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April 28, 2011 07:34 PM UTC

Brophy: GOP Maps "Skewed To The RIght"

  • by: Colorado Pols

A must-read story in the Denver newspaper today from reporter Lynn Bartels on the recently-dissolved Joint Select Committee on Redistricting starts to ask the right questions about maneuverings on the GOP side, which ultimately resulted in the imposition of new, outside-drawn maps on the committee by House Speaker Frank McNulty. As we’ve recounted for you in some detail over the last couple of weeks, McNulty’s actions primarily had the effect of thwarting the efforts of GOP committee co-chair Dave Balmer, sidelining both Balmer and his maps, and throwing the committee into terminal confusion.

Today, Bartels quotes Republican committee member Sen. Greg Brophy claiming that Republicans started drawing a “fair map,” but “got nervous” when they heard about Democratic map proposals and came back with revised, more GOP-friendly boundaries. Brophy says that Republicans got wind that Democrats were “up to something,” and decided to come up with new maps that were very deliberately, Brophy’s words, “skewed to the right.”

Unfortunately, some details we would hope to see in this story are missing, like whether Brophy was talking about Balmer’s maps as the “fair map” they started with, or the first set of McNulty maps, which were replaced in the middle of the process with revised versions that committee members couldn’t adequately explain. We’re reticent to speculate on where these known details fit with Brophy’s new narrative, but we do have a theory on the source of Brophy’s paranoia.

Listen to this clip of Sen. Brophy from April 17th, the Sunday after the three parties exchanged their maps. Interviewing with blogger-turned-radio host Ross Kaminsky:

Can’t see the audio player? Click here.

You said the Democrats released their maps some 48 hours ago. That’s right. It was a little after noon on Friday. But the rest of the story is, there was actually a tell as to what it was they were going to do because Colorado Pols, you know the lefty bloggers who are bought and paid for by SEIU and Tim Gill, they actually gave us a little hint as to what was happening on Thursday or Wednesday of last week when they said, well, the congressional districts haven’t always looked the way they look now. It used to be that all of southern Colorado was one district and all of northern Colorado was one district. So that was a tell. The Democrat machine clearly said their plan to lefty bloggers…

We were forwarded this clip of audio soon after it was recorded, but we didn’t think much of it as it’s just silly. As readers of our blog know, we’ve been talking about redistricting, apparently in ways Republicans really dislike like “thinking big” in general terms, for weeks before any maps were exchanged. What’s more, Republicans started leaking actual proposed maps to the press before the committee exchanged their maps on April 15th. No embargoed information was released by this blog, Republican or Democrat, a minute before it was permitted. Everything posted prior to that moment was publicly available. And to be clear, we had all of them.

The thing we haven’t gotten yet is the check from Tim Gill or George Soros (it gets even better in the comments–Hugo Chavez?). As we’ve said repeatedly, we would take one!

But the bottom line: both Brophy’s excuses to Kaminsky, and to Bartels, are a joke.

So what really happened inside the Republican caucus that convinced McNulty he could neither trust Balmer to draw a map that sufficiently benefited the GOP, nor even stick with the first proposed maps that he himself submitted? Like we said, some of the details of Brophy’s latest story are ambiguous, but we surely did not disclose anything he didn’t already know.

It’s funny, too, because for all the weeping and gnashing of teeth over the Democratic “City Integrity” map proposals, nobody has really denied that they accomplish their stated objective, which is competitive districts. On the other hand, Sen. Greg Brophy is now on record admitting that at least some Republican map proposals are “skewed to the right!”

If the object of the game is to negotiate “from strength,” that was a very bad thing to admit.


28 thoughts on “Brophy: GOP Maps “Skewed To The RIght”

  1. They were considering anything less than 10 percentage points from 50-50 between D’s and R’s as competitive.

    This allowed them to call the Boulder/Grand Junction district competitive while it actually favors Dems. The large unaffiliated registration there tend to lean Dem fairly had. The same can be said of their CD3 (the southern district).

    So the Dems maps were skew3ed for Dems and GOP maps were skewed for Republicans. Whoever would have thought!!

    Now that that is out in the open, can we all please grow up and draw a balanced map?

    1. CD3 already pairs Grand junction with Aspen, hardly less disparate, and Dems have recently lost in two of those competitive districts Brophy claims are really designed to favor Dems, but never mind. My favorite part in the paper this morning was where Brophy says that Republicans started out drawing a fair map (honest, for realsies) until they “got wind” that Democrats were “up to something”. That’s got to be the most hilarious thing that’s been said about this whole redistricting circus yet.


        Aspen is on the west side of the mountains and Boulder on the east. You might also want to google geological survey maps.  GJ is the regional medical and shopping center for Pitkin County (Aspen). I can go to dinner in Aspen and be home before midnight – try driving from Boulder to GJ after dinner and getting home before 2 or 3 a.m.

        D’s need to get real; R’s need to stop letting McNulty jerk them around.  

        1. “CD-3 blue plate special” at La Marmotte restaurant in Telluride is Duck Confit.  Would you like me to save you a seat for happy hour?  (I’m buying.)

            1. Unfortunately, I just realized that I won’t be able to leave Pueblo as quickly as I wanted to today.  So Ellie — how about some green-chile smothered pork-and-avacado burrito’s at Jorge’s tonight?

              Best in the entire state, (no kidding), and still the matchless CD-3 ambiance . . .

