GOP’s proposed congressional districts strip parts of Asheville from the 11th

Once every 10 years, state legislators get a chance to redraw congressional districts. After their historic gains last November, North Carolina Republicans get a go at the process for the first time in more than 100 years. And in the maps they’ve released today, July 1, many Asheville voters have been stripped out of the 11th Congressional District that Democrat Heath Shuler represents and moved to the 10th, currently represented by Republican Patrick McHenry.

In May, media speculation that Republican leaders might make such a move — placing slivers of the heavily Democratic city of Asheville in the heavily Republican 10th District — set off a firestorm of criticism from local Democratic residents and leaders, who charged that such a move would make it nearly impossible for most of Asheville to be represented by a Democrat, because the rest of the 10th District is so heavily populated by Republicans.

“Ripping Buncombe County in half with Asheville out of it is a terrible idea,” declared Asheville resident Justin Wight at an April 30 public hearing on the matter.

Republican leaders, however, have maintained that the new districts would be fair. On June 30, the night before the new maps were released, Buncombe Republican Rep. Tim Moffitt, who serves on the redistricting committee, told Xpress that he hadn’t even seen drafts of the maps yet and that politics wouldn’t be a factor.

“They’re drawn by lawyers,” he insisted. “I’m just as curious to see them as anyone else.” Republican Speaker of the House Thom Tillis also insisted that legislators were deferring to lawyers on the specifics, saying he hadn’t seen the maps yet either.

And lawyers are sure to be part of the process going forward, as it’s very likely the new districts will face legal challenges as they have in the past.

Meanwhile, in a newly drawn 11th District that lacks many of Asheville’s reliably Democratic voters, Rep. Shuler’s chances of re-election could take a big hit. In the days leading up to the new district announcement, Rep. Shuler has been reportedly considering taking an athletic-director job at UT Knoxville.

However, Shuler spokesperson, Andrew Whalen, released a statement soon after the maps were released declaring: “Shuler is running for re-election in 2012 and looks forward to continuing to fight for all the working families of Western North Carolina. … This is the partisan and politically gerrymandered map we expected. It does nothing to move our nation forward, but rather continues to divide us.”

Statewide, John Davis, editor of the John Davis Report, writes that “Under the new congressional districts released today, the partisan advantage will immediately shift from seven Democrats and six Republicans to eight Republican and only three guaranteed Democratic districts, with two that will depend on the strengths of the candidates and the prevailing partisan winds of the given election year.”

The Joint House and Senate Redistricting Committee, which holds responsibility for determining the new districts, will hold a July 7 public hearing that will be telecast to various locations across the state. Locally, the proceedings will be held at A-B Tech and telecast to Raleigh (More info here).

Here’s a Google map of the new districts with a street overlay to help you see which District you live in under the new proposal.

Here’s the new proposed 11th District:

And here’s the new proposed 10th District, which now includes parts of Asheville:

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120 thoughts on “GOP’s proposed congressional districts strip parts of Asheville from the 11th

  1. YAAAAAY! I’m glad they’ve booted Asheville out of our district.

    Districts 12 and 4 are racist districts, set up as a form of political welfare so a black candidate can be elected. So much for the content of one’s character being what mattered instead of skin color, eh?

  2. J

    They haven’t all been stripped out. Much of west Asheville is still in the 11th. Facts are facts.

  3. Jake

    This ain’t gonna fly, as it violates too many of the basics in “how to draw a district.” The GOP is once again overreaching. Let the lawsuits begin.

  4. Bjorn

    It’s an inherent conflict of interest, sitting politicians can & do, use it to protect their power base.

    It’s only purpose is to divide an area into political units giving special advantage to one group.

  5. LOKEL

    So will Bothwell still run for Congress … even though Shuler will no longer be his running mate?

    One thing is for sure, the majority of District 10 (our new home), is “not like” Asheville.

  6. tatuaje

    I love how Moffitt tries so hard to make it seem like it was drawn by non-partisan lawyers.

    ‘It was the lawyers, the Republican party didn’t have anything to do with it!”

    Not to mention he’s on the fricking committee.

    Disingenuous politician is disingenuous.

  7. Ken Hanke

    But it’s perfectly OK to gerrymander districts for political gain, right?

    Of course, if it suits your vision of a conservative stronghold.

  8. bill smith

    ridiculous.

    The Republicans ca it’s ‘unfair’ and ‘wrong’ when the dems do it, but then they do it themselves!

    Ah, the tantalizing hypocrisy of the partisan mind!

  9. Ken Hanke

    Here’s a Google map of the new districts with a street overlay to help you see which District you live in under the new proposal

    In other words it turns Asheville and Black Mountain out, thereby making the district a Republican stronghold.

  10. jeff

    Looks to me like my neighborhood in West Asheville is still in district 11.

  11. What a ridiculous district!!!!

    There will no doubt be legal challenges but they have nothing to lose by going for the whole enchilada. If a court strikes them down, so what? And if they don’t…they have changed the political landscape in this state for a decade.

    What on earth does Asheville have in common with those other counties culturally? Nothing. Its ridiculous, we are appalachia and should be in an appalachian district.

    And Moffitt, just please let me know who is running against them so I can start donating a portion of my monthly paycheck to them.

    Moffitt has no ethics.

  12. Asheville Dweller

    The 11th was a Conservative stronghold before, until Shuler unseated Taylor. The only reason he swept Taylor was because the educated folks in Asheville just researched the “D” in front of Shuler’s name and that was enough research for them.

    Any amount of research would of turned up that Shuler was a Blue Dog, he only ran as a Democrat because he knew he couldn’t beat Taylor as a Republican.

  13. tatuaje

    Wow, stunning political analysis there Dweller.

    You should send your CV to the NYT.

  14. A Google Map Overlay is what they should have released in the first place.

    Don’t despair completely, Lefties. We could still mess up and nominate someone who’d lose to Shuler.

  15. Roger

    Thunderpig,

    On the 4th and 12th, this is a big deal in political science and a major debate. Republicans for years have salivated at the chance to draw majority/minority districts. Its not because they are feeling good about more minority representation, but it is because you are packing tons of Democrat voters into one seat and thereby drawing several predominantly white districts that are more conservative and vote republican. Some affectionately call them “apartied districts”. You can African-American or Hispanic seats at the expense of more Democrat seats that might better represent the voting and political interests of African-Americans.

    A hot debate.

    Roger

  16. [b]The 11th was a Conservative stronghold before, until Shuler unseated Taylor. [/b]

    Conservative? Maybe. But not Republican. As I’ve noted elsewhere in the Xpress Forums, NC 11 District has been represented by a Democrat [b]all but three times since 1837[/b], for a total of 20 years out of 172. Taylor was an aberration in the history of NC 11 politics.

    So, how do you want to spin that?

    • I just want to interject that six year old comments should not be commented on from a present-day perspective and I already apologize for doing so.

  17. tatuaje

    Actually, McHenry must be hating this.

    Check out the stats for the new 10th district

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gis/randr07/District_Plans/DB_2011/Congress/Rucho-Lewis_Congress_1/Reports/DistrictStats/SingleDistAdobe/rptDistrictStats-10.pdf

    As of right now, a savvy Dem could dethrone him, and as Asheville grows over the next few years and people flee the rural areas for jobs, the gap will surely shrink.

    In fact, I see this as a boon for Asheville.

    As silly and partisan as it is, the people who did this were WAY shortsighted methinks.

  18. Asheville Dweller

    Not spinning, its still a strong hold if it wasnt then why did Charles Taylor rule for so long??? He was a big ol evil Republican a dimmycrat should of unseated him long before Shuler did.

    Remember I said BLUE DOG, you forgot that part completely on your quest to be smug.

    And Also Up until Recent times Democrat and Republican Ideals have crossed lines, in terms of who called themselves what, Shuler says hes a Democrat, we know hes really a Moderate to right Conservative, Its not a secret.

    Life is alot more fullfilling when you stop blindly following political ideas, and vote for the Person not the party because both parties have failed us.

    The only thing that the folks in Asheville have to whine about is that they didnt research Shuler before voting and just went with the “D”.

    I knew what he was, and so did alot of other folks.

  19. Cosmic Ballroom

    “This ain’t gonna fly, as it violates too many of the basics in “how to draw a district.””

    That baby went out with the bath water when D12 was originally created.

  20. [b]As of right now, a savvy Dem could dethrone him[/b]

    I haven’t seen any response out of Mr. Bothwell yet.

    Is he, um, savvy?

    [b]a dimmycrat should of unseated[/b]

    This bit right here contains two reasons why I don’t see the need to talk to you.

    [b]
    And Also Up until Recent times Democrat and Republican Ideals have crossed lines[/b]

    Is there something wrong with your keyboard? Also, there’s no way to diagram your sentence and make any sense out of it.

    [b]Life is alot more fullfilling when you stop blindly following political ideas, and vote for the Person not the party because both parties have failed us.[/b]

    I keep hearing that a lot from “independents” but they seem to have a lot more disparaging comments for the “dimmycrats” than they do Republicans.

    I don’t think people had any illusions about Shuler. They just didn’t want Taylor any more.

  21. tatuaje

    I don’t think Cecil stands a chance against McHenry. But according to WLOS he’s going to continue running against Shuler and move to the 11th if he wins.

    Shuler could beat McHenry but he lives in the 11th.

    Lots of money and support from the national party and McHenry’s gone.

    And Also Up until Recent times Democrat and Republican Ideals have crossed lines

    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  22. Ken Hanke

    Oh no, Republicans are imitating Democrats.

    Too bad they don’t think more like Democrats.

  23. LamontCranston

    Republicans cannot, and have not won on their ideas for so long than anyone can remember. Redistricting to gain the advantage??? I’m shocked…. Shocked, I say.

    I guess that’s why they resorted to the bias Supreme Court to give the election to W in 2000, and then looked the other way in 2004 when Blackwell in Ohio swung it again with dirty tricks at the voting booths. Yes sir: They can’t win on their whack-a-doodle ideas, but sure can cheat like the best of them to win. Maybe someday the Republicans will grow up and stop being ethically, and morally challenged, and come up with some ideas that the entire country would/could embrace.

    Nah….

    By the way… Where are all those jobs they promised, but haven’t submitted any legislation to fulfill their campaign promises??? We all should know the answer to that one by now.

