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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 03, 2014, 12:30:38 am
The Texas Constitution provides for three types of House districts.
(1) Single-county district with one or more representatives.
(2) Multi-county district with one representative.
(3) Multi-county district with zero or more counties entitled to less than one representative, and one or more counties where the district represents the surplus population from a Type (1) district, electing one representative.


Type 3 is a floterial district.  For example, if Adams County were entitled to 2.4 representatives, and its neighbor Baker County was entitled to 0.6 representatives, then District 1 would be Adams, with 2 representatives; and District 2 would be Adams+Baker, with 1 representative.  The voters in Adams could vote for all 3 representatives.  While a floterial district makes sense from an apportionment viewpoint, it doesn't make sense from an electoral viewpoint.  While Baker is providing 40% of the population for apportionment purposes, it only has 20% of the electorate, and will likely be dominated by the Adams voters.

The 1964 plan had 11 such floterial districts.  These were declared unconstitutional in 1967, and a new plan was adopted.

Consistent with RG's creation between 1970 and 1999, I struck pure floterial districts as unconstitutional. I left them both options 1 and 2.
Pre-1967, Type 1 (single county) and Type 3 (floterial) overlaid each other in a vertical stack.  If there had been single member election districts, then a county entitled to 4.5 representatives would have been divided into 4 districts of roughly equal population, and then all voters would have voted in the floterial district.  Of course we don't know if this would have been done, since floterial districts were declared unconstitutional before at-large elections.

Post-1967, and particularly Post-1971, the Texas Constitution is stretched to transform Type 1 and Type 3 districts to a horizontal configuration, such as the Type 1A district only covers the portion of the county with a population corresponding to a whole number of counties; and the Type 3A district includes an area of the county with the surplus population.

You don't have Type 1 districts except when a whole number of districts are coincident with county boundaries.

The rules in priority order order are:
(1) Don't violate the 10% rule;
(2) Don't split small counties (or create as few as possible)
(3) Don't create type 1A/3A districts (or create as few as possible)

Guidance given to the legislature appears to add a rule (1.5) Don't split large counties into 1A and 3A, except when necessary to comply with the 10% rule for that county.  That is, it's being treated as corollary to rule (1).  That is, if you can comply with (1) without splitting the county, then don't split it.

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After the 1970 census, the legislature ignored the Texas Constitution, and started chopping up counties, under an interpretation that it was impossible to comply with equal protection and the Texas Constitution.  The Texas Supreme Court said that you could stretch the Texas Constitution by attaching a portion of a larger county containing its surplus above a whole number of representatives to smaller counties or similar surplus areas of other larger counties.  So you could replace floterial districts, with a district that contained only the surplus population.   We could call these districts quasi-floterial.

Division of counties may only be done to comply with equal protection (the 10% rule).  In the first plan approved after this ruling, there were two larger counties that had their surplus split between two quasi-floterial districts.  It is not clear that this complies with the stretched Texas Constitution or not.  When there were true floterial districts, there were instances where a surplus of a county was recognized in two floterial districts (eg a county had its own representative, plus was included in two floterial districts with two other sets of counties.

Your Williamson and Bastrop districts are examples of this.   Would the legislature have created a Bastrop district; a Lee, Fayette, Bastrop district; and a Bastrop, Caldwell district?  Likely not.  But on the other hand you avoid splitting smaller counties by doing so.  The legislature may have decided to split Bastrop and Williamson this way after discovering it avoids multiple splits of smaller counties.  That is, it is better to stretch the constitution than to break it.

The Texas legislature would likely have not placed Williamson and Bexar in quasi-floterial districts.  Current legal is that if the districts within a large county may be created within a 5% deviation (or technically to comply with a 10% overall range), then they must be kept within the county.   This is an overly localized analysis.  It in effect says that it is not necessary to use quasi-floterials for such large counties to achieve equal protection, therefore don't do so since it doesn't comply with the Texas Constitution.

On the other hand, from a larger perspective, it may avoid splitting a smaller county, which is in total violation of the constitution.  In the current Texas map, the split of Henderson County can be avoided, if a quasi-floterial district were drawn in Dallas and Ellis counties.  This would also improve overall equality, since Dallas is entitled to over 14 districts, and its districts tend to be oversized.
In the RG constituion I hypothesize that it is clear that adding excess from a large county should be considered before resorting to splits of a smaller county, but splits of smaller counties are not forbidden. I did have to split Atascosa to achieve population equality. However, not all the districts are within 5% of the quota. I used the 10% range rule instead since that provides some extra flexibility to avoid unneeded splits while keeping to federal law.
The Texas constitution has not been clarified.  But based on the stretched interpretation by the Texas Supreme court, it is clear that not splitting small counties is preferred,  But it is ignored.  Incidentally, the 10% rule comes from a Texas House redistricting case.  It happened that they could get within 10% by having one district over 105%, but didn't need to go down to 95%.  They then voluntarily created another district over 105%.   The 10% rule is too much like moving the bulls-eye to match where the arrows landed.  I'd prefer a 5% rule, with an only if necessary exception, but possibly permitting a one-way deviation up to 10%.  Any plan that has a smaller deviation would automatically beat one with a larger deviation greater than 5%. 

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Your plan might be improved by extending a quasi-floterial district out from El Paso, and placing Webb and Jim Hogg in another.  This eliminates the need for the double quasi-floterial for Bexar.
It appears that one small county split is unavoidable.   Are three quasi-floterials preferable to a one double quasi-floterial?

I looked at a quasi-floterial El Paso district, since El Paso is almost exactly 15.5 districts. However, Val Verde is almost large enough for a HD by itself, and the counties between El Paso and Val Verde are just barely over the size of an HD. A quasi-floterial district to deal with the excess El Paso population would have helped in the east, but it forces a chop to Val Verde so I discarded the idea.

Removing Terrell still left the counties east of El Paso very slightly above the quota plus 5%, but not so much that I couldn't arrange the eastern part of RG to make it fit within the range. I quick look didn't show me that the El Paso qF and chop of Val Verde would eliminate more such chops in the east. If it did, then that would be preferable to the apportionment I did.
I had missed that I split Val Verde.

I converted the double qF of Bexar to a single qF, but added a split of Val Verde.  It is close question whether the double qF of Bexar is better than the split of Val Verde.  The constitution doesn't really suggest that Bexar has two surpluses that add to 0.196.  But on the other hand placing a county in two different floterial districts has been done in the past, and there were such qF districts in the 1971 map.

It could be argued that you aren't complying with the Texas Constitution with your Bexar-Kendall district since the Bexar surplus is way short of that needed to complete Kendall.  In effect, you are spreading the error over the rest of the many Bexar districts.  But I don't think that was ever a concern.  Originally most counties in East Texas had one or more representatives, and you could take the counties with surpluses of around 1/2 of a district and pair them.  So you might pair a district with a 0.60 surplus with another with 0.65, or 0.4 with 0.35.
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 02, 2014, 08:03:05 pm
To get a better feel for the dynamics of the hypothetical RG state, I created a legislature. I assumed that the new state would replicate much of the existing state of TX. To that end I gave RG a 150 seat house, just like TX has now. TX has very specific rules about how to apportion house districts to counties, so I kept those for RG. The population range across the entire map must not exceed 10% of the quota of one district. Counties larger than a district get as many whole districts as can fit within the population range. Counties smaller than a district can be combined with other smaller counties or fragments left over from a large county. In general no small counties or fragments can be chopped, but exceptions can be made if necessary to keep districts within range.

I used the 2010 data and made an apportionment following the above rules. Numbers on the map indicate an apportionment of more than one district to a county or group of counties. The range based on the apportionment is 9.7%.



