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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Minnesota  (Read 16511 times)
ilikeverin
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« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2011, 10:40:41 pm »
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St.Johns University is 3-1/2 miles from St.Joseph, and College of St.Benedict only has 2000 students.

For goodness sake, why do people keep looking at the two colleges separately?
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« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2011, 10:42:07 pm »
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No, I did not touch St. Cloud, and even gave kept in MN-06 the two townships to the east of it across the river in Benton County, so that it had some elbow room, even though it created an extra county split down into Sherburne. The court might try to give more of Benton to MN-08, getting rid of St. Cloud's elbow room, or all of it, but MN-08 will still have to impinge on Sherburne. (these alternatives are depicted below). I don't know a  more logical place for MN-08 to go, then where I made it went.

Here's the thing: MN-08 doesn't need to shift much. It's only about 3000 below population ideal per estimate, so just give it some rural territory in MN-07 and shift that one south or further into Stearns County like in my map. You actually put part of St. Cloud proper in MN-08 (the western tip of Sherburne County is in the city.) Putting MN-08 into Benton County which is clearly the St. Cloud area just doesn't make sense.

St Cloud won't shift, unless the population changes were enough to shift it all, and they are not. MN-02 needs a few people on its west side, and filling in that gap in Shelby seems like what the court would do. The court does fill in gaps like that even if it creates a county split, just like they did for the southern spike of Anoka County last time.

There's a reason the southern handle of Anoka was put in MN-05 and it's because it fits there better than anywhere else. Look at it on a street map and you'll see these are clearly just as connected to Minneapolis as places like Richfield. It really should be part of Hennepin County and there was probably a reason it wasn't put there, but that reason is most likely obsolete now. If you drive north on Central Avenue, you can't tell where Minneapolis ends and Columbia Heights/Anoka County begins unless you're paying attention for the sign which is very easy to miss. No one associates this area with Anoka County including especially the people who live there (Anoka is rather mocked by urbanites and even inner suburbanites who consider it a boring county of bland housing and farms. Wright and Sherburne don't get mocked as much because they are further out and more associated with St. Cloud, and Scott is saved by the casinos and amusement parks which mean it's still a fun place to visit.)

There isn't really a better place to put that panhandle. It doesn't belong in the district that elects Michele Bachmann for the reasons I mentioned, if you put it in MN-03 you'd have to extend MN-05 elsewhere into MN-03 which would be some middle suburb like Plymouth or Minnetonka which doesn't fit it as well, and though you could non-awkwardly attach it to MN-04 it clearly fits better in MN-05 with a main road line running through it coming from Minneapolis.

By the way, when the intra county splits come in, MN-05 is probably going to have to start chewing at Brooklyn Center. That is its next stop.

Of course. Really Brooklyn Center should be in MN-05 already (it's a run down white minority economically stagnant ghetto with a large gang presence that is certainly more urban than New Hope or Hopkins. I know people who live in Minneapolis proper who are scared to go there.) but can't really be neatly fit into MN-05. BTW no part of Brooklyn Park is in MN-05, that's an error in how DRA calculates district borders.

If MN-04 needs to expand (if it does, it will be by but a precinct or two or three), it will start chewing into Cottage Grove.

It'll expand more than that and will probably hit Inver Grove Heights first. Cottage Grove would be kind of a weird appendage. I bet all of Inver Grove Heights ends up in MN-04 and most likely at least a chunk of Cottage Grove.

If MN-02 needs to shrink a tad (the intra Dakota County splits), it may or may not end up entirely withdrawing from Washington County, but that is where it will be withdrawing from.

Remember that MN-01 also needs to grow into it. If MN-07 greatly expands southward it'll probably end up losing all of Rice County, which is great news for both any Republicans looking to succeed Kline and Walz.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 10:45:32 pm by Candy Apple Grey »Logged

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Torie
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« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2011, 10:48:51 pm »
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Where do you want MN-07 to expand again BRTD?  Remember this a court plan drawing, not what  Democrats might want at the edges. I agree that St. Cloud and its burbs should all be in MN-06, and if I didn't get it all, that needs to be revised. When MN drops to seven seats in 10 years, then all will change. But it didn't, and so it won't.  Benton  County is not all that GOP anyway. Sherburne is, and I could sense you distaste for MN-08 impinging on it - right away. Tongue  But cheer up, the numbers we are talking about here are small.
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« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2011, 10:55:57 pm »
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St.Cloud extends quite a long way east of the river, abput 1/2 way into second tier of townships.  Sartell also is on both sides of the river, with a 33% increase since 2009.  Rice city has a 105% increase since 2009.

According to 2009 census estimates, St Cloud has 52.3K in Stearns, 8.5K in Benton, and 6.4K in Sherburne.  To get all of St. Cloud, you have to go two Jeffersonian townships into Benton, which is half the county, so you might as well take keep the whole of both.