  24. indy499

    People are acting as if the current map is drawn fairly and without any gerrymandering.

    Second, the Voting Rights Act of 1982 requires the creation and preservation of minority districts. Classic example of when the government comes to help, you are in trouble. Clearly met the primary mission but creates districts that monolithic black votes win with 90% of the vote, thereby “wasting” votes that could otherwise influence surrounding districts.

  25. Margaret Williams

    Ov vey @mat C — play a little nicer. You should see my text messages. I have so many typos, some of my texts are harder to read than my handwriting. And you should see my signature.

  26. bill smith

    [i]Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like? [/i]

    Hunh?

  27. bill smith

    [i]The only reason he swept Taylor was because the educated folks in Asheville just researched the “D” in front of Shuler’s name and that was enough research for them.

    Any amount of research would of turned up that Shuler was a Blue Dog, he only ran as a Democrat because he knew he couldn’t beat Taylor as a Republican. [/i]

    Yep, Shuler is basically a Republican. You are right. And yet, he is still leaps and bounds better than Taylor. So what does that mean Taylor ‘actually’ is/was? An extremist? A Corporatist?

  28. luther blissett

    “Districts 12 and 4 are racist districts, set up as a form of political welfare so a black candidate can be elected.”

    Shorter plunderswine: “segregation never existed.”

    Weirdo McHenry has never faced a serious challenger, so his results aren’t necessarily representative. But this kind of tactic is straight out of the GOP playbook, as seen when Austin got carved up in Texas redistricting.

  29. Asheville has more in common with San Francisco than with the Appalachian Region. Just read what some of you guys have written in the forums and on your blogs…or even the tourist brochures.

    You’ve tried to separate yourselves from those of us who’ve lived in these mountains for generations. Well, it appears that you’ve gotten your wish.

  30. Um, my family has been in the Appalachians since the 1780s, bub. Some in Virginia, some in North Carolina.

    I really don’t think you have a leg to stand on by saying that the mountains are strictly a conservative land. It might fit nicely with your experience and with your perceived reality but those are insular perceptions that lack the depth and breadth of experience outside of your own peer group.

  31. Nice try putting words in my mouth, mat. I guess you have to find some way of making it personal. I won’t fall for it.

    I was pointing out that people in Asheville have tried to make sure everyone knew their city was different from the surrounding area. I said nothing about politics in that last post.

  32. @Roger:

    In my opinion, the unconstitutional act of packing congressional districts so there will be minority representation does hurt Democrats. It is also a form of political welfare for minorities and makes them feel entitled to having someone elected to Congress based on the color of their skin (or their ability to appeal to a group of people based on race) instead of the content of their character.

    I do find it very amusing to see Democrats up in arms and attempting to seek the moral high ground when they find themselves in the minority.

    Where were they when the NC Senate that Bob Carpenter of Macon County represented was redistricted so that he couldn’t win?

    It is my belief that these districts have been drawn as fairly as they could have, given that they had to abide by the odious law that mandates certain districts be drawn up based on skin color? The drawing of those districts has an affect on the drawing of the rest of the districts.

    Try reading the full joint statement released by Senator Rucho and Representative Lewis on the process. A PDF can be found at http://bit.ly/RuchoLewis

  33. [b]I guess you have to find some way of making it personal.[/b]

    I think that trying to paint an entire group of people as completely homogeneous thereby marginalizing others at the expense of a mythology is pretty personal.

    [b]I said nothing about politics in that last post.[/b]

    The right wing has melded politics and culture successfully for forty years. Your intentions in that post are clear as day. You want to segregate Asheville outside of your idea of “home”, despite the fact that you can’t. Unless you want to have the state gerrymander the districts across state lines.

    Or maybe you’d like a campaign of “cultural cleansing”. Throw out all the weirdos and outsiders? Just let them good, clean, mountain people reclaim their ancestral homes? If, of course, we define two or three centuries as enough time for something to become ancestral.

    You are part of an angry and confused group of people who cannot accept that the world is changing around them. You cling to an outdated and historically incorrect notion of “the good old days” and hope that you can close your eyes and make the “bad people” go away. You stockpile supplies in hopes of Armageddon and then you wonder why the rest of the nation treats you oh-so-horribly.

    As to your comments on “minority” districts, they place you squarely among people who simply believe that saying, “ok, we’re all equal now” somehow immediately means that people who were treated as property for 400 years suddenly have a fair shake. That’s about as backwards an idea as there can be. You talk about “unconstitutional” district lines and it makes one wonder if you wouldn’t be more comfortable with making all them “black people” worth 3/5 of a person again.

    There are far better reasons to have an issue with certain aspects of affirmative action. Sadly, you don’t seem to have a grasp of those. Instead, you’d like to pretend that people are completely equal now, despite the fact that some of them still show up to the starting line in the shackles of slavery.

  34. Just winding up a vacation today at Edisto. Will be sending out a press release concerning redistricting by this evening.

  35. And, while there is no requirement that a congressional candidate actually live in a district, I love West Asheville and could easily be persuaded to move a mile west.

  36. @mat:

    So much anger. How do you keep it contained?

