My first reaction when I saw the Senate's plan for executive council redistricting was that it looked like my plan on steroids. Now, an amended plan, which I just learned about from President Peter Bragdon, looks more and more like my plan...without the steroids.
The Senate plan called for major surgery on Councilor Ray Burton's Grafton County territory, much more than what I had done. The new plan apparently restores the towns around Plymouth to Councilor Burton, but still takes away areas around Lebanon and Hanover.
I anxiously wait to see what the tradeoff means for District 3 (Dan St. Hilaire's district), but I assume that district will remain extremely Democratic.
In fact, Valley News reporter John Gregg quoted me accurately a few days ago when he noted, "State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican active in redistricting (but no longer active on the Finance Committee...whoops...I added that, not Gregg), said he had proposed a plan similar to the Senate's but never got support from House leaders. He said the Senate proposal creates more compact districts and makes more sense because the Lebanon-Hanover area is more in line as communities of interest (politically leaning, I meant) with Concord than they are with the North Country. He also acknowledged that politics were at play in the Republican-dominated Legislature (would I lie?), as they are in almost any redistricting plan."
Here's the kicker with Gregg again quoting me accurately, "Here's the honest truth (is there such a thing as a dishonest truth?)--it creates four Republican districts. It doesn't just protect Wheeler (David Wheeler, Councilor in the current district which includes Nashua and Keene). It protects whichever Republican is going to run for the Wieczorek seat," Vaillancourt said who also noted that the reconfigured District 5 seat with such towns as Concord, Lebanon, Hanover, and Keene "creates one district that no Democrat could ever lose."
I should have added the usual caveat...no Democrat could ever lose unless he were caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl!
Good job, John Gregg!
Just wait till you see the new Senate plan, aka my plan off steroids.
The House is expected to capitulate tomorrow to the Senate's Congressional redistricting plan, aka the one Bass and Guinta agreed upon. I will argue against it noting that these Congressional districts belong not to Bass and Guinta but to the people of New Hampshire, just like Scott Brown argued that it wasn't Ted Kennedy's Senate district but rather the district for the people of Massachusetts. We can only wonder whether the Tyrant in the Chair will rule such logic out of order. He prefers more boring rhetoric. Hey, what's O'Brien going to do--remove me from the Finance Committee? Have me thrown in jail? Shot dead at the podium?