Bayshore Tea Party Group to Lead Demonstration to End Partisan Gerrymandering
Together with groups and voters from around the State, BTPG will gather in New Brunswick
Middletown, NJ – As reports leak out about the usual “Soprano State” dealings in New Brunswick- incumbents attempting to persuade the Apportionment Commission to protect their jobs and “their” districts-the Bayshore Tea Party Group together with other concerned groups and voters from around the State will gather at Monument Park in New Brunswick to demand an end to partisan Gerrymandering in New Jersey
Where: Monument Square
317 George St.
New Brunswick, NJ
When: 7 PM, Wednesday March 30, 2011
Since having released a map of unimpeachable Constitutionality on March 25, 2011-one wholly devoid of illicit considerations such as the protection of incumbent legislators-“The People’s Map” has received widespread and bipartisan praise from scholars such as Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray as well as from individual Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters. The support from such disparate political viewpoints represents a statewide disgust with the practice of politicians selecting their voters rather than voters electing their representatives.
That practice is Gerrymandering and it must stop.
Members of the Bayshore Tea Party Group and other concerned citizens will hold a constant demonstration from tonight at 7PM until the Commission votes on the map that will bind New Jersey for the next 10 years.
All groups and individuals concerned with the odious process of Gerrymandering and with the intentional dilution of their vote on the altar of protecting incumbent politicians are invited and encouraged to attend.
It’s time the voters of New Jersey stood up and demanded an end to partisan Gerrymandering. That time is now.
Please visit our website at www.bayshoreteaparty.org for information on how you can become involved with the effort to restore American Exceptionalism and fix our broken government.
The Bayshore Tea Party Group Headquarters is located at 275 Rt. 35N in Middletown, NJ. Please contact [email protected] or call 732-842-6652 for more information.
The stakes are apparently very high as the Legislative Reapportionment Commission works almost around the clock this week to settle on a map that could determine the partisan control of the New Jersey State Legislature for the next 10 years.
The 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans on the commission are working to convince the 11th “Independent” member or the commission, Dr. Alan Rosenthal, PhD of Rutgers to choose their proposed map. Rosenthal is said to be trying to either forge a compromise map or will choose one. Politickernj is reporting that Rosenthal is using the Democratic map as his foundation.
But who are the stakes high for?
Ultimately the stakes are high for all New Jersey residents, as what is decided this week will inevitably impact the quality of all of our lives over the next decade. But are most New Jersey residents even paying attention?
Are the commissioners in New Brunswick working so hard this week for the good of the people of the State, or are they fighting for power, control and the money that comes along with it. Certainly there are commissioners that have pure motives. I’d like to think that they are Republicans. Surely my Democratic readers hope the same of their side.
The Bayshore Tea Party Group has proposed a map that meets all the requirements set out in the Constitution. Turns out that, as a side benefit that proposed map also increases the competitiveness of the districts, and likely would increase minority representation, according to Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray’s analysis of the map.
So why are they working so hard in New Brunswick? Why can’t both sides and Rosenthal just embrace the BTPG’s Constitutional “People’s Map?”
It turns out that there are “principles” not found in the State or U.S Constitutions driving the efforts. Perhaps I should say principals rather than principles. The principle principals are incumbents. The districts belong to them. The office’s they hold are theirs, not the people’s. That’s how it is in practice.
Even Rosenthal buys into incumbent protection. He puts it in noble sounding academic jargon, espousing the “continuity of representation” and the value of crafting a map that is “minimally disruptive.”
Continuous for who? Minimally disruptive to who? Rosenthal’s rhetoric and scholarly writings make it sound as if “continuity of representation” and “minimal disruption” are of value to the electorate. But are they?
It seems to me that most people are oblivious to what legislative districts they live in and relatively few know who their representatives are.
I don’t have empiracle data to back that hunch up, so I called Patrick Murray. He said that he is unaware of recent polling data of residents awareness of their districts or their legislators, but that he shares my hunch.
So I took to the streets. Main Street in Belford actually, to find some data. This is what I found:
Watch the video. Some of it is pretty funny. While not as scientific as one of Murray’s polls, I doubt the results would change with a larger statistical sample and with interviews throughout the state. Decades of miserably low turnout in legislative elections are statistically significant enough to conclude that most people are not paying attention to the legislature, and don’t know who their legislators are.
Maybe a Constitutional, non-gerrymandered map would change that. Maybe people would pay attention and vote if their vote mattered.