              (If you’re more in the mood for something quick and really casual, but fantastic flavor, we could grab a couple of Passkey supers instead.)

        2. How many people go to Pueblo to shop or see the doctor?

          Look, I get it. People in Grand Junction have a visceral hatred for Boulder. We’re fake; you’re real. We can’t possibly have anything in common.

          We’ll elect folks like Polis, who could never get elected in GJ because he’s gay. And you’ll elect people like Tipton or some other wholly owned subsidiary of Encana.

          We’re definitely different communities of interest.  

          1. and I don’t care if he’s liberal (the entertainment value alone in Mesa County might be worth having him as a Congressman).  Personally, I don’t like him from my contacts and interaction with him earlier in his career.

            As for Boulder – I have no problem.  Like most voters in Western CO, I do feel more in tune with Pueblo.  It could be the connection is having worked within the 3 CD on political campaigns. Whose to say.

            As for Tipton – Salazar had been mostly MIA around the district for the last year or so.  Tipton campaigned hard and rode the wave; Salazar didn’t campaign. Period.    

            1. in the same district as Boulder. None. Especially now that I finally got around to visiting the area this winter. I didn’t see a hate for Boulder. Not sure where ajb is coming up with that conclusion. I just saw a region with very different interests that has nothing in common with a Front Range city.

              And while I’m advocating for a map that makes sense, it makes a hell of a lot more sense to put my mountain tourist town in CD2, along with the rest of the mountain tourist towns. A lot more sense than leaving us in CD4, where we have absolutely nothing in common with the Front Range cities like Loveland, Longmont or Fort Collins or the Eastern Plains. So I give Dems props for figuring that out and a big thumbs down to Dan Willis for not knowing the area well enough to realize the validity of moving us.  

              1. Yes, my response was over the top – that was intentional and to make a point.

                We all have things in common – more in common than not. What do most people do during the day? They go to work or school. What do they worry about? The health and welfare of their families. Kids? Their education and future.

                I grew up in farm country outside Chicago, went to college and grad school in California, and settled in Boulder. Most people are good wherever you go. This idea that people don’t share common interests is bullshit. At heart people want the same things. Politically, they just disagree on how to get there.

                I should point out that I’m not defending  the Dems’ redistricting maps. I just find the idea that Boulder and GJ can’t be represented by the same person to be ludicrous. I’m not sure where the chauvinism comes from, but it appears to reflect the worst stereotyping of the respective communities.

                Any Dem or Rep who could represent both communities well would probably be pretty special – and probably a step up from what either of us has now.

          2. If we were to district on the basis of, let’s say, “mistrust”, or “resentment”, either the northern or southern boundary of CD3 (depending on how it’s drawn) should be the Mesa/Delta county border. Believe me, the Western Slope from Kanna Creek (sp? — the Lands End road) south has no great familial affection for GJ. Perhaps it’s not as acidic as the general WS (and much of ES [sigh]) feeling toward Boulder, but it’s there.

            This whole “community of interest” thing is a little hard to pin down, isn’t it? That’s why, I believe, the primary objective of redistricting should be — after integrity of cities and counties — political competitiveness. Let the districts thrash out their major internal “community interest” in the Congressional elections.

        3. About the only destination dining/shopping I do is to Palisade (wine and peaches) and Cedaredge (cherries). Well, maybe Pueblo for green chile. Would consolidating my shopping travels be better accomodated by drawing them into my home district? As mouthwatering as the subsequent thread has become, I hardly think driving to and from dinner before sleepytime is sufficient “interest” to form a community. It is, however, good reason to carpool and appoint a designated driver.


  2. So we can conclude that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are on the side of the angels.  It is a highly political and partisan process.  Why should we be surprised when the actors simply perform in a partisan manner.

    As long as we have political parties and partisanship, we have to embrace those behaviors.  If we want to abolish partisanship, then we should abolish political parties and have everyone be unaffiliated as voters and only have a primary election process that narrows the field to 2 or 3 candidates for a general election run off.

    Maybe what the legislature should do is just send a couple of maps through the process and let the District Court take over.

    1. and notice I am no longer saying “if”…I think we should change the process to allow the reapportionment commission to also redistrict the congressional districts.

      That would take a constitutional amendment, so it requires a vote of teh poeple to do it. If it is a referendum, the legislature will have to vote to pass it by 2/3.

    1. Did you read the article?

      It covers a rather esoteric disagreement within academic economic study from I guy who studied with two opposing pillars of mid century economic academia, but turned away from academia to work in the real financial world.

      Scientism is a problem in economics (economics follows the same “rules” as the physical sciences) and one that Hayek recognized.  This is what Soros was agreeing with.

      Hayek’s take away from the failure of scientism was “government shouldn’t do anything, because they don’t know what they are doing”

      Soros’s take away from the failure of scientism was “Governments have to do something, Because NOBODY knows anything, and that ultimately breeds disastrous market failures.”

      1. “I recognize that the other side is half right in claiming that the government is wasteful and inefficient and ought to function better.”

        Ouch! That’s as close to a full blown apology as Soros could realistically give.

  3. Pols is a lefty blog? (They oughta try Square State). And how come I am not on SEIU and Tim Gil’s payroll? Jheeesh, you think your friends would let you in on a little payola now and then!

    1. Being on SS I really don’t need their largesse (but they insist). I’ll sign them over and send right away. They’re daily, so stock up on your deposit slips.

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