The Census Bureau has 2009 estimates for county subdivisions in Minnesota, which includes both cities and townships.  The inner tier suburbs of Minneapolis are losing population.  If they were settled in the 1960s or 70s, the original settlers are dieing off so household sizes are declining, and young families might not be able to afford to live there, and there might not be any land available for multi-family housing.

I'd think it more likely that MN-5 needs Edina and Brooklyn Center, and part of Brooklyn Park.
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« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2011, 11:08:13 pm »
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MN-05 isn't that population starved. Under the DRA estimates it wouldn't even fit all of Brooklyn Center. My State Senate district will have to shrink significantly in area under the estimates too.

Where do you want MN-07 to expand again BRTD?  Remember this a court plan drawing, not what  Democrats might want at the edges. I agree that St. Cloud and its burbs should all be in MN-06, and if I didn't get it all, that needs to be revised. When MN drops to seven seats in 10 years, then all will change. But it didn't, and so it won't.  Benton  County is not all that GOP anyway. Sherburne is, and I could sense you distaste for MN-08 impinging on it - right away. Tongue  But cheer up, the numbers we are talking about here are small.

There are still areas in Stearns not closely connected to St. Cloud. It can go in there, remember that my map with it going far in had it it lose population around Bemidji. But MN-08 is very unlikely to take in Sherburne which would mean both of St. Cloud an an area that has very little to do with its population center. If MN-07 has to go down to the Iowa border instead of into Stearns, that's possible, and it won't affect the partisan makeup much, would make things a bit safer for Walz.

Oh I forgot above my main point, basically MN-05 took the chunk of Anoka because it was logical for it to go there, but that doesn't apply to Sibley County. The eastern border is there for a reason: There's a river there. This means that it's not as connected to MN-02 as most of it is (yes there's bridges, but it's not like you can take any random county road around it like you can within Sibley County or within Le Seuer County.) And there is little connection to that area, even the township north of Belle Plaine that extends the furthest east has little exurban growth or connection to the metro as there's no easy road access. There's really no reason to split Sibley, it's not very populated and the current border makes sense geographically even if not aesthetically. And if it stays that way you still get the very cool fact that if you drive from Mankato to Duluth you pass through every district!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 11:14:42 pm by Candy Apple Grey »Logged

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« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2011, 12:19:11 am »
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St.Johns University is 3-1/2 miles from St.Joseph, and College of St.Benedict only has 2000 students.

For goodness sake, why do people keep looking at the two colleges separately?

I was characterizing the population of the city of St.Joseph.

Would it be better to say that 1/2 of the population of St Joseph, if we include 2000 persons who don't actually live in the city of St.Joseph, nor for that matter in St.Joseph township, are students at either College of Saint Benedict (in St.Joseph) or St. Johns University (not in St.Joseph, nor St.Joseph township), but the non-campus portion of St.Joseph is rapidly growing, including an annexed area formerly in St.Wendel township with several 100 building sites?
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« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2011, 12:21:12 am »
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Again, BRTD, you have to think what a court would do, particularly since they drew the existing map. MN-07 expanding further east into rural Stearns (basically about three rows of rather empty townships, won't give it enough population, and it makes the CD more erose, so where do you go next?  And the court is certainly not going to exchange counties between CD's, unless there is a very good reason to do so.

It makes no sense to me. The western half, the empty rural half, of Stearns was put in MN-07 ten years ago, simply to make the CD look less erose. What does make sense is for MN-07 to take in the third of Birjumdi (sp) that it does not currently have, and to make a nice clean north south line, and that takes care of MN-07, and MN-08 takes in some more exurbs, but not much really, to make it less erose.

I would be very surprised if a court does not redraw very closely to my map.
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« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2011, 12:39:14 am »
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The Anoka panhandle was originally a separate county (Manomin), apparently because Ramsey County couldn't go west of a dotted line, or perhaps because the river got in the way of having neat 6 mile square townships.  They decided that it was never going to work as a separate county, so it got added to Anoka County, which sort of made sense because the only town (Anoka) was along the river, and it made sense to have county boundaries along the river (eg Anoka was the rural county on the east bank north of the twin cities).

