Friday, May 31, 2013

9-4 Michigan Congressional Map in 2020

Some folks have already begun discussing what will happen to Michigan in the 2020 redistricting cycle, so I'll weigh in as well.  If Michigan keeps 14 districts, an incumbent protection map is likely, with small shifts necessary to account for changes in population.  However, Michigan has lost at least one congressional district for each of the last several cycles, and will probably lose another next time.  Republicans currently have a 9-5 advantage in the congressional delegation.  Can they stretch it to 9-4?  Yes, as the following map shows.
I should note that I am assuming that the population trends that have affected Michigan over the previous decade will continue.  In the previous decade, Detroit lost 240,000 people.  I assumed that Wayne County will lose another 100,000 people.  According the census estimates, it has lost 28,000 in the last two years.  Hence I overpopulated the Detroit districts by 50,000 each, and underpopulated the Republican districts 10000-15000 each to compensate.  It is just barely possible to maintain two black majority districts with these numbers, which leaves little flexibility for how to draw them.
Many people have identified Sander Levin's 9th district as the most likely to be dismantled, and I agree.  I drew the two Detroit districts to pick up the most democrat parts of his district, with the rest going to two Republican districts.  The metro Detroit Republican districts have to change significantly to account for this.  John Dingell's Downriver/Ann Arbor district is mostly unchanged.
The key to the map, though, is the 5th district.  It currently contains Flint, Saginaw, and Bay County, along with some Republican and swing territory nearby.  There aren't any major dem areas adjacent to the district.  Packing it as efficiently as possible requires adding Lansing and East Lansing, with Shiawassee as a connector.  This moves the district 5% to the left, and allows Republican districts in metro Detroit to take a few democrat areas, including Royal Oak and Westland.
Michigan redistricting has followed the Apol standards for the past few decades.  Loosely speaking, they require minimizing county breaks.  This map does not, though it is close.  It may be possible to eliminate one or two breaks by shuffling around some territory in the West Michigan districts, depending on how exactly the populations end up.  It is important to remember that the Apol standards are a law that can be overridden by any other law, so they are really a strong tradition rather than an absolutely binding rule.
Here is the map.




Here are the district descriptions with McCain 2008 and 2006 GOP average data.
1: 48.4/54.9 (unchanged) The UP and Northern LP.  Adds a few counties for population.  This district is never safe, but it has been trending Republican in recent years.
2: 49.0/61.7 (moves about 1.5% left, which it can afford)  West Michigan.  Adds a chunk of Grand Rapids.
3: 50.2/62.4 (moves about 1.5% right) Kent, Calhoun.  Adds some of Eaton.
4: 48.5/57.9 (unchanged) Central Michigan. Not much changes.
5: 30.6/40.5 (3-5% left) Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Bay.  Pretty clean, too.
6: 45.5/56.1 (moves a hair right)  SW Michigan.  Adds Branch and Hillsdale.
7: 48.6/58.9 (about 1.5% right)  Livingston, Monroe, Lenawee, parts of Jackson, Ingham, Washtenaw.  Walberg and Rogers' bases are both here.
8: 48.3/60.2 (about 1% right) NW Wayne, W Oakland, S Genesee.  State senators Pat Colbeck or Dave Robertson would like this district.
9: 31.7/42.6 (not much change) Downriver and Ann Arbor.  Bet on someone named Dingell representing this.
10: 49.3/58.9 (about 1% left) N Macomb, St. Clair, the Grosse Pointes.  Loses the Thumb, adds the Grosse Pointes, Sterling Heights, and St. Clair Shores.  Safe for any Republican incumbent; could be vulnerable to a Macomb democrat if open.
11: 49.0/61.2 (a bit right) E Oakland and the Thumb.  Parts of the existing Miller, Rogers, and Bentivolio districts.
12: 18.9/28.4 (51.6 Black/50.2 Black VAP) E Detroit, S Macomb
13: 19.0/29.5 (52.6 Black/50.9 Black VAP) W Detroit, Pontiac, Farmington, Southfield, Romulus

