Most Recent Post At The Bottom: Last post was Nov 18, 2013 -
The 2010 Census data arrived at the Alaska Redistricting Board on Tuesday, March 15. They met to set their redistricting agenda on March 16. Four were appointed by Republicans (the Governor has two picks, and one each from the Senate President and the House Leader) and the Supreme Court Justice chose the fifth.
Their job is to adjust Alaska's election districts so they have approximately equal populations. The ideal size, based on the census is 17,755 per district. How the district lines are drawn could have a huge impact on what political parties have power and whether minority populations are fairly represented. Alaska is one of 16 states being watched in this process by the Department of Justice as a result of earlier US Voting Rights Act violations against Alaska Natives.
The Board had 30 days (from March 15) to create a draft plan (Pre-plan period) and then 60 days to clean it up and present the final plan (Post-plan period.) They have planned an ambitious schedule of public hearings around the state. Democrats are concerned that the heavily Republican Board will draw lines that make it harder to elect Democrats.
The plan was pre-cleared for compliance with the Voting Rights Act, but the Alaska trial court found some of the districts unconstitutional and the Supreme Court sent the plan back to the board for revisions.
An Amended Proclamation plan was approved and as of today (April 7, 2012) the Board is getting ready to send it and a backup interim plan to the Department of Justice and back to the Alaska court.
Chronology of Past Posts
Tuesday, March 15, 2011:
The Iditarod Winner is in, Next Event Redistricting
Lists the Board members with pictures and gives background to what they need to do.
Wednesday March 16, 2011:
Alaska Redistricing: House Winners and Losers
This one takes the Census data with the numbers for all the districts for 2010 and adds in the names of the representatives, party affiliation, and location. There's also a state district map, and lists of the districts with the highest and lowest deviation from the ideal size of 17,755.
Redistricting Board Meets, Sets Travel Agenda and Ground Rules
My running notes of the Wednesday meeting. For those who need to know all the details. A long post.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Redistricting Board Won't Use "Protecting Incumbents" as Principle
This posts reviews the federally and state mandated criteria the board must use to make their decisions and their discussion and rejection of two others: "protecting incumbents" and "community of interest."
Friday, March 18, 2011
Anchorage, Wasilla, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, and Bethel: Redistricting Board Comes to You Next Week
Maps out the schedule of Pre-Plan public hearings the Board is going to hold and lists the locations of the Post-Plan hearings. (Dates of Post-Plan hearings weren't known at the time of the post.)
Redistricting Board Finally Gets Some Information Out - But Not Easy to Use
Looks at the Board's website and email notification of public hearings and realizes that this blog has more information out on this than the board does. That's not good.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
"Republicans must exploit this advantage without mercy." Can Redistricting Board Be Fair?
Reviews what happened at the board meeting for clues to whether this board can be fair. Includes some video of the board meeting so readers can get a feel for how they work together.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I Finally Figure it Out: Senate Redistricting Data Hidden, Not Missing
The House data was published, but what about the Senate? A little slow here, but finally figured that since each Senate district comprises of two House districts, the House numbers ARE the Senate numbers. Post has two charts:
Chart 1. shows Senate data with their related House district data.
Chart 2: Shows Senate data beginning with district most above the ideal size down to district most below the ideal size.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I live blogged the public hearings from noon to five (I had to leave before it ended at 7pm) so there are ten posts from the hearing room.
Anchorage Public Hearing Today - Harrison Suggests it C
Times of the Anchorage and Wasilla public hearings Wed and Thurs, plus Conclusion of Alaska Law Review article by Gordon Harrison, Executive Director of the last Alaska Redistricting Board.
- Not Much Happening at Redistricting Public Hearing
Pictures of empty LIO room before the meeting (it stayed relatively empty most of the time that I was there - until 5pm)
- Public Hearing - Redistricting Board - Live Blogging from Anchorage
Testimony from Ron Rivas (District 20), Bruce Schulte (District 28), Randy Ruedrich (Count Prisoners in home districts), Jennifer Johnson (District 20), Judy E (District 32), Hal Gazaway (Districts 32 and 17)
- Redistricting Board Member- Robert Brodie Video
- Redistricting Live Blogging continued
Laura Rheingold[I think it's Lora Reinbold]- District 32
Natalie Landreth - Staff attorney Native American Rights Fund.
Vicki Otte - President & CEO, ANCSA Regional Assoc.
- Redistricting Board - A Couple More Comments
Attorney Whte comments on Lambreth's comments
Heidi Drygas, General Council from Alaska District Council Laborers
Deborah Williams, Executive Director, Alaska Democratic Party
- More testimony, a map
Vicki Russell, general comments
Attorney White, response to Lambreth, but would be more than admin meeting as in public notice
Map of Anchorage districts
- Video - Redistricting Board Attorney White and ED Ron Miller ...Video on whether software to manipulate data will be available to the public.
- AFL-CIO, Logging Contacts, and District 21
Joelle Hall, AFL-CIO Political Director
Steve Aufrecht, suggests logging oral contacts
Bill Noll, District 21
- Bruce Schulte on District 28 Changes
Video District 28; How I learned about this meeting
- Two More: District 6 and District 17&32 (Eagle River)
Geri Simon, Anchorage attorney about District 6 needs
Pete Giessel - Eagle River, Districts 17 and 32
- Randy Ruedrich Brief Video
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Redistricting Board Member Marie Greene of Kotzebue Video of Board Member Greene from Tuesday public hearing.
PeggyAnn McConnochie, Redistricting Board Member, Video
McConnochie video and map of SC Alaska districts announcement of Wasilla public hearing.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Redistricting Board Chair John Torgerson - Video
Catching up with this video from the Tuesday meeting. I ask Torgerson about the lack of turnout and what they are doing to make sure more people show up for the next meetings. He says it's on the state public notice website, he hadn't considered newspaper ads but agrees that the turnout is low.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Redistricting Board Online Now in Juneau
Short post with pictures from the online video reminding people of Juneau to go to the hearings.
