[Vision2020] Certainly No Thinking Person is Surprised . . .

Sunil Ramalingam sunilramalingam at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 24 07:29:50 PDT 2011

Well, Bouma has a point. I mean, agricultural, mining and timber interests are completely unrepresented in the legislature.

Let's see, he lost an election for what had been a Republican seat for years. The problem must be with the system, yeah, that's it.


From: thansen at moscow.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 03:55:27 -0700
To: v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm
CC: Vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Certainly No Thinking Person is Surprised . . .

Having been unaware of the reapportionment of District 6, I was unconcerned, however . . .
Having been informed by Saundra, and having read the following article in today's (June 24, 2011) Moscow-Pullman Daily News, I couldn't agree more with Saundra's sentiment.
It is my strong opinion that this gerrymandering of Idaho's 6th is nothing more than an attempt to convert to a permanent conservative legislative representation, ultimately denying a voice to Moscow's progressive community.
----------------------------------------Moscow-Pullman Daily News - DNews.comCounty residents discuss Moscow: Testimony calls for excluding city in District 6 reapportionment[author]Brandon Macz[/author] [org]Daily News Staff Writer[/org]
June 24, 2011Citing poor representation in the Legislature, a number of rural Latah County residents argued for the dissection of Moscow from their legislative district before Idaho's Citizen Commission for Reapportionment on Thursday.While the state has grown as a whole, 2010 U.S. Census data shows Latah County's population is no longer large enough to justify its retention of the entire 6th Legislative District.The commission is seeking to remap the state's 35 legislative districts to represent populations near about 44,000 each, and was at the University of Idaho on Thursday to hear public testimony. Census data shows Latah County's population at 37,244 with Moscow holding the lion's share at 23,800 or 63.9 percent of the county's total population.Rural Latah County residents at the public hearing said they felt Moscow's demographic draws more attention from local legislators who do not represent their political and social interests in Boise."There is a wide sense of disenfranchisement from people in District 6," said Paula Bauer, precinct chairwoman for Viola. "What Moscow wants, Moscow gets. There is a real strong sense that it's futile to fight against Moscow."Reapportionment Commissioner George Moses said he has heard similar proposals - separating urban and rural parts of counties into different districts - and was concerned by the inability of some counties to get along. Redistricting guidelines state the separation of counties in mapping legislative districts should be avoided whenever possible."It's with some disappointment that I hear Idahoans over and over coming to us and saying they can't get along with their neighbors," Moses said.Idaho Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, said he wanted to see Latah County remain whole in his district, and that there is nothing wrong with a community having political differences."I think it's important for Idahoans to have this sort of association," he said. "I don't think the job of an elected representative should necessarily be easy either."Gresham Bouma, a Republican who ran for the Idaho Senate against Schmidt last year, said as long as rural Latah County communities were lumped with Moscow, those residents representing mining, logging and agriculture, who are also typically more conservative, would never have a say in the Legislature."We just think about things very differently from each other," he said. "The county residents typically want to be left alone. So, if you see a large mass of them, you know it's for something they feel very strong about. We just want a voice."Bauer proposed separating outlying communities, such as Viola, Troy, Deary, Kendrick and Harvard, from Moscow and combining them into a district with Benewah County to the north. Moscow could be included in a district with Lewiston, she said, because they were more similar as higher-education cities."It groups our demographics together in a more homogenous way," Bauer said. "We will be able to get better representation."House Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston said his city and Moscow do not share a community of interest, either culturally or economically, and should not share a district in common. He said Lewiston is a port district, and is primarily supported through that, its paper mill and health care. Rusche also argued the University of Idaho is very different from Lewis-Clark State College, which he said caters more to alternative students seeking to improve professional and technical skills."It is my belief that these are two completely separate cultural and economic sectors," he said.Aligning with Moscow would also split Nez Perce County into two separate districts as it only needs an additional population of about 4,500 in its 7th Legislative District, Rusche argued.Reapportionment commissioner Evan Frasure told Rusche, who as minority leader was able to select one of the members on the commission, that he was the first of those specific legislators to speak at one of these hearings."I find that rather gutsy on your part," Frasure said.With the exclusion of Moscow from the rest of the county proposed by many, all who testified were in favor of adding Benewah County to their district. Benewah County's population, according to 2010 census data, is at 9,285, and would give Latah County the additional population needed for District 6.Benewah County GOP chairwoman Pam Kaynor said she was at Thursday's meeting representing the interests of her county commissioners, and the consensus was that only the northern portion of Latah County be included into its 2nd Legislative District. Benewah currently shares its district with Shoshone County, which she said was closely tied to her county in terms of being a community of interest. Kaynor said Benewah County would also like to add northern Kootenai County to its district.Frasure said the northern counties of the state were particularly difficult when considering redistricting."I've redrawn this area 15 times and I really haven't come up with anything to satisfy these (population) numbers either," he said.All who testified Thursday did agree that Idaho should retain its maximum 35 legislative districts. The state cannot have any more, but could reduce its number of districts as low as 30.The issue of reapportionment for Idaho's two congressional districts was only briefly mentioned by former Moscow councilor Linda Pall, who said she did not want to be placed in the 2nd Congressional District. The commission will need to find a way to move 58,000 Idaho residents out of District 1 and into District 2.Moses encouraged residents after the hearing to submit legislative and congressional map proposals using online software, Maptitude, found on the website of the Idaho Legislature.The commission consists of three Democrats and three Republicans, and it must approve legislative and congressional district maps by Sept. 4 with a simple majority vote."We are going to try to get a six-member vote," said commission chairman Allen Anderson, "so we are all on the same page when the plan is submitted."
------------------------------------------Seeya round town, Moscow.Tom HansenMoscow, Idaho
"The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change and the Realist adjusts his sails."
- Unknown

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