    I’ll try to have a decent conversation with you.

    These periodical redrawing of political districts is a result of the Constitutional Mandate that these districts be composed of roughly equal voters in each district. See Westberry v Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964) and Karcher v Daggett, 466 U.S. 910 (1984). The only way that district lines remain with the same geographic boundaries is for there to be no population growth or migration from one region to another. Good luck with that.

    Other areas of the state grew at a faster pace than our area did (primarily Charlotte and the Triangle), so our district had to grow in size to compensate.

    According to Strickland v. Bartlett, 129 U.S. 1231
    (2009), there have to be districts that have a majority black voting age population. To ensure that, those districts had to be drawn first, and this affects the options for how the others are drawn. I think that this requirement is unconstitutional and racist. So, until we get the law overturned and replaced with common sense, we will have to abide by it.

    Buncombe County was divided because it is an urban county, and best represented by more than one Congressman. This is a continuation of past policy of the NC General Assembly. For more information on that, download a PDF of the Congress Zero Deviation Report. It makes for fascinating analysis.

    As to what happened 400 years ago, neither you nor I were present when those crimes occurred. I don’t believe that I should be held accountable for them. This defies logic and creates even more injustice that will, if your logic holds, need to be rectified in future generations.

    Once again, I just love how you go to great lengths to imagine what is going on in my head and how you fantasize about me being in favor of genocidal campaigns against weirdos. If you want to have a better look at what goes on in my head, try reading my blog instead of relying on gossip and fantasy.

  37. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Thunder Pig: Asheville has more in common with San Francisco than with the Appalachian Region.

    How so?

  38. ‘You are part of an angry and confused group of people who cannot accept that the world is changing around them. You cling to an outdated and historically incorrect notion of “the good old days” and hope that you can close your eyes and make the “bad people” go away. “ ~Mat

    I too have deep ancestral roots here going back to the mid 1700s. I have come to this same conclusion. My people are of this same persuasion…..mostly they are folks who have not kept up with the changing times. They are salt of the earth folks, BUT are fear-driven and are clinging to an idea of an idealized past. Rather than pull themselves up by their bootstraps they point fingers at all the changes they can’t control and are fearful of. They are being left behind. Their children will not have even close to the life that they took for granted. Faux News is always blaring when I go tho their homes. It feeds their sense of fear and loss of control.

  39. bill smith

    I say give the Republican social conservative pseudo free marketeers the reigns. Or, as it were, enough rope.

  40. Ashevegasjoe

    Yea! Why would blacks want a black person to represent them, old rich white guys have been doing a bang up job so far.

    I’m pretty sure no matter how they draw the lines, if Repubtards keep making asinine legislation they’ll lose the upcoming elections nationwide. Keep on cutting social programs and trying to legislate your religion and you’ll be hanging out with McCain at the country club.

  41. Grant Millin

    I’m in East Asheville. If a zero ethics ass clown like McHenry thinks he represents me, he’s got another thing coming.

    Let’s turn this all around and make the GOP people regret this.

  42. tatuaje

    Bill & Cecil….Moderated.

    Where’s the rope? WE NEED MORE ROPE?

  43. luther blissett

    Or maybe you’d like a campaign of “cultural cleansing”. Throw out all the weirdos and outsiders?

    We all know what Swinester would have been doing to keep the mountains “pure” if he’d lived a century ago.

    The gossamer justification for something has been celebrated by political observers as “a work of art” in gerrymandering is a testament to his pretense and delusion.

    Buncombe County was divided because it is an urban county, and best represented by more than one Congressman.

    BS. Or, in reality, best left unrepresented by drawing it in as the scrag-end of a district that’s focused on Gastonia, while Swinester will be shocked! shocked! when the GOP’s focus of attention for the 11th moves to Morganton and environs, and his beloved mountains are considered as nothing more as a source of rubes at polling time.

  44. [b]I think that this requirement is unconstitutional and racist. So, until we get the law overturned and replaced with common sense, we will have to abide by it…As to what happened 400 years ago, neither you nor I were present when those crimes occurred. I don’t believe that I should be held accountable for them. This defies logic and creates even more injustice that will, if your logic holds, need to be rectified in future generations.[/b]

    So, the fact that you don’t feel responsible for the history of African people in America means that you deny the reality of their experience?

    I would have thought you’d be more than happy to have their votes concentrated into as few districts as possible.

  45. No, Mat, that has been the historical position of the Democrat Party under their plantation-style vote-bloc farming. Their primary purpose in creating the legislation for these race-based districts was to ensure districts that would vote a Democrat into Congress and eases the pressure on the state and national parties on spending resources to win the district every election cycle; a secondary, and more subtle purpose, is to reinforce to black voters that they can never be fully American…that they must have an identity based primarily on the color of their skin and affiliation with the Democrat Party.

    It is a Psychological Reservation that keeps these voters electoral prisoners of the Democrat Party. It is sad that Federal Law is written so that Republicans have to leave it in place when drawing up Congressional Districts.

    It is my dream that one day, these people will be freed from their electoral slavery and that they will learn that they are just as American as you or I, and no different.

  46. Jake

    Pig managed to fit an astounding amount of fatuous tripe into that last comment. Wow.

