have to scrap this and start over. When it was done, I was thinking that this isn't that bad. The map LOOKS bad from a GOP standpoint, but it's actually more republican at the top of the ticket than the current district. The current district was 53.65% for Bush (29000 vote cushion) and 52.53% Obama (25000 vote deficit). The proposed district is 50.75% Obama (5500 deficit) and 56% Bush. The current district has all of Clinton, Ingham, and Livingston Counties, along with part of North Oakland and 1/2 of Shiawassee County.

Dan's Proposed 8th District

What looks bad with this map is two things. Taking in a lot of the area in Genesee County, with a couple of blue sinks there. The other one is Pontiac and Auburn Hills. Pontiac had to go somewhere. If it wasn't going to a VRA district, nor to a safe Peters/Levin district (likely under a 9-5 plan), somebody tough has to take it on the chin. I took out Clinton County for Camp, and Shiawassee County as a bridge for Kildee with the blue sink in NW Ingham County. The Genesee County portion came from Kildee, and Lapeer County from Miller.

When you look at vote spreads, Lansing, Lansing Twp, East Lansing, and Meridian Township combine at the top of the ticket for a 27000-45000 vote deficit. Pontiac combines for 13-17000. The Genesee County portion actually voted for Bush in 04. It was a 6000 vote deficit in 08. That's not much different than Mike's portion of Ingham County, where he overperforms the ticket. Lapeer County is an insurance policy, because I didn't want to take more of the republican part of Oakland from McCotter or the proposed open district.

District 9 - Peters (targetted). The current 9th will be carved up. It's a swing district that somehow for reasons beyond my understanding, put Royal Oak, West Bloomfield, and Pontiac in the same district. I understand West Bloomfield due to Knollenberg's strength there. Pontiac was trouble, but better than Southfield. Royal Oak though? Why wasn't that in Levins instead? Give more of Sterling Heights to Miller instead. The current 9th went 50.31% (5500 vote spread) for Bush and 55.86% (48,000 vote sink) for Obama. The proposed 9th had Obama with 52.64% of the two party vote with a 20,000 vote sink and 53.41% of the two party vote for Bush with a 24,000 vote spread.

Dan's Proposed 9th District

The trouble with a 10-4 attempt is picking which poison. I split South Macomb, giving the South Oakland parts to Conyers. I counted all of Madison Heights (some with 12th) and none of Fraser (most with the 10th) so the numbers are slightly off, but probably close. Macomb has five major blue sinks, and two light to moderate blue sinks. The major ones are Warren, Center Line, Roseville, Mt Clemens, and Eastpointe. Then there's Clinton Twp (moderate) and St Clair Shores (light blue). If Warren was here, Clinton Twp, Mt Clemens, and Roseville could not be. I didn't like putting Eastpointe here, but it was here or Miller's district, which was already the toughest for an incumbent outside of maybe Upton.

The proposed district has Warren and Center Line, Sterling Heights, Shelby Twp, Bruce, Armada, Ray, and Washington Twps in Macomb County, along with Rochester/Troy, Bloomfield Hills and Twp, Clawson, Birmingham, and Southfield Twp (Franklin/Bingham Farms) in Oakland County. Interesting, I just heard that Marty Knollenberg wants a district to run in. He's from Troy. He could give Peters a good run with this one. No Pontiac, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, or West Bloomfield. Warren and Eastpointe are tough, but nothing comes easy.

An attempt (by me) at a 10-4 GOP Redistricting Map (part 1 of 3)

I'm going to preface this with the following because the senate redistricting chair is my state senator. I didn't take this map to Joe Hune, nor did Joe run this by me. Joe never saw this map and has nothing to do with this map. This is strictly something I did.

The debate right now for the GOP is whether to play is "safe" with a 9-5 map or to go greedy and a 10-4. I'm undecided on what I think is best. Much of that has to do with the APOL standards regarding limiting the county and municipal breaks, as well as the shape of the district (they prefer squares to snakes). APOL applies to state districts, but there is question to what extend they apply to the federal districts. Part of the problem is that fed law trumps state law, and by fed law, there is no variation (one person max) among district population. That means there will be a lot more breaks. This map that I did stretchs APOL a bit. I took a few things in mind when I did this map. 2004 and 2008 numbers, voting rights act, strength of the candidates/likely candidates, and likelihood of us taking 10 of these seats, and avoiding what happened to Joe Knollenberg in 2008. I think this is a probable 10-4 map, and at worse 9-4-1 or 9-4-2 if someone retires. I used the Obama numbers as a near worse case scenario (McCain quitting the state, outorganized, wave election)

The tough part, from a GOP standpoint is what those who follow redistricting call the blue sinks. Democrat strongholds. In order to do a 9-4 map, I have to spread enough blue sinks around without it backfiring (as it did in Pennsylvania).

To save time, I didn't do 3rd party votes, so my percentages are off slightly. These are all approximations, since I can't do 1 vote difference with Dave's Redistricting software. Dave Gardow did a great job on this. I don't share his politics, but he has the best redistricting software I've seen out there.

District 1. Under the current district 1, Obama won it 49.99-48.11, and Bush won it 53.28-45.58. This one is a near 50/50 split as well. Obama won the two party vote 50.41-49.59 and Bush won it 55.34-44.66. It is currently held by Dr. Dan Benishek, who beat a strong opponent in Gary McDowell by 10 pts.

