Ledge finishes business after giving up on Fayetteville Finger (part 21)

Jason Tolbert points out today that even though it seemed like it took forever to get this process of redistricting done, Arkansas still may be the first state in the country to finish the process.  

One thing I noticed about the new congressional map is that there are 75 counties and District 3 only has 6 full counties and District 2 only has 6 full counties. That leaves all or part of 63 counties to the other two districts. Below is a portion of an article that ran in the Democrat-Gazettte on April 14, 2011.

        Our first reaction to the latest version of congressional redistricting was: It’s not perfect. Far from it. (The resemblance of the new Third District and a dog a child might make of blocks leapt at us like a bull terrier.) Our second reaction to this plan that isn’t perfect: There’s not another plan that is.
    The Third District was going to lose counties no matter what. That was a given. Northwest Arkansas has become a people magnet. But the congressman from Northwest Arkansas can’t represent twice as many people as the one from Northeast Arkansas. The courts won’t have it. One man, one vote. That’s the (entirely fair) law of the land. The Third District was just going to have to shrink if its population wasn’t going to dwarf that of the other districts.
    How accomplish that? It was the question of the month in Arkansas. After a couple of false starts, and after wisely giving up on the Fayetteville Finger, aka The Pig Trail Plan, the honorables at the Ledge came up with the best, fairest compromise they could fashion. It does happen on occasion. See the map above.
    The state’s Fourth District—the one that’s historically been represented by a congressman from South Arkansas—will shoot way up into Madison County for the next election. So it’s possible that one day, if a U.S. representative comes out of Madison County, there won’t be a single member of the state’s congressional delegation with roots in South Arkansas. That’s not a good thing.
    But the El Dorados and Texarkanas, the Magnolias and Arkadelphias, would still have a powerful advantage if they really wanted somebody in Congress from their part of the state. Besides, any congressman from Madison County who neglected his brothers and sisters below the river wouldn’t be a congressman very long. 
    (Editor’s note: Never underestimate little Madison County, which produced a vote-getter named Orval Eugene Faubus who swept this state like a broom time and again. Some of us editorial writers can remember the bad old days when the Eternal Incumbent beat us like a drum every two years.)
    Yes, the congressional district representing most of eastern Arkansas, The First, will have to take in a few more Delta counties. And it looks as though the Second will lose Yell County, home of Mattie Ross, who by now is as much a part of Arkansas legend as Hattie Caraway.
    Will these proposed changes on the congressional map help the Democrats in the next election or the Republicans? We can answer that question. At the end of November 2012.
    YOU WANT predictions? Here’s one: If Arkansas keeps on growing this decade as it’s done in the last, the state might actually pick up a fifth district after the 2020 Census. It depends on how much we grow, and how much other states do, too. Or don’t. States gain and lose congressional seats all the time, or at least after every Census. (At one time, Arkansas was big enough in proportion to the rest of the country to have seven—count ’em seven—United States representatives.)
    New York and Ohio lost two congressmen each this year. Florida picked up two. Texas picked up four. South of the (Arkansas) border, Louisiana lost one. To our north, Missouri lost one, too.

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On April 29, 2011 we have another royal wedding coming up.  

The wedding of the 20th century, Prince Charles and Princess Diana seemed a fulfillment of a fairytale stuff that goes..and they lived happily ever after, but destiny decreed otherwise. The wedding of the 20th century, Prince Charles and Princess Diana seemed a fulfillment of a fairytale stuff that goes..and they lived happily ever after, but destiny decreed otherwise.

It has been 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War that started in April of 1861 at Ft Sumter.

Federal encampment on the Pamunkey River in Virginia

Federal encampment on the Pamunkey River in Virginia

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