    Sorry, Pig, we ain’t buyin’ tripe today.

  47. Ifthis law is indeed a way to keep blacks “on the plantation”…then Republicans had to go along with voting it into law. So they too are part of this scheme to keep blacks suppressed.

    Do you also dream of a more benevolent and compassionate Republican future?

  48. Ken Hanke

    It is my dream that one day, these people will be freed from their electoral slavery and that they will learn that they are just as American as you or I, and no different.

    Always presupposing they agree that you know what’s best and that your “vision” of America is the right — and not just right-wing — one.

  49. sharpleycladd

    TP wins for the most fact-free declaration of the decade.

    “Electoral slavery” is just the sort of tortured oxymoron one would expect from American Conservative “thought”: Getting to choose one’s representatives is somehow a form of slavery? This is a your-brain-on-drugs, raised-under-power-lines, ate-paint-chips-all-my-life rhetorical/logical miscarriage that somehow passes without comment these days.

    The party that is trying to keep people from exercising their right to vote, i.e., hastening the arrival of the pharoah-state and slavery, i.e., restricting the constitutionally-guaranteed right of suffrage by re-thinking it as a privilege, is the Republican Party, the sorriest excuse for a political program the world has yet seen, with the possible exception of the Khmer Rouge.

    But I kid.

  50. bill smith

    [i]

    Districts 12 and 4 are racist districts, set up as a form of political welfare so a black candidate can be elected. [/i]

    So, Taylor and Shuler are Black?

  51. bill smith

    [i]Sorry, Pig, we ain’t buyin’ tripe today. [/i]

    Well, lucky for you, he’s distributing it for free! Must be an anarchist.

  52. Irienow

    I think districts should be set up in blocks set by longitude and latitude. The gerrymandering is cynical, self serving and not in the best interests of the people.

    The country folks with little money that vote Republican do not realize they are supporting policies that keep them oppressed—what a sad bunch.

  53. Sharpley, you went a little too far. Khmer Rouge, yes. But there are others somewhat sorrier than the modern GOP: Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Yemen. Even Pakistan, though that’s a close call.

  54. @sharpleycladd:

    It amuses me how Lefties automatically go for the personal attack when engaging in debate. I’d like to thank you for adding to the collection, in particular “This is a your-brain-on-drugs, raised-under-power-lines, ate-paint-chips-all-my-life rhetorical/logical miscarriage that somehow passes without comment these days.” it was a laugh out loud moment for me, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

    Stacking the deck to make sure that race is the deciding factor in an election is racist…whether it is done in favor of white candidates (as it has been done historically,

  55. sharpleycladd

    The “affirmative action is racism” canard is part of the outfall of the Republican Party’s “southern strategy,” and your extension of the rhetorical construction into the question of political districting is duly noted.

    I won’t go into the merits of affirmative action here, nor will I rise to the bait about whether it’s racism or not. I will say, however, that beginning a debate about its effectiveness by declaring it racist is – at the risk of advancing an ad hominem argument – painfully stupid.

    As it applies to political districting, I really think you’re out on a limb with the race-baiting. Districts are drawn by the party in power with an eye to maximizing seats; the tendency of one or another racial group to affiliate with one or another political party may affect the racial makeup of one or another district, but you’re confusing cause with effect if you think political hacks in Raleigh really care what color hand casts the ballot.

    Incidentally, I think the Republican Party is free to draw districts as they like, under the same rules as the Democrats have complied with in the past. They won, they’ve got a majority, they’ve got two years before they get nuked at the polls, and I’m looking forward to canvassing against Patrick McHenry, who invites ad hominem attacks like a slab a bacon smeared with gravy in a box full of pit bulls.

  56. Betty Cloer Wallace

    In the decade prior to the establishment of District 12 in 1992, the Democratic Party was more unified statewide than ever before or since; the leadership of the Executive Council was heavily black; and the party worked tirelessly for the creation of that district.

    Political, yes, since that’s what political parties do. Racist, no, at least not in the manner suggested by Thunder Pig.

    So how could Democrats ever have been unified, much less organized? (You know that old Will Rogers joke.) Quite simply, the overriding focus of Democrats statewide was to unseat Jesse Helms.

    In 1984 the Helms juggernaut had defeated former governor Jim Hunt after homophobic Republican news media ran negative propaganda accusing Hunt of being a “prissy homosexual”; and in 1990 Harvey Gantt, a popular black mayor of Charlotte, was defeated by Jesse Helms after Helms put out racist propaganda known as the “white hands” commercials, saying that a white man could not be hired because of racial quotas.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIyewCdXMzk

  57. Margaret Williams

    Overall, a good discussion here. But please avoid getting into personal spats (i.e. “flame wars”) with each other … and ask yourself whether you’re adding anything substantive or just being a smartass. Respect the commenters, respect the moderators.

  58. sharpleycladd

    Republican efforts to keep people from voting are a good deal more worrisome to me than the redistricting issue.

  59. kimboronni

    I’m still learning. Do voters have a say in this redistricting?

  60. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I’m still learning. Do voters have a say in this redistricting?

    Not at this point. The people we elected have the final “say” at this time.

    Our only opportunity for future “say” is who we elect during the current decade–our elected representatives who will draw new lines following the 2020 census.

    We can try to influence current members of the General Assembly through our respective political parties up until the lines are finally drawn; but in the final analysis, it is their “say,” and it is highly unlikely that any minds will be influenced during this cycle.

    But every good citizen keeps on trying, which is the American way in our two-party system, and the pendulum does swing, so look ahead to the upcoming elections, which is where you can have your say.

  61. reasonable

    Betty,
    The pendulum does indeed swing and finally did after over a century. I and many others (not commenting here, of course) are quite happy about that at this point. We’ll see how it goes, eh?

    The affected “outrage” that has been displayed in this thread is somewhat amusing considering the State’s looong history of the recently ousted party’s gerrymandering actions.

    What’s the word that describes that type of behavior?

  62. Ken Hanke

    I and many others (not commenting here, of course) are quite happy about that at this point.

    I love it when people insist they’re expressing the views of the many by expressing their own.

  63. reasonable

    Oh, and Ken, I just did a quick count of the different posters on this thread who have written of their despair on this issue ranging from the ad hoc to the ad hominem–seventeen or so.

    I just wrote down the names of 28 downtown folks who are, as I previously wrote, quite happy about it. So, I stand by my previous post to you.

  64. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ reasonable: The affected “outrage” that has been displayed in this thread is somewhat amusing considering the State’s looong history of the recently ousted party’s gerrymandering actions. What’s the word that describes that type of behavior?

    Well, “amusing” is certainly not the word, at least not in regard to WNC’s past or future.

    The best word for WNC’s lack of influence in Raleigh for the past two centuries (except for our only prosperous decades of the 1960s-1980s) is “disenfranchised,” or as mountaineers would describe it, we’ve been “sucking the hind tit” for a long time.

    Rural Western North Carolinians had voted Republican for decades until we realized that a Republican in WNC was not cut from the same cloth as a Republican in the piedmont and coastal areas, and neither Democrats nor Republicans downstate were sharing their power or tax-generated bounty with us.

    Only with the emergence of the Democratic Party in WNC in the 1960-1980s did WNC “get out of the mud” and achieve some respectable influence in Raleigh, e.g. being funded for paved roads, educational institutions, agricultural research, and technological advancement.

    (We have Bob Scott, Liston Ramsey, and Herbert Hyde, among others, to thank for that—the only time in our history that the pendulum swung all the way up into the mountains.)

    Now we are regressing, though, through the naivete of our own children and the naivete of outlanders who have moved here and think erroneously that North Carolina functions as a whole state—not three separate, disparate regions.

    Ultimately, the destruction of Asheville’s hard-earned progressivism by the proposed redistricting will haunt all of WNC for several decades; and with the smacking down of Democratic Party influence by the redistricting, especially the removal of a chunk of Asheville (our cultural, social, and economic center) from District 11, we can kiss any further economic progress in WNC goodbye for a long, long time.

    I care about North Carolina, but I care about Western North Carolina more; and we are now without anyone in any position of influence to fight for us, either at the state or federal level.

    We’d better plow our gardens and feed our goats, because all the state and federal money for economic development during the next ten or twenty years will not be coming our way. It’ll be down in the piedmont and eastern North Carolina where all the power now lies.

    Our only hope, realistically, is to come together as a REGION and plan ahead for future elections.

  65. reasonable

    Betty,
    You know the word I referenced and you know it’s true, now.

    Then, neither Democrat nor Republican gave a hoot about the hills. That was then. Today, information access to virtually everyone assures that folks have the capacity and ability to know what’s happening and how to do something about that which one doesn’t agree.

    That’s what happened last election.

    Why do you suppose that was?

    By the way, that was a lovely, historical post.

  66. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ reasonable: I just wrote down the names of 28 downtown folks who are, as I previously wrote, quite happy about it.

    What exactly do these 28 downtown people expect to gain?

  67. Ken Hanke

    I just wrote down the names of 28 downtown folks who are, as I previously wrote, quite happy about it.

    Okay, so you’re speaking for 28 people in your circle. And this somehow means that you think you’re the voice of the majority?

  68. reasonable

    @Betty, I believe we’re Hoping for the beginning of just a scintilla of political and fiscal Change around Asheville. As I wrote to you above, “…We’ll see how it goes, eh?…”

  69. Margaret Williams

    The Joint House/Senate Committee on Redistricting will conduct hearings on Congressional Redistricting Maps at Western North Carolina University in Cullowhee; A-B Tech in Asheville and Appalachian State University in Boone from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    Registration for speaking at the hearings will begin at each site 1 hour prior to the convening of the hearing, and will close prior to the beginning of the session. You can register on-line 5 days in advance of the hearing and this registration will close 24 hours in advance of the hearing. There are limited slots for on-line sign-up.

    Please visit the following link to sign-up to speak at any of the locations for the July 7th Public Hearing at http://www.ncleg.net/applications/rts/Redistricting.aspx?id=20.

    Each speaker will be limited to five minutes. This afternoon, the Congressional districts being proposed by the GOP leadership can be viewed by visiting http://www.ncleg.net/redistricting.

    On July 18, hearings will be held on proposed NC House and Senate Districts.