TX has 31 Senators, but to make things easy I reduced it to 30 Senators. The senate districts were formed by grouping five house districts together, keeping the districts within large counties as much as possible. This is roughly how OH does its three-to-one nested districts. The plus indicates a house district that was shifted out of Bell county which has six house districts. That extra is attached to the adjacent Williamson county with a minus sign. The house district with Falls, Milam, and a small part of Williamson is used in forming a different Senate district.



A detailed map with partisan and ethnic data is forthcoming. Smiley
When was the Rio Grande constitution written?

Historically, Texas has not had 150 House members.  The current constitution was written in 1876 and provided for 31 senators, which could never be increased.

The House was to have 93 members, which could be increased but never more than a ratio of one per 15,000 members, and never beyond 150.

By 1900, the population was sufficient to have 150 members representing more than 15,000 persons, but there were only 133 representatives.  No apportionment occurred after the 1910 census; but following the 1920 census, a House of 150 members was established.

In 1999, the constitution was amended to its current version which provides for specifically 31 senators and 150 representatives, since the conditions for smaller numbers had long since passed (there was never the ability to change the number of senators, but perhaps the authors of the constitution wanted to make sure.  A goal of the 1876 constitution is to restrict the government, so making it explicit that the 31 could not be increased was probably deliberate.

The instructions didn't say when the hypothetical states were created, though it was before 2010. I hypothesized that the creation was after 1970, so the impact of the OMOV decisions was known. However I chose to place the division before the 1999 change to the TX constitution (or a most concurrent with it) so that that amendment wouldn't be part of the constitution. Instead RG would reduce the Senate to 30 and use OH-styled nesting for  the SDs. I could have gone with a 90-member House in line with the average of the states, but I specifically wanted a higher degree of granularity and adoption of the House description from TX worked towards that end.
This is the 1961 House map for the area of Rio Grande



There are 45 or so House districts (and around 12 senate districts).  Bexar was clipped at that time, and if the initial House had been tripled it would have pushed El Paso, Nueces, Travis, Hidalgo, and perhaps Cameron into the cap.  The districts aren't uncomfortably vast, so I think they would have modified the language of that time.   On the other hand they would have wanted a larger senate.

The initial size of 93 representatives and 31 would have permitted nesting.  I'm not sure if there was ever nesting since senate districts could not split counties (in 1961, Harris, Dallas, Bexar, and Tarrant were each a senate district).

An odd number of senate members is preferred, since that eliminates the possibility of the Lieutenant Governor have to use his casting vote.  An even number is OK for the House, since Speaker doesn't vote unless there is a tie, and removing him leaves the normal voting number as odd.

So the Rio Grande Constititution of 1962 provided for a House of 50 members, and senate of 25 members.  The size of the house could be increased by multiples of 5 (which would provide for nesting for groups of 5 senate districts), until the House reached 75 members.

The House would then increase by multiples of 6, and the senate by multiples of two when they reached 105 and 35,  The House would then increase by multiples of 7 until it reached a maximum of 140.

The size of the House would be automatically calculated to ensure that it was the smallest size that would provide more than 1 representative per 50,000 persons.

I realize that this has nothing to do with your purpose, but I had initially thought you hadn't followed the current rationalized interpretation of the Texas Constitution.  It is ambiguous whether you did or not.  It is particularly hard to do so because of the large number of house members, the constrained number of counties either side of the I-35 corridor, and the particular concentration of population in the cities in South Texas, and relatively large size of counties.

In Texas, there are choke points around the major metropolitan areas.  It used to be harder in East Texas, because of the irregular shapes of counties and numbers of counties per district.  As the population per district has increased, the number of counties per district has increased and it has become quite flexible.

Incidentally, the petitions for the 6 California's initiative have been submitted, and are in the process of being counted.  It will be real close whether it has enough signatures to qualify.  But if it qualifies and passes, I'd be surprised if Jefferson and West California adopt the same configurations for their legislatures.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: September 02, 2014, 03:41:00 am
To get a better feel for the dynamics of the hypothetical RG state, I created a legislature. I assumed that the new state would replicate much of the existing state of TX. To that end I gave RG a 150 seat house, just like TX has now. TX has very specific rules about how to apportion house districts to counties, so I kept those for RG. The population range across the entire map must not exceed 10% of the quota of one district. Counties larger than a district get as many whole districts as can fit within the population range. Counties smaller than a district can be combined with other smaller counties or fragments left over from a large county. In general no small counties or fragments can be chopped, but exceptions can be made if necessary to keep districts within range.

I used the 2010 data and made an apportionment following the above rules. Numbers on the map indicate an apportionment of more than one district to a county or group of counties. The range based on the apportionment is 9.7%.



TX has 31 Senators, but to make things easy I reduced it to 30 Senators. The senate districts were formed by grouping five house districts together, keeping the districts within large counties as much as possible. This is roughly how OH does its three-to-one nested districts. The plus indicates a house district that was shifted out of Bell county which has six house districts. That extra is attached to the adjacent Williamson county with a minus sign. The house district with Falls, Milam, and a small part of Williamson is used in forming a different Senate district.



A detailed map with partisan and ethnic data is forthcoming. Smiley
When was the Rio Grande constitution written?

Historically, Texas has not had 150 House members.  The current constitution was written in 1876 and provided for 31 senators, which could never be increased.

The House was to have 93 members, which could be increased but never more than a ratio of one per 15,000 members, and never beyond 150.

By 1900, the population was sufficient to have 150 members representing more than 15,000 persons, but there were only 133 representatives.  No apportionment occurred after the 1910 census; but following the 1920 census, a House of 150 members was established.

In 1999, the constitution was amended to its current version which provides for specifically 31 senators and 150 representatives, since the conditions for smaller numbers had long since passed (there was never the ability to change the number of senators, but perhaps the authors of the constitution wanted to make sure.  A goal of the 1876 constitution is to restrict the government, so making it explicit that the 31 could not be increased was probably deliberate.

Following the 1930 census it was found that Bexar, Harris, and Dallas would have more than 7 representatives, and the constitution was amended to limit them to one representative per 100,000 persons.  Despite passage of the amendment in 1938, there was no redistricting after the 1940 census (and there had been none after the 1930 census) so redistricting in 1951 was the first to apply the amendment.  At that time, Harris County had over 800,000 persons and given an 8th representative, though based on population it would have been entitled to 16.  Dallas and Bexar were limited to 7 each, though they would have been entitled to 12 and 10 respectively.  Tarrant had also reached the limit of 7.   While Harris had one representative per 101,000 persons, the smaller counties had one representative per 45,000. 

The 1951 redistricting did provide for election by place in multi-representative counties.  Like, the US Constitution, the Texas Constitution does not provide for the manner of election, but only for apportionment.

By 1961, the 1938 amendment was beginning to severely bite into representation of the larger counties, and instead of 19, 15, 11, and 8 representatives, Harris, Dallas, Bexar, and Tarrant were apportioned 12, 9, 7, and 7 representatives respectively.  A curiosity of the 1938 amendment was that it set a fixed ratio of one representative per 100,000.  Once the statewide ratio exceeded 100,000 (as it did in 1990), the 1938 amendment would have been moot - or possibly give additional representation to larger counties, inverting the effect.

The OMOV decisions overturned the 1938 amendment, and in 1964, the legislature did provide for 19, 14, 10, and 8 representatives for the larger counties.  They appear to have truncated 19.46, 14.89, 10.76, and 8.43, but that might be preferred to using a floterial district for the surplus population.  The 19 representatives were elected from 3 subdistricts, electing 7, 6, and 6 representatives by place within the district.