Columbia Heights is one of the earliest suburbs, developing in the 1920s when it became the most populous city in Anoka County, so it is probably older than many areas of Minneapolis and St.Paul let alone the areas that developed post WWII.
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« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2011, 12:59:15 am »
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Where do you want MN-07 to expand again BRTD?  Remember this a court plan drawing, not what  Democrats might want at the edges. I agree that St. Cloud and its burbs should all be in MN-06, and if I didn't get it all, that needs to be revised. When MN drops to seven seats in 10 years, then all will change. But it didn't, and so it won't.  Benton  County is not all that GOP anyway. Sherburne is, and I could sense you distaste for MN-08 impinging on it - right away. Tongue  But cheer up, the numbers we are talking about here are small.
MN-7 can come south all the way to Iowa.  The last 4 westernmost counties mostly drain toward the Missouri River rather than the Des Moines River.  They probably look at Sioux Falls as the big city, just like those who live in Moorhead and East Grand Forks look to Fargo and Grand Forks.   When the decision was made to go with 3 outer districts, it was noted that one or two districts would have go the length of the border.  The Canadian border was out due to lack of transportation other than canoe or sea plane; so they chose the Iowa border because of I-90.  But I-29 lies along the entire western border.  MN-1 and MN-8 have medium sized cities (Rochester and Duluth), so MN-7 will have to be bigger.  And MN-1 can come north so the counties around its two cities of Rochester and Mankato are within the same district.   MN-7 is really a SE district with a long western tail. 
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« Reply #84 on: January 12, 2011, 02:30:40 am »
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Again, BRTD, you have to think what a court would do, particularly since they drew the existing map. MN-07 expanding further east into rural Stearns (basically about three rows of rather empty townships, won't give it enough population, and it makes the CD more erose, so where do you go next?  And the court is certainly not going to exchange counties between CD's, unless there is a very good reason to do so.

It makes no sense to me. The western half, the empty rural half, of Stearns was put in MN-07 ten years ago, simply to make the CD look less erose. What does make sense is for MN-07 to take in the third of Birjumdi (sp) that it does not currently have, and to make a nice clean north south line, and that takes care of MN-07, and MN-08 takes in some more exurbs, but not much really, to make it less erose.

I would be very surprised if a court does not redraw very closely to my map.
When the court drew the 2000s map, the main issue was whether to retain the existing 4:4 plan (Greater Minnesota : Metro) or switch to a 5:3 plan.  The court decided to go with a 5:3 plan, since the metropolitan share was close to 62.5% than 50%, and it was slowly increasing.  To actually get to 62.5% they had to include St.Cloud, which they decided was the area closest related to the Twin Cities (more so than Rochester, Mankato, or Duluth).

During the 1990s at least, St. Cloud was in MN-07, perhaps because it needed the population, since there was at the time a SW Minnesota district.  I don't think that the decision to split Stearns was entirely to make the boundary smoother.  I think it was to recognize that the western part of the county was pretty remote from the Twin Cities, and even St. Cloud.

While the court gave the existence of I-90 as the reason for choosing MN-1 as the district that extends the full length of the border, this was partially a rationalization made for population balance reasons.  MN-8 needed Isanti and Chisago, or it would have to go west towards Fargo, which they had made a decision not to do, or SW towards St. Cloud, but would have meant splitting St.Cloud.

But losing Isanti and Chisago meant that the 5 metro districts would need some more population, which they got from the three counties south of the metro area (Le Sueur, Rice, and Goodhue).  It looks vaguely like an extended metro area to be acceptable, but it then meant MN-01 which had been a SE district would have to extend westward.

A court will assert that the 5:3 plan should be continued, that St.Cloud is still needed for the metro population, but that extreme southern fringe is no longer need.  It need not mention Chisago and Isanti have anything to do with this (especially since shifting them would mess up everything and MN-8 is really close to the ideal population).

The court then adjusts the southern boundary of the Metro 5 area assigns it to MN-1 and starts population balancing.

It explains that MN-7 is short X people, and gives the 5 options and explains why the first 4 won't work.

1) Go east from Bemidji.  Won't work because low population and MN-8 would be forced to go into Anoka or Washington County.

2) Go east near St. Cloud, but this would split the city of St. Cloud.

3) Go east into Wright County, but this is into the metro area.

4) Go SE Mankato but would(?) require taking of North Mankato and St. Peter and New Ulm.

5) Go south to the Iowa border, which also takes the excess from MN-1 from its going north.

You add in some language about the close ties between these areas and the Dakotas.  If they grow wheat and raise cattle, rather than corn and hogs, you mention that.  And then give a rationale for MN-1 becoming a SE district, and emphasize the importance of Rochester and Mankato so that the district isn't dominantly agriculture, and toss in the importance of the Mississippi River.

This will mean that MN-2 shifts north in Dakota County, and MN-4 more into Washington, which is OK since MN-6 extends NW to St Cloud which.
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« Reply #85 on: January 12, 2011, 03:05:53 am »
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OK here's a minimal change map based on shifting MN-07 down to Iowa.





Works pretty well. MN-08 only had to take in a few rural basically 100% white townships in Beltrami County. MN-01 lost some remote rural counties and regained most of Rice. MN-02 lost a few precincts in Inver Grove and was hardly changed otherwise. MN-04 expanded into MN-06, and MN-03 into Blaine. Nothing seriously changes.

Also I think Torie and jim need to drive on I-94 sometime. I'll concede that the influence of St. Cloud spreads a bit further west in Stearns County than I initially implied, but you could shave off all the township columns to the one immediately west of St. Cloud, and that's about 50k population. That may be high for rural Minnesota, but it also gives that area a comparable population density to Otter Tail County. And that area was settled and populated long before St. Cloud's growth.