  70. Ashevegasjoe

    I always find it amusing when T.P. and others with his mindset make claims of the poor, ignorant black man who just doesn’t understand the Democrats inherent racism. Is it incomprehensible to you that black people could be as intelligent as you are, and in fact agree with the principles of the Democratic party? Not everyone believes unchecked corporatism and jamming Christianity down unbelievers throats is productive (or constitutional). I theorize blacks vote for Dems, in large part, because they identify with core issues like education, healthcare, and fair taxation. And, because the GOP is a bunch of racists.

  71. reasonable

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

    and

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    further

    “There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”
    –Alexis de Tocqueville

    “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
    –Margaret Thatcher

  72. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Reasonable, exactly what do you expect District 10 to provide for Asheville? Exactly what bones do you think Gastonia will toss our way?

    Political influence in NC does not rest in proposed District 10. Gastonia will not bring your hoped-for change to Asheville.

    Why do you think the RTP is where it is?

  73. I’m just tickled that Asheville will get to experience what life as a smaller fish in the presence of bigger fish in the pond is like. And that so many of them hate Congressman Patrick McHenry is just icing on the cake. http://is.gd/SHonPM

  74. reasonable

    Betty, I don’t expect district 10 to provide anything differently than is currently provided except for the panty-twist it’s causing right now and nothing’s really happened yet.

    I too am just as tickled as TP is about it.

  75. sharpleycladd

    If you open an account with Bank of America, you get a tote-bag-sized Patrick McHenry – handy for calling people liars.

  76. bill smith

    [i]I’m just tickled that Asheville will get to experience what life as a smaller fish in the presence of bigger fish in the pond is like.[/i]

    What a perfect illustration of Mr. Bothwell’s point about how Republicans are perpetuating a redistricting that they themselves have always cried foul over. Almost as if The Republicans dont really mind WHAT dirty tricks the Dems employ, they just mind that they didnt get to do it themselves.

    Give them a little power, and they prove to be even worse than the Dems!

  77. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Thunder Pig: I’m just tickled that Asheville will get to experience what life as a smaller fish in the presence of bigger fish in the pond is like.

    @ Reasonable: I don’t expect District 10 to provide anything differently than is currently provided…I too am just as tickled as TP is about it.

    Then best wishes to you and Thunder Pig and any others who want to be a suburb of Gastonia.

    Personally, I want a lot more than that for WNC.

  78. @Betty Cloer Wallace:

    Two points:

    I don’t live in Asheville and Asheville is not WNC.

    I would love to see Asheville treated as a suburb of Gastonia because the people of asheville seem to want to treat the rest of WNC as suburbs of Asheville.

    @TwoBears:

    We must fight this Rural Council signed into being by Executive Order of President Obama. It is little more than trying to ram the UN Agenda 21 down our throats.

    @Jake Frankel:

    Perhaps with Asheville out of the 11th District, we can get a Congressman as good as Patrick McHenry.

  79. tatuaje

    I’m just tickled that Asheville will get to experience what life as a smaller fish in the presence of bigger fish in the pond is like. And that so many of them hate Congressman Patrick McHenry is just icing on the cake.

    It’s playground attitudes like this one that make me weep for our country.

    Nothing about what’s best for our country or your neighbors, only rubbing the other fellow’s nose in it.

    Perhaps with Asheville out of the 11th District, we can get a Congressman as good as Patrick McHenry.

    *Shivers*

    Voted NO on revitalizing severely distressed public housing. (Jan 2008)

    Voted NO on regulating the sub-prime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)

    Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)

    Voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes. (Apr 2009)

    Voted NO on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society. (Nov 2007)

    Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008)

    Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)

    Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)

    Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel. (Aug 2007)

    Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008)

    Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006)

    Voted NO on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. (Jun 2009)

    Voted NO on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan. (Jun 2009)

    Voted NO on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Apr 2009)

    Voted NO on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009)

    Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare. (Jul 2008)

    Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health. (Mar 2008)

    Voted NO on Veto override: Extend SCHIP to cover 6M more kids. (Jan 2008)

    Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Jan 2007)

    Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)

    Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad. (Mar 2008)

    Voted NO on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations. (Mar 2008)

    Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)

    Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts. (Mar 2007)

    Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)

    Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)

    Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007)

    Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)

    Voted NO on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income. (Jun 2008)

    Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007)

    Voted YES on retroactive immunity for telecoms’ warrantless surveillance. (Jun 2008)

    Voted NO on establishing “network neutrality” (non-tiered Internet). (Jun 2006)

    Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)

    http://www.ontheissues.org/NC/Patrick_McHenry.htm

    McHenry is a hateful little man funded by the banking industry.

    He couldn’t care less about ThunderPig or anyone else.

  80. Darn near enough to make me jump into the 10th. But, I’m a mountain fellow, and so I’ll make my stand in the 11th.

    Fortunately, there’s a contender running against McHenry, Heath Wynn.

    We will work together to undo some of the mischief being perpetrated in D.C.

  81. Ken Hanke

    Nothing about what’s best for our country or your neighbors, only rubbing the other fellow’s nose in it.

    It speaks volumes for the petty-minded vindictiveness of those on the right — at least the ones that are posting here.

    McHenry is a hateful little man funded by the banking industry.

