"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale and former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson, as well as other prominent Minnesota politicians have proposed the creation of a non-partisan commission to be in charge of the 2010 redistricting of Minnesota's legislative districts. This, I am very much in favor of. Our present system of allowing our legislators the task of doing it themselves leads to partisanship and tactics designed to keep voters locked up for incumbents.

From the Pioneer press article.http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_7947646?nclick_check=1

Under current law, state legislators are empowered to draw their own lines - an action that can mean political life or death for them.

That creates an "inherent conflict of interest" for lawmakers, Carlson said. It's difficult for them to resist the temptation to protect their incumbency.

Legislators typically try to draw "safe" districts where they are almost assured re-election. As a result, most incumbents don't have to compete with strong challengers.

Only about one-third of Minnesota legislative districts are competitive, said Larry Jacobs, director of the U's center. In 2006, 84 percent of incumbent state senators and 89 percent of House incumbents were re-elected.

"Incumbents are increasingly able to pick their own voters," Mondale said. A lack of competition means less accountability to voters, more petty partisanship, exclusion of voters from campaigns and fewer incentives for citizens to vote.

I would like to see South Saint Paul redistricted. I was thinking about this issue just last week. All of our candidates from SD39 and HD39A are from S. St. Paul. And this goes back to past elections. I started looking into last years Legislative Bluebook at statistics for S. St. Paul. It is divided up in a bazaar fashion. HD39A, has one precinct in S. St. Paul which is represented by Rick Hansen. HD39B has two precincts and is represented by Joe Atkins. The remaining two precincts are in HD57A which is represented by Karla Bigham.

S. St. Paul is also represented by Senators Jim Metzen SD39 and Katie Sieben SD57.

It is very obvious that S. St. Paul is over represented. Five precincts are represented by five different legislators. Two senators and three representatives.

S. St. Paul has a population of 20,167 people. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFFacts?_event=Search&geo_id=04000US27&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US27&_street=&_county=south+saint+paul&_cityTown=south+saint+paul&_state=04000US27&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=040&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=ACS_2006_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=&show_2003_tab=&redirect=Y

W. St. Paul has 9 precincts and just one senator and representative. Rep. Hansen and Sen. Metzen.

W. St. Paul has a population of 19,405 people. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFFacts?_event=Search&geo_id=16000US2761492&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US27%7C16000US2761492&_street=&_county=west+saint+paul&_cityTown=west+saint+paul&_state=04000US27&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=160&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=DEC_2000_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry==

I was speaking with a W. St. Paul official last week and it was mentioned that during the last legislative session S. St. Paul received $2,000,000 in Local Government Aid money and W. St. Paul received only $900,000. This brings me to wonder if Senate President Jim Metzen has been playing favorites with his home town and neglecting the rest of his district. Also, What has Rep. Rick Hansen been doing for the people of the rest of his district? It appears to me, not much.

No comments: