As the debate about political redistricting moves from the political pages to the front page, we have in the Democrats’ outrageously cynical Congressional maps one such moment… the Brandon-Mander, when the rapacious ambition of one Senate President led to a political over-reach that is so outrageous and in-artful that it is destined to fail.
Brandon Shaffer has got chutzpah. Enormous, tremendous, prodigious chutzpah.
Senate President Brandon Shaffer's chutzpah has him lining up endorsements for his CD4 Congressional campaign already: the Democrats on the bipartisan redistricting commission seem to be full-throttle boosters for the Shaffer for Congress campaign, gerrymandering the district to neatly fit his house in CD4.
It's the worst kept secret in the Capitol that Shaffer is planning on challenging freshman Congressman Cory Gardner in the 4th Congressional District next year. He's already held townhall meetings in the district and now has had his buddies on the commission continue the next step in the campaign.
In fact, our sources tell us that Shaffer met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to discuss a challenge to conservative super-hero Cory Gardner mere weeks ago.
Brandon Shaffers' cozying up to the commission resulted in a sweet deal, henceforth dubbed the "Brandon-Mander." From the picture you can see the Dems proposed CD4 lines bob and weave through Boulder county, putting all of the population centers into CD2, except for Shaffer's hometown, Longmont. Go figure.
CD2 was gerrymandered last go-round to awkwardly include most of Boulder County, except for Longmont. Republicans have attempted to fix that gerrymander with their maps, while the Dems have gone all in to protect it, and thus ensure Brandon Shaffer has a home in CD4.
But overall the Dems aren't protecting their old maps. They are changing virtually every line in the state, and proposing particularly huge changes in CD2. Dems have even proposed moving Congressman Coffman's new home out of his own district.
But Brandon and his neighborhood block party? They stay in Cory Gardner's 4th Congressional district.
Of course politics will be involved in Congressional redistricting, it would be naive to think otherwise, but the Dem maps make no bones about it. They are a cold, hard political over-reach to benefit the future political ambitions of Democrats in the Legislature.
Democrats may say being in CD4 is what Longmont residents asked for, but they'd have trouble using that same analysis to explain why they broke up the Western Slope, Eastern Plains and El Paso County, all of which residents of those respective communities asked to be unified.
There is one answer, and one answer only, as to why Longmont is in CD-4: The Democrats have Brandon-Mandered the districts to make sure their legislative leader can run for Congress.
Sometimes there are transcendent moments in politics — defining events that leave an indelible image that can not be overturned or shaken.
As the debate about political redistricting moves from the political pages to the front page, we have in the Democrats outrageously cynical proposed Congressional maps one such moment… the Brandon-Mander, when the rapacious ambition of one Senate President led to a political over-reach that is so outrageous and in-artful that it is destined to fail.