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April 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Political divide is only widening

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Regarding Robert Blanner’s letter, “When did we become so divided?” bemoaning the fact that so many Republicans voted against aid for Superstorm Sandy victims: The situation illustrates what we can expect in the future.

With so many congressional districts gerrymandered, the Republicans will hold control of the House for 10 years. Also, if these same districts continue to be proportioned in the same way, it will signal the death knell of democracy.

The only reasonable solutions to these problems are public financing of elections, term limits and popular vote for president.

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  1. The Electoral College in the 2012 election, and recent others, is skewed in favor of the democratic party and states. Period. End of story. All the other talk about GOP jerrymandering is filler and footnotes.


  2. Republicans who voted against the Sandy Hook relief bill had good cause. The Senate, thanks to the Leadership of Reid, used a parliamentary procedure called: "Filling the tree." This is where the majority party in the Senate aka Democrats add personal pork items for constituents back home totally unrelated to the bill. Knowing that the original bill is sure passage and guarantees no up and down debate and vote on the pork items. Reid and the Dems have used this procedure over 70 times since his tutelage in 2007.
    Tell us again what was president Obama's stance on this practice?


  3. Except for the popular vote, I agree with the letter writer. We need public financing of campaigns and Congressional term limits.

    It is true that two Presidents in a row have called for legislation that is unwise and or not affordable, but that legislation could not have been enacted without the Congress. From the war in Iraq and tax cuts to the ACA, and more bailouts, Congress approved them all.. and did not raise taxes enough to pay for them.

    Congress is where the biggest problem is. Because members value their excellent and lucrative 'career' as a Senator or House member above all else, they enact poor legislation that is desired by powerful interests with lobbyists.

    Americans spend soooo much time arguing about the President. Go read your Constitution! We don't have a King. We have a very powerful legislative branch called Congress, and Congress makes all our laws, sets all our taxes, enacts foreign policy legislation, and sets budgets.

    If Americans want a better country, pay attention to Congress and its members, enact public financing to reign in the power of lobbyists and demand term limits to remove the 'career' aspect of serving in Congress.... it was NEVER intended to be a 'career'!


  4. When Republicans gerrymander districts in their favor or try to eliminate a Democratic seat in Congress, outfits like 'Think Progress' dutifully report it. When Democrats do the same kind of thing, outfits like 'The Club for Growth' dutifully report it.

    The problem is that neither group reports it when the side they advocate for does it. Then we have the 'drone' supporters on each side trumpeting the news.

    This is not helpful and only adds to the problems. We should all punish members of the party we support when they use tricks such as a hurried vote and gerrymandering to gain unfair advantage. This is the corruption to our system that is playing out right before our eyes... and unlike the claims of advocacy groups and party 'drones', both sides do it... and it happens often.

    We should not accept it, when either side does it.


  5. History is showing it's hand once again.

    This issue is black and white, literally! Slave states, VS Free States. Boundaries as defined on the map of the USA in 1851.

    House republicans in the southern states as show on the map of 1851 are fighting old battles, cultures wars, when in reality, deep down, the actions of division are simply racial to the core.

    Big Money and Special Interest spark this hatred, then the fire feeds itself.

    We are seeing this up front and very personal. It all comes down to the first Black President of the United State Of America fixing the problems caused by the ruling class. Everyday Americans are not driving this hatred, it's Big Money and Special interest. Follow the money, the information is available.

    Come 2014, the America People once again will have the "right" to choose between old culture practices, or practice of diversity and inclusion. Big Money and Special Interest lost on November 6, 2012.

    At the pace America is going, the America People will repeat the results.

  6. Wasserman, as is so often the case, fudges the facts and omits pertinent info that does not align with his leftist leanings. Of course the Republicrats "gerrymander," but so do the Dumbocrats. When looking at politics through an ideological prism, as Wasserman and others do, they see only what they want to see. "Gerrymandering" is a blot on the political process regardless of which side does it and no amount of public financing will change that. Instituting term limits? That may have an effect but so long as the first priority for either party is getting elected and the second, remaining in office is paramount, cheaters will cheat.

  7. CarmineD - "The Electoral College in the 2012 election, and recent others, is skewed in favor of the democratic party and states."

    Complete nonsense; if that were true the Democrats would have controlled the House and not Republicans. Gerrymandering by Republicans is the reason they hold the House now because Democrats gathered a million more votes than they did in the last election.

  8. 'Big Money and Special Interest lost on November 6, 2012.' No, it did not.

