Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joke May Be on Ingram as Redistricting Looms

Rep. Keith Ingram (D-West Memphis) has proposed a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor and Land Commissioner. Those offices are 2 of the 3 state-wide positions held by Republicans.

The joke may well be on him. Redistricting data is coming online now and I can tell you that it is real bad news for Arkansas Democrats. The parts of the state where they are strong are dying. They are collapsing in on themselves. The areas of the state that are vibrant and growing are all Republican areas. The possible exception is Pulaski County which has managed decent growth because it is the seat of state government- one sure growth industry even in troubled times.

Many Republican state house districts had 38,000, or even over 40,000, persons in them. The districts that lost people were the most Democrat voting areas of the state. Many of them, perhaps even the majority, had only 25,000 voters or less. The average state house district will contain about 29,000 voters. Much of NWA and the conservative counties which surround Pulaski county will get 150%-175% of the representation that they now have. The south and the delta will lose seats- maybe even Ingram's seat. How ironic that a man who puts forth a partisan plan to eliminate the offices held by the opposing party seats in a chair that may be consolidated away.

Conservatives have a winning philosophy - let's leave aside for a minute the debate about whether the GOP will ever actually deliver what voters think they are getting when they vote for them. The old ways are an absolute disastrous failure. The communities who cling to them are dying. In order to change their fate, they first have to change what they believe.

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