Here’s video of Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, discussing the breakthrough that lead to a vote on a new congressional map.
I also asked Diehl about this article from Roll Call that stated the previous stalemate was a result “of local GOP lawmakers having designs on running for some of the very House seats they are currently drawing:”
State Rep. John Diehl (R), another rising star in the Legislature and chairman of the state House’s redistricting committee, has a base in Town and Country, Mo., just east of the disputed area. The new map could set up Diehl for a potential Congressional run in the district currently represented by Rep. Todd Akin (R), who is considering a bid for Senate.
Click on the video to see more.
Missouri lawmakers toiled into the wee hours of the night, but were unable to come up with consensus regarding redistricting.
Since lawmakers won’t send a map to Gov. Jay Nixon by today, that means lawmakers won’t be able to override a potential veto until the fall. That could be significant, since it leaves a lot of time for individual members to be persuaded one way or another.
If Republicans can’t override Nixon, the map would likely be drawn by the courts. Here’s more from Associated Press reporter Chris Blank:
After private negotiations continued throughout the day and night Thursday, the Senate decided to adjourn until next Tuesday and House Redistricting Committee Chairman Rep. John Diehl said an immediate agreement was unlikely.
"I think we’re close, but obviously we’re far," said Diehl, R-Town and Country.
House members were to be in session Friday, which is unusual, and Diehl said there were options for considering redistricting proposals then. The Legislature’s annual session ends May 13.
The inability of Republicans to agree on a redistricting plan was causing mounting frustrations among some lawmakers. Particularly frustrating, said Sen. Ron Richard, was the fact that many lawmakers were left in the dark about the progress of the negotiations and the apparent sticking points.
"I’m pretty upset," said Richard, R-Joplin, a former House speaker who came to the Capitol dressed for work Friday but with nothing to vote on. "Now we just lost our ability to override the governor" during the legislative session.
There have been plenty of disagreements in the redistricting process between the two bodies. Among other things, the chambers seem to disagree on how to position St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. Both maps place St. Louis City in one legislative district, which would place U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, in the same electoral arena. But Carnahan could run U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s reconfigured district, which could more Democratic than usual.
There have been plenty of disagreements in the redistricting process between the two bodies. Among other things, the chambers seem to disagree on how to position St. Charles and Jefferson Counties.
Both maps place St. Louis City in one legislative district, which would place U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, in the same electoral arena. But Carnahan could run U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s reconfigured district, which could more Democratic than usual.
Senators gave a rough reception to a reconfigured congressional map passed last week by the Missouri House, with at least two senators vowing to squash the proposal.
The Missouri House overwhelmingly approved a map last Wednesday shrinking the state’s congressional delegation from nine to eight representatives. Because Missouri’s population didn’t grow fast enough with the rest of the country, it must lose a congressional seat.
Both House and Senate committees approved somewhat similar maps that encased St. Louis City in one congressional district, effectively pitting U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, against each other. They also created an expansive northern Missouri district and added several rural counties to U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s Kansas City-based 5th District.
But some senators Tuesday expressed outright disdain for some aspects of the House map, including the way Jefferson County was split up and the manner in which some rural counties were arranged. Many stated a preference for the Senate map, which hasn’t been debated on the floor yet.
Sen. Jason Crowell – a Republican from Cape Girardeau who publicly criticized how a big chunk of Jefferson County was placed into U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s district – said the House map would likely not make it out of the Senate.
“I don’t mind telling you I have no intention of letting us come to a vote on the House map,” Crowell said in an exchange with Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon. “I think the House map is a wrong direction to go for a variety of reasons, chief among them is the area that I represent – the 8th Congressional District.”
Crowell reiterated his concerns about Jefferson County becoming a population center, which he said will shift the district so much that “it will no longer be what it always has been.”
Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Jefferson County, said he opposed the way Jefferson County was divided. In the House proposal, the fast-growing county would be split between districts currently held by Emerson, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth.
“I don’t like either one of them,” McKenna said, referring to the House and Senate proposals.
That grumbling wasn’t just relegated to Crowell, McKenna and Stouffer. Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, expressed concern over Polk County being split between two congressional districts. Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said he was worried about Randolph County being divided, while Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, said she was opposed to Clay County’s arrangement.
Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton - who objected to how Ray, Saline and Lafayette County were drawn into Cleaver’s district - echoed Crowell’s sentiments about the House map’s chances of passing.
“I think what [Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville] needs to hear today is that this map doesn’t have a chance to go through this body,” Stouffer said. “I think there are enough senators that have a better solution. And I think that’s why we’re out here today – to give him that message that this one has a problem. And it’s a problem from a number of us, not just one.”
Rupp is the chairman of a Senate redistricting committee who handled the House map on the Senate floor. He laid the proposal over after roughly two hours of debate.
What could happen is that the Senate will construct a different proposal, sending the competing bills to a conference committee. It will be interesting to see how many votes that map receives in both chambers, and whether it’s enough to withstand a veto from Gov. Jay Nixon.
The above video features House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, and Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, discussing a House vote on redistricting.
While the measure passed with four Democratic votes, Diehl’s measure also received three no votes from Republicans. You can read more about that debate in my article for the St. Louis Beacon.
Call it a case of dueling maps.
State Rep. Ron Casey, D-Jefferson County, put forward an alternative congressional map to one unveiled at a House committee dealing with redistricting. It comes as the Missouri House could take up the issue on the floor as soon as next week.
The first map - which was put forward by state Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country - notably put U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, in the same congressional district. It also placed some of Jefferson County in U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s district, added northeast Missouri to U.S. Rep. Sam Graves’ district, placed Cole County in U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s district and gave Boone County to U.S. Vicky Hartzler’s district.
There are some similarities between Diehl and Casey’s maps. For one thing, the first district would still put the entire City of St. Louis into one congressional district. It would still create a mega-north Missouri district for Graves. And it would also place several rural counties into U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s Kansas City-centric district.
But from a quick glance, there are some notable differences. Here’s a snap analysis:
- The 2nd District - currently represented by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country - would include some of St. Louis County and all of Jefferson County. It could present a challenge for Akin [who mulling a U.S. Senate bid] or his potential Republican successor, since south St. Louis County and Jefferson County have Democratic tendencies.
- Casey’s proposal would place the residences of Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, and Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, into the same district. Boone and Cole County would also get scooped into the district currently represented by Hartzler.
- Perhaps the most interesting change would be the new 3rd District, which would include all of St. Charles County, Lincoln County, Franklin County and St. Francois County. It would also include parts of western St. Louis County - including Chesterfield and Wildwood. That proposal is intriguing because nobody in the Missouri congressional delegation is from a residence in that district.
Of course, congressional candidates don’t have to actually live in the districts where they run. So this map - or Diehl’s - doesn’t necessarily mean there will be an intra-party primary between two incumbents. It’s possible that, say, Luetkemeyer could run in the 3rd District and Carnahan could run in the 2nd District.
Casey’s map was released in a press release from Diehl. He said the proceeding so far have been “a fair and open process from the start” and the committee “will maintain that approach as the process moves forward.”
"Our goal is ensure a transparent process as we work to create a map that ensures adequate and fair representation for each and every Missourian," Diehl said in a statement. "It is my intention to give Representative Casey the opportunity to make the case to the committee that his map is a better alternative to the one presented to the committee earlier in the week"
Still, since Republicans outnumber Democrats on the committee and in the House, Casey’s proposal could face an uphill battle. Though it should be noted that some Republicans expressed unease about the first map.
The two congressmen that represent St. Louis City blasted a proposed congressional map that effectively pits the two Democrats against each other.
As noted yesterday, a proposed map from a House committee in charge of congressional redistricting would put the entire City of St. Louis in one congressional district. Right now, the city is split between U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis. If the two lawmakers decided to run in the district that encompasses their residences, they would have to run against each other in a Democratic primary.
In a joint statement, Clay and Carnahan called the map “overly partisan, damaging to the St. Louis region, and unfair to communities of common cultural and historical interests.”
"We are extremely disappointed that the Missouri House Special Committee on Congressional Redistricting has produced a map that emphasizes partisanship over fairness," Clay and Carnahan said in the statement. "The population of the St. Louis metropolitan area clearly justifies three congressional districts. We are surprised that the committee chose to weaken representation for our region, which is the economic engine that drives Missouri’s economy.”
