Under the “B” … June 1
I’ve tried to follow BINGO rules and BINGO raids. I’m not sure I understand the law, nor do I get the motives of many of the principal players. I bet many of you know a heck of a lot more about this than I. But one thing I am sure of is that BINGO will be high on the list of issues come the June primaries—especially in the Republican AG race, where Troy King is challenged by Luther Strange.
Why is the Governor taking this on so aggressively? I give you that he sincerely opposes gambling or he owes something to some folks in Mississippi or both. But why in the last year of his second term? Is he looking at Jeff Sessions’ seat? Is he trying to derail Troy King, who has been a disappointment? Is he trying to help Luther Strange? I have to say the David Barber incident is pretty funny. It’s too rich. And what the heck is John Tyson doing? I spoke with a friend whose family lives in Dothan. She says her family—all very Republican and very conservative—as well as others in the community are upset that so many folks will lose their jobs if Country Crossing closes down.
The odds are 8-1 that the Alabama Supreme Court will support the Guv’s task force, and BINGO may be on its way out. Why not just let the status quo prevail, tax electronic bingo, declare new bingo illegal, and move on? In an “all or nothing” political environment, that’s way too reasonable.
THE 2010 CENSUS
Last week, I participated in a panel on the 2010 CENSUS. It was sponsored by Congressman Artur Davis. I don’t exactly know why I was there, given that the other folks were serious Census pro’s. I learned a couple of things. For one, if you are a college student, your residence is where you live, not your legal residence, not where you vote, not where your parents live. This has real count consequences, especially for the 7th CD, where ±67,000 students live on or around the UA campus. This is true for Auburn and other places where large student populations reside.
I was there to talk about political impacts. Here at home, the 7th CD presents a challenge to those who will draw the lines. The 7th has been losing population. While Alabama will probably not lose a seat, in order for the Davis district (that has a nice ring) to continue to successfully elect an African-American to Congress, it’s going to look a lot funnier that it does now. Look for more of the southwestern corner of the state to be added—the district may dip down into Mobile County. Congressman Bonner may not be too upset to lose Pritchard. We’re probably looking at a big triangle where more of Montgomery and more of Birmingham will be added as well. In addition, whoever wins the 2010 election in the 7th will have to face a whole bunch of new constituents in 2012.
The more homogenous these districts become, the more “purple” candidates and “purple” politics are marginalized. A moderate DEM cannot get nominated nor elected in Alabama’s 6th, nor can a moderate REPUB win in the 7th. But I’ve been on this soapbox for many years.
The most interesting thing I learned in preparing for this panel discussion is the national impact of redistricting; I had not considered nor thought much about what might happen. As you know, the CENSUS count directly affects all district lines—from CD’s and state legislative districts to county commissions, city council districts, and even bodies like boards of education. Lines are drawn on the basis of population, and population shifts. In the last ten years, we have seen a shift from North to South and East to West. The result is likely to be a loss of northern CD’s (mostly blue) and a gain of south/southwestern CD’s (mostly red). I looked at a couple of analyses and did a little math and concluded that the 2012 elections will result in a gain (forgetting what might happen in elections) of between 10 and 15 Republican seats. For example, Mass, Michigan, Ohio, and NY will likely lose seats. Texas may gain 4 (two of which are probably going to be aimed at electing Hispanics).
If you assume that the 2010 elections will bring losses to the Democrats in the U.S. House no matter what, another 10+ Republican seats in 2012 will very likely result in a Republican majority. Can you say Speaker Boehner?
HAPPY FEBRUARY, y’all.