The Texas Constitution provides for three types of House districts.
(1) Single-county district with one or more representatives.
(2) Multi-county district with one representative.
(3) Multi-county district with zero or more counties entitled to less than one representative, and one or more counties where the district represents the surplus population from a Type (1) district, electing one representative.

Type 3 is a floterial district.  For example, if Adams County were entitled to 2.4 representatives, and its neighbor Baker County was entitled to 0.6 representatives, then District 1 would be Adams, with 2 representatives; and District 2 would be Adams+Baker, with 1 representative.  The voters in Adams could vote for all 3 representatives.  While a floterial district makes sense from an apportionment viewpoint, it doesn't make sense from an electoral viewpoint.  While Baker is providing 40% of the population for apportionment purposes, it only has 20% of the electorate, and will likely be dominated by the Adams voters.

The 1964 plan had 11 such floterial districts.  These were declared unconstitutional in 1967, and a new plan was adopted.

In some instances a portion of the more populous county was detached and added to the smaller counties.  For example Bell had a single-member district, plus there was a floterial district for Bell and Williamson.   Bell was split, with the major part electing one representative, and the remnant along with Williamson electing another.   This pattern was used when the larger county had one representative plus a fraction.  It in effect, cut off an area comprising the surplus population and attached it to the smaller counties.  This is still current practice.

In other cases, a mult-member single county and an associated floterial district were combined into a multi-county multi-member district.  For example a 3-member Nueces district, was combined with a Nueces + Kleberg floterial district, to create a 4-member Nueces + Kleberg district, where Kleberg voters would vote for all 4 members.  While there is some risk of Kleberg being swamped, there might be balancing strategy of setting was position aside for Kleberg.  If one party did so, then Kleberg voters might overwhelmingly ignore party when voting.

After the 1970 census, the legislature ignored the Texas Constitution, and started chopping up counties, under an interpretation that it was impossible to comply with equal protection and the Texas Constitution.  The Texas Supreme Court said that you could stretch the Texas Constitution by attaching a portion of a larger county containing its surplus above a whole number of representatives to smaller counties or similar surplus areas of other larger counties.  So you could replace floterial districts, with a district that contained only the surplus population.   We could call these districts quasi-floterial.

Division of counties may only be done to comply with equal protection (the 10% rule).  In the first plan approved after this ruling, there were two larger counties that had their surplus split between two quasi-floterial districts.  It is not clear that this complies with the stretched Texas Constitution or not.  When there were true floterial districts, there were instances where a surplus of a county was recognized in two floterial districts (eg a county had its own representative, plus was included in two floterial districts with two other sets of counties.

Your Williamson and Bastrop districts are examples of this.   Would the legislature have created a Bastrop district; a Lee, Fayette, Bastrop district; and a Bastrop, Caldwell district?  Likely not.  But on the other hand you avoid splitting smaller counties by doing so.  The legislature may have decided to split Bastrop and Williamson this way after discovering it avoids multiple splits of smaller counties.  That is, it is better to stretch the constitution than to break it.

The Texas legislature would likely have not placed Williamson and Bexar in quasi-floterial districts.  Current legal is that if the districts within a large county may be created within a 5% deviation (or technically to comply with a 10% overall range), then they must be kept within the county.   This is an overly localized analysis.  It in effect says that it is not necessary to use quasi-floterials for such large counties to achieve equal protection, therefore don't do so since it doesn't comply with the Texas Constitution.

On the other hand, from a larger perspective, it may avoid splitting a smaller county, which is in total violation of the constitution.  In the current Texas map, the split of Henderson County can be avoided, if a quasi-floterial district were drawn in Dallas and Ellis counties.  This would also improve overall equality, since Dallas is entitled to over 14 districts, and its districts tend to be oversized.

Your plan might be improved by extending a quasi-floterial district out from El Paso, and placing Webb and Jim Hogg in another.  This eliminates the need for the double quasi-floterial for Bexar.
It appears that one small county split is unavoidable.   Are three quasi-floterials preferable to a one double quasi-floterial?

Also in the early 1970s, the use of at-large elections was ruled unconstitutional if it violates the ability of minority voter to elect representatives.  After an analysis was done, it was determined that this was the case in all but Hidalgo County.  The Texas Supreme Court has said that there is nothing in the constitution that prevents election from single member districts.  Under early plans, districts within a county were numbered 22-A, 22-B, etc. to recognize that they were subdistricts for election purposes, of the districts specified in the constitution.  This has since switched to a simple numbering from 1 to 150.
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Draw the Congressional Districts of the Alternate States! on: August 31, 2014, 08:35:23 am
That seems like an excellent redistricting plan, Cranberry. Smiley The borders look very nice, so if it's also VRA-compliant there's no need to look any further!

Muon, it might seem surprising in light of statewide results but yes, local Democrats tend to have the upper hand in this area of Texas. Just look at the House results: Democrats hold 7 of 11 seats even despite living in a nominally R-gerrymandered map. The same is true in the State Legislature. According to my calculations, Democrats hold almost 3/4 of the Texas House of Representatives seats in the area corresponding to RG.

The Dems might well be down one additional US House seat but for the VRA requirements on the state of TX as a whole. It would be easy to take my map and make both of the swing seats, solid R without compromising any of the R seats or changing the VRA seats, which a Pub gerrymander certainly would do. The Texas HoR is a court-ordered map and after the favorable 2012 election the Dems hold 30 of the 47 seats in the RG counties (64%). I don't know how many of those are in play for 2014.
Two: 43 and 117
In several 2nd tier targets, 34, 78, 45, and 54 the challenger party doesn't have a candidates.

Edit: It looks like statewide VRA compliance also affects the TX HoR. For example Bexar county is 43.1% SSVR, but 7 of the 10 House districts are drawn with an SSVR majority, this leads to the current 8D-2R margin. Yet overall the county is close to national average, being about 1% more R than the nation in 2008. That would project a roughly equal split of House districts between the parties. Given the numerous easy VRA districts that can be drawn along the Rio Grande, I doubt that RG would have to gerrymander Bexar to meet the VRA.
Those seven districts converge on an area a couple of miles across, with districts fanning out and wrapping around the city.   The Republicans managed to win HD-117 in 2010.  Based on the west side it had relatively high growth, and would logically have shed population on the south side.  Instead, the court ordered northern areas to be dropped, which pushed the other two Republican seats into that area.

The legislature plan increased the HCVAP population, while decreasing the SSVR percentage.  The claim was that this was that this was to add "non-mobilized" Hispanic voters.  But I would infer that there were more non-Spanish-surnamed Hispanic voters.   Someone with a last name of Abbott or Bush might not be targeted by "mobilizers" or would probably be more likely to vote Republican.

The 8th district is held by a black Democrat, Ruth McClendon.   The district includes the only area of high black concentration in San Antonio, but is only 28% black VAP.  If you increased the HVAP in the district you could flip the district in the primary.
55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 30, 2014, 11:28:39 pm
WI (2)
   Winebago (WI) 3221K [-0.4]
   Dells (WI) 2466K [+6.2]



Lake Michigan 2466K
Wisconsin 3221K

I could see trimming off the 5 rural counties north of Green Bay.  They don't really fit with the urban counties on the shoreline, or in the Lake Winnebago-Fox River valley.  Also possibly, Walworth and Jefferson, which have only recently seen a jump in population.

The obvious alternative is a north-south split.



Northern Wisconsin   2654K
Southern Wisconsin   3123K

Sheboygan could possibly moved south, while some of the western counties could move north.

Alternative Names

Badger State, Dairyland, Western Wisconsin, Eastern Wisconsin

History

Wisconsin entered the Union at 24th in 1850.  It reached 15th in its second census in 1850, at which time it received a 2nd district.

In 1960 it was also ranked 15th.   In between it ranged from 16th in 1880 to 13th from 1900 to 1940.

In 1970 it dropped to 17th, which was its 2nd lowest ranking ever, and has subsequently dropped to 20th.  So for the last 40 years, Wisconsin has had its 2nd lowest ranking ever.

From 1850 to 2010, Wisconsin has been comfortably in the middle of states with two districts.

Wyoming has never been ranked above 3rd from the bottom.  It was 2nd from last from 1900 to 1950 ahead of Nevada.  In 1960, the entry of Alaska moved it to 3rd from the bottom, but it dropped behind Nevada in 1970, and Alaska in 1990 to become the smallest state.
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 30, 2014, 05:00:11 pm
This is more illustrative of process, than a preferred district.



The core area of Seattle-Tacoma is formed by the three counties of Snohomish, King, and Pierce.  Kitsap would also be included were it not isolated by Puget Sound (Vashon Island and the Olympic Peninsula portion of Pierce are included to avoid splitting counties).

Puget Sound 3440K
Washington 3285K

This split is the most population-balanced, and really isn't that much different than the divisions of Arizona, Colorado, and Minneapolis, all states that gain a 2nd district largely on the basis of a large dominant metropolitan area.

Adjacent to the three-county core there are 4 peripheral areas, which can be treated somewhat independently.

Northern: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan.
Kitsap: Bremerton's county.
Thurston: Olympia's county.
Olympic Peninsula: Mason, Jefferson, Clallam.

Along with the core area, they can be formed into 16 combinations of additions.  Four of these would be eliminated, because they would include the Olympic Peninsula, but not Kitsap, leaving Kitsap isolated.  Inclusion of the Olympic Peninsula is thus dependent on inclusion of Kitsap.

Inclusion of all four areas would put put the remainder of the state under the minimum, so it is also eliminated.

Population splits:

Core Only: 3440/3285.
Core+T: 3692K/3032K
Core+K: 3691K/3034K
Core+KO: 3853K/ 2871K
Core+KT: 3943K/2781K
Core+KTO: 4105K/2619K
Core+N: 3852K/2872K
Core+NT: 4104K/2620K
Core+NK: 4103K/2621K  Muon's plan.
Core+NKO: 4265K/2459K
Core+NKT: 4356K/2969K
Core+NKTO: 4517K/2207K  Out of range.

Alternative Names

Puget Sound, Seattle-Tacoma, Seattle
Washington, Evergreen State, Columbia

I kind of like "district of Columbia (WA)"

History

When Washington entered the Union it was more populous than 8 states, plus two that would enter soon after: RI, VT, OR, DE, NV, SD, ND, MT, (ID, WY), the latter two entered after the 1890 census date.  Entering at 34th, Washington was still 30th in 1940.

During and after WWII, Washington began to boom, jumping to 24th in 1950, and to 23rd in 1960 when the second district was added.  It has steadily advanced since then reaching 13th in 2010.  Washington has never lost a place in the ranking, and has gained at least one place every census since 1940.

Washington is one of three states that have never lost a place in the rankings, Alaska and California being the other two.  Washington and Arizona's current streaks of consecutive ranking gains (7, from 1940 to 2010), are tied for 2nd best ever with California (1880-1950).  If Washington or Arizona gain a place in the rankings by 2020, they would tie the record streak of Florida (1910-1990).

There are several other current streaks: Colorado, 6 since 1950; Oregon 5 since 1960; Georgia 4, since 1970; and Alaska 3, since 1980.  Nevada only gained at a 35% rate during the 2000-2010 decade and had its streak snapped at 4.

Only two states have ever passed Washington in the rankings between censuses, Florida is one of them.  The other is quite surprising.

In 1790, West Virgina was part of Virginia, and along with present-day Kentucky formed part of Virginia's 5 districts.  West Virginia and Kentucky had about half the population of Connecticut, the smallest single-district state.  After Kentucky's separation, West Virginia would continue to form part of a district within Virginia.

Virginia had 5 districts until 1820.  During this period, West Virginia had roughly the population of an average Virginia district, and would likely been in a district west of the Blue Ridge.

1790: 34% of average Virginia district (37% after separation of Kentucky).
1800: 44% of average district.
1810: 54% of average district.
1820: 64% of average district.

Virginia lost its 5th district in 1830, but due to the increasing share of the population in West Virginia, the district would have been lost in the east.  During the 1830's the remainder of the state lost population, but I suspect Western Virginia would have just become the largest district.

1830: 58% of average district.
1840: 72% of average district.

Virginia lost its 4th district in 1850, but again the lost would have occurred in the east:

1850: 64% of average district.
1860: 71% of average district.

During the Civil War, the representative from Western Virginia continued to sit in Congress, and even after West Virginia statehood, would have continued to vote for his eastern constituents as the eastern boundary of the state was not settled.

After separation West Virginia had its own district.  Development of the coal industry brought growth to the state.  Between 1860 and 1930, the population increased by 4.5 times (2.2% annual rate of growth).  It would not have been totally rash to speculate when (not if) West Virginia would surpass the parent state in population.  West Virginia was only about 300,000 behind the smallest 2-district state of Mississippi.

But then population growth stalled and then reversed.  West Virginia reached its peak population in 1950, and in 2010 had fewer persons than 1940.  By 1970 it had less than half the population of the smallest 2-district state of Alabama, and in 2010 is closing in on having 1/3 the population of the smallest such state (Colorado).
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What is a WASP? on: August 30, 2014, 06:57:02 am
Good post Torie. One point of clarification I would add is that the plantations of Ireland started much earlier.  There were plantations in the Irish Midlands under the Catholic Mary and Elizabethan plantations.  These were largely English settlements. A seminal moment in Irish history was The Flight of the Earls in 1607, where the Gaelic chieftains decamped to Europe after their defeat in the revolution of 1601.  This left a power vacuum where the land was scooped up. The private plantations in Antrim and Down were much more successful than the other crown plantations in the rest of Ulster (borne out in demographic maps to this day).  This served dual purpose because in got rid of restive Scots on the northern border and destroyed the Irish power base in the usually rebellious North. The massacre of those settlers in the civil war years of the 1640's still holds power in the Protestant community and there are banners commemorating this at every Orange parade still.  The Cromwell conquest solidified the new Protestant landownership in the provinces of Munster and Connaught.   (Leinster has been English or Anglo Norman dominated since 1270)  King Billy's defeat of Sťamus an Chaca' was merely the final death knell.  As I noted above though, the dissenter Protestant community were not much better off than the Catholics and a large reason why so many Ulstermen came to America.  Thanks for giving me a forum to babble Smiley
William of Orange was seen as a folk hero in America.  Thomas Paine compared George Washington to William, when trying to rally the Americans at Valley Forge.  William (or Parliament) also undid the attempted consolidation of New England.   The Glorious Revolution was seen as a restoration of democracy after usurpation under the Stuarts, and later betrayed by the Hanovers.  The Bill of Rights added to the US Constitution is quite similar in form to the British version.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 30, 2014, 01:06:03 am
The original guidelines implied that shape was not as important as CoI, and that equality wasn't so important as long as the limits were enforced.
You may have inferred as such.

I had certain instances in mind with regard to connectivity and contiguity (eg Washington and Massachusetts). 

In the case of Washington, going over the northern Cascades might well provide a better shape.  Placing Whatcom with Walla Walla and Vancouver might well represent a stronger CoI from certain viewpoints (Seattle vs rest of state).  Given that Snohomish, King, and Pierce have a majority of the population, it does not necessarily make sense to extend outward to include the entire northwestern part of the state.