The statement went on to say that St. Louis City “has been represented by two Members of Congress who strongly advocated for neighborhoods of like interests.”
"This proposed map ignores vital historical and cultural considerations which should be taken into account in this process,” Clay and Carnahan said. "The current proposal is unfair and it ignores the best interests of the people of Missouri and the entire St. Louis region."
State Rep. John Diehl – a Town and Country Republican in charge of the House committee – said Wednesday it’s “pretty hard to justify the county that’s decreased the most in population still being the population base for two of eight congressional districts across the state.”
"I would argue that’s no good for the City of St. Louis," Diehl said. "If you take a look at the new reality of the maps, the districts go from 620,000 to 750,000. We tried to look at what’s best for each region of the state. And if you make the argument that the City of St. Louis should have two congressmen in 750,000 person seats, the city’s only going to have an influence of 20 percent of two seats. They’re not going to have the influence in any district."
Meanwhile, the Senate committee looking into redistricting will meet at 1 p.m. on Monday. The House could vote on the reconfigured map next week.
Photo courtesy of Washington University. Carnahan is second from the left of the picture, while Clay is on the far right. U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Giradeau, is second from the right.
I’ll have more on redistricting tomorrow, but I wanted to post a couple of videos after a House committee on redistricting unveiled congressional maps for eight congressional districts.
Here’s a video of the chairman of that committee - state Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country - talking
A woman on stilts entertains the masses at the Missouri State Fair. Pettis County - the home of the fair - grew by 4 percent last decade.
I just got a spreadsheet of the state’s population by county. You can view the spreadsheet here, but here are some highlights:
- St. Louis County remains Missouri’s most populous county with 998,954 people. But that number is down 1.71 percent. Jackson County came in second place with 674,158, a 2.94 percent increase.
- St. Charles County experienced downright explosive growth, moving ahead of St. Louis City as the third most populous county in the state. The county grew by 26.98 percent.
- As mentioned in the previous post, St. Louis City’s population decline by 8.3 percent. The population of my hometown is 319,294.
- Kansas City suburban areas such as Clay County, Cass County and Platte County grew by at least 20 percent. Jefferson County grew by 10.42 percent.
- My old stomping ground of Boone County grew 20.07 percent. Cole County grew by 6.43 percent.
- Southwest Missouri experienced a population boom of sorts. The fastest growing county in the state was Christian County, which ballooned by 42.62 percent. Greene County grew by 14.47 percent, Jasper County’s population went up by 12.15 percent and Taney County grew by 30.15 percent.
- The population of Atchison County - home of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio - declined 11.59 percent, the most out of any Missouri county. Worth County - with 2,171 residents - remains Missouri’s least populous county.
By the way, state Rep. John Diehl’s office released the total population by congressional districts. Diehl, R-Town and Country, is the chair of the House committee on redistricting:
District 1 - 587,069
District 2 - 706,622
District 3 - 625,251
District 4 - 679,375
District 5 - 633,887
District 6 - 693,974
District 7 - 721,754
District 8 - 656,894
District 9 - 684,101
Diehl’s office says that congressional districts will now have 748,615 people.
The congressional redistricting process is coming next week to St. Louis County.
Via press release, Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, announced that House Special Standing Committee on Redistricting will hold a hearing at 2 p.m. March 4 at the St. Louis County Courthouse. Diehl is the chairman of the aforementioned committee.
“Our goal is to have a fair and open process that utilizes the census data and the input we receive from the public,” said Diehl in a statement. “There is no preconceived plan about how the districts will be drawn. We will look at the numbers and listen to the testimony and use that information to draw lines that ensure each Missourian is given adequate representation.”
Here’s the schedule for the other House hearings:
Tuesday, March 1 at Moreland Ridge Middle School in Blue Springs at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2 at the Mexico Chamber of Commerce in Mexico at 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 3 at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff at 6 p.m.
The above video features Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, and Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, answering questions about the redistricting process. Rupp is in charge of the Senate committee handling congressional redistricting, while Diehl heads the House committee dealing with the same subject.