Whatever the case this map shows that there is no reason to push MN-08 further into the exurbs. As I noted before, the only reason Chisago and Isanti were included before is because they were historically considered part of northeastern Minnesota and the whole I-90 corridor. Even today Lindstrom is considered a Swedish cultural center for example. That's not true about Benton County or northern Anoka or anywhere like that.
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« Reply #86 on: January 12, 2011, 04:15:08 am »
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OK here's a minimal change map based on shifting MN-07 down to Iowa.





Works pretty well. MN-08 only had to take in a few rural basically 100% white townships in Beltrami County. MN-01 lost some remote rural counties and regained most of Rice. MN-02 lost a few precincts in Inver Grove and was hardly changed otherwise. MN-04 expanded into MN-06, and MN-03 into Blaine. Nothing seriously changes.

Also I think Torie and jim need to drive on I-94 sometime. I'll concede that the influence of St. Cloud spreads a bit further west in Stearns County than I initially implied, but you could shave off all the township columns to the one immediately west of St. Cloud, and that's about 50k population. That may be high for rural Minnesota, but it also gives that area a comparable population density to Otter Tail County. And that area was settled and populated long before St. Cloud's growth.

Whatever the case this map shows that there is no reason to push MN-08 further into the exurbs. As I noted before, the only reason Chisago and Isanti were included before is because they were historically considered part of northeastern Minnesota and the whole I-90 corridor. Even today Lindstrom is considered a Swedish cultural center for example. That's not true about Benton County or northern Anoka or anywhere like that.
If you stop at St.Joseph you split St.Johns University in Collegeville from College of St.Benedict.  And there is definite suburban type development in Albany and Avon.  Not solid, but certainly areas that you can commute from.

Chisago and Isanti aren't that populous.  Are they 20% of the district?  And they have made the district population stable.  I suspect that the reason that they are metropolitan is that the farmland isn't as good as south of the Metro area (in Rice County) so you have less population actually making a living in the area, and Faribault is a modest town of long standing.  Since metropolitan definitions are based on commuting patterns, you have a larger work-in-the county population in Rice than in Chisago or Rice.

Better farmland means less land to carve up into multi-acre exurban lots, and there is still land in Dakota for intense subdividing.  Because Faribault is in the southern part of Rice, it is just too far to commute from for those who might buy a house in an existing town,
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« Reply #87 on: January 12, 2011, 10:51:39 am »
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The Canadian border was out due to lack of transportation other than canoe or sea plane...  But I-29 lies along the entire western border. 

Help me understand this. If the objection is that you can't trace the actual border route on foot, I don't understand the relevance of that to the links between communities within the district (which are all connected by roads, east-west; very few people live literally in the middle of a swamp straddling the border), and then I don't understand the comparison to I-29, which requires you to not trace the western border on foot but to cross over into other states, indicating you don't need to travel as the crow flies to justify a district. With a regular automobile, you can reach nearly all of the communities within a unified northern district as easily as you could reach them from within MN-8 or MN-7 now.

It's academic because they are unlikely to create a unified northern district with more than 7 districts statewide, but I still don't understand the logic of the ground rules you are referring to.
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« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2011, 10:58:34 am »
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Because Faribault is in the southern part of Rice, it is just too far to commute from for those who might buy a house in an existing town,

Someone in a thread here from 2007 talked about commuting from Faribault to Bloomington.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/minnesota/85765-faribault.html

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As for the commute to the cities...I've been commuting the 45 miles to Bloomington for several years and it's not bad. Think about it.. 70 mph until you hit burnsville it's not even a 1/2 hour away. Most people in the cities commute more than that to go 15 miles or less.

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« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2011, 09:10:12 pm »
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OK, below is a map of the Twin Cities CD's and adjacent ones, drawn based on population density. As one can see, MN-01 ends up with way too many people, and MN-02 needs to go south into what is not really the Twin Cities urban mass, to equalize. MN-06 needs to pick up a few people from MN-07, and MN-08 is desperate for people, and needs to invade the exurbs - somewhere.  Before it too the NE, and now it needs a bit more territory. I think my map gets pretty close in defining what that territory is (the bottom map), which includes some that is not even in the urban mass in Benton County.

So it seems to me that you just fill in counties, and then play at the edges, to make it work. And I think that is what the court was focused on last time.



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« Reply #90 on: January 12, 2011, 11:30:03 pm »
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Because Faribault is in the southern part of Rice, it is just too far to commute from for those who might buy a house in an existing town,

Someone in a thread here from 2007 talked about commuting from Faribault to Bloomington.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/minnesota/85765-faribault.html

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As for the commute to the cities...I've been commuting the 45 miles to Bloomington for several years and it's not bad. Think about it.. 70 mph until you hit burnsville it's not even a 1/2 hour away. Most people in the cities commute more than that to go 15 miles or less.

I think you missed the overall point I was making, which is why Chisago and Isanti are both part of the metropolitan area, while Rice is not.