I had originally stated the population rule to be based on each state.  But for the purposes of the test, we want national parity, and it is important to keep it within a 2:1 range, with some possible exceptions.  You seem to treat the smaller states as extending the range, while I see them as exceptional. 

In reality, a national legislature would be larger, and a state legislature would have multi-county districts.   I also have a constraint of the program that I am using to calculating voting power.

A state would quite likely have a county entitled to just over 1-1/3 members.  The problem then is whether to make it one of the largest districts; or have two districts but coerced equality to keep both within the statewide range.   The local exception that would provide for a slight increase in internal equality; and permits a hard apportionment rule, rather getting in disputes over whether the county should have two districts or one district based on how well the county could be divided.  But this makes districting national, rather than local (which is one of the advantages of weighted voting), and likely would be a political issue.

Imagine if an argument were made to add a 3rd district to Virginia for COI reasons.  Would the entire legislature be expanded, or would a rearrangement be made in some other state?

That made a lot of sense given the goal of testing weighted voting, which should feature some population disparities to create a strong test. Yet, it seems that many of the revised plans are looking more and more like they are driven by shape, even at the expense of extra UCC splits. That seems to belie the importance of CoI, and it makes me wonder if the exercise becomes more about the districts and how they would be created, and less about generating data for a test of weighted voting.
An important aspect of weighted voting would be its impact on districting.  There is no justification for doing it other than for making the districting process better.  Hudson uses weighted voting so as to not to have to redistrict.  Columbia and other counties in New York use it to avoid splitting or combining towns.  I see utility in weighted voting in permitting voters to participate in the districting process in an effective and meaningful way.  Holding hearings and then writing a report that explains why hyper-strict equality rules require so and so, and to justify top-down political district does not.

My rules said that a plan might be be subject to plebiscite, so justification would be presented to the electorate, rather than a court or commission.

Drawing maps helps me understand them better, and it is useful me to have the districts in a spreadsheet with county populations, which facilitates further exploration.

You would have to be more specific about which states you are thinking about.  There is no hard and fast definition for CoI.

A geologist might draw your Pennsylvania map, would a demographer, or would the public?

Your Missouri map was an interesting exercise to see if the two major cities on opposite edges of the state could be placed in the same district.  Would the public vote for it, or an east-west split?

I don't understand any reason to put the east and west coasts of Florida together.  That is one case where I think you are wrong, rather simply a case of two different viewpoints.

You didn't comment on my Texas plan.  I don't see a reason to come from the border up nearly to Houston, and having the Houston suburban counties then stretching up to Texarkana, while cutting out Sherman, Greenville, and Corsicana.  So I split DFW into 3 districts rather than two.  But the two eastern districts have comparable definitions: suburbs plus groups of smaller cities which in some sense are satellites of DFW and Houston.

Virginia is a challenge.  The Washington suburbs don't have enough population, so any plan is going to be an agglomeration of the interests.  So I proposed several alternatives:

(1) Washington suburbs plus enough areas to get the population of the other districts below the maximum, trying to avoid Richmond and Roanoke.

(2) Washington suburbs and Richmond, the nearest population center.

(3) Washington suburbs and Hampton Roads.  There is somewhat of a CoI, but you can't claim that the district was shapely.

(4) Washington suburbs, Valley of Virginia, and the southwest.  Other than being able to drive on the interstate I don't see a single CoI.

(5) Extending the district eastward to include a mountain CoI.  Remember, the Waltons lived east of the Blue Ridge.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 29, 2014, 03:43:45 pm
Edit: Left Portsmouth out of Tidewater in Plan 3, Winchester city out of Southern Virginia Plan 2 and 3.

I think the first of your three Virginias is clearly the best- it seems to me like Richmond and Tidewater probably ought to stay together.

I generally approve of your compromise PA as well; perhaps a few rural counties (such as Clearfield, Elk, and the like) could also be shifted from the West to the Northeast to lower deviations if necessary.
Two more.

The first is Muon's Washington to southwest.



Northern Virginia 4045K
Southern Virginia 3956K

I then shifted Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Danville into the area to give the southwest more weight.  It puts both sides of the Blue Ridge into the district.  The downside is I had to pull the Fredericksburg area, including Stafford out of the district to get it under the national maximum.



Northern Virginia 4423K
Southern Virginia 3578K
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: WaPo: Mapping changes in the US youth population on: August 27, 2014, 10:39:47 pm
The two plots together suggest that the Plains are losing population in all age groups are are not getting older.

The surprise for me is FL. Not only is the youth population rising, but the share of the youth population is rising, too. Orlando, Tampa Bay, the Panhandle (except Pensacola), and Metro Miami all saw an increase in the youth share.
In 1950, that age group represented 15.9% of the population.

By 1970 it dropped to 12.6% as increasing longevity of those older, and baby boomers reduced the share of persons born in the latter part of the Depression and WWII.   The minimum was 11.9% in 1965.

By 1980 it had increased to 16.5% as Baby Boomers entered that age group, hitting a peak of 17.5% in 1985.

By 1990 it had dropped slightly to 17.2% as the last stages of the Baby Boom were in the age range.

By 2000 it dropped to 14.2% and by 2010 to 13.5%.

Comparing 2010 (13.5%) to 1970 (12.6%), there was a 7% increase in relative share, which placed a green bias on the map.

If the Washington Post repeats their study in 2024, comparing 1980 to 2020, there will be around a 19% negative bias, and the country will be shown in vast expanses of pink.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: WaPo: Mapping changes in the US youth population on: August 26, 2014, 11:43:17 pm
The two plots together suggest that the Plains are losing population in all age groups are are not getting older.

The surprise for me is FL. Not only is the youth population rising, but the share of the youth population is rising, too. Orlando, Tampa Bay, the Panhandle (except Pensacola), and Metro Miami all saw an increase in the youth share.
In 1970, I imagine persons aged 25-34 would have been more likely called parents, rather than youth. These would be persons born during the Depression and WWII.

With lower birth rates due to the Depression and WWII, these would represent an atypically low share of the population pyramid.

1970 USA Population Pyramid

In rural areas this number would have been further depressed due to their parents being forced off their family farms.  The baby boom further reduced their share of the population.  Between 1950 and 1970, the male share of the population 10-14 in 1950, decreased from 3.7% to 2.9% in 1970 when they were 30-34.

It would have been excess baby boomers who would have left when they reached adulthood.

25-34 year old in 2010, were born between 1965 and 1975, post baby boom.   Since then the population pyramid has flattened considerably, with aging (and dying) baby boomers representing only a slight broadening at the shoulders, compared to the broad hips they had once represented.

The share of 30-34 year old in 2010 is 3.3%, only slightly less than the 3.6% they represented as 10-14 year old in 1990.   Further, they represent a considerably larger share of the overall population than those born 40 years earlier, despite being born post baby boom.

2010 USA Population Pyramid

A more stable population structure, along with stabilization of the overall population translates into a larger share of the population in rural areas (eg a county that might have dropped from 10,000 to 5,000 between 1910 and 1970, may have only dropped to 4,000 by 2010.

In Florida, you are seeing a decrease in the share of 25-34 in more modern retirement areas, such as The Villages and Fort Myers.  In areas that have been retirement havens for a longer time, you see an emergence of the population that moved to provide services, etc. and their progeny, and the retirement population stabilizing, as the older retirees dying off or moving back North to be with family, and some newer replacements.   Retirees typically seek a low cost area where they can live on SS and whatever savings.   They may be priced out of places like Miami.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 24, 2014, 05:13:54 am
Edit: Left Portsmouth out of Tidewater in Plan 3, Winchester city out of Southern Virginia Plan 2 and 3.

