Skip to comments.Redistricting plan sets off fireworks in Louisiana delegation
Posted on 04/08/2011 3:00:04 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, on Thursday accused Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, of actively backing a redistricting plan that could hand Fleming's seat to a Democrat in order to make Boustany's already safe district even more "perfect."
Rep. Charles Boustany, left, and Rep. John Fleming are in a sparring match over state redistricting. The verbal fireworks are a very public display of what has become a tense effort to shrink the state's current seven congressional districts into six while balancing racial, regional, partisan and incumbent interests. It also reveals a surprising rift among the six Republican members of the House delegation, social and fiscal conservatives who rarely disagree on policy issues.
Fleming, a two-term congressman, characterized Boustany's lobbying on behalf of Democratic state Sen. Lydia Jackson's redistricting plan as an act of double-dealing and betrayal. Earlier in the year, Fleming said that six of the seven members of the delegation, not including freshman Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, had agreed to a map that included two vertical districts in northern Louisiana: Fleming's 4th District and Rep. Rodney Alexander's 5th District.
But then, Fleming said, he "got word toward the end of last week that Congressman Boustany had totally changed his mind on the plan and that he supported a Democratic plan that basically gerrymanders a Democratic district that makes it possible for Lydia Jackson herself to now become a strong Democratic candidate in that district."
(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...
I don’t know the whole story here, but it doesn’t make Charles Boustany look good.
Same thing happened in Mississippi. Bennie Thompson was offered a plan to make his district 58% black, in return for giving Democrats a chance to win a couple more districts. Thompson said no, he wanted to keep his district 63% black. Because of that, he’s the only Dem representative in the Mississippi delegation (used to be 3).
If Boustany is supporting a plan to make the LA-04 more competitive for Democrats, not only would he be a traitor to the GOP, but he’d be an idiot, since Boustany doesn’t need to compete with Fleming for GOP turf in order to make his CD safe for him (especially with Landry’s LA-03 being eliminated).
“If Boustany is supporting a plan to make the LA-04 more competitive for Democrats, not only would he be a traitor to the GOP, but hed be an idiot”
Well-stated. Since Boustany and Jeff Landry are almost certain to face each other in a primary next year, I hope that conservatives rally around Landry’s candidacy.
That pisses off the old Cajun something terrible.
Looks like Katrina (sp?) washed a CD out of Louisiana.
Unfortunately for Landry (whom I hope can make it back to Congress somehow), it’s pretty much a no-brainer that the LA-03 is the district that should be eliminated. Here’s what I wrote on another thread a couple of weeks ago (before Boustany allegedly supported a Democrat redistricting plan):
“VRA or no VRA, it would be *impossible* not to draw at least one Democrat CD in the New Orleans area. The smartest move for the GOP would be what Ive been saying for years now: draw as heavily black and heavily Democrat LA-02 as possible, taking in not just black precincts in NO and its suburbs but also cut across Lake Ponch to take in black-majority parishes to the west and black parts of Baton Rouge (with LA losing a CD and NOs population being a shadow of what it was before Katrina, the LA-02 needs to add so many people that such a district is more of a necessity than an option). That would leave 5 safely Republican districts in the rest of the state.
The LA-06, which was recently held by Democrats and recaptured by Republican Bill Cassidy with below 50% in 2008, would still take in the Baton Rouge area, but stripped of most of its black precincts, and it would continue east to Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes, making it safely Republican.
The hyper-Republican LA-01 would be made slightly less Republican, trading Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes for St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes and more of Jefferson and St. Charles Parishes. This would need to be done not so as to sacrifice freshman Congressman Landry (who would admittedly be hurt by the plan) but because it makes sense for the GOP New Orleans suburbs to be in the same CD, and with Lake Ponch now serving as a bridge to connect black parts of NO and Baton Rouge in LA-02 theres no other way to connect St. Tammany Parish to the southern and western suburbs of NO.
As for Landry, he can run against Congressman Boustany in the new all-Cajun LA-07, which would be stripped of the non-Cajun Lake Charles area (needed by CDs to the north) and substitute it with Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary, St. Martin and Iberia Parishes. In if hes smart, hell make a deal with Boustany, endorsing him for reelection in 2012 and for the U.S. Senate in 2014 (Boustany, a Protestant from Acadiana, is the ideal statewide candidate for the GOP) in return for Boustanys endorsement as his LA-07 replacement in 2014.
The LA-04 and LA-05 can be handled one of two ways: either keep them more or less the same, but with the LA-04 dipping southward into the Lake Charles and all the way to the Gulf Coast and the LA-05 grabbing a few parishes currently in the LA-04 (such as Grant, Winn, Bienville and Claiborne), or draw the two districts to go east-west instead of north-south, with the LA-04 going from Shreveport to Monroe to the Mississippi River and the LA-05 taking in Alexandria, Natchitoches and Lake Charles. I think the latter might be the best way to make sure that both CDs remain safely GOP for the rest of the decade, but the LA-04 and LA-05 incumbents may prefer not to make too many changes to their CDs.
Louisiana Republicans have the chance to draw a map that will guarantee that the party will hold 5 of the states 6 CDs for the entire decade. I hope that neither petty politics nor overszealousness gets in the way of them doing so.
Boustany best start getting some heavy duty name recognition going for him if he's going to run against *The Whore* from Nawllins.
Boustany is related to the EMK father-in-law Edmund Reggie. I think he is Victoria Reggie Kennedy’s cousin, but that may not be the exact connection. Cheney came in to campaign for Boustany once. Boustany and Fleming are both MD’s and vote alike on issues before the House.
If Boustany is so incredibly stupid as to support a plan for a second rat seat (why on Earth would he???) then perhaps he shouldn’t get a promotion or have our support against Landry.
Jindal will veto the rat plan if the now GOP leg is foolish enough to pass it.
LA-2 will probably snake along the Mississippi, connecting the black areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. LA-1 would still be the NE corner. LA-3 will either take in Lafayette or stretch across the entire Gulf coast.
We shouldn’t look at race or political registration in any of this.
North Louisiana has one set of needs, Coastal Louisiana has another, and the area along the Mississippi River has another as well.
Baton Rouge and New Orleans should be linked along the river. SE Louisiana south along the coast and east of NO should be another.
After that you’re arguing local culture and politics.
“Jindal will veto the rat plan if the now GOP leg is foolish enough to pass it.”
One would hope. I wonder how involved in this Jindal is?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.