Metropolitan areas are defined by the Census Bureau on the basis of commuter patterns.  It doesn't not define areas that are city-like.  In the past, parts of Utah have been included in the Flagstaff metropolitan area.  These weren't based on people jumping the Grand Canyon to go to work, but crossing the border into Coconino county.  There is part of Nevada in the Sacramento metropolitan area, based on one of the Sierra counties that go from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe.  The commuters aren't traveling to work at the capital, but to Tahoe.  Armstrong County in Texas has less than 1000 persons, but is defined as being part of the Amarillo metropolitan area.

The criteria that is used is the percentage of the labor force in the non-core county that commutes to the core county and/or the part of the employment in the non-core county that commute from the core county.  The percentage is pretty low (15%?).  Even if a county is a "bedroom" county, it needs builders to build the new bedrooms, teachers for the school, clerks for the grocery stores, and attendants at the filling stations.  So even if there are quite a few commuters, there are a lot of stay-at-home workers to provide services for the commuters.  Because of these service workers, the percentage of commuters to trigger metropolitan status is set low.

If a county has a substantial economy of its own, it is harder to flip to becoming part of a metropolitan county, since the people who live there, live there because there are jobs there.
If you go back to 1960, Rice had about 3 times the population of either Isanti or Chisago, and had about twice the population of Scott and Carver, and more than Wright.  The latter 3 have reached a point of massive suburban growth, doubling in population in the last 20 years.

Since 1960, Rice and Isanti have both added about 25,000 people.  But that is a 178% increase for Isanti, and only 58% for Rice.  Chisago has had greater numeric growth, and relative growth 292%.  But Rice still has more population than either one.  So clearly all have seen growth from the Twin Cities, but a smaller percentage share of Rice labor force commutes into the core counties.

So Rice remains outside the metropolitan area, while Isanti and Chisago are in it.  But none are citified in the same sense that Wright, Scott, and Carver are.

If someone want to live in these areas, they need a job, so they have to commute.  They also need housing, with utilities.  They can buy some acreage, drill a well, put in a septic tank, and propane, etc.  This adds a lot to the cost.   Or they can wait for someone to subdivide the area and put in utilities.  Or they can find a small town, that probably has some housing, or maybe someone has subdivided 10 or 20 acres and hooked into the town utilities.  These will be small houses by current standards, but relatively inexpensive.  And it isn't in unlimited supply.  If Faribault were closer, it would be better.  It may limit job choices.  Bloomington is OK since it is straight shot up I-35.  But what if that job ends, or moves to a different location.  The commute gets longer.  And eventually there will be jobs in the southern part of Dakota.  There might be a hospital or at least a medical center.  A dental hygienist who lives in Faribault can work there.  So maybe it isn't "too far", but "quite far", and some of it is mental image.  One can become accustomed to long commutes, especially if it means the difference between working or not.  But one doesn't start out that way.  If they are new to a city, they find a job, or were already hired.  They find temporary housing near work.  If they get married and have kids, they move to the suburbs, because they want to own a house, and have good schools.  Later, if their job situation changes, they may decide to keep the house, and commute a longer distance to a different job.

Summary: When splitting districts between metropolitan and outer districts, counties like Chisago, Isanti, and Rice can go either way, depending on where counties are needed to be for population balance.  In 2000, it worked to have Chisago and Isanti in MN-8, and Rice, Goodhue, and Le Sueur in a metro district.  With an increase in population share for the metro area, some of the latter need to be shifted out for population balancing.
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« Reply #91 on: January 12, 2011, 11:41:21 pm »
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Because Faribault is in the southern part of Rice, it is just too far to commute from for those who might buy a house in an existing town,

Someone in a thread here from 2007 talked about commuting from Faribault to Bloomington.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/minnesota/85765-faribault.html

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As for the commute to the cities...I've been commuting the 45 miles to Bloomington for several years and it's not bad. Think about it.. 70 mph until you hit burnsville it's not even a 1/2 hour away. Most people in the cities commute more than that to go 15 miles or less.

See thing is while you could do it and I'm sure many do, there's really no reason to unless you have reasons grounding you to Faribault (own a house there, spouse works there, young living at home). Faribault doesn't even have lots of cheap or newly built housing, it's just another working class town in southern Minnesota that just happens to be located closeish to the metro. It also works only if you're commuting to the southern suburbs, it's about an hour to Minneapolis. Lakeville (the southern edge of the metro) is as close to Faribault as it is to Minneapolis though.

Admittedly though it's no more non-viable than commuting from Wyoming or Cambridge to the metro is and those areas are more than a bit more rootless but I'm not going to speak for the people who decide to live there. The lack of good farmland is a valid explanation for why all the land is sold to developers which don't do so crazily on the southern edge.

