The proof is in the pudding. DTL-Minnesota’s redistricting map for the state legislature is the DFL’s dream scenario. According to this article, 42 incumbents would be out of a job if the State Supreme Court accepted the map drawn by Organizing for America alum Linden Wieswerda. Here’s the insanity of Mr. Wieswerda’s redistricting map:
Forty-two Minnesota legislators, more than one in five incumbents, would lose their seats or be forced to move under a plan to redraw the state’s political boundaries that a bipartisan citizens’ commission will submit to the state’s five-judge redistricting panel today.
The plan drafted by a “Draw the Line Minnesota” commission would pair 84 of the 201 House and Senate members against other incumbents in the same districts next year.
Alida Messinger, the prolific spender on DFL causes and candidates, not to mention Gov. Dayton’s first ex-wife, has said that she’ll spend another chunk of her fortune to give her ex-husband a DFL legislature to work with. What better scenario could Messinger and the DFL hope for than 3 dozen open seats in the House and Senate?
An experienced political pro like Messinger knows that it’s infinitely more difficult running against a trusted incumbent than against an unknown challenger in an open seat. Because incumbents are, more or less, known quantities, it’s difficult to successfully wage a smear campaign against the incumbents.
It’s another story running smear campaigns against unknown challengers. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the smear campaign between Carol Lewis and King Banaian. Here’s what the DFL’s racist mailing said about Rep. Banaian:
FRONT: King Banaian: More Interested in Egypt and Macedonia than St. Cloud
BACK: St. Cloud needs a leader, not a King.
King Banaian certainly has a resume- jetting across the globe to consult the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine and Indonesia.
But what does all his travel tell him about the needs of families here in St. Cloud?
Banaian supports cuts to public schools as well as cuts in state aid to St. Cloud- His cuts could risk our children’s future and place basic services like police and fire protection at risk.
Banaian’s agenda is wrong for our families…And too extreme for St. Cloud.
There isn’t a single truthful statement amongst those accusations. It’s difficult to picture a college professor being anti-education. That’s what this disgusting mailer is insinuating.
What’s more is that the DFL is suggesting, ever so subtly, is that ‘King isn’t like us.’ King is an unusual name, to be sure. That’s because it’s reflective of King’s Armenian heritage. It turns out King is a family name. As for his “jetting across the globe to consult the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine and Indonesia”, what that says is that he’s a widely respected scholar and economist.
What’s the downside of having a widely respected economist in the legislature?
This is just one example of what Alida Messinger has in mind for the open seats this map would create.
This paragraph needs to be addressed:
A few conservative bloggers have questioned whether the commission is unbiased because some organizations in the sponsoring coalition have liberal ties. But Kaiser, a Republican and Northwestern College communications professor, said that while conservatives are likely to object to the group’s map, “our principles are nonpartisan.”
As one of those “conservative bloggers”, I can state categorically that Mr. Salisbury is either ill-informed or he’s taking the opportunity to deliver a cheapshot at conservative bloggers.
Here’s the reality: I have, along with bloggers like Mitch Berg, highlighted the fact that there’s a significant difference between the Citizens Commission and DTL-Minnesota’s “partners.” I’ve met Professor Kaiser. He’s a man of integrity. That’s what led him to publish a letter calling for the special redistricting panel to reject DTL-Minnesota’s redistricting map.
Yesterday, during his interview on former Sen. Rod Grams’ radio program, Kaiser stated that the map passed by the legislature and vetoed by Gov. Dayton does a better job of reflecting the Citizens Commission’s principles than the map submitted in the name of the Citizens Commission.
It’s vitally important to draw a distinction between the Citizens Commission and corrupt political operatives like Common Cause MN’s Mike Dean, Organizing for America and TakeAction Minnesota. It’s a night and day difference.
The state Supreme Court should reject DTL-Minnesota’s redistricting map without giving it serious consideration. It’s the work of political hatchetmen. The Minnesota Supreme Court should accept the legislature’s redistricting map because, in the words of the Citizens Commission’s vice-chair, the legislature’s map reflects the principles of the Citizens Commission.