I agree that VA was a challenge and it would have been much easier with three districts since then NoVa could sit by itself, but population needs require more. The SW is the least like the rest of central and southern VA, and has the natural connection along I-81 to the Shenandoah Valley.
As for Virginia, that's pretty much the explanation I was expecting, and I guess my rejoinder would be that, for all the SW is somewhat dissimilar to the rest of south and central VA, it's far more dissimilar to NoVA.  I'll also refer again to media markets, which I've been leaning on for some of the maps here, and which seem to indicate that perhaps Roanoke and Lynchburg shouldn't be separated:



Taking those regions (and their concordance with metro areas, UCCs, etc.) as building blocks, it seems easiest to sort them roughly as thus:



Deviations 865,177.  One could possibly put the Charlottesville area in the north, which would lower the deviations.
The internal deviation of Train's plan is fine, but the population of his Southern Virginia exceeds the national limit.  So I added the Charlottesville media marker to NoVa, and started adding counties to the south, trying to keep out of the Lynchburg and Richmond areas.  If you do that, you use smaller counties (because they are remote from those cities, and you eat up a lot of rural territory.  So instead, I added the area between the Potomac and the York.  This area is large enough that it might get some attention as a rural COI.



Northern Virginia 3492K
Southern Virginia 4509K

The problem in Virginia is finding an area to go with the Washington suburbs, which are atypical of a southern state, yet provide an increasing share of the population.  In the first map, rural areas were added to the Washington suburbs to barely get the remainder of the state under the maximum.  It can be thought of as a minimalist Nova.

The next plan adds the Richmond-Petersburg area, while releasing the Shenandoah Valley.  It keeps the Charlottesville area, which provides a more compact district.



Northern Virginia 4196K
Southern Virginia 3806K

The population of the two districts is more balanced, and Richmond provides somewhat of a counterbalance to the Washington area.

The 3rd map replaces the Richmond and Charlottesville areas with the Hampton Roads area.  The Northern Virginia region might better be called Tidewater or Chesapeake-Potomac, and the other region, Western Virginia or Piedmont-Mountains.



Northern Virginia 4413K
Southern Virginia 3588K

History

In 1790, Virginia included present day West Virginia and Kentucky, and was the most populous state by far.  Its population relative to the 2nd largest, Massachusetts (including Maine), 175% was the greatest ever relative size of the 1st and 2nd largest states.  California relative to New York in 1990 was the next largest at 162%.   Since Texas took over as the 2nd largest, the gap has been closing.

1790 Virginia had 5 districts.  Perhaps one included everything west of the Blue Ridge.  When Kentucky became a state, its area would have been removed from the district, which would have continued with a reduced weight throughout the rest of the decade.

In 1820, New York surpassed Virginia to became the largest state.  In 1830, Virginia dropped behind Pennsylvania and lost its 5th district.  In 1840, fell behind Ohio, and in 1850 dropped to 3 districts.  Virginia still included West Virginia, so it is likely that there would still be a western district.  In 1860, Illinois pushed Virginia to 5th place.

The loss of West Virginia during the Civil War dropped Virginia to 10th place, and two districts.  By now, Virginia was a a quite ordinary largely rural southern state, and by 1910 had dropped to 20th place behind Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, with Mississippi closing.

It maintained its 20th place ranking through 1930, when it slowly began to climb aided by the development of Norfolk as a major port and the expansion of the Washington suburbs.  Virginia has ranked 12th the past 3 censuses.

In 1870, Virginia had 277% times the population of West Virginia.  By 1940, this had been reduced to 141%, and it would not have been totally out of the question to speculate that a coal-based industrializing West Virginia would someday surpass its bucolic rural parent.

But the collapse of underground coal has dispatched that illusion.  West Virginia in 2010 has fewer people than 1940, and Virginia has 432% its population.
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 20, 2014, 09:10:10 pm
Here's a TX plan based on jimrtex's suggestion. Everything fits the range. Is a district from El Paso to Corpus going to survive a plebiscite?



This is Muon's proposal.



Central Texas 3875K
Rio Grande 3468K
West Texas 2901K
Fort Worth 3080K
Dallas 3616K
East Texas 4114K
Houston 4092K

Alternative Names

San Antonio-Austin
Borders

I wanted Rio Grande to retreat back towards Corpus Christi, and to trim a bit off the Dallas and Fort Worth districts.  But that would likely have pushed the East Texas district over the maximum limit, plus sprawling from Texarkana to Victoria.  So instead I created a district comprised of Dallas and Tarrant counties, equivalent to the Harris County district, and then created a Northeast and Southeast districts, that include the DFW and Houston suburbs as well as satellite cites.



Southeast Texas 3326K
Houston 4092K
Dallas-Fort Worth 4177K
Northeast Texas 3196K
Central Texas 3859K
West Texas 3354K
Rio Grande 3140K

History

Texas was 25th in its first census in 1850.  By 1870 it was 20th and gained a 2nd district.  It surged to 7th in 1890 and gained a 3rd district.  It reached 5th in 1910, and gained its 4th district in 1920.   It dropped back to 6th in 1940, but still gained a 5h district in 1960.  It advanced to 3rd in 1980, and added its 6th district in 1990.  It moved to 2nd in 2000, and added a 7th district in 2010.

Utah entered the Union in 40th place, it was still 40th in 1940, and has since crept upward to 34th.

Vermont entered the Union in 13th place, and dropped every census through 1930 when it was 45th.  In managed to hold onto 45th in 1940 and 1950, then began to drop again until it was 48th in in 1970.  It kept that until 2000, when Alaska passed it.  Thus Vermont has never gained a position, and has only held a position for few decades at a time.
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Some miscellaneous Nevada maps and charts and things on: August 19, 2014, 09:49:11 pm
Nevada and Idaho are such oddly created states, like leftover states. I'd prefer to cut a giant line through CA to right above Clark County. Further divide the northern section into two "northwest" and "north east" sections (probably by continuing the Oregon/Idaho border) and give them to the nearby states.

Northwest Nevada + North CA.
Northeast Nevada + Utah.
Southern Nevada + South CA.
Nevada Territory initially only extended east to the 116th meridian, and south to the 37th parallel (the northern boundary of then New Mexico Territory, now modern Arizona.  The boundary was shifted west to the 114th meridian.  It was after Nevada became a state that the area south of the 37th parallel and west of the Colorado River was taken from Arizona Territory and added to Nevada.

The western border of Idaho is the 117th meridian.   So your proposal is almost identical to the initial division, but your Northwest Nevada is shifted west.
65  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 19, 2014, 06:25:39 pm
I'm guessing that the powers that be in the white-run, black-majority town of Ferguson probably don't react too well to black folk who seek office.
You are.
66  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 19, 2014, 04:26:48 pm
Let's note than the opponent to the black candidate was a left-wing environmentalist and pro-bicycle advocate. The black councillor, for some reason, seems very implicated with LGBT issues. So, it's not like if black people/left-wingers can't get elected.
He was elected from the high turnout ward, and is a civil engineer, so almost assuredly a home owner.

Quote
He was also the only black candidate in the 3 last years. Other defeated candidates are a bunch of hyper-conservative white candidates or corrupt former councillors (white, too).

We can't complain than the council isn't representative if the issue is than there is no black candidates (there is at least candidates, at a point in the 00's, they elected someone because there was no candidate and he was the only registered write-in candidate!)