Ketchikan's Turn, And Then Fairbanks Monday
Reminder to Ketchikan residents the Board is coming Saturday. Numbers for the district and nearby districts and guide to what happens at the meeting and questions they might want to ask.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Joelle Hall Responds to Earlier Randy Ruedrich Comments Video
Brief video with AFL-CIO Political Director
Monday, March 28, 2011
Fairbanks, Your Turn - Redistricting Board Noon to 7pm Today
Reminder to Fairbanks residents with table of Fairbanks area districts and how close each is to the ideal number of 17,755 and suggestions for what to do and ask at the meeting. Picture of Jim Holm and 3 other board members looking at map during break in Anchorage.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I'm behind updating this index page. There are about ten posts from the Thursday public hearing which you can find at the top of the March 2011 archives until I get this caught up.
- Live Blogging from the Redistricting Board - Valdez and Juneau Here in Force
The first of eleven posts from the March 31 Statewide public hearing from the Anchorage LIO office. Picture and description of people there - Juneau and Valdez delegations - before the hearing began.
- Juneau presents plan for four new districts including Cordova
Brief snippets from testimony - I videotaped some but haven't edited it yet.
- Alaskans for Fair Redistricting Presentation Vince Beltrami, Carl Marrs, and Joe McKinnon present their plan. I've posted a bunch of their maps, a bit of their testimony, and questions from attorney White about the plan. Also still unedited video.
- Dem Spokesman Delayed, No Accommodation if Not Here on Time
Brief request from Alaska Democratic Party Executive Director to delay testimony because the presenter had a conflicting meeting. Chair Torgerson said he better make it on time because he's not changing the schedule. (Later he did accommodate them.)
- Alaskans for Fair and Equitable Representation Presentation
David Mayberry and Randy Ruedrich, head of Alaska Republican Party, and a third person present plan. Brief report, more unedited video for later. This group not to be confused with Alaskans for Fair Representation.
- Valdez at Redistricting
They focused on districts in their area. Some maps posted and overview video of City Manager John Hozey telling me their basic approach.
- Democrats Ready to Present
Jake Metcalfe makes it and he and Deborah Williams and one more presented. They had two plans. One map. Again, I took some video tape, but haven't edited it.
- Anchorage Testimony - Julie Kitka
Actually, Kitka was the first of a number of speakers (most not from Anchorage.) I have most of Kitka's testimony on video and up in a later post. The other speakers include Matt Ganley, Murray Walsh, Bradley Fluetsch, Alice Ruby, Dan O'Hara, Mike Tvenge, Ruth Abbott, David Case, Lance Roberts, Dick Kuess?, Jaeleen Araujo, Laurie Davey, Lynn Gattis, Marvin Yoder, Robin Phillips, Mark Lynch, Robert Venables, Ron Yaeger,
- More Redistricting Board - Cordova, Sitka, Juneau
Jim Nygaard, Connie McKenzie, Gerry Hope
- Bill Noel and Lois Epstein Testify in Anchorage
Also Liz Medicine-Crow and David Cruz.
- Closing Few Folks Testify Before 7pm Adjournement
Bruce Schulte, Jim Kallander.
Julie Kitka: "In democracies, respecting rights isn't a choice leaders make day by day, it's the reason why they govern." (Video)Video of most of Kitka's testimony including questions.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Is the Alaska Redistricting Board Hiding?
Post documents (using screenshots) that board website and Facebook page suggest nothing is happening this week.
Alaska Redistricting Board April 4 - Morning Session
Running notes of the meeting that included Lisa Handley offered pre-clearance contract, Deadlines for public testimony and plans set for post-plan period,
computer software can't do all they thought, won't do anything on military or prison populations, though attorney White still has a couple of questions to answer, and added Barrow to post-plan stops.
Carving Up Eagle River - This is the Post Everyone Should Read
Because I think you can understand what they are doing and why people need to go and watch. They badly need your feedback. Video of them using the computer to redraw the district lines.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Minority-Majority; Minority-Influence; Native Gerrymandering - Redistricting Board Eyes Voting Rights Act
Discussion of native districts meanings of some terms, video of the end of the meeting.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
What Constitutes a Native for Determining Native Percentage of a District?
Video of staff attorney Michael White explaining that Native can be "Native" or "Native and White" but not other multiracial combinations and the need to be sure other submitted plans define and count Native the same way.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Can the Board Keep to Nine Native Districts? What Constitutes Contiguous?
Board agrees - on video - they can do this, but it's not pretty. In one plan, they make a Senate district by connecting Kodiak and Ketchikan.
Redistricting Nationwide - New York Times Overview
Relates national trends to what's happening in Alaska redistricting.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Draft Plan - Rural Areas, Fairbanks, and Valdez Approved
Summary of Saturday meeting - includes Approved Fairbanks map, Board Map Option 1v.2 (the rural areas and Valdez approved, not Southeast, Kenai, Matsu, or Anchorage.)
Monday, April 11, 2011
Redistricting Board Update
Notes on the Sunday meeting when they went over Matsu, Southeast, and took a first look at the Anchorage districts. Maps.
Board Talks to Voting Rights Consultant Lisa Handley Calling from Afghanistan
One hour meeting talking about
- What data she'll need to do her analysis
- Clarifying how to determine "Native"
- Other issues like whether 35% will be the number still for Native influence districts (not necessarily)
- How does voting age fit in?
- Schedule - her return time (April 24), how long until product (three weeks later)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Which Shell is the Pea Under? Watching the Redistricting Board Create Districts
Where the blogger expresses some frustration as the board moves blocks from district to district trying to come up with 17,755 in each district, but making it very difficult to actually see what has happened to existing incumbents - particularly so in Anchorage where the maps they distributed were much to vague to figure out the district boundaries. Also a problem in SE, but next day blogger got clarification from Board Member McConnochie.
Redistricting Board Adjourned Early to Tweak
The board reviewed and adopted an alternate plan for Matsu. Maps for Anchorage were not yet ready. They did come up on line later in the afternoon, but they (particularly Anchorage) are not detailed enough to figure out where the district lines are.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - Taking a Break for Other Obligations
The board is scheduled to meet at 11 am briefly and then again at 3pm when Member Greene gets back. Member Holm will be on the phone from Fairbanks.