Dan's Proposed 1st District.

This district covers the entire UP. He also has in the lower peninsula Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, and Presque Isle.

Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Roscommon would be new to this district. Grand Traverse County is republican, although Traverse City is a light blue sink. Kalkaska is strongly Republican. Roscommon County is a swing county which voted for Bush, Obama, Camp, and Sheltrown. I removed rural Bay County, Arenac County, and Gladwin County, which are all swing to slightly democrat areas.

District 2. The current District 2 went 59.99%-39.05% Bush and 50.74-47.61% McCain. This one has the two party vote going 50.65% McCain and 59.16% Bush so it is slightly less Republican. Bill Huizenga is a 1st term rep who won easily in the current district. Here's the map he'd have under this scenario.

Dan's proposed 2nd District

The old district covers Benzie, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Wexford, a small part of Kent County, and part of Allegan County. Under this proposed map, Huizenga keeps Benzie, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa. He removes Allegan, Wexford, and the Kent County Portion. He adds Leelanau, and part of Isabella County. (Sherman, Broomfield, Deerfield, and Union Townships, along with Mt Pleasant.) I wanted the 2nd district to pick up a blue sink, and I didn't want Camp to get too many because I had to finess that district a bit.

District 3. This was a tough one to peg. It's Gerry Ford county, went big for Bush and Ehlers, but Grand Rapids itself's been going blue in a big way, and Obama and Granholm did extremely well in West Michigan. The current district is most of Kent County, and all of Barry and Ionia Counties. The current rep is first termer Justin Amash who won an upset in a primary (by a big margin) and did better than expected against the democrat considering the RINO's backing him. The old 3rd was 59.09-39.93% Bush and 49.49%-48.81% McCain. The proposed district is about the same with 50.19% of the two party vote going to McCain and 59.59% of the two party vote going Bush.

Dan's proposed 3rd District

I originally wanted to sneak this down to Battle Creek, but even testing APOL, I didn't expect that to fly. I kept Barry and Kent Counties, and gave up Ionia. I tried to avoid splitting the municipalities. I tried to carve up Eaton County instead. I did not want to give Walberg any of Eaton County because he runs poorly there with the state workers who loved Joe Schwarz. Amash probably wouldn't do a lot better there, but he doesn't have Delta or the Lansing portion. It stops at Grand Ledge. Charlotte is the other tough part. Both of those areas are still very winnable for Republicans (Even Delta Twp went for Bush twice, although leans more democrat than the rest of the county outside of the portion of Lansing)

District 4 - This is a mess. I think Congressman Dave Camp will be very less than impressed with this map. I would be too if I was him and really don't like it that much myself. The trouble with even his current district who takes from who? Camp's district seems to get what's left without it being too democrat. The current district has Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Roscommon, Osceola, Clare, Mecosta, Midland, Isabella, most of Saginaw County (outside urban Saginaw area), Gratiot, Montcalm, and 1/2 of Shiawassee County. The current district went 54.84%Bush and50.09% Obama. The proposed district has Obama with 50.23 and Bush with 55.88% of the 2-party vote. While the numbers are more favorable at the top of the ticket, I'm still nervous about this one.

Dan's proposed 4th district

The proposed district gives up Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Roscommon to Benishek. It gives up the Mt Pleasant area (Democrat, but he runs well there) to Huizenga. It takes Clinton from Rogers and gives up Shiawassee to Kildee. It also adds part of Eaton County. Most concerning to me is that it takes rural Bay County, Gladwin County, and Arenac County from Benishek. I couldn't risk Ogenaw, because then I set this up for Sheltrown. I couldn't give Bay City to Camp because of ex Congressman and state-senator Jim Barcia, a moderate who who is probably the best vote-getter among democrats in his area. Bay City had to stay with Kildee for that reason. Combining rural Bay and much of Saginaw County together is risky enough for a Barcia type to make a darkhorse run. The part of Eaton I gave to Camp was to protect Walberg. It leans democrat without some of the other rural areas, but most years, not overwhelmingly so outside of the small Lansing portion.

District 5 - This is a blue sink district currently held by Dale Kildee. It has all of Genesee County, along with Tuscola County, and the Bay City and Saginaw City areas. I kept a lot of it the same, but carved up Genessee County outside the Flint area, gave Shiawassee County as a bridge, and snuck down and took Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Township from Rogers. Williamstown Township was the bridge, and I am going to hear about that one. This district tests the APOL standards more than any other one. In order to get a 10-4 Map I'm somewhat less uncomfortable with, I had to do this.

Dan's proposed 5th District

I decided to have Rogers risk part of Genesee and rural Ingham instead of Lansing, East Lansing, and Meridian Township. He runs well there, but not so well that he couldn't be at risk. When you look at vote spreads, Lansing, Lansing Twp, East Lansing, and Meridian Township combine at the top of the ticket for a 27000-45000 vote deficit. Pontiac, my other option for Kildee combines for 13-17000. While Mike Rogers usually runs close in Ingham County overall, that's a 60% county at the top of the ticket. I had to move Kildee's district somewhere to pick up the population he needed, and the more blue areas to him the better for the rest of the GOP. I removed the swing areas and some light blue areas from(outside Flushing because of John Gleason if Kildee retires), and kept the stronger democrat areas (Clio and the Cherrys, Burton, Mt Morris) in his district. I removed Tuscola County as well.

I'm splitting this up in parts 1-3.