Sarah Palin defeated by Ranked Choice Voting!

Moments ago, The Alaska Board of Elections tabulated the winner of the special election to replace deceased Congressman Don Young (R).  The rankings after the initial vote 15 days ago:

1st Place Bertola (D)

2nd Place Palin (R)

3rd Place Begich (R)

In the ranked choice tabulation, Begich was eliminated and his 2nd choice votes divided among the two remaining. Bertola emerged victorious with 51% of the votes.

The people are running in the general election for the new term beginning in Jan. plus one other person who came out of the primary in a distant 4th.

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Dano’s 2022 predictions

It’s been a few years since I’ve done this so let’s give it a whirl:

Dems should have no problems with the top 5 statewide seats

US Senate – Bennet

Govenor – Polis

Sec of State – Griswold

Atty General – Weiser

Treasurer – Young

CD1 – Degette (D)

CD2 – Neguse (D)

CD3 – Boebert (R) – If I miss any of these, I hope it’s this one

CD4 – Buck (R)

CD5 – Lamborn (R)

CD6 – Crow (D)

CD7 – Petterson (D)

CD8 – Caraveo (D) – Only one that is not a given, I’m banking on the Libs pulling son GOP votes

State Senate:

SD1 – Pelton (R) (no Dem running)

SD3 – Hinrichsen (D) – now a swing district, but incumbency and minor R scandal should keep him in place

SD4 – Baisley (R) safe R seat, as are the next few

SD7 – Rich (R)

SD8 – Solomon (R)

SD9 – Lundeen (R)

SD11 – Exum (D) – pick-up for the D’s – this seat is very swing with a slight D lean. Hisey’s residential issues are just enough to tip the balance.

SD15 – Woodward (R) – most competitive district in the state, I’ll lean in favor of incumbency

SD20 – Cutter (D) – safe D (as are the next few)

SD22 – Danielson (D)

SD24 – Mullica (D)

SD25 – Winter (D) – this is a D pick up

SD27 – Sullivan (D) – a little competitive with a slight D lean

SD30 – Van Winkle (R) (the rest of the SDs are safe for the parties listed)

SD32 – Rodriguez (D)

SD34 – Gonzalez (D) – not even an R running (but there is an Approval Voting Party person)

SD35 – Pelton (R)

For House I’m only listing the interesting ones by name:

HD1-12 – solid Dem

HD13 – McCluskie (D) – Lean D district – Lib in race will drain off a few GOP

HD14-15 – solid Rep

HD16 – Donelson (R) – slight lean R, it’s the Springs so I’ll err on the side of the GOP

HD17 –  D is only one running

HD18 –  Snyder (D) – very slight D lean and open seat, only picking D because the incumbent is D

HD19 – Woog (R) – same as 18 but GOP instead of Dem

HD20-22 – safe R

HD23-24 – safe D

HD25 – Larson (R) – open seat with slight R lean, but enough – GOP pick-up

HD26 – Lukens (D) open seat but lean is a little more for Ds than 25 was for Rs

HD27 – safe D

HD28 – Emm (D) open seat with just enough lean for Ds to keep it

HD29-37 – safe D

HD38 – Ortiz (D) – kind of competitive, but incumbency has its advantages

HD39 – safe R

HD40-42 – Safe D

HD43-45 – safe R

HD46 – Mauro (D) – fairly strong D (but that’s fading)

HD47-48 – safe R

HD49-50 – safe D

HD51 – safe R

HD52-53 – safe D

HD54-56 – safe R

HD59 – McLachlan (D) – leans D, incumbency should take him rest of the way

HD60 – safe R

HD61 – Hamrick (D) – very competitive – I’m going with the slightly better name recognition

HD62 – safe D

HD63-65 – safe R

So, if I’m right that would be 1 D pick-up in the Senate and 1 GOP pick-up in the House. Neither is earth-shattering

Term Limits for SCOTUS Justices

I saw a headline today saying 2/3 of Americans are now in favor of term limits for Supreme Court Justices. I had to ponder that a bit to determine how I felt about it. I decided I might be in favor if the one term was sufficiently long enough to potentially span more than one presidential administration. 10-year terms should do the trick.

In theory, each party would then get roughly the same number of “bites at the apple” over an extended period, hopefully keeping the Court more centrally situated in ideology. Big sweeping changes like the recent overturn of the concept of an implied right to privacy would be less rare because the justices who would be tempted to implement such things would know it would be undone within the decade or so, hopefully dampening such desires.

Then we could all turn our focus back to such principles as case law and precedence. What a novel idea.

Of course, I am always willing to listen to the other side of the coin, if anyone would like to offer one.

We have a map!!!

They did it! They actually did it!

