Map-Making Isn't Always Pretty

CNN special looks into the redrawing of congressional lines.

Every ten years, the truly dedicated political adherents become obsessed with maps.

That fixation isn’t necessarily because they agree with this writer that cartography is awesome. Rather every ten years, states have to reconfigure their congressional maps to conform to population changes showcased in the U.S. Census. And often times, the process isn’t exactly neat and tidy.

The redistricting process was the subject of a CNN special earlier this week entitled “Gerry-rigged: Ignoring the American Voter.” The report took a close look at “gerrymandering,” which involves drawing districts that can effectively protect a certain party or an incumbent lawmaker.

CNN looked at a number of different states’ view to the redistricting process, including Illinois, Florida and Iowa. Missouri wasn’t mentioned in the report, even though the 

Missouri lost a seat in the last census, and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, was effectively the odd man out. Under the new map, Carnahan’s residence is in the same district as U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City. He is mulling over his next move, 

It should be noted that a lawsuit was filed a couple months ago aimed at overturning the map. That matter is still pending. State legislative lines – which are drawn in a completely different process –are being drawn by a panel of appellate judges.

Back to the gerrymandering for a moment: Roll Call reporter Shira Toeplitz compiled a list earlier this month of the “ugliest” new congressional districts. She profiled the “Pinwheel of Death” in Maryland, “The Mistake by the Lake” in Ohio and “The Latin Earmuffs” in Illinois. No district from Missouri was included on her list.

You can watch a clip from the CNN special by clicking here.


, one contender received endorsements from St. Charles political figures.

Republican Ann Wagner—who’s been endorsed by everyone from the current  to the —received backing from St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, former state Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, and St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith.

“I have known Ann for nearly 20 years and I have always known her as an effective leader. Whether it was building up a party at the grassroots level, winning statewide offices, or retaking the legislature, Ann Wagner has been leading the fight for Missouri’s conservative values.” Ehlmann said in a statement. “When Ann gets elected there’s no doubt she’ll represent us well, because Ann has been working with St. Charles for years.”

Added Faith, a former GOP state legislator from St. Charles: “Ann is going to be a great voice for us because she is a strong and proven leader at all levels. When she wants to see something changed she weighs right in herself and is not going to be intimidated by anyone no matter what the situation.”

The St. Charles-centric endorsements could be notable because the reconfigured 2nd District includes a big chunk of the fast-growing GOP-leaning county. 

Wagner and Republican Attorney Ed Martin are the major contenders for the 2nd District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood.


Another week brings about another endorsement for state Rep. Jason Kander.

While three Republicans fight it out to become the Republican nominee for secretary of state, the Kansas City Democrat continues to receive a string of endorsements that could lead him toward a clearer path to November 2012.

This week, Kander received the backing of state Treasurer Clint Zweifel. Zweifel—a former state legislator from Florissant who now lives in Columbia—said in a statement “now more than ever we need elected officials that understand and appreciate what public service is all about.”

“Jason Kander has never been afraid to step in and make a difference,” Zweifel said. “I’m confident he’ll bring the same dedication to this office and will make an outstanding Secretary of State.”

Kander is the only announced Democrat for the office being vacated by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, and House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, are running for the post.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »