by Max Brantley
Republican senators Fireball Holland and Death Star II Rapert lead the list of complaints in this Stephens Media article about the Senate districts proposed by Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, the Democratic majority on the state Board of Apportionment.
Protection of Holland and Rapert is not written into the U.S. Constitution, I'm happy to say. A Democrat, Sen. Jack Crumbly, also complains his proposed district isn't sufficiently black to ensure his re-election, being only a bare majority. Republican Kim Hendren is trying to fire up the Fayetteville Finger meme again over his district's shape.
The boo-hooing just doesn't fly. With big shifts in population and 35 districts to be carved, some odd shapes are unavoidable.
Political interests will prevail, of course. Arkansas just happens to be one of a reduced number of states with a Democratic Party advantage. Republicans made big gains in 2010 and made it clear the day after that they expected to use that advantage to maximum effect, as Democrats are doing in Arkansas.
"Of the 18 states that will gain or lose seats, Republicans hold majorities in 10 states," the chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), Ed Gillespie, wrote in a memo on Tuesday's results.
The RSLC spent some $30 million to influence state legislative contests and races for attorney general and secretary of state across the nation. ....
"The bottom line is that Republicans will have a much greater impact on the redistricting process as a result of [Tuesday's] elections," Gillespie concluded.