All was quiet on the reapportionment front until very recently. The uptick in desperate Democrat smears over reapportionment, the biennial task of redrawing state legislative lines to reflect population changes, indicates the failed and flailing nature of the Democrats positioning. Between Morgan Carroll's crocodile tears and Wellington Webb's use of the race card, Democrats have resorted to over-the-top tactics to push back against the GOP, a clear indication that their efforts are not reaching the results they'd like otherwise.
When Democrats call Republicans racists and say they are smoking something illegal when drawing maps, it is obvious they've run out of other options to get their way.
Although unreported elsewhere, sources tell us that Reapportionment Commission member Rep. Matt Jones (D-Louisville) accused a Republican member of the Commission of having racist motives recently and was forced to apologize.
Is Dan Maes advising the Dems on messaging, or what?
It appears the entire slate of Democrats on the Commission have resorted to ad hominem attacks, rather than reasoned argument, to push their agenda.
The outright venom being spewed lately is completely unjustified. The Commission is balanced between five Democrats and five Republicans, with an Unaffiliated Chairman of the Commission, Mario Carrera, who was appointed by liberal Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender. Carrera has sometimes supported the Republican maps and sometimes supported the Democrat maps.
Yet you'd think the Commission was handing down a new version of Plessy v Ferguson based on the hysterics coming from the Democrats.
Democrats got what Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp (R-Littleton) said was a "transparently unfair" deal on the state Senate maps, which like the metro-area state House map also received the backing of Unaffiliated Chairman Mario Carrera. Here's Kopp's take on the state Senate map:
“The Senate districts drawn by the Reapportionment Commission are so obviously unfair, which should surprise no one, in that not one district was drawn by a Republican member,” said Kopp. “It is clear the Democrats have feigned outrage over the reasonably fair house maps while positioning themselves to bask in a 10 year majority in the State Senate.”
No racial attacks, no attempt to claim Democrats were high while drawing their map. Just a clear complaint about the partisan advantage such a map would hand to Democrats in the state Senate.
That's what happens when redrawing legislative and Congressional boundaries. Sometimes your side wins, sometimes your side loses. Of course we'd like to see conservatives gain the upper hand in every district, but we're also honest about political realities. Unless one side tries to do something crazy like put Boulder in the same district as Grand Junction, there is no reason to hyperventilate.
Overall, objective observers have seen reapportionment as being a virtual tie between Republicans and Democrats, with each side gaining an advantage in some maps, and losing out in others. Considering that as of June, Republicans had more than a 5% registration advantage over Democrats statewide, Democrats have made out plenty well from the reapportionment process. So well, in fact, that every state Senate map approved so far has been drawn by a Democrat.
Maybe it's because they've controlled both chambers of the Legislature and the Governor's Office for the last couple of years, but Democrats positioning seems to be very out of whack with political reality.
Lynn Bartels declared Republicans the clear winner in redistricting messaging. While Bartels may not declare Republicans the winner again on reapportionment messaging, based on the Democrats' public statements so far on reapportionment, we wouldn't be surprised to see her declare Democrats the clear loser.
If she does, Mayor Webb will probably call her ugly names too.