OK, below is a map of the Twin Cities CD's and adjacent ones, drawn based on population density. As one can see, MN-01 ends up with way too many people, and MN-02 needs to go south into what is not really the Twin Cities urban mass, to equalize. MN-06 needs to pick up a few people from MN-07, and MN-08 is desperate for people, and needs to invade the exurbs - somewhere.  Before it too the NE, and now it needs a bit more territory. I think my map gets pretty close in defining what that territory is (the bottom map), which includes some that is not even in the urban mass in Benton County.

So it seems to me that you just fill in counties, and then play at the edges, to make it work. And I think that is what the court was focused on last time.




Mine above shifts around less areas. I really doubt anyone cares massively about whether MN-01 reaches the South Dakota border or not, especially as jim noted above (he said MN-7 but I'm assuming he meant MN-1) that MN-01 is really a southeastern Minnesota seat that just happens to have a western tail of mostly empty territory. Having lived in that district for over five years I can assure you that there is more closeness felt to the metro than to anywhere west of New Ulm (and I lived in Mankato, I doubt people in Rochester or even Owatonna care about New Ulm), which is basically considered eastern South Dakota. That region even has a name, it's called the Buffalo Ridge which is quite distinct form southeast Minnesota. There's really no reason to do shifts to prevent MN-07 from reaching the Iowa border.
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« Reply #92 on: January 12, 2011, 11:57:36 pm »
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Here is the map which draws the MN-02 and  MN-06 to  totally fill in the density zone. They are short about 27,000 people (all in MN-06, with MN-08 having the excess. So the population balancing is done with the whited out precincts. MN-07 moves north a bit, taking 18,000 people from MN-08, MN-06 grabs a few precincts from MM-07 to get its first 9,000 third of the 27,000 votes that it needs (as does MN-01, and MN-02 grabs one more), takes another (9,000 from MN-02 (which MN-02 gets back from MN-01, with MN-01 then getting them back from MN0-07), and MN-06 completes the job by taking the last 9,000 voters from MN-08 directly.

So MN-08 gets quite a bit more Dem, with the Dems taking the seat, MN-07 perhaps gets a tad more GOP, and certainly less erratic, and will probably go GOP when Peterson goes, MN-01 may be slightly more GOP, but not enough to threaten the Dem in it,   MN-02 may be a tad more Dem, but not enough to threaten Klein, and MN-06 gets even more GOP. Not a bad map for the Dems.

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« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2011, 12:16:57 am »
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That is far more shifting than necessary. Also I think you drew Peterson out of his seat.

And MN-01 doesn't get more Republican, it lost a bunch of heavily Republican counties in exchange for a Dem-leaning one, a GOP-leaning one, and a swing one leaning just barely to the GOP. Obama no doubt won the new territory added to the seat.
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« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2011, 12:20:16 am »
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That is far more shifting than necessary. Also I think you drew Peterson out of his seat.

And MN-01 doesn't get more Republican, it lost a bunch of heavily Republican counties in exchange for a Dem-leaning one, a GOP-leaning one, and a swing one leaning just barely to the GOP. Obama no doubt won the new territory added to the seat.

Yes, I changed my text, because you are right about MN-01. But if the court is really serious about a map that has the Twin Cities CD's match where the Twin Cities actually are, based on population density, this is the map. The rest to mind mind is just rhetoric. What this map does is avoid the outer three CD's taking in any high density population zone appending the Twin Cities area (like MN-08 does now), and just has the two suburban CD's in the end grab 27,000 people outside Twin Cities density template. In other words, the Twin Cities density zone is 27,000 people short of being 5 CD's in size, about 3,250,000 people.

This has nothing to do by the way with partisan considerations or where any incumbent lives. Why should the court worry where incumbents live by the way?
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« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2011, 06:17:19 pm »
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The Canadian border was out due to lack of transportation other than canoe or sea plane...  But I-29 lies along the entire western border. 

Help me understand this. If the objection is that you can't trace the actual border route on foot, I don't understand the relevance of that to the links between communities within the district (which are all connected by roads, east-west; very few people live literally in the middle of a swamp straddling the border), and then I don't understand the comparison to I-29, which requires you to not trace the western border on foot but to cross over into other states, indicating you don't need to travel as the crow flies to justify a district. With a regular automobile, you can reach nearly all of the communities within a unified northern district as easily as you could reach them from within MN-8 or MN-7 now.

Final Court Order 2000 Redistricting

See page 5 or so.  It describe I-90 as making CD-1 "convenient contiguous territory", which is a requirement of the Minnesota constitution, and apparently interpreted similarly in previous litigation.  While I-29 would be less convenient, I don't think it would be inconvenient.

Would a state court overrule a Duluth-Fargo district drawn by the legislature, because it was "not" convenient?  Perhaps.  It might depend on how grotesque the other districts were.  A Minnesota court might rule Massachusetts-, New York-, or Maryland-like districts as not being convenient.  But if it had never been taken to court in the past, they might not.  If "convenient" had been interpreted in the past to mean "non-equipopulous in order to maintain communities of interest", they could decide that "convenient" was superfluous language since it violated the US Constitution.

