Photo via Rep. Amy Stephens’ newsletter
Yesterday, as news outlets around the state are reporting, tensions over competing redistricting maps from three parties–Democrats led by Sen. Rollie Heath, Republicans on the Joint Select Committee led by Rep. Dave Balmer, and GOP Speaker Frank McNulty’s own proposed maps–boiled over. As the Colorado Independent’s Joseph Boven reports:
McNulty last week said that Shaffer was trying to use the redistricting committee to carve out a safe district so that Shaffer could win a seat in Congress.
Shaffer, though, said Democrats worked to make districts competitive and that McNulty has spent the session remaking bipartisan negotiation attempts into a circus of partisan gamesmanship.
“What we are seeing, whether it is in the case of the Joint Select Committee [on Redistricting] or on the Joint Budget Committee is that the Republican members don’t have authority to make decisions,” Shaffer said. “The only person who makes decisions is Frank McNulty-that is it. So these people are agents of Frank McNulty, and they do the very best they can. But as soon as they get a deal and take it back to the Speaker, Frank says ‘The deal is off. That doesn’t satisfy me.’
McNulty upon hearing about Shaffer’s accusations did anything but back away from his declaration Friday that Democrats were working in the best interests of Democrats.
“Pres. Brandon Shaffer was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It’s no wonder he’s upset,” McNulty said. “While Republicans produced maps that are fair with the district lines adjusted to account for population growth, the Democrat maps were drawn with personal political ambitions in mind; not the best interests of Colorado.”
So, we’re pleased to note a significant uptick in Republican-leaning commenters since the redistricting battle became front-and-center last week. We’re very much hoping, with everybody in attendance today, that we can get to the bottom of a question that’s been vexing us ever since McNulty first accused Senate President Brandon Shaffer of “carving out a safe district” to run for Congress last Friday.
How the hell is a 10-point GOP advantage district “carved out” for a Democrat?
We haven’t seen anything remotely close to a good answer for this, but we do see this “hand in the cookie jar” charge against Shaffer repeated over and over today. What’s it based on, folks? The actual maps drawn with a continuing GOP advantage in CD-4, or the simple fact that Shaffer was involved as a committee member? Because it’s funny, when we look at the proposed maps on the redistricting committee website, we don’t actually see any “Brandon Shaffer” maps. But we do see “McNulty Plan A,” “McNulty Plan B,” and “McNulty Plan C!”
And that reminds us of something really interesting we heard a few months ago about Rep. Mike Coffman’s long-term (and well-known) plans to challenge Sen. Mark Udall in 2014. Specifically, who’s first in line of succession to Coffman’s CD-6 seat, provided of course that Coffman’s district continues to include a certain Speaker of the House’s home in Highlands Ranch.
Now–would you like to compare those aspirations to “McNulty Plan A,” “McNulty Plan B,” or “McNulty Plan C,” gentle reader? Because it sure looks to us, using his own criteria, like McNulty’s hand could be in the proverbial “cookie jar” in a rather big way.
At the very least, it explains McNulty’s strange tantrum. In psychology, they call this “projection.”