Too long, didn't read: The issue in municipal politics isn't race, it's lack of candidates and ideology (which is normal, given the very limited power of a city like Ferguson. Everyone promises repairing roads, keeping taxes low and protecting kids, no matter the party).
The write-in candidate was elected because he received the most votes (23).  Though he did register as a write-in candidate, that was not necessary for election.  He actually campaigned to some extent.   At the time of his election, the Post-Dispatch ran an article about who the mystery councilman was.  The mayor said he had seen in the filings (with St.Louis County) that someone had filed, and that he was looking forward to meeting and working with the write-in candidate (with a name of Kynan Crecelius they must not have required correct spelling).   Crecelius at the time was a 31-year old software developer who had heard that the councilman for the ward had not filed for re-election.

The city has a city manager, so the city council doesn't really have a lot of power.  It also has term limits, and it doesn't appear that there is an entrenched council.   One councilman has been elected over a long period of time, but not consecutive elections.  It might be that no one was running so he decided to take another turn.  If you have a real job, you are going to eventually be distracted by a promotion, or an out-of-town contract, and decide that small town city council is not all that rewarding.
67  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 19, 2014, 03:48:17 pm
When are the next elections in this city?

Half of Council in April 2015, the other half in April 2016, the Mayor in April 2017. 3 year terms.

lol April elections. Fck the South, no wonder the entire government down there is white people.

Well, there is the issue than, no matter when is the election, there is a lack of candidates anyways. Of the 7 current members, 3 had no oppostion (the mayor, 1 of 3 in 2013, 1 of 2 in 2012). The black councillor was the one of contested councillors of 2013 and he won 73-26, so issue is probably more lack of candidates than timing.
Dwayne James was unopposed when he was elected the first two times.  23 of the last 48 city council races have been unopposed, plus one where a write-in candidate was elected with 23 votes when nobody filed.

Ward 3 has fewer registered voters, and much worse turnout.  That means it has the highest concentration of renters, particularly multi-family, and extremely black.  10 of its last 11 elections have been uncontested.
68  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power on: August 19, 2014, 12:19:40 am
I don't live in Texas, so I have my own filter. Texas has some strange politics.

Elected officials have no right to interfere in the judicial process for partisan ends. A state governor may use pardons and commutations as permitted by the State constitution, but that is as far as it goes. The governor cannot fire a judge or diminish his pay (which is a constructive firing) for political purposes.

An indictment has been made, and that does not itself imply guilt -- just that a case for prosecution exists. That is all.

It's good to see that someone gets it. I keep seeing this really, really nasty meme that it's okay to blatantly break the law if you're doing to to "punish" a wrong-doer (alleged or otherwise). Does anyone think that what Perry did would have been just dandy if he'd done it because the person he was targeting was hispanic? Or gay? Or Muslim? The ends DO NOT justify the means - if a civilization start ignoring its own laws because it think that is true, then its doomed.
What law was "blatantly" broken?
69  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power on: August 17, 2014, 11:53:25 pm
Isn't this the same DA's office that tried to indict Kay Bailey Hutchison for having her aide pick up lipstick, and the very same that convicted DeLay of those charges of which he was acquitted? Yeah, this seems to be a political hit squad masquerading as a legal authority. For Hutchinson it was because the DA had wanted to be appointed to the senate vacancy she filled. Now it's because this DA refused to quit. It's a personal vendetta, again.

IT WASN'T THE TRAVIS COUNTY D.A., PEOPLE!!! The special prosecutor wasn't from Austin or Travis County and neither was the grand jury.
The grand jury most certainly was from Travis County.

Did you even read the indictment before you spasmed?
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where We Come From, State By State on: August 17, 2014, 11:28:35 pm

On a related note, are there any statistics as to the breakdown of those born in the US by state (in other words, how many Americans were born in New York, California, Texas, etc)?

Born in the US or born in a particular state?

In fact the maps reveal both of those informations.

I wanted to know the former, and I didn't see that listed anywhere. I would imagine that more Americans were born in California than any other state, although I'd also guess that New York would be very high as well (probably second to California). To make it more clear, I'd like to know the number of Americans by state of birth. According to the 2010 Census, about 270 million Americans are native born. I'd like to see that number broken down by state of birth.
For 2000: population born in state (or DC or PR), and living in US or PR (ie not overseas).


Alabama                4,784,944
Alaska                   445,704
Arizona                2,546,626
Arkansas               2,905,920
California            22,137,341
Colorado               2,848,419
Connecticut            2,984,847
Delaware                 608,080
District of Columbia   1,333,674
Florida                7,109,367
Georgia                6,454,906
Hawaii                 1,093,202
Idaho                  1,102,485
Illinois              12,694,353
Indiana                6,097,120
Iowa                   3,708,577
Kansas                 2,861,444
Kentucky               4,526,761
Louisiana              4,956,025
Maine                  1,294,098
Maryland               3,813,370
Massachusetts          6,342,301
Michigan              10,166,053
Minnesota              4,856,163
Mississippi            3,505,212
Missouri               5,742,470
Montana                  949,863
Nebraska               2,050,469
Nevada                   676,579
New Hampshire            875,354
New Jersey             6,967,168
New Mexico             1,563,499
New York              19,585,564
North Carolina         6,783,313
North Dakota           1,039,975
Ohio                  11,970,426
Oklahoma               3,579,826
Oregon                 2,346,021
Pennsylvania          13,812,297
Rhode Island           1,065,939
South Carolina         3,680,037
South Dakota           1,035,184
Tennessee              5,237,285
Texas                 16,249,763
Utah                   1,988,821
Vermont                  559,142
Virginia               5,461,976
Washington             3,953,086
West Virginia          2,572,112
Wisconsin              5,373,448
Wyoming                  489,857
Puerto Rico            4,893,114


The following rank is based on population born in US+PR (excluding foreign born, born outside US+PR to US parents, and born in insular territories other than PR), and living in the US or PR in 2010.

Rank for population is: CA, TX, NY, FL, PA, OH, IL, MI, NC, GA
Rank for births is: CA, NY, TX, PA, IL, OH, MI, FL, NJ, NC
Rank for emigrants: NY, CA, IL, PA, OH, TX. MI, NJ, MA, MO
Rank for immigrants: FL, CA, TX, GA, VA, NY, AZ. IL, NC, OH
Rank for natives: CA, TX, NY, PA, OH, IL, MI, FL, NC, GA

71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 17, 2014, 06:38:55 am
Here's version 2 of my draft plan. In addition to the population I have included the PVI of each district in square brackets, with positive values for D PVIs and negative numbers for R PVIs.

TN (2)
   Great Valley (TN) 2342K [-20.6]
   Cumberland and Mississippi (TN) 4004K [-11.8]

Tennessee statutes define the Grand Divisions.  Sequatchie is in the Middle Grand Division.

East Tennessee 2328K
Middle&West Tennessee 4019K

History

Tennessee gained its 2nd district in 1810, and has had two ever since.  After reaching 5th in 1840 and 1850, Tennessee dropped to 10th in 1860, and as low as 19th in 1920.  Since then it has been in the lower teens.

Kentucky and Tennessee were for a long time quite parallel in population.  After Tennessee caught up with Kentucky in 1830, they were within 10% of each other every census through 1940.  In 1930, Tennessee had 2000 more persons.   In 2010, it now has 2 million more people, as over the last 80 years, Tennessee has added 3.7 million, while Kentucky has added 1.7 million.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 17, 2014, 01:23:22 am


After moving the Lehigh Valley to the Northeast, I shifted the Western district to include Altoona, I then adjusted the boundaries of the districts to conform to the regional EMS districts (the council of government organizations in Pennsylvania are mostly single county, and are organizations of boroughs, municipalities, and towns, rather than counties).  The one divided EMS district includes Berks and Schuylkill to the west, and Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, and Monroe to the east).  If Berks and Schuylkill were moved to the Northeast, that would underpopulate the Central region, forcing it north to include State College.

The population disparity is somewhat high.  One solution would be to pull Chester out of the Philadelphia region since it is the least connected, and perhaps retreating the Western region some.