Your blogger has another afternoon activity and catches a plane out of town later in the evening. The final "draft plan" is scheduled to be adopted by Thursday, April 14. I'll be watching the AFFR website where Kay Brown has been blogging too. She catches stuff I miss, like I didn't hear Brodie asking about incumbent pairings or Torgerson's answer. And the Board's website to see what they post.
Board Approves Plan While I'm Away - I learn via email that Board approved two draft plans. There are links to the Board site where people can link to pdf regional maps. I also posted Chair Torgerson's statement.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
What the Constitution Says the Redistricting Board is Supposed To Do - Post of sections 10 and 11 of Article 6 of the Alaska Constitution which describes the requirements of the Board to create a draft plan in 30 days and a final plan 60 days later.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Detailed Redistricting Maps and Post Plan Public Hearings Schedule - as it says - now the Board's website has individual maps of each district. I have a link to the site. I've also posted the schedule.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I'm back, but no new posts yet on redistricting. In the meantime, you can see what others have written:
- "Alaska redistricting plan offers 2 regional alternatives" Alaska Dispatch (April 13)
- "Incumbents will go head-to-head in new Alaska House district" Fairbanks Newsminer (April 16)
- "Gerry Mander in Alaska" Ester Republic blog (April 18)
- Odd mapping: Redistricting board has difficult task in Interior Fairbanks Newsminer editorial (April 18)
- "Redistricting Board Gets Earful in Anchorage" - Alaska Dispatch (April 19)
- UPDATE April 21: I should have included the AFFR (Alaskans For Fair Redistricting) website which has reports on the Anchorage and Fairbanks post-plan hearings, maps of Anchorage districts, and a list of pairings of incumbent legislators.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Cordova: Your Turn at 1:30pm. Here are the Redistricting Maps
Maps relevant to the Cordova area.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Delta Junction and Tok, Nome and Kotzebue, Unalaska and Cold Bay: Your Turn with the Redistricting Board, Today, Tuesday
Maps for all the areas mentioned above - Districts 6, 2 (12), 39, 40, and 37.
Matsu Residents Sound Unhappy with Redistricting Plans - Excerpt from and link to Frontiersman article on public hearing in Palmer.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Bethel and Glennallen: Your Turn with the Redistricting Board Today - Maps for these two districts - 38 and 6.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
How Is the Redistricting Board Like the Pakistani Government? Either They Are Incompetent Or They Are Intentionally Concealing
Finding the May 6 final public hearing on the Board's website is very difficult. There is a link to a five page pdf file and the calendar mentions it, but the map says it's in Juneau. And their Facebook events page says nothing is upcoming. I document this all with screenshots taken May 5.
Friday, May 6, 2011 Morning Hearing - Presentation of Plans
- AFFR Presents Plan They Say Meets All Requirements
- Rights Coalition Presents Their Plan
- City of Anchorage - Community Councils Basis of Our Government
- AFFER Presents Revised Plan
- Fairbanks Mayor Presents Alternative Fairbanks Plan
- Calista Emphasizes Cultural Heritage - Supports AFFER Plan
- "If anyone is going to fire my reps, it should be the voters and not the board." Redistrictig Testimony
- Willie Hensley Testifies
- People from around the state drift in to testify
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Writing for the ADN, Trolls and All
When I complained to the editor of the ADN about their lack of coverage of the Redistricting Board, he invited me to write a piece. This post discusses the conditions when you write a piece like this and my assessment of it. It also mentions trolls and I promise to write another piece on that. Things got hairy after that - the executive director of the board died Sunday and one of the trolls proclaimed my article and blog contributed to his death, not just at the ADN comments, but here, and on talk radio Monday. I will do that post.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Time to Stop and Reflect on What's Important
This post reflects on Ron Miller, the Board executive director, who died unexpectedly on Sunday and the need to remember what is important in life. While I have been critical of the board's performance on occasion, I have been treated well by the staff and board.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Alaska Redistricting Board: Live Streaming Of Meetings and Updated Website
Following their busy schedule traveling the state and prior to their meetings to consider what they've heard, the board has taken a step to better access by arranging to have audio streaming of their upcoming meetings. They've also improved their website, including a window on their home page with future meetings posted for all to see easily. Good job.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Board Remembers Ron Miller Then Goes Into Executive Session
The board shared the feelings about Ron Miller who died a week ago before going into Executive Session.
Executive Session Results - New Executive Director, Voting Rights Act Consultant Tomorrow
Taylor Bickford and Jim Ellis were made Executive Director and Assistant Director respectively and the board discussed preliminary comments from Voting Rights Act consultant Lisa Handley before tomorrow's phone conversation with her.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Voting Rights Act and Planning the End Game
Long discussion with Lisa Handley by phone over her analysis and the implication for the districts. Then they discussed strategy for completing the plan. There was a difference between member Brody and the others.
Sorry, I got a bit behind here.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Brainstorming Day at the Board - Brody's Proposal Shot Down
Overview of the May 19 meeting. Two main items:
1. Trying to keep nine Native Majority districts - look at the factors they have to balance in reaching this goal.
2. Strategy for Finishing - board member Brody proposed getting the urban areas set, while others wanted to do the rural areas first. Some discussion on the possible political consequences of holding off the urban areas until the end.
Running notes on May 20 meeting
Staff (Eric mainly) and Board Member PeggyAnn McConnochie work through their maps for SE and Native districts.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Overview of problems redistricting board is facing before Voting Rights Act consultant arrives tomorrow
Overview of Retrogression and the need to maintain nine Native districts and other factors involved in doing this.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Packed Room for Dr. Lisa Handley at Redistricting Board
Overview of Handley's presentation with links to her powerpoint.
Lisa Handley at Redistricting Board - Short Video
Brief video of Handley presenting to the board. Links to her powerpoint.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Computer Crash, Board Recesses Quickly Until 2pm - Thoughts on Open Meetings
My thoughts on Public Process of the Board so far.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Boundary Setting and Terminology Around Native Districts
Another attempt to articulate what seem to be factors the board needs to balance to prevent retrogression and why. Tried to go through the changing terminology and guidelines the board and private plan developers have had to meet.
