When the proposal to redesign Missouri's congressional districts was rolled out almost two months ago, it looked like the biggest controversy would be that it eliminated Congressman Russ Carnahan's St. Louis-based district, splitting it in three parts, with Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St.Louis, taking a big chunk and the rest being split between Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau and Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country. But after initial protests, democrats sat back, quietly waiting for the Republican-held Missouri state legislature to carve up the state as they wished.
What has unfolded since then is a comedy of sorts with republican house leaders and republican senate leaders bickering over which republican congressmen would get the safest, as in republican, district. The problem is caused by the fact that the St.Louis metropolitan area contains too many democrats. And while the greatest concentrations of democrats have been safely sequestered in Rep. Lacy Clay's new district, there are still a lot of them running loose in places like Jefferson County, which seems destined to be split into three districts: Clay's, Emerson's and Akin's. Republicans in Emerson's district don't want any of those Jefferson County city slickers in their largely rural district, while Akin wants as few as possible in his mostly republican district. Keep in mind this is Jefferson County we're talking about, they may lean democratic, but it's not exactly the "central west end".
Then there is the absurd debate over who has to take more of St.Charles County, Todd Akin or Rep. Blaine Luetkenmeyer, R-St. Elizabeth. Again, republicans in Leutkenmeyer's district don't want those city slickers from St.Charles County in their largely rural district and Akin doesn't want them either. It says something about the current state of the Missouri republican party when a conservative republican county like St. Charles is seen as a dangerous hotbed of liberal resistance.
Much of this nonsense seems to have something to do with the fact that voters in places like Jefferson County and St.Charles County voted for Prop B (the puppy mill referendum) last November. This apparently makes even the reliably republican St.Charles voters suspect in the eyes of the right wingers who control the republican party.
Civic leaders in the counties in question would prefer that their counties not be sliced into pieces just to appease the insecurities of current republican congressmen and congresswomen. They may get their wish. If Missouri legislators don't get their act together soon congressional districting could be decided by the courts.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Republican Squabbling Stalls Redistricting - St. Louis Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-st-louis/republican-skwabling-stalls-redistricting#ixzz1KrStGCMl