The Wednesday night line | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Wednesday night line

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Over to you. Otherwise:

* NEW HOG COACH: It's Mike Anderson. They've taken his parking place sign down at Mizzou. Or stolen it. Either way ... Also, the Razorback Foundation has permitted Long to announce it. Though not to apostates just yet. Money not announced. $2.2 million or so a year, the Twits say.

* REDISTRICTING: They'll be wrangling for a while this afternoon evening over redistricting. Jason Tolbert correctly notes that several counties that are critical parts of the supposed Democratic Party gerrymander are also moved to the 4th District by Republican plans. The issue is simply Hog City. With all due respect to Fedvul, why is it so special? Franklin and Johnson Counties? Are they just dirt? Why is Heber Springs, which some Repubs would toss out of the 1st like an old dirty shirt, not due equal respect? And what of Perry, rudely torn asunder by Republicans? Is Boss Branscum not flesh and blood as much as Steve Clark? Likely outcome: Democratic plan passes House. Senate Democratic majority extracts bill from split committee and also passes it. Republicans wail, yes, while Democrats smirk. And the roles would be reversed with a different partisan makeup. The question is whether they sue. There's nothing to be gained for Republicans in the 2nd; little to be gained in the 4th and only modest advantage to be gained in the 1st. And then there'd be a better outcome only IF they could make a plausible legal case and IF the judge didn't come up with a plan even worse. I still favor putting Crawford and Griffin the same district. Or taking the 2nd to the Mississippi River.

UPDATE: GOP Chairman Doyle Webb says the party is prepared to sue if the Democrats forge ahead with its dastardly plan. Not the same as saying he will. Extended debate in the House committee, past 6 p.m., as a long line of people testified against the Democratic plan. Fayetteville Republicans and Steve Clark, leader of the Fayetteville Chamber, led the protest. Chairman Hall gigged Clark by noting that Fayetteville enjoys a great deal of its prosperity thanks to millions in statewide support funneled to the UA. He also asked whether Fayetteville might be well served by having, effectively two congressional representatives, the 4th and the 3rd.

UPDATE II: Democratic plan approved on party line vote. Vote wasn't announced but Roby Brock says a Democrat abstained and a Republican absent, making it 11-7. My only PS — the political class is REALLY worked up about this. But ... If comments here are much of an indicator, the shape of congressional districts isn't the hottest topic going in the woorld at large, possible exception of pockets like Fayetteville. Think about it. Day to day, does it really matter if your representative is Rick Crawford or Steve Womack? Or Mike Ross and a sack of fertilizer?

* UNEMPLOYMENT: The House completed action on the management bill to trim unemployment benefits. No sacrifices from management, Rep. Jim Nickels said in vain opposition.

* ICYMI: I hope you read Norma Bates' reminiscence of her meeting with Elizabeth Taylor.

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