Two People Chatting Doesn't a Conspiracy Make
Picture of Tom Begich and Randy Ruedrich in discussion at break.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Redistricting Board Getting Modern
The board adds webinar access for first 100 people for next round of meetings. Links to online access and webinar access.
Board Meeting Tuesday; Possible Retrogression; Seldovia in House District with Bethel, Seward in Senate District with Anchorage
Overview, then rough notes of the meeting Tuesday, May 31, 2011.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Listening In On Redistricting Board from Home or Office or . . .
Excess Population, Palmer and Wasilla = 2 Senate Seats? Price of a Pint in Cold Bay
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Senators Coghill and Thomas Paired as Anchorage and Fairbanks Worked On
Taylor Bickford Explains his Eagle River Options (Video)
Friday, June 3, 2011
Board Gets Testy Thursday Afternoon Trying to Set Border Between Matsu and Anchorage
I try to outline the issues they're dealing with and then have my rough notes. Map photos.
10am Today Carving Up Anchorage (And Probably Tomorrow)
Links to Friday's online and GoToMeeting access points. And maps from the groups that offered ways to do Anchorage.
Brody Gets Eagle River into Two Districts, Mostly
In the afternoon, board member Brody presented a plan which put all of Eagle River into two districts without touching Muldoon.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Listening and Watching the Board From Home Now
This was a short meeting. McConnochie and Greene talked briefly about their attempts to get better numbers in SW Alaska. By 10:25 the board went into executive session. It seems I had another post of notes that never got posted. Nothing earthshaking.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Are Anchorage Pairings Unavoidable or Gerrymandering?
This post looks at the concept of gerrymandering - including a video from a USC website which has a gerrymandering game. Then it looks at ways to gerrymander and evaluates what happened in Anchorage to the ways people can gerrymander.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Removing Warts: Board Conceptually Approves Anchorage, Matsu, Valdez, Fairbanks, and Southeast Board goes through each of these areas and then approves them all.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Board Approves New Dillingham Kodiak Districts - My notes as the board went back to Dillingham and Kodiak where changes were made to raise the numbers of Alaska Natives to get the Senate seat to qualify as a Native district.
Board Approves Senate Pairings - My notes as the board went through the pairing of House districts to form Senate districts.
10=1 Board Gives New Numbers to the New Districts
They renumbered all the districts so that would be roughly ordered. My notes of the meeting as they did this. They postponed truncation until they had data on the population changes for the Senate seats.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Truncation and Which Senators Get 2 and 4 Year Terms
I try to understand the process of truncation and how they determine the 2 and 4 year terms.
Monday, June 12, 2011
Metes and Bounds - I try to explain the term 'metes and bounds' and offer an example with the description of the old District 6.
Board's Attorney Suggests 2 Year and 4 Year Pairings; All But One Truncation - I listened from home, but couldn't get any audio. They did have the attorney's recommendations for the 2 and 4 year pairings, and I posted those.
Tuesday, June 13, 2011
Board Approves Proclamation and Other Documents, Then Goes Into Executive Session
The board members congratulate themselves on doing a great job and approve their work.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Fairbanks to Sue Over Redistricting - I comment on a Fairbanks News Miner article.
July 14, 2011
Three Challenges To Redistricting Plan Arrived By Deadline - Cases Attached-Brief overview of the three challenges, one from the Fairbanks North Star Borough, one from a resident of Goldstream and a resident of Ester, and one from the City of Petersburg. Copies of the cases are embedded in the post.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Redistricting Board Meets (Mostly in Executive Session)
Updates on court challenges, finishing the report, the VRA consultant's report, new staff.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Judge rules Against Redistricting Board
Fairbanks judge rules against the Redistricting Board's move to hear the court challenge in Anchorage instead of Fairbanks.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Voting Rights Act Consultant's Report Says Redistricting Board's Plan OK
Includes link to the report.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Four Districts Found Unconstititional - quick look at court documents
Sounds of Silence - The court proceedings are on audio teleconference, but can't hear anything.
Paskvan Testifies - Sen Paskvan, one of two Democratic Fairbanks Senators put in the same district testifies.
Plaintiffs Trying to Show Gerrymandering - Sen. Thomas (who is paired with Paskvan) is describing strange loops moving legislators in or out of a district.
Senator Thomas Continues - More of the same.
[Not caught up yet with the new posts. Find the rest under Jan 2012 in the blog archive.]
Friday, October 7, 2011
Comments on Alaska Redistricting Board's Submission to DOJ Voting Section
Contains an overview of my thoughts on the submission with particular focus on the Publicity and Participation section. The whole letter in a Scribd embed is also there.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Redistricting Board Submission Gets Pre-Clearance from DOJ
Includes Board's website post and copy of the letter from Assistant US Attorney General Thomas E. Perez to Board Attorney Michael White.
Monday, January 9, 2012 - I was able to follow most of the trial via telephone connection provided by the Board and the Court.
- 4 Districts Unconstitutional As Alaska Redistricting Plan Goes To Court
Maps of Districts 1, 2, 37, and 38 that were determined to be unconstitutional in pretrial motions.
- Sounds of Silence Alaska Redistricting Board Court Challenge Teleconference - Technical difficulties with the teleconferencing from the court.
- Redistricting Court Challenge - Paskvan Testifies
Fairbanks Democratic Sen. Paskvan, paired with Democratic Sen. Thomas testifies about the nature of his current senate seat and the differences between the Borough and City of Fairbanks. Includes some of my rough attempts to transcribe the proceedings.
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Plaintiffs Trying to Show Political Gerrymandering
A little summary of the gerrymandering points made by Paskvan and Thomas and more transcript.
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Sen. Thomas Continues
More rough notes of the proceedings. Not too much.
