Daily Scoop: When you don’t vote…


How Dark Money Helped Republicans Hold the House and Hurt Voters

Gerrymander_In the November election, a million more Americans voted for Democrats seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives than Republicans. But that popular vote advantage did not result in control of the chamber. Instead, despite getting fewer votes, Republicans have maintained a commanding control of the House. Such a disparity has happened only three times in the last century.

Analysts and others have identified redistricting as a key to the disparity. Republicans had a years-long strategy of winning state houses in order to control each state’s once-a-decade redistricting process.

Republican strategist Karl Rove laid out the approach in a Wall Street Journal column in early 2010 headlined “He who controls redistricting can control Congress.”

The approach paid off. In 2010 state races, Republicans picked up 675 legislative seats, gaining complete control of 12 state legislatures. As a result, the GOP oversaw redrawing of lines for four times as many congressional districts as Democrats.

2010_2012 votes vs seats_

How did they dominate redistricting? A ProPublica investigation has found that the GOP relied on opaque nonprofits funded by dark money, supposedly nonpartisan campaign outfits, and millions in corporate donations to achieve Republican-friendly maps throughout the country. Two tobacco giants, Altria and Reynolds, each pitched in more than $1 million to the main Republican redistricting group, as did Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads; Walmart and the pharmaceutical industry also contributed. Other donors, who gave to the nonprofits Republicans created, may never have to be disclosed.

While many observers have noted that mega-donors like Sheldon Adelson backed losing candidates, a close look at the Republicans’ effort on redistricting suggests something else: The hundreds of millions spent this year on presidential TV ads may not have hit the mark, but the relatively modest sums funneled to redistricting paid off handsomely.

Where Democrats were in control, they drew gerrymandered maps [9] just like Republicans. They also had their own secretive redistricting funding [10]. (Last year, we detailed [11] how Democrats in California worked to undermine the state’s attempt at non-partisan redistricting.) But Democrats got outspent 3-to-1 and did not prioritize winning state legislatures. They also faced a Republican surge in 2010.

Exactly how the Republican effort worked has been shrouded in mystery until now.

Read more…

 

Related Article:

Some Cities Object to Being Carved Up by Redistricting

 

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3 Comments to “Daily Scoop: When you don’t vote…”

  1. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    This is why the TeaTardedRepubliCANTS are a foe to be reckoned with, they lie, cheat and steal using the legal Democratic process while us Democrats are busy beating up our own. Thank you Mashed Potato Bulletin, for bringing the facts & truth to the forefront.

  2. I agree that the gerrymandering of districts is destructive to the whole democratic process, but it is not unique to the Republicans. The State of Calif. is now entirely in the hands of the democrats, thanks to redistricting, and they are just as deadlocked, just as unwilling to do the right thing as the Republican controlled House.

    • Yep, you’re right, Dems gerrymander as well. But I woul dhave to disagree with your point that they are as unwilling to compromise as GOP. Yes, some are far-left just as GOP is far-right but there is much more variability within the Democratic Party than there in on the other side of the aisle. While some Dems won’t give, the majority of them favor compromise. Whereas with the current national GOP they have moved themselves so far to the Right they have much more to do to move back to the middle and the zone of compromise than Dems. In addition, this obstinacy on the Right is much more uniform thoughout the party which makes it virtually impossible to find any area to compromise.

      Thanks for the comment Barney and have a great holiday!

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