Terminating gerrymandering

What kind of kookoopants upsidedownland are we in where Schwarzenegger is a voice of reason?

Instead of dropping in on late-night talk shows to promote his new project, Schwarzenegger is drawing a mass audience to the issue by starring in a series of short, funny videos, heavily salted with quotations from his movies, that have gone viral. Each explains the issue in simple, easy-to-understand terms.

"Gerrymandering has created an absurd reality," Schwarzenegger says looking straight into the camera in one video, "where politicians now pick their voters instead of the voters picking their politicians."

He's raising money online to help fund a legal challenge to Wisconsin gerrymandering that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the case "perhaps the most important" that the court will hear all year. Schwarzenegger will match what is raised online and likely kick in more support, as legal bills could approach $1 million.

He has spent much of the last week on the phone trying to arm-twist Republican members of Congress into signing onto an amicus brief in the Wisconsin case. It's been a tough recruiting effort. While politicians tell him privately that they support him, they're hesitant to publicly sign something that party leaders think could be their political death warrant.

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5 Responses:

  1. Jan Kujawa says:

    He really was more competent at governating than he had any right to be. Same goes for Jesse Ventura.
    Save us, Carl Weathers, you're our only hope.

    • Thomas Lord says:

      He had me at the creation of the smoking tent.

    • jwb says:

      He was an incredibly bad Governor. He blew a 4-billion-dollar crater in state revenues to appease reactionaries at HJTA who hate taxes but love driving. Everything he tried to advance through ballot measures was defeated by massive margins. The difference between Schwarzenegger and Brown is night and day.

  2. thielges says:

    It would be great if policy was to measure any redistricting against an objective gerrymandering detection metric. That metric might be as simple as computing the ratio of the perimeter and area of a district. If the perimeter is too long compared to the area then reject the proposal.

    Applying such a metric would block the most egregious gerrymandering though would lead to politicians proposing district boundaries right up to the limit that would reject the proposal.

    Better yet would to simply leave it all up to a blind algorithm. Feed in the GIS and census data. Dial in the desired number of districts to create, and let the unbiased algorithm propose where district boundaries fall. Not that hard to implement but probably politically impossible.

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