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Leonard Lawson - Were There Other Ways to Draw the Districts and Meet VRA Requirements
Lawson was the map maker for the Rights Coalition who submitted alternative plans to the board. Much of his testimony was to explain technical details of map making including the software made. He also talked about problems in the process and that they did turn in a map that met the requirements at the time, but the Board, on advice from the VRA expert, kept changing the criteria.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Dr. Arrington's Voting Rights Act Analysis PrimerThe Plaintiff's VRA expert.
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Some Thoughts and Dr. Arrington Part 2
I try to identify some key points and then more transcripts.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Hardenbrook "Looking at Process or Payback? John Hardenbrook is staff to Sen. Thomas. He started out as a Republican but became a Democrat. He knew Board Chair Torgerson when as a Republican staffer.
- Redistricting Court Challenge: Twitter and Other Coverage
Note that Board has Twitter and ADN article
Thursday, January 12, 2012
- Redistricting Challenge: Bickford Filling In Many Details - Observations on the testimony of Board Executive Director Taylor Bickford rather than detailed tracking.
Redistricting Court Challenge: Voting Rights Act Expert Handley- Begins with reflections on Board Executive Director Taylor Bickford's testimony, brief mention of board's GIS expert's testimony, and the covers Voting Rights Act consultant, Dr. Lisa Handley's, testimony.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
- Alaska Redistricting for the Masses Part I - Looks at the background information needed to understand the process - the Voting Rights Act and Alaska Constitutional requirements particularly.
- Redistricting Trial is Over - Brief comments on Board attorney Mike White's closing comments.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
- Alaska Redistricting for the Masses Part 2: The Board Process - This post gives an overview of how the board carried out its task.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
- Alaska Redistricting for the Masses Part 3: The Trial - The Disputed Districts - This post looks at the disputed districts and the reasons they are disputed. With maps.
- Redistricting Challenge: Judge Sends 4 Districts Back To Board - Post reviews the judge's decision.
- Alaska Redistricting Board To Appeal Ruling on Districts 37 and 38 - Notes on the board meeting where the board decided to appeal the judge's ruling on house districts 37 and 38. I listened to this meeting on line from Los Angeles.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
- Meet You At the Alaska Supreme Court This Afternoon - Announcement of hearing with maps of districts challenged by petitioners.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
- Alaska Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Board Petitions - Overview of the court hearing with photos
Thursday, March 15, 2012
- Alaska Supreme Court Sends Redistricting Plan Back To Board Initial report on Supreme Court decision focused on what the Court required the Board to do.
- A Guided Tour Through the Alaska Supreme Court's Redistricting Decision - Hickel Lives On - Goes through each of the 14 sections of the decision and attempts to explain the meaning and implications.
- Alaska Redistricting Process - What Happens Next? - Looks at the questions:
- The Board will have to make a new plan and that has lots of possibilities.
- What are the parts they have to change?
- Can they be fixed without messing with the rest of the districts?
- Do they start completely fresh or leave most of the existing plan intact?
- Are there any candidates obviously affected?
- Redistricting Board Attorney Responds to Supreme Court Decision - video of attorney White on the Supreme Court Decision
- Board Gets VRA Report - Breaks Into Work Groups
- Redistricing Board Adopts "Hickel" Plan 001 (With Fairbanks Maps)
- Redistricting Board Hits Low Point In Process - Board frustrated, Chair snips at private plan makers
- Joe McKinnon Video On AFFR Plan - Labor group representative talks about how their plan meets both VRA and Constitutional requirements.
- Redistricting Board Back On Track - After yesterday's low, Board seems to have gotten its energy back
- Board Finds Fault With Third Party Plans - Board sounds scripted as they find fault with all the third party plans, then put on the record the reasons their own plans are fine
- It Couldn't Be Easier - Just Click Here To Listen In at 10am - link to access Board online
- Redistricting Board Looks At Bethel - Anchorage Senate Pairing - I briefly lose my objectivity with this bizarre option.
- Board Sends Two Plans to VRA Expert, Then Reflects k k k - Board votes to send Bethel-Anchorage and 3/30 - 1 plan to Lisa Handley. Then talks about using same criteria to judge their own plans as they used on private party plans. Rough notes of meeting.
- Board Adopts, In Concept, Bethel - Chain Amended Proclamation Plan - The Board met their self-imposed deadline by adopting their plan, in concept, then giving it to the staff to clean up, do metes and bounds, Senate pairings, and truncation. Post includes maps, Senate Pairing/Truncation Chart, and detailed, if rough, notes.
- Board Formally Adopts New Plan and Backup Plan - Final meeting for now as they get things ready for submission to DOJ and courts. Links to reports and maps. My rough, detailed, notes.
Friday, April 6, 2012
- A Real Plan, An Interim Plan, Short Deadlines - Overview of Where Redistricting Board Stands - Look at the decisions and uncertainties the Board faces, including maps and charts.
- Redistricting Board Posts District Maps - links to all the maps for the Amended Proclamation Plan, statewide, regional, and individual districts. Also other relevant reports and descriptions are linked.
- April 16 Deadline To Respond to Court Redistricting Amended Proclamation Plan - lists the courts deadline and questions to be addressed, some of my questions about what the court might do, and my thanks to the Board for making the meetings accessible online and by phone.
- Way Too Busy With AQR, Press Club, Confucius Institute, and More Redistricting Stuff- After the picture of Wei Jaijiang, there are links to the objections submitted by various private parties.
- Judge Rejects Redistricting Board's Amended Proclamation Plan - Describes the main objections and an update attaches the Judge's order.
- Agenda Item 4 Should Be Interesting - A few comments on what to expect at the board's meeting, how to get to it online, and the agenda
- Board Votes to Appeal to Supreme Court and Authorize Attorney to Submit Interim Plan - My rough notes of this under ten minute meeting (interrupted by about 30 minutes of executive session.)
- Redistricting Board's Supreme Court Appeal - First I wonder out loud why the board didn't tell us how they were able to come to agreement so easily without discussing many details at the public meeting. Second, I try to explain what I think the court had asked for and what the board needed to do.
- The Supreme Court Substitutes Amended Proclamatio for Redistricting Board's Interim Plan - Hearing Thursday 10am
Redistricting Options Narrow At Supreme Court - Overview of attorneys' presentations in court and the basic questions the court seemed to want answered.