    Big money ALWAYS wins, due to the way campaigns are funded. We need public funding of campaigns if we want to reduce the influence of powerful interests with lobbyists and money.


  9. Gerrymandering happens all over America, has happened for years and years and is liberally practiced by both parties. The practice should be outlawed and punishment for gerrymandering should be serious and lengthy prison terms.


  10. Given that Mr. Casler agrees gerrymandering is such a widespread problem, then he, no doubt, agrees that dividing a state's electoral votes by CD is a terrible idea.

    This is, after all, the ingenious plan set forth by the GOP (and even our own local "Whig" sham party) to destroy the electoral college by allocating based on congressional district vs state-wide popular vote.

    When you look at the House election in 2012, you see a very clear consequence of gerrymandering. If one were to take the popular vote totals, they were nearly equal. At last count, Democrats held a slight 0.6% edge in the popular vote for the House.

    Yet the House remains firmly under GOP control with a 30 seat margin...

    Special interest money would flood state legislatures, electing well-heeled plutocrats who would rig the game, carving more and more intricately gerrymandered congressional districts... forming majority-minority districts to strip minorities of their fair say in our election. This just happened in Virginia, and this scheme is inviting corruption.

    Their scheme to betray the founding fathers vision and substitute a new racket for electing the President would make it MORE likely that the candidate who won the popular vote would lose the Presidency.

    That's the wrong direction for our country.

  11. Michael,

    Ask the people who stood in line for 8 to 10 hours to vote in Florida about Big Money and Special, the results on November 6, 2012.

    Again, "Big Money and Special Interest lost on November 6, 2012"

  12. "Complete nonsense; if that were true the Democrats would have controlled the House and not Republicans." @ VernosB

    You're comparing unlike facts and circumstances and making conclusions, obviously far-fetched, based on them. Why? Presidential elections are every 4 years. House and Senate every 2. One winner [in the Presidential elections] versus many in the Congress.


  13. "I think somebody on this forum needs some cheese with their whine." @ Last Throes

    Before you do, may I make recommendations? Red signifies debts and deficits. Definitely avoid these which appear to be primarily in Democratic leaning states that voted for Obama. And cheese, avoid the rancid smelling ones. They are old and stale like your comment above. They crumble into pieces when you cut them.


  14. People standing in line for hours are not what win elections. Money wins elections and the millions, soon to be billions, of dollars contributed by powerful interests with lobbyists ... to both sides, is what wins elections.


  15. One does not even need to look outside the state of Nevada to see how some of this happens. In the 2010 Assembly election, 51% of the ballots cast were for Republicans and 45% were cast for Democrats. And yet the Democrats won a 26-16 majority in the state Assembly. That was the result of gerrymandering from the 2000 Census.

  16. From the NY Times, the Old Gray Lady, not exactly a bastion of conservatism.

    By the way, Bloomberg Business made the same observation shortly after the 2012 election. You can google and read for yourself. Unless you like the "ostrich" path better.


  17. Michael Casler wrote,

    "People standing in line for hours are not what win elections." (Michael Casler)

    Someone is in denial. Michael, your statement is bubble thinking. Refusing to accept a reality. Your party was soundly defeated on November 6, 2012. The turnout on the Democrat side was a grassroot effort, an organized ground game by the Obama campaign. The Republicans and Karl Rove spent the Big on the Media, especial TV. Big Money and Special Interest determined to unseat President Obama lost. Lost big time. Ohio voters stood in line for hours. Florida voters stood in line for hours. Big Money and Special Interest lost on November 6, 2012. They will lose again in 2014.

    The numbers don't lie. You all were told time and time again that Mitt Romney would lose on November 6, 2012. The Bubble People refuse to believe the numbers. The figure don't lie, but liars figure. The House will change hands in 2014 in spite of the gerrymandering by the Republicans. The numbers shows this is the path heading into 2014.

  18. "Right-wingers such as Carmine simply don't get it but that's not surprising....." @ El Lobo

    No, you don't. I'm left of center AND I know the difference bewteen historical fact and fact without the need to name calling and stereotyping. There is a huge one and it's older than 20 years. More like 236.


  19. "We're not going back to the 1950's....plain & simple!" @ El Lobo

    Really? Did you miss the recent second President Obama inaugural speech? Catch the rerun, or the pundits analysis on both sides of the aisle, and tell me, if you can, what political era it's from.


  20. "John Boehner accused the President of trying to destroy the Republican Party!" Willie Tanner

    Obama has tried. And failed.