Sure, I feel for my friends in the legislature who would be maximally disrupted by the adoption of the BTPG’s map. But the offices they hold and the districts they represent don’t belong to them.
There won’t be real change in Trenton, the city won’t be turned upside down, unless there is a legislative map adopted that does not take into account the residency of incumbents.
The Republicans on the commission should embrace the BTPG’s map and invite Rosenthal to join them.
Governor Chris Christie has spent the day with Republican members of the of the Redistricting Commission, according to a report published on Politickernj.
The commission, 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 11th member Dr. Alan Rosenthan of Rutgers have been holed upped at the Heldrich Hotel in News Brunswick today. Democrats and Republicans have been meeting with Rosenthal separately throughout the day, making their respective cases for the new legislative map’s configuration.
New Jersey will have a legislature controlled by the Democratic party for another ten years, according to Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.
In a column posted on Politickernjand on his own blog Murray dissects the tea leaves of that Alan Rosenthal, the tie breaking 11th member of redistricting commission, revealed in his public statements about the standards that will be used to determine the new legislative map. Murray concludes that the Rosenthal approved map will result in 22 “safe” Democratic districts and 18 “safe” Republican districts.
Murray says that Rosenthal values “continuity of representation” ….that incumbents should be drawn into districts where the majority of voters are already represented by them…over “competitiveness” and that as a result the new map will have a “deminis” impact on the status quo.
Murray also implied that the Democrats have outmaneuvered the Republican in there redistricting preparation. He says Democrats organized themselves to negotiate with the 11th members of the commission whereas the Republicans organized themselves to challenge the new map in court, where they will likely lose.
Murray’s margin of error is +/- 100% of Rosenthal’s consistency with his historical body of work.
The New Jersey Legislative Reapportionment Commission has until April 3rd to produce a new map of legislative districts. Candidates for State Senate and Assembly from the major parties will have to submit their nominating petitions during the week of April 11th, unless there is legislation that changes the date of the petition submission and/or the primary.
Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute has produced two maps for columns he has written at Politickernj. Both his “Constitutional” map, which Murray concedes is only almost constitutional as conflicting standards make a purely constitutional map impossible, and his “Competitive” map would create conflicts among Monmouth County incumbent legislators based upon their residency.
Murray’s “constitutional map” (town list here) would put Assemblymen Declan O’Scanlon (Little Silver) and Dave Rible in the 11th district, based upon their respective residencies, and move Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (Ocean Township) into the 9th where there would be a seat available as Murray’s constitutional map moves Assembly incumbents Brain Rumpf and Diane Grove into the 2nd district.
Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos would be competing for the Senate seat in the 13th. Robert Singer would become the incumbent Senator in the 12th district (Beck’s seat) and there would be an Assembly vacancy in 12. The 12th vacancy would presumably be filled by a resident of Colts Neck, Farmingdale, Howell, Jackson or Lakewood. Lakewood would be the largest town in the district by population.
Murray’s “competitive” map (town list), like his “constitutional” map also puts Red Bank and Middletown in the 13th district, pitting Beck and Kyrillos against each other. The competitive map moves Old Bridge out of the 13th into a newly constituted 40th district comprised of Middlesex County towns. This moves Sam Thomspon (Old Bridge) into a more competitive district. Declan O’Scanlon (Little Silver) would be an incumbent in the new 13th.
Caroline Casagrande (Colts Neck) in the only incumbent in Murray’s competitive 12th. Casagrande could step up and seek the Senate seat, creating two Assembly vacancies. Look for Freeholder Director Rob Clifton (Matawan) to seek a seat in the legislature in this scenario. Freeholder Lillian Burry (Colts Neck) could be a contender too. On the Democratic side, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick would be a likely contender for a vacant seat. A Casagrande vs. Hornick battle for Senate could be a classic race.
All incumbents are safe in Murray’s competitive 11th.
One source close to the redistricting process told me that Murray’s maps are a “nice rainy day read,” and that neither the Democrats or Republicans proposed maps are close to his scenarios. I guess that makes this piece a nice rainy day read too.
There will be a great deal of uncertainty and speculation until the actual new map is released. And there is uncertain information about how incumbent conflicts based upon residency would be handled. One GOP leader told me that “he thought” that someone could run for a seat in a district that they don’t live in, but would have to move into the district within one year if they won. Another official said there in no residency requirement in the State Constitution and that statutes governing residency could be easily changed after the new map is released.
Whatever happens there will be a lot of moving and shaking during the first couple of weeks in April, and a lot of hair pulling until then.