- Southeast Maps - Redistricting Board Offers 5 Options - The Board's five maps for SE are posted.
May 15, 2012
Redistricting Board Concert Approves SE Metes and Bounds - Chair Torgerson sings (audio posted) as the board apporves the Metes and Bounds for Southeast. Example of District 1 metes and bounds is posted.
- "We have five options before us that we've talked about all weekend." - My notes of the meeting where they approved their plan, with a discussion about open meetings and how they came to their conclusion so quickly without much discussion.
Supreme Court Chooses Amended Proclamation Plan, With Original, Not New, SEast Districts - Describes the court's decision.
Redistricting Board Gets Preclearance From DOJ - With link to the preclearance letter.
September 25, 2012
- The Alaska Senator the Oil Companies Hate Most - Has a video tape of Sen. Bill Weilochoski at a campaign rally. Toward the end there's a discussion of how the redistricting has impacted the bi-partisan coalition in the state Senate with lists of candidates and the impacts of redistricting.
- Alaska Native Republican Shootout Supporter Loses in Southeast Election - Discussion of SE district incumbent Native representative, Bill Thomas, losing his race.
Democrat Kreiss-Tomkins Holds Lead After Recount - Follow up of Nov. 20 post after recount. Bill Thomas loses.
- Alaska Supreme Court Orders Redistricting Board to Start Over - Discusses SC ruling and links to it.
Jan. 11, 2013
- Alaska Redistricting Board 2010-2013: Overview - Overview of 2010 redistricting process with emphasis on key terms needed to understand the Board's petition in response to the Supreme Courts order to start again.
- Fact Checking The Alaska Redistricting Board's Petition to the Alaska Supreme Court - Reviews what the petition's claims in the first part of Part A regarding the Hickel template and Hickel plan. Finds the petition unpersuasive.
- Redistricting Board Petition to SC Part II - looks at the rest of Part A - about the ability to set up constitutional districts AFTER you do the Native districts. Also, if all the districts are constitutional, why do you need Hickel process?
Jan 16, 2013
Did the Alaska Supreme Court Violate Separation of Powers As Redistricting Board Asserts?- Reviews the allegations made in the Board's petition.
What's At Stake If Redistrict Board Has To Start Over? - Looks at:
- Form over Substance
- The Board's Task
- The Court's Task
- What Happened?
- Form Over Substance?
- My Conclusion
- Impact Of Redoing The Plan From Scratch
- A Lot of Work
- Should the job be given back to the Board?
- Impact on the balance of Democrats and Republicans in the legislature
- Impact on voters' connection to their legislators
Feb 6, 2013
Next Redistricting Board Meeting To Discuss Staffing And Strategy - Tuesday February 12 - brief overview of what the Board will likely do at the meeting, agenda, announcement with ways to listen online
- Alaska Redistricting Board Meets Under Uncertainty To Plan Next Steps - Overview of meeting with rough notes of the meeting.
- Alaska Supreme Court Says No To Redistricting Board - But Changes 36 to 22 - Looks at the Supreme Court decision turning down the Board's petition for a rehearing on the Court's Dec.29, 2012 decision that the Board must redraw the maps following the Hickel Process.
March 13, 2013
- Redistricting Board: Impact of US Supreme Court Shelby County v. Holder and Alaska VRA Challenge - Board attorney briefly spoke before Board went into Executive Session to review executive director applications
- Why Open Meetings Act Matters - Looks at how the Open Meeting act showed the public the huge difference in qualifications between the candidates.
- Redistricting Board Chooses Not To Hire A New Director - Astounding this blogger, the Redistricting Board chose to not hire an Executive Director.
- How Could The Redistricting Board NOT Hire Lauren Hummel? Political Neutrality Appears Ripped to Shreds Part 1 - Looks at the applicant and the chronology leading up to the decision not to fill the position.
Did The Redistricting Board Violated Alaska Public Meetings Law? - Looks at the Alaska Supreme Court decision on public meetings used by the Anchorage Daily News to get the Board hiring process more public and finds that the Board seems to have violated the law.
- How Could The Redistricting Board NOT Hire Lauren Hummel? Political Neutrality Appears Ripped to Shreds Part 2 - Finds the scenario that says the Board didn't hire anyone because their favored candidate looked bad and the best candidate might not be controllable the most compatible with the known facts. Also looks at a couple of other possible explanations and finds them wanting.
- Again, Alaska Supreme Court Tells Redistricting Board It Meant What It Said Includes the latest Supreme Court opinion, gives some context, and ponders what lies ahead in this never ending process.
Alaska Redistricting Board - Riley and Petersburg Ask For A Schedule and Public Hearings, Board Says to Court: Don't Interfere - gives a brief overview of two plaintiffs' motions asking the Superior Court to set a Board deadline and to require public hearings. It also includes the Board's response, and Petersburg's reply. Links to the four documents are at the bottom.
- Superior Court Apparently Unimpressed By Alaska Redistricting Board's Arguments - headlines from the ADN and Fairbanks News Miner (and links to the articles) that indicate the Court was not pleased with Board's pace.
- Taylor Bickford To Work Part Time For Alaska Redistricting Board To Work On Mappingd - Board press release announces meeting next week and the hiring of former Executive DirectorTaylor Bickford for part time work.
- Alabama and Alaska Waiting To Hear the US Supreme Court Shelby County v Holder Decision - brief overview of court case including audio of Supreme Court arguments.
- ADN Says Toss Em. Board Says They Did Nothing Wrong and Sets Schedule to Comply with Court - ADN editorial wants less political Board. The Board says it worked hard and did a good job and did nothing wrong. Then sets its schedule to comply with the court order to stop delaying. My rough notes from the meeting.
- Shelby County Wants To Be Freed From Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act - Supreme Court Decision Coming Soon - A discussion about the Alabama Voting Rights case that the Alaska Redistricting Board is watching carefully.
Public Notice Problems: Alaska Redistricting Board Is, Isn't, Is Meeting Today - I miss a meeting because of other commitments and confusing information about when the board is going to meet next.
