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September 9, 2019 9:52 AM   Subscribe

“Other files provide new details about Hofeller’s work for Republicans across the country. Hofeller collected data on the citizen voting-age population in North Carolina, Texas, and Arizona, among other states, as far back as 2011. Hofeller was part of a Republican effort to add a citizenship question to the census, which would have allowed political parties to obtain more precise citizenship data ahead of the 2020 redistricting cycle. State legislative lines could then have been drawn based on the number of citizen voters, which Hofeller believed would make it easier to pack Democrats and minorities into fewer districts, giving an advantage to Republicans.” The Secret Files of the Master of Modern Republican Gerrymandering (New Yorker)
posted by The Whelk (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dan Crenshaw jogging the length of the Crenshawmander to troll the libs by highlighting its tortured shape is indicative of how gerrymandering is practically an open point of pride for conservatives.

When it was still possible for Republicans to win national elections democratically, they frequently and readily told us that we're a democracy and that democracy is great. They destroyed two countries supposedly under that notion: bringing democracy to the middle east, remember? Then around 2010 the flip switched and seemingly overnight we become A Republic, Not A Democracy, Idiot. The electoral college and the senate were to keep the poor lil' rural states from a state of serfdom to the vile, degenerate coastal cities. Soil (meet Blood) becoming more worthy than voters.

They still give feeble lip service to "boy it sure stinks but Democrats do gerrymandering too so that means we gotta" but it's a matter of months before we get a Republican on TV straight up saying that gerrymandering's great because it takes power from Democrats. If it hasn't happened already.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:13 AM on September 9 [15 favorites]


As far as I can tell, there's nothing in the US constitution requiring that districts be geographically contiguous. I wonder why they're holding on to that clearly outdated idea.
posted by adamrice at 10:51 AM on September 9


Previously: How Stephanie Hofeller’s estrangement from her family may have altered American political history.. On the origin of the files, and how they helped influence the recent court battles over the US Census.

All of this is going to repeat itself in 2020 and 2021, only way more high tech. 2020 will have a major new effort from Republicans, and a smaller effort from Democrats, to control state legislatures with the explicit purpose of then being able to draw the electoral maps. Those maps will be drawn in 2021. And with the latest Supreme Court decision being that partisan gerrymandering is apparently A-OK, it's going to be very ugly.
posted by Nelson at 11:05 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


That's one hell of a report.

Imagine being such a piece of shit that this is what you make your life's work.
posted by Sublimity at 11:10 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


When it was still possible for Republicans to win national elections democratically, they frequently and readily told us that we're a democracy and that democracy is great. They destroyed two countries supposedly under that notion: bringing democracy to the middle east, remember? Then around 2010 the flip switched and seemingly overnight we become A Republic, Not A Democracy, Idiot.

The "republic not a democracy" thing is way older than that. Here's a mention of it in a book published in 1946:

Many conservatives still insist that it is only a republic, not a democracy. Democrats insist that it is a democracy, or a democratic republic.
posted by The Tensor at 12:36 PM on September 9


re: straight out and tell us:

I was canvassing for the ACLU on voter ID issues. A guy on the street told me he was fine with it because it was to keep Democrats out of power. He laughed like it was all a game. This was about a decade ago.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 2:11 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Republicans attorneys send legislative staff prohibited data (NC Policy Watch):
The law firm representing Republican legislative leaders in an ongoing partisan gerrymandering case may have just polluted the remedial mapmaking process by sending them partisan data prohibited from use.
Cheating comes naturally, they can't help themselves, etc.
posted by kingless at 2:29 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


The modern Republican party has a simple and singular driving philosophy: Win at any cost.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:41 PM on September 9


Those files went to more than one journalist. Here’s Michael Wines in the NYTimes:
“I can give you about .8 percent increase in SSVR within Austin only,” Mr. Hofeller wrote in an email, using an abbreviation that denotes residents with Spanish surnames. With a few keystrokes, Mr. Hofeller apparently was shuttling 30,000 mostly Hispanic residents from a Republican district west of Austin into a Democratic one.

“Every .8 helps at this point,” his fellow strategist, Mr. Oldham, replied.

The map the two men produced at about 7 a.m. the next morning was ungainly, Mr. Oldham wrote. But it did the job, sending fingers from three neighboring Republican districts deep into Austin and giving the party a lock on all but one of the House seats in heavily Democratic Travis County.
posted by migurski at 2:53 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The "republic not a democracy" thing is way older than that. Here's a mention of it in a book published in 1946:

I saw a cite recently (probably flew by on Twitter) that "republic not a democracy" is an old dogwhistle for "state's rights," itself a better-known dogwhistle for all kinds of BS.
posted by rhizome at 4:04 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


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