Make the Chinese happy, vote Democratic

Fairly safe to say that Pete Hoekstra knows absolutely nothing about economics or racial sensitivity.  Yikes!  Just another nice, reason-based appeal from a Republican politician.


Photo of the day

As you know, I’m a sucker for freaky gas mask photos.  This is from a set over recent Egyptian protests

Is the NC GOP out to get women?

Well, when you go by the numbers of what’ s happened with re-districting our state legislature, it certainly looks that way:

RALEIGH, N.C. — Women Democrats in the General Assembly were hit hardest by new maps of legislative voting districts, but Republicans insisted Thursday that gender wasn’t a factor in the way they drew the maps.

The maps placed two of the three Democratic women in the Senate in districts with other incumbents. The tactic is called “double-bunking,” and it’s often used to force lawmakers to retire.

So far, six female Democrats have announced plans to retire: Sen. Linda Garrou of Forsyth County and Reps. Jennifer Weiss of Wake County, Diane Parfitt of Cumberland County, Alice Bordsen of Alamance County, Edith Warren of Pitt County and Patsy Keever of Buncombe County.

Candidate filing opens next Monday, and more female lawmakers are expected to not seek re-election.

“Many of them were double-bunked. Many of them were drawn into districts that were so unwinnable that it began to be a real threat to this whole process of women in the legislature,” said Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange.

Kinnaird’s redrawn district pits her against fellow Democrat Bob Atwater. She said she plans to run for re-election, but it’s unclear whether Atwater will oppose her in the May 8 primary.

In the House, eight of the 22 Democratic women were double bunked, and the districts of four others were drawn in such a way to make them more difficult for a Democrat to win.

GOP voting maps hit Dem women hardest By comparison, only 24 percent of men in the House – Democrat or Republican – were double-bunked.

Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past the Republicans to target women in this way.  Much to my dismay, my awesome state Rep (and regular guest speaker in my Gender & Politics class) Jennifer Weiss is among those placed into another district (by four houses or so) and not running for re-election.   That said, while this is suggestive, I’m not quite sure there’s enough statistical evidence.  First, there’s not a lot or GOP women to actually “double bunk” ad as for the men, I’m not sure that 36% is enough more than 23% (given the total numbers) to tell us something is truly going on.  Maybe I should do some math.

The other main caveat that occurred to me is that, on average, women legislators are more liberal than male legislators.   If the Republicans were targeting the more liberal Democrats, than more women would suffer this fate, but it would have nothing to do with their gender.  This would actually be possible to test by looking at the ideology of all these legislators.  Not that I’m going to.

So, was the GOP out to get women legislators?  Heck, I wouldn’t put anything like that past them.  That said, there’s several reasons to believe they were not (their protests to the contrary are not among these reasons).

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