Philadelphia 4009K
Northeastern Pennsylvania 2356K
Central Pennsylvania 2448K
Pittsburgh-Western Pennsylvania 3889K

I suspect Schuylkill would want to be in your yellow district.
It was a close decision, with the final decision made because it was slightly better population balance between the two smallest districts.

Berks being in the central district is essential to my plan. 

Wilkes-Barre has been declining for close to a century, and was crushed by the flood in 1972.  Commuting from Schuylkill to Berks (4.8K) is greater than to Luzerne (4.0K); Dauphin (2.5K) more than Lehigh (2.1K); and Lebanon (1.6K) than Carbon (1.4K).  On the other hand, this is small compared to the stay-in-the county employment of 43.3K.

There is also little reciprocal commuting, with the largest source being Carbon County.  Pottsville is quite isolated, and may see itself as being beyond the mountains, but that is also true of northern Dauphin and Perry counties.

I'd let individual counties switch in each of the three plans, then vote among the refined version of the three plans.

Berks and Schuylkill might be considered essential to Northeast Pennsylvania in Train's plan, which might force Centre and Blair as being in the central district, to avoid shedding too much population.  If the Lehigh Valley is essential to Muon's central district, then there are limits to how much population may be be shed from his northeast district.

It is conceivable that there would be alternatives that divide the 5-county Philadelphia area that give a lot more flexibility in other parts of the state.  From a minimalist, dropping of Chester; to an extremely limited Philadelphia consisting of the city and Montco.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 16, 2014, 05:07:51 pm
This is Train's proposed plan:



Philadelphia 4009K
Northeastern Pennsylvania 2691K
Central Pennsylvania 2805K
Pittsburgh-Western Pennsylvania 3198K

Muon did not like the extension of the Central Pennsylvania district to New York, and offered this alternative.



Philadelphia 4009K
Northeastern Pennsylvania 2420K
Central Pennsylvania 2947K
Pittsburgh-Western Pennsylvania 3326K

Muon, you didn't update the populations on your second map.

I didn't like the long extension of the Northeastern Pennsylvania district to the southwest, which in part is required by putting the Lehigh Valley in Central Pennsylvania.



After moving the Lehigh Valley to the Northeast, I shifted the Western district to include Altoona, I then adjusted the boundaries of the districts to conform to the regional EMS districts (the council of government organizations in Pennsylvania are mostly single county, and are organizations of boroughs, municipalities, and towns, rather than counties).  The one divided EMS district includes Berks and Schuylkill to the west, and Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, and Monroe to the east).  If Berks and Schuylkill were moved to the Northeast, that would underpopulate the Central region, forcing it north to include State College.

The population disparity is somewhat high.  One solution would be to pull Chester out of the Philadelphia region since it is the least connected, and perhaps retreating the Western region some.

Philadelphia 4009K
Northeastern Pennsylvania 2356K
Central Pennsylvania 2448K
Pittsburgh-Western Pennsylvania 3889K

History

Pennsylvania had 3 districts in 1790 as the 3rd largest state.  It passed Massachusetts in 1800 to rank 2nd and gained its 4th district.  It slipped to 3rd behind New York in 1810, but gained a 5th district in 1820.  In 1830, it passed Virginia to become the second most populous behind New York, a position it would hold until 1950.

It gained a 6th district in 1850, and generally kept pace with New York throughout the latter part of the 19th Century.  It added a 7th district in 1910, but lost it in 1930.  It fell to 3rd behind California in 1950, and lost its 6th district in 1960.

Pennsylvania stalled over the latter part of the 20th Century, particularly in the 1970s, and 1980s.  Between 1960 and 2010, Pennsylvania gained at an annual rate of 0.23%.

Texas passed Pennsylvania in 1980. as Pennsylvania fell to 4th, its lowest ranking ever.  In 1990, it fell to 5th behind Florida, the last state to ever rank so high at its lowest point, and also lost its 5th district.  In 2000, it fell to 6th behind Illinois.

Rhode Island has always been one of the least populous states, traditionally only being larger than Delaware.  It kept ahead some of the new western states to reach 13th smallest in 1940 and 1950.   Since then it has slid to 8th smallest.

South Carolina had two districts from 1790 until 1870, when as a consequence of the Civil War it had almost no growth and lost the 2nd district.  It regained the second district in 1880 and held lost it again 1910.  After sliding down somewhat, it has began to recover.  In 2010, it was the closest to regaining the 2nd district since 1920.

South Dakota was 35th in 1890, its first census after statehood.  That was its highest ranking ever.  Between 1930 and 1990, South Dakota gained a total of 3,155 persons.
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: August 13, 2014, 06:19:57 pm
Here's version 2 of my draft plan. In addition to the population I have included the PVI of each district in square brackets, with positive values for D PVIs and negative numbers for R PVIs.

OH (3)
   Miami (OH) 4187K [-6.7]
   Scioto (OH) 3255K [-2.8]
   Erie (OH) 4095K [+6.4]
This is Muon's proposal



Cleveland-Northeast Ohio 4095K
Columbus-Central Ohio 3254K
Cincinnati-West Ohio 4187K

Alternative names:

Northeast Ohio
Central Ohio
Western Ohio

This is my alternative, which puts the Ohio River with Cincinnati, and puts Toledo and northwestern Ohio with Columbus.



Cleveland-Northeast Ohio 4222K
Columbus-Central Ohio 3816K
Cincinnati-Southern Ohio 3498K

Alternative names:

Northeast Ohio
Central-Northwest Ohio
Central Ohio
Southern Ohio
Ohio River

History

Ohio's first census as a State, 1810 saw it ranked 13th.  It increased by 150% in the next decade to reach 5th, and added a 2nd and 3rd district.  By 1840, Ohio was ranked 3rd behind New York and Pennsylvania, and added a 4th district.

Ohio intermittently had a 5th district in 1850, 1870, 1930, and lastly in 1960, but never quite held on.  Ohio dropped to 4th in 1890, when Illinois passed it, and 5th in 1950, when California passed, 6th in 1970 when Texas passed it, and 7th in 1990 when Florida moved ahead.

After its 4th episode of 5 districts in 1960, Ohio dropped to 4 districts in 1970, and back to 3 in 2000, for the first time since 1830.

Oklahoma entered the Union in 1907, and gained its 2nd district in 1910, it lost it in 1950, after two decades of decline in population.  Oklahoma would not surpass its 1930 peak until 1970.

Oregon, along with Nevada and Nebraska were premature additions to the Union, and by 1890 had drifted down to 38th (the new states of Washington and South Dakota had a greater population on entry, than Oregon had after 30 years).

Oregon has slowly crept upward since then:

1900: 35th (+SD, +VT, + NH)
1910: 35th (+RI, -OK)
1920: 34th (+ME)
1930: 34th
1940: 34th
1950: 32nd (+CO, +NE)
1960: 32nd
1970: 31st (+AR, +WV, -CO)
1980: 30th (+MS, +KS, -AZ)
1990: 29th (+IA)
2000: 38th (+CT)
2010: 27th (+OK)

KY and LA may be in reach in a decade or two, but UT and NV are coming up from behind.
75  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: OK - where's the special election come from? on: August 11, 2014, 10:25:58 pm

TL;DR: Oklahoma's machinery for filling Senate vacancies is bloody ridiculous and needs to be overhauled.

Do you prefer the process used in Blagobama, where the Blagobamian governor sold the appointment rights, and then there had to be a lawsuit to get Blagobama to hold a special election for the final month and half of the senate term?

What is ridiculous about holding elections on the regular schedule of elections when you will be electing representatives, and legislators, and local officials?
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