- Overheated Redistricting Board Work Session - It's hot as the Board works on a new redistricting plan.
- Fairbanks, Cordova, Kodiak - Board Working On New Districts - Brief post with phtotos of the Board's technicians working.
- Redistricting Board's GIS Techs Are Designing New Districts - in which I post some pictures and video to help readers get a sense of what the Board's technicians spent the day doing - moving census blocs around on the maps.
- Former Redistricting Board Director Taylor Bickford NOT Coming Back to Board - I talk to Bickford about why he's not coming back.
- Shelby County 2: Will The End of "Racial Entitlements" Help Republicans Win?
Considers Scalia's 'racial entitlements' comment, the Texas Tea Party member's statement about Republicans not wanting Blacks to vote as well as the VRA's consequence of packed districts.
- Redistricting Board Complies With Court Order, But Insists They Would Have Anyway, Not Because The Court Told Them To Looks at the Board's rhetoric at the June 7 meeting about how they were doing the things the Court ordered - faster schedule and public hearings - because they wanted to on their own, not because the Court told them to.
- Court Again Rules For Plaintiff Against Alaska Redistricting Board... Brief overview of the Order which is posted in full.
- Alaska Redistricting Board Has 4 Draft Plans - Maps of three of the five Draft Options of state redistricting by the Board and staff. (They took one away and added two more, thus it says 4 in the title and 3 out of 5 here.)
- Comparing The Five Southeast Alaska Configurations for Southeast - Maps of the Southeast Alaska portions of the map are posted.
- The Other Two Draft Options Since They Aren't On The Redistricting Website Yet [UPDATED WITH LINK TO MAPS] - I added maps E and F plus the closeups of Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai, and Matsu.
- What's Fair Game When Public Officials Get Careless? - I muse about how I should decide what to post and what to not post as preface to some video of Board Chair Torgerson talking about Ray's Anchorage map.
- Board Meets, Accepts 7 Board Options, 4 Third Party Options In 30 Minute Meeting - Rough notes of the meeting.
- Viewing Friday's Board Meeting - Photos during and after the meeting.
- Radio Babies and 113 Year Old Public Opinion Put Redistricting Into Context - A stop in the Anchorage Museum on the way home after the Friday meeting helped me remember why we're here. Lots of pictures.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
- What Do Alaska, Kentucky, and Texas Have In Common? A look at the three states that still do not have redistricting plans based on the 2010 Census.
- "We issue no holding on §5 itself, only on the coverage formula." Shelby County and Alaska Redistricting - I discuss the US Supreme Courts decision and how it is likely to affect Alaska's redistricting process.
Alaska Redistricting Board Adds Three New Third Party Maps - 6 Days After Last Week's Deadline - discusses the fact that there are three new plans - though the deadline was last week and the Board hasn't met to officially add them to the options, though they did for the other plans - and that the Haines Assembly reviewed all the plans, including the new ones, two days before they were made public by the Board.
There's a flurry of posts that came live from the public hearing Friday. I'll get them up, but in the meantime go to June 2013 and scroll down to June 28.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
- Alaska Redistricting Board - What Happened Friday at Anchorage Public Hearing? - A list of the plans, the third-party presenters, and the individuals who testified. Try to give the briefest possible synopsis of their position. Also each is linked to the post that covered their testimony Friday. Finally I look at to issues - the focus on extremely tight deviation percentages (at the expense of something else?) and Ruedrich's claim that the Anchorage plan was simply the plan Anchorage came up with, so they didn't change anything.
Monday July 1, 2013
- Board Meets in Fairbanks and I'm At The Airport Headed South - I got some notes of Wallerie's presentation of the Gazewood & Weiner plan and a bit of the public members' testimony.
Friday, July 5, 2013
- Trying to Understand the Problems I See At The Alaska Redistricting Board - I go through a number of problems I see at the Board. At the end I offer some possible reasons, but leave more discussion on them to a later post. My rough notes of meeting.
- Board Gets Court Order for Schedule, Discusses Deviations, and Section 2 of VRA, Then Adjourns, - A fair amount happened and the title describes the biggies. My rough notes of meeting.
- Redistricting Board Calista and AFFER and McKinnon Discuss Their Maps - There's now a Calista Option 4 and an AFFER plan that just came in at 9am today. Plus private citizen John McKinnon offers his map that honors all ANCSA boundaries. My rough notes of meeting.
- Redistricting Board Last Half Hour Pretty Mundane - They spent their time looking at what Board members have been doing with their maps as they try to make the best possible maps from the draft options they have. My rough notes of meeting
- Saturday Meeting, Fine Tuning, Sort of, Kenai, Matsu, Fairbanks, Southeast - My rough notes of the two hour session.
- Redistricting Board Basically Done Except Matsu/Anchorage to Valdez and Fairbanks - They conceptually settled Kenai and Southeast. Still need to decide if Valdez will be connected to Matsu or North Anchorage. And then there's Fairbanks. They also started scheduling the finishing tasks they need to complete before submission. My rough notes of the 45 minute meeting. (Minus the first 15 minutes I missed.)
Sunday, July 7, 2013
- Fairbanks Done, Now Redistricting Board Is Working On The Valdez District - Connect To Matsu or To Anchorage?
- Board's Reasoning Ability Truncated - It's getting into the afternoon, and as the Board starts working on truncation and assigning 2 and 4 year terms, they're getting pretty
- Board Finishes Up "In Concept: - Scheudles Sunday July 14, 2013 Meeting at 1pm To Formally Adopt New Plan - List of Senate pairings and which districts have two or four year terms.
Monday July 8, 2013
- Here's The Map The Redistricting Board Approved Sunday Compared To The Old One - I post the 2012 election map along with the new one approved Sunday for 2014 for Alaska and Anchorage.
Notes from the Last Alaska Redistricting Meeting. Everyone Hopes So
- My very rough notes of, what many hope, was the last Alaska Redistricting Board (unless there are legal challenges) meeting, where they approve the Proclamation and the findings and the metes and bounds.