Would a state court draw a Duluth-Fargo district.  Probably not, unless Minnesota were down to 6 districts.  And of course, they would not characterize the area as only being traversible by float plane or canoe, since snowmobile is also possible in the 8 or 9 winter months.

Would a state court overrule a district the length of the Dakotas' border?  I don't think they would.  And I think they might draw such a district, especially if the alternative is greater infringement on the Twin Cities metro area.

Zachman v. Kiffmeyer, 2000s redistricting

This has links to the briefs, etc. for the 2000s redistricting litigation, that also included legislative redistricting.  Zachman was the first to file suit, and there were other intervening plaintiffs.  Kiffmeyer was the Secretary of State.

Minnesota redistricting 1860-

This has links to previous redistricting laws (verbal not maps) from throughout Minnesota's history.

2000s redistricting maps

Maps of the redistricting plans:

The parties to the litigation were;

Zachman, et al   Republicans who were pushing for a Minneapolis-St Paul district and radical changes elsewhere, but generally a 5-3 plan.  Since these included a Duluth-Fargo district, some of the arguments against such a northern district may have been motivated because the plan would also have combined the twin cities.

Moe, et al.  He was the DFL gubernatorial candidate in 2002 vs.Pawlenty.  This party also included Reps. McCollum, Sabo, Luther, Peterson, and Oberstar.  They were promoting retention of a 4:4 plan, with 4 Greater Minnesota districts in the corners.  Because the SE, NW, and NE districts each had a city (Rochester, St. Cloud, and Duluth, respectively), and the SW district did not, it had to encroach on the metro area.

Cotlow, et al.  DFL party, were in favor of 5:3 plan which was close to the final plan.  Would have brought MN-8 further down into northern Anoka county, and fairly substantially different suburban districts.

Ventura, who was governor at the time.  This was also a 5:3 plan,  but would have drawn a district a length of the Dakotas' border.  The SE district would have been more compact, and the western district was more a SW district with a Red River panhandle.  The NW district would have been the eliminated district, split between the Red River being added to the SW district, St.Cloud being shifted to the metro area, and central northern Minnesota being shifted to the NE.  The districts are numbered differently, because there was agreement that districts being numbered from south to north.

The Ventura, Cotlow, and court plans were all 5:3 plans.  In 2000, the metro area was closer to 5/8 of the state population than 4/8.  But it needed St.Cloud plus a bit more to get to 5/8.  The three plans took their bit more from different areas.  The Ventura plan went north to include Mille Lacs, Kanabec, and part of Pine.   The Cotlow plan came south, and took in Goodhue, Rice, and Le Sueur, while giving up Isanti and Chisago.  It also went west to include Meeker, McLeod, and Sibley, while giving up part of northern Anoka county.  The final court plan eliminated this western extension and kept all of Anoka in the district.

The Ventura plan was closer to the Census Bureau definition of the metro area, while the Cotlow plan was the worst, since it stripped part of the 3rd most populous county out of a metro area district.  The court plan might have been the closest did not extend to counties that were clearly outside the metro area.

The manner that the 5:3 split was made then guided the way the suburban and outstate districts were drawn, though in the case of the Cotlow plan, it was likely the inverse was done.   The Ventura map rotated the outstate districts counterclockwise relative to the court plan, and was perhaps slightly more definitive in creating the northern and southern suburban districts, with a more visually appealing link between St.Cloud and the rest of the northern suburban district.  An argument for the Ventura plan is it put St.Cloud and the non-metropolitan counties in the same district.

The Cotlow configuration exhibited a political bias.  It would have paired two Republican incumbents in a Hennepin-St. Cloud district, and configured a district drawn tightly around Ramsey County, including Washington, southern Anoka, and northeastern Hennepin counties, where Bill Luther might be elected.  The reason for moving northern Anoka to MN-8 was to pull out Republicans, since Oberstar was seen as being invulnerable.

Under the court plan, Mark Kennedy and Bill Luther were paired in MN-6, though just barely.  Kennedy had been elected from the SW district and lived on the extreme eastern end.  He was barely inside the western boundary of MN-6 which wrapped around to the Wisconsin line.  Kennedy was elected and served for 2 more terms until he ran for the US senate, and was replaced by Michele Bachman.  Bill Luther switched to MN-2 and was beaten.

If redistricting goes to courts again, then there will be two basic approaches.  No one will challenge the 5:3 split, since the metro area is now closer to 5/8 of the state population than it was in 2000.

One approach would argue that since the existing map is based on the 5:3 split, then all that is needed is to make the minimal inter-district shifts to make the population equal again.  Currently,

MN-2 and MN-6 are quite a bit over (75K)
MN-3 and MN-8 are quite close.
MN-1 is somewhat under (25K)
MN-7, 5, and 4 are under (45K)

MN-5 and MN-4 can get their additional population from MN-2 and MN-6, via MN-3 in the case of MN-5.  And MN-1 can get its topping off from MN-2.