The Congressional Redistricting Commission managed to pass a map! And with 5 min to spare! The only way I know to link to a version where you can see the county lines was to post it to facebook and then link to it, so here you go:

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1724404077756623&set=pcb.1724404337756597

If you go to that posting, you will see a couple of zoom ins on the tighter areas.

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Congressional mapping in its last lap

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday), the Congressional Redistricting Commission will vote on a map out of about 30 variations on the same theme. They will be using ranked voting which might get them to a winner. A list of the maps which were presented to the Commission in time to be considered are here: List of Maps. The list is not linked to the maps (unfortunately) so you have to hunt for them a bit in the map gallery. I am not super fond of any them, but none of the are absolutely terrible either. As I said, they are mostly variations on the same theme.

Now that we have been through the process I have to say I am not very happy with the way it played out. I think the Commission shot themselves in the foot by carving out some lines in the sand they decided early on they would not cross. One of the big ones was to put CD8 in the northern suburbs of Denver. In some maps it reaches to and includes Greeley and others it stops just short. By doing this they force the population base for CD4 to be either Ft. Collins or Douglas County, neither of which fits CD4 as well as Greeley and the rest of Weld Co. do. They also decided early on that Pueblo had to be in CD3, cutting off yet another possible population source for CD4.

To me the logical place for CD8 was in Douglas County. Last time around, they split DougCo 3-ways and they were not happy about it. This time they might be split, they might not, depending on which map prevails, but either way they have to be at least part of the population base for CD4 because of the decision to put CD8 in largely Weld County, and many DougCo people testified to the Commission that is not where they belong.

There was a lot of talk of building a district with a larger Latinx voice, but that too was largely shoved aside in favor of other interests. One of my proposed maps had a district as high as 40% Latinx, higher than anything proposed by others. But it divided West Denver off to be included with the northern CD8 and they decided Denver was sacrosanct (despite the fact that at least part had to be cut off to balance population.)

I also do not like the way they treated map submissions from the public. They all went to a Map Analytic Committee for review. On the surface this committee was only supposed to check for if the maps complied with the Constitutional requirements, but it ended up being a gate-keeper committee. The Commission only discussed maps the Committee formally presented and they only presented one. There were many maps in there that met the Constitutional requirements that should have been put forth en mass to the Commission. Then the individual Commissioners could look them over and decide if they wanted to bring up any for discussion or formal presentation (making it qualified to be voted on).

In the unlikely event that I am still alive in 10 years, I really hope I get selected for this Commission (I didn’t qualify this time because I changed affiliation with the 5-year period).

Congressional Redistricting: how it ends

Caveat: I have only followed the Congressional Commission, so I have no idea how the Legislative Commission is doing.

I suspect the 3rd staff drawn map that will be revealed on Thursday (Sept. 23rd) will be THE map, and this is why:

If the Commission is unable to pass a map with 8 out of 12 votes, the 3rd Staff Map is then submitted to the Colo. Supreme Court for approval. There seems to be some fundamental divides in the Commission that I don’t know they will be able to get past to get to 8 votes. One biggie is what to do with CD3. They are pretty equally divided over having it be roughly the southern portion of the state from Utah to Kansas, or having it be the traditional configuration of the western most portion from Wyoming to New Mexico.

If they can get consensus on that issue, their other disagreements, largely about how to configure the new CD8, can probably be worked out. They do seem to have consensus that CD8 will be in Denver’s northern suburbs, just minor quibbles about which cities/towns to include and which not to.

The last big problem to solve is CD4 – they don’t want a population center because that would mean coming into the front range, but population-wise, that has to happen. None of the front-range communities feel like they are a good match for a rural/farming district like CD4 any longer. So in the end, someone is not going to be happy, because putting all of the Eastern Plains counties together, they are still only about 60% of a district, so 40% would still have to come from the front range. If the “southern CD3” map were adopted, then even more because fewer eastern counites would be in CD4.

CD’s 1 (Denver), 5 (Colo Springs), 6 (Aurora), and 7 (Jeffco plus) mostly draw themselves with only minor discussion over the suburbs that fill the gaps between them and how far west 7 will go. CD2’s borders are closely tied to CD8’s, solve one and the other is done also, the how far west CD2 goes is closely tied to the fate of CD3.

The next two weeks will be the ones to watch. The 3rd Staff Plan comes out on Thursday, and the Commission has to approve a map (or not) by the following Tuesday (Sept. 28th) for submission to the Supreme Court no later than Oct 1st.

Dick Lamm dead at 85

The former Governor has  died. Breaking news. More will follow I’m sure.

https://www.cpr.org/2021/07/30/former-colorado-governor-richard-dick-lamm-dies/

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