Photos of the Last Redistricting Board Meeting - The Board, some of the audience, AFFER and CALISTA folks, Board's signatures.
Monday, July 15, 2013
- Begich and Ruedrich Talk About Redistricting - Democrat Tom Begich, who worked with the Calista group's plan and Randy Ruedrich who worked with the Republican plan each talk a bit on video about whether this is the end.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
- Redistricting Board's Attorney and State Democratic Chair Talk About What's Next with Alaska Redistricting - Video of the two talking about what might be coming next.
- Alaska Supreme Court Denies Redistricting Board's Petition - Text of the Court's decision.
- Board's Attorney and Alaska Democratic Chair Talk About Redistricting - Michael White and Mike each discuss on video what might come next.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
- Did Redistricting Board Intentionally Target Tea Party Members? - A woman at the Board complained to me about the political bias against Republicans by the Board and showed me an email with a list of Senators and how their seats were affected by redistricting. I discuss this along with an amended version of her list.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday Meeting, ADN Article on Fairbanks Plaintiffs' Coming Legal Challenge, Where to Find Documents - The title says it all.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
- If I Had Time For A Post Today, What Would I Write About? - Toward the end of this post is a link to the Fairbanks News Miner editorial about the latest lawsuit by the Fairbanks plaintiffs.
- Was Fairbanks Gerrymandered: A Look At the Riley Challenge to Alaska Redistricting Board' 2013 Plan Part 1
A long post with maps, charts, and lots of questions to help ordinary folks understand what the court challenge is about.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
- The Democratic Party Challenge to the Redistricting Board's July 13, 2013 Plan
The whole court document is posted with a little bit of explanation.
- Was Fairbanks Gerrymandered? The Riley Challenge to the Redistricting Board's 2013 Plan Part 2: Truncation - This post was sitting while I tried to figure out what was what. It includes updates after I talked to Riley's attorney Michael Walleri.
- Court Sets Out Issues And Schedule For Alaska Redistricting Court Challenges - This post outlines the basic parts of the Court's order in which the Court outlines the issues and scheduling.
- Driving Outside, Some Light Reading In The Mean Time - This post has the complete Corrected Filing by the Riley Plaintiffs.
- Redistricting Board Challengers Claim Political Gerrymandering In Court Filing- Detailed look at what problems the plaintiffs have with the Proclamation Plan.
- "The troubles of today are sufficient unto themselves and the troubles of tomorrow will take care of themselves." Court Accepts Late Filings By Alaska Democratic Party In Redistricting Case - What does it mean to the outcome of the case that the court allowed the late filing. I check with a local attorney.
- Equity versus Socio-Economic Integration - ADP Memo Supporting Motion on Socio-Economic Integration of HD 6, 37, 39, and 40 - A review of the arguments made in the Democrats' motion.
Court Sets Nov 7-14, 2013 Aside In Case Evidentiary Hearing Is Necessary- The judge's order for the the trial.
- Redistricting Board's Attorney's Health Problems Delay Court Date Until December 9 - 16 Also judge seems to be saying there will be a hearing in Dec. "Seems" is the critical word though.
- Alaska Redistricting - Compactness and Fairbanks Districts 3 and 5 Part 1 - This post looks at the concept of compactness because the court challenge to the Board's Plan, in part, focuses on the alleged lack of compactness in Fairbanks districts 3 and 5. This post looks at what compactness means and ways it is tested and the idea that it is a way to test for gerrymandering.
- Alaska Redistricting Board Friday - They Go Into Executive Session - chit chat before the meeting that I listened to over the phone line.
- Alaska Redistricting Board Back - To Close Meeting - they reconvene publicly long enough to adjourn and wish people Happy Halloween. Executive session was under 30 minutes. Michael White, their attorney who has recently had mouth surgery to remove a cancer, was there via phone too.
Friday, November 1, 2013
- Redistricting - The Bad News (Unless You're A Republican) for Left or Right Brained Folks - Not specifically about Alaska. Includes the Redistricting Song, an excerpt on an article that says Dems need 56% to win back the House because of gerrymandering, and Assif Mandvi interviewing a North Carolina GOP official on a new voter id bill.
- Redistricting Board Asks To Postpone Trial Until January - Post cites from the motion and my thoughts about what this means.
Monday, November 4, 2013
- Redistricting Board Withdraws Motion to Postpone Trial to January - citing the urgency of the issue and the fact that the lead attorney might not be healthy enough for trial in January, the Board withdraws its motion.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
- UAA's Redistricting Panel and the Vanishing Panelists - announcement of the panel discussion and the loss of one panelist and likely loss of a second. Turned out that despite his health plans, Board Attorney Michael White was there along with this blogger.
- The Case That HD 5 Was Gerrymandered - Part 1 - These two posts look Part 1 looks at HD 5 in the context of the current court case, particularly at the concepts of gerrymandering and what I think are the relevant partisan facts about the current redistricting process.
- The Case That HD 5 Was Gerrymandered - Part 2. Part 2 looks at the maps and what the show and what they hide.
- Redistricting - Waiting On The Judge. What MIght He Say And When? - Reviews the schedules the judge set for this case and speculates on the possible ways the judge might rule. Looks more at process than substance as we get closer to the Dec. 9 scheduled court date.
Monday, Nov 18, 2013
- Title sums it up. Judge's complete decision is included in the post.
Related Older Posts on Constitutional Amendment to Enlarge the Legislature (it was voted down):
Expanding the Legislature Constitutional Amendment Committee Hearing Feb. 2, 2010: Notes from the State Affairs Committee hearing Feb. 2, 2010. The Amendment sponsors had redistricting in mind and were trying to help large, sparsely populated districts from becoming harder to represent by making them even larger. And some may have been thinking of preserving their own seats. This post outlines the issues presented.
Constitutional Amendment to Enlarge Legislature Passes State Affairs With Changes Feb. 19, 2010: More on the legislature and the Amendment.
Constitutional Amendment to Enlarge Alaska Legislature - Ballot Measure #1 October 23, 2010: Reviews the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot and goes over some of the related redistricting issues.