But there is nowhere for MN-7 to get its additional population from the Metro 5, other than splitting apart St.Cloud, or encroaching on the western suburbs in Wright or Carver.  But then you have to violated the basis premise behind the 5:3 split.  So the court will reject this.

The second approach is to go back to the basic principle behind the 5:3 split and draw a new boundary to account for the slight increase in the metro share.  This means that Le Sueur, Rice, or Goodhue, or some combination are removed from the Metro 5.

The court verifies that this will work out for the outstate 3.  It does.  The detatched territory can be shifted to MN-1, with the western end of MN-1 moved to MN-7.  The court can write at  length as to whether MN-7 is "convenient", but will conclude that is given all the other constraints.  Peterson has an office in Marshall (and in Redwood Falls one day per week).  Walz only has offices in Rochester and Mankato.

Since the metro to outstate shift was from MN-2, then MN-3, 5, and 4 need to expand westward, northward, and/or eastward.   Because MN-6 ends up in St Cloud, a case can be made for having MN-4 to go east, for MN-2 to extend further northward to include all of Dakota, and perhaps some more or Washington.  Then extend MN-3 into Carver county, rather than northward.

This would make it:

5) Minneapolis and inner suburbs.
3) Western suburbs
4) Eastern suburbs plus St.Paul
2) Southern suburbs
6) Northern suburbs and St.Cloud
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« Reply #96 on: January 14, 2011, 10:49:56 pm »
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That is far more shifting than necessary. Also I think you drew Peterson out of his seat.

And MN-01 doesn't get more Republican, it lost a bunch of heavily Republican counties in exchange for a Dem-leaning one, a GOP-leaning one, and a swing one leaning just barely to the GOP. Obama no doubt won the new territory added to the seat.

Yes, I changed my text, because you are right about MN-01. But if the court is really serious about a map that has the Twin Cities CD's match where the Twin Cities actually are, based on population density, this is the map. The rest to mind mind is just rhetoric. What this map does is avoid the outer three CD's taking in any high density population zone appending the Twin Cities area (like MN-08 does now), and just has the two suburban CD's in the end grab 27,000 people outside Twin Cities density template. In other words, the Twin Cities density zone is 27,000 people short of being 5 CD's in size, about 3,250,000 people.

This has nothing to do by the way with partisan considerations or where any incumbent lives. Why should the court worry where incumbents live by the way?

They may not care, but there is a principal about the least change as possible. That's what my map above is. As I've noted many times, extending MN-08 further into the exurbs is completely unnecessary as you can easily acheive ideal population just within rural Beltrami county (without even touching the Reservation.)

BTW Cravaack just opened his constituent services office. Singular. Now I know it's not uncommon to have only one office, but that's typically in small districts (area-wise), which this is not. Oberstar had four, in Duluth, Brainerd, the northern mining territory and exurbs. But the bigger deal isn't that but the location of this one, which is North Branch in Chisago County. 2 hours from Duluth and a good 5 hours from much of the district. And he accused Oberstar of being out of touch? This'll make a great campaign ad.
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« Reply #97 on: January 14, 2011, 11:36:40 pm »
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In this thread, I see three different breakdowns of the congressional district deviation from average.  So, which one of these can we go by?

Here are the 2009 ACS estimates, plus deviation from average (658,000 vs. 664,000 for census).  The growth in the average is 43/49 of the census to census difference, which suggests that we could simply multiply the deviations by 10/9 and get pretty good 2010 estimates.  But we can simply balance the shifts to see what a minimally modified map would look like.


1   635,331   -22,946
2   731,468    73,191
3   651,676    -6,601
4   614,059   -44,218
5   618,840   -39,437
6   749,383    91,106
7   614,738   -43,539
8   650,720    -7,557




Currently,

MN-2 and MN-6 are quite a bit over (75K)
MN-3 and MN-8 are quite close.
MN-1 is somewhat under (25K)
MN-7, 5, and 4 are under (45K)
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« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2011, 04:03:20 pm »

For MN, I've used the 2009 census estimates at the level of minor civil divisions to get the metro area pop for 2010. This is much more accurate than the direct estimates from the App, which I used only to draw the maps. Using that data, I've tried to minimize changes to existing districts while respecting counties and municipalities to the extent possible.



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« Reply #99 on: January 15, 2011, 05:24:34 pm »
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Man, the intra county shifts in Hennepin County were larger than I expected, Muon2. That is a big shift there, with MN-05 now not only taking in Brooklyn Center (which I expected the bulk of which would be absorbed), but also a slug of Brooklyn Park, making MN-03 quite comfortably Pubbie now. The map that will be drawn will look very close to the one that you drew; I would think the only issue being how MN-08, MN-07 and MN-01 move around really, to equalize population. There are two or three reasonable choices there. I picked one, and you picked another, I think.
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