    Good Lord, that voting record is about the most horrific thing I’ve seen recently.

  82. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Ken Hanke: It speaks volumes for the petty-minded vindictiveness of those on the right—at least the ones that are posting here.

    Just because a few uber-rightists now dominate MtnX, though, and derail any significant discussion herein, does not mean that all of WNC thinks like that.

    Asheville has certainly gone too far with its “keep Asheville weird” reputation, but throwing the baby out with the bath water is not justice for the baby or the bath water.

    Anyone who reads MtnX exclusively these days would think WNC is becoming like Idaho–a haven for white supremacists, religious nuts, and “narheads”–but most independent-minded freedom-loving mountaineers do not fall into any of those extremes.

    When the uber-rightists say they want to become a suburb of the piedmont mill towns, their own baby jesus cries.

    The proposed redistricting was spearheaded by downstate Republicans, remember, not mountain Republicans or Democrats.

    Herbert Hyde must be turning over in his grave right now, and Liston Ramsey too.

  83. Ken Hanke

    Just because a few uber-rightists now dominate MtnX, though, and derail any significant discussion herein, does not mean that all of WNC thinks like that.

    I never implied it did.

  84. reasonable

    The main reason that Liston “Boss Hogg” Ramsey might be turning in his grave is that he FINALLY lost his autocratic grip on the legislature due to his parochial pork production for WNC.

    The current proposed redistricting might just only make him turn a tad faster.

    Betty, if you think that “uber(sic)-rightists now dominate MtnX” then you are not reading the MtnX. Good gosh, the editorial position of this paper and its usual chorus liberal, lefty, Progressive, and/or anarchistis are at least 4 orders of magnitude to the left of the AC-T which is considerable.

    Let’s just see what happens. We just happen to disagree at this point.

  85. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Sorry, Ken. I know you were not implying that.

    My mind was running in the context of the several uber-rightists who post regularly here and who appear erroneously to be speaking for the multitudes–and who are thrilled to create divisiveness between Asheville and environs.

    Those few who are happy that Asheville, the heart of our mountains for more than 200 years, might be ripped out and stomped, which would weaken all the rest of WNC, too, are in the minority.

    Yes, WNC as a whole is rather conservative, but far from the extremists here and in District 10.

    Patrick McHenry “representing” Asheville would be a nightmare.

  86. The few how openly disdain Asheville and it’s progressive, opne minded leanings, have obviously been holed up back in the hollars and not ventured out into the world for a long time…if ever.

    Asheville’s not perfect by any means. But in many ways it’s a superior city to many others I’ve been in.

  87. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Reasonable, prior to Liston Ramsey’s third and fourth decades of his four-decades tenure in the House, all the “pork” went to the rest of the state, primarily the Research Triangle Park area and eastern NC.

    Then, after years of learning the legislative ropes and building statewide alliances, the “pork” that Ramsey, Herbert Hyde, et. al., brought to WNC consisted of paved roads, educational institutions, agricultural research, technological advancements, and industrial recruitment.

    At that time, no one up here was complaining about them “getting us out of the mud” for the first time. We were finally getting a long overdue return on our taxes rather than seeing the state’s bounty and the results of industrial recruitment all end up downstate.

    WNC is still lagging behind the rest of the state, but we’d still be mired in the mud if not for Ramsey.

    Can you name even one frivolous “pork” project that Ramsey brought to WNC?

  88. reasonable

    Been outside playing, Betty, sorry it took so long here. Ramsey would routinely give $30k or even $60k to whomever he deemed supportive of him and an ally. If you weren’t, you got nada and the figurative back of his hand. Also, “…Counties with powerful Democrats fared better
    in their share of pork barrel spending than those
    represented by Republicans. Over the last four
    years, Madison County residents received $13.22
    per capita in pork barrel money. That county is represented by House Speaker Liston Ramsey, a lifelong Democrat and Speaker since 1981. By contrast, nearby Henderson County, represented by a series of Republicans in the General Assembly in recent years, received just $1.26 in per capita pork barrel spending. The statewide average for all counties was $4.36….”

    That’s from the Oct 1987 Greensboro News and Observer’s primer on NC Pork Spending.

    His utter disdain for those not kissing his feet, including Democrats, is what got him tossed out. In a way, losing your position, prestige and job over pork habits appears foolish and frivolous.

    Using your reasoning, I suppose Charles Taylor was a good porker for our area, too, right?

    Anyway, if it weren’t for the wealthy northern industrialists (robber-barons) who actually made Asheville something 100 yrs ago through their selfish largess, we’d still have turkeys and pigs running through town square. So, in that respect, had that not occurred, Asheville might have resembled it’s WNC surroundings today. But it occur and Asheville never again will be like the rest of WNC.

    Except for topography, we’re more like Hickory and Gastonia only more conflicted.

  89. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Reasonable, whoever you are, quoting from a controversial and historically questionable downstate newspaper, parroting cliches and extremist exaggerations, and casting blanket aspersions on WNC while extolling lumber barons and Charles Taylor does little to convince anyone that you have any first-hand knowledge of WNC past or present.

  90. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The total context, aka cherry picking out of context.

    So, again, can you name even one frivolous “pork” project that Ramsey brought to anywhere in WNC?

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