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Immigration Plan

1. Secure the borders with a real fence like what Israel has.  Beef up the border patrol.  Use, drones, motion detectors, etc.
2. Establish a system to track entry and exit so we know who is the country.  Track whether foreign students, workers are where they are supposed to be.
3. Mandate E-verify.  Crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegals.
4. End all government benefits for illegals (including IDs).  No welfare for non-citizens.  Use E-verify to check.
5. 1-4 will cause most illegals to leave over time.  Deportation should focus on those with criminal records beyond  immigration violations and those who openly flaunt immigration laws.
6. No amnesty/legalization EVER for anyone who crossed the border illegally as an adult.
7. Reduce legal immigration.  Focus on entrepreneurs and those sectors with genuine shortages of workers (which can be identified by quickly increasing wages).
8. Require legal immigrants to be fluent in English and knowledgeable in basic civics, US history, etc.
9. End chain migration and the diversity visa.  End birthright citizenship.  Limit and reform refugee admissions (which are mostly fraudulent).
10. After 1-9 have been accomplished, then, and only then, should we allow a "path to citizenship" for illegals who were brought here as minors.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mark Totten for Attorney General?

Democrat Mark Totten is considering running against Attorney General Bill Schuette.

MSU law professor Mark Totten files paperwork for possible attorney general campaign

Totten previously spent $43.28 per vote to lose the 2010 democrat primary for state senate to Robert Jones.

Money On Fire Update!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Gary Peters' Corrupt Bargain

Democrat congressman Gary Peters has announced that he will run for Senate to fill the seat of retiring democrat Senator Carl Levin.

Peters was a state senator 1994-2002 and lost a close race for Attorney General in 2002 to Mike Cox.  He was lottery commissioner in the Granholm administration.  In 2008 he defeated Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg in a marginal district in a bad year for Republicans. In 2010, he narrowly survived against a flawed Republican challenger.

In 2012, Michigan lost a congressional district due to population loss.  Peters' district was dismantled, and he was placed in the same district as fellow democrat Sander Levin.  He chose instead to run against black democrat incumbent Hansen Clarke in the neighboring 14th district.

The 14th district is 57% black.  Due to population loss, it expanded into Oakland County, picking up black-majority Pontiac and Southfield and the white democrat areas of Farmington and West Bloomfield in between. The old version of the district was held by Hansen Clarke, a black democrat who had won a primary challenge against Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, the mother of disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Clarke was initially thought to be the favorite over Peters (and several minor candidates) due to geography and race.  But then a funny thing happened.  Peters got almost all the major endorsements in the race, including most of the black democrat establishment in Detroit.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters gains endorsements, adding Detroit muscle to his bid
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, council members Andre Spivey and James Tate and former councilwoman Sheila Cockrel, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, state Reps. Alberta Tinsley-Talabi and Thomas Stallworth, state Sen. Virgil smith and Wayne County Commissioner Burton Leland, all announced endorsements of Peters on Thursday.
Rep. Gary Peters wins Black Slate endorsement in Detroit
Peters has been racking up endorsements at an impressive clip, including those from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, several Detroit members of the state Legislature, the UAW, Michigan AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-Michigan Council 25 and several others.
Why would they endorse a white guy from Oakland County?  Many folks speculated at the time that Peters had made a deal with them.  After ousting Clarke, he would serve only one term before running for Senate or Governor.  That would leave the seat open for the establishment to fill.

Of course, Peters won the primary.  Shortly after the election, Peters made an interesting hire.

After serving time for bribe charge, Kandia Milton is hired by Congressman Gary Peters
The former chief of staff to Kwame Kilpatrick told a federal judge in 2010 that he took $20,000 in exchange for pushing through the sale of city property. He served 14 months in federal prison, was released about a year ago and started two years of supervised release.
Whatever else you might say about Peters, he isn't stupid.  Why else would he hire a convicted criminal unless he was paying off a political debt?

Now Peters is indeed vacating his seat after one term.

Peters chose to ally himself with the Detroit political establishment to stay in office.  The Michigan GOP should hammer him over this.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Republican Michigander on MI-6

Republican Michigander has a very nice profile of Michigan's 6th congressional district, complete with maps of the 2012, 2008, and 2004 presidential elections in the district.

Congressional District 6 - Updated (MI-06)

This is part of a series covering all of Michigan's congressional districts.

Republican Michigander (see sidebar at right)