How not to rebut: The many, many ways that Kelli Lundgren gets it wrong

Last month, I took State Senator Jim Dabakis to task over the tired “Utah is gerrymandered” trope that he continues to perpetuate. Today a former chair of RepresentMeUtah, Kelli Lundgren, attempted to call me out as being completely wrong. At least, I assume she did. She linked to my piece but refers to a “Jesse Feller”, someone I’ve never heard of. If only the sloppy attempt at rebuttal ended at directing the argument at the wrong person. One of the most common problems in the piece is a refusal to…

In Defense of Gerrymandering

I will readily admit that Kelli Lundgren is better informed about the re-districting process carried out by the state legislature after the 2010 census than I am. She could hardly be less, since I paid it no attention whatever. I’m also willing to agree that the legislature practiced “gerrymandering,” because, as I tell my students, gerrymandering is what your political opponents do (and what you would do if you were in power). So let’s assume arguendo, that the districts in the state of Utah (and in every other state, including…

Utah gerrymandering and its consequences are very real

To argue gerrymandering does not exist in Utah flies in the face of many Utah Republican and Democratic leaders who admitted to gerrymandering during the 2011 process. To now accuse Senator James Dabakis of lying when he accuses Republicans of gerrymandering is saying they all lied. The difference is Dabakis is aggravated with the outcome. Otherwise, most of Utah’s legislators have been tooth-picking their teeth over a job well done. Most selected the voters they wanted. I followed Utah’s Legislature and Legislative Redistricting Committee through 2011, attending perhaps 20 meetings.…

Why is Sen Dabakis perpetuating the obvious gerrymandering lie?

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. – Mark Twain Gerrymandering is a pretty good story. In it, the evil Republican legislature crammed a proposal down the throat of Utah voters to disenfranchise them from voting for the Democrats who they really wanted in office in the first place. As a professional bomb-thrower, Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis is all too eager to keep on repeating the story as it gets handed down from session to session. I mean, it’s a lot easier than saying…

Why Democrat Party Losses in the Utah Legislature Aren’t About the Map

It’s easy to point to gerrymandering as the reason Utah Democrat Party losses in the 2014 mid-term elections grew by three. Easy, but pusillanimous. It removes blame from Democrat candidates, donors, strategists and campaign workers and instead puts it on the shoulders of cheating Republicans, ruling with a super-er majority in the Utah Legislature.  But Legislative Dems are confederate with their Republican colleagues. Blame the Republicans, but the Democrats were confederate. When the maps were drawn and redistricting happened in 2011, every Democrat member of the Utah House of Representatives voted…

Election 2014: Morning-After Observations

The national media took a while to form their narrative about Election 2014. Was it a Republican wave? Maybe a tropical storm? Did they have a mandate? Was it anti-Obama or anti-incumbent? Not all of the coverage was enlightening, but here’s some thoughts on last night. – Nate Silver was wrong. We’ve entered new territory. 2012 was full of unskewed-poll talk for Republicans, where they believed Nate Silver and other pollsters were underselling their turnout. Turns out Silver and crew were right. However in 2014, the pollsters were wrong on…