Thursday, July 14, 2011
Andres Ramirez is a political consultant and part of a Nevada Latino Redistricting Coalition, which has drawn its own redistricting map — a very different one from that proposed by both the state’s Republicans and Democrats.
Is there a way to redistrict representative areas without discrimination, or has the goal of having "fair" representation in government overtaking the one man one vote equality doctrine? A Nevada judge has ordered a panel to oversee redistricting and keep all demongraphic groups in mind in doing so, but put policial party aside. The plan approved by the legislature has been ruled to be violation of the intent of the constitution. The following is a national story on page 1 of the New York Times (click here for link)
LAS VEGAS — The population of Latinos has exploded here, and they want their voices heard not just in the halls of schools like Clark High or on the growing number of Spanish-language radio stations, but also with a louder voice in Congress.
The swelling ranks of Latinos here are a big reason Nevada will win a new seat in Washington. And so, as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process, leaders here are sketching out a new Congressional district that would give Latino neighborhoods more sway over their representative in Washington.
But that simple goal is turning out to be anything but. The efforts are complicated by the many different ways people interpret laws governing redistricting. Politicians are also using the redistricting battles to advance their own agendas — ones that often have nothing to do with the Latino population.
Now, Nevada’s new Congressional map is in the hands of a judge, who on Tuesday announced plans to appoint a panel of special masters to tackle the matter, after party leaders here clashed over vexing questions.
How many of the residents of a new district should be Latino? What will it all mean for Democratic candidates? For Republican candidates? For the ethnic makeup of the state’s other three Congressional districts? For individual incumbents?
“There is consensus about one thing — that one of these districts is going to give the best opportunity yet for Latinos to elect a candidate of their choice, and that puts us in a very pivotal position,” said Andres Ramirez, a political consultant and leader of a Nevada Latino Redistricting Coalition, which has drawn its own map — a very different one from that proposed by the state’s Republicans, but also different from the ones offered by the Democrats.
“Latinos have become the political football this year,” Mr. Ramirez said.
The remarkable growth of Latinos nationwide — they accounted for more than half the nation’s population jump over the last ten years and they now make up more than 16 percent of the population — means that similar political calculations, debates and legal considerations are playing out across the country, much as they did in decades past with the shifting population of African-Americans.
Political parties are keenly aware of the stakes. In the last presidential election, surveys showed that Latino voters leaned toward the Democratic Party, which hopes to hold onto this increasingly powerful bloc, even as Republicans in some places are working hard to woo them over to their side.
The issue is center stage as maps are being drawn in states with large Latino populations like Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. But it also is playing a role at the local level elsewhere, in political maps for state legislatures, town councils, and even school boards.
In Philadelphia, for example, leaders are pushing for state House and city Council districts with majority Latino populations. In Milwaukee, a coalition has called for several aldermanic districts with significant numbers of Latino residents. Similar struggles are expected in the South, in states like North Carolina and Georgia, where the Latino population surged in the last ten years.
“This is a watershed moment,” Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said of Latinos’ potential role this year in the redrawing of political lines.
Still, Mr. Saenz said, the verdict will not be in on how much political force Latinos will gain until skirmishes like the one now playing out in Nevada’s courts are settled. “What we know for sure is that getting control of districts to which you are entitled means someone else relinquishing political power,” he said. “And that’s the rub.”
With deadlines approaching to finish the new maps before next year’s elections, battles are heating up around the country.
Aria officials are notifying patrons who stayed at the posh Strip hotel casino from June 21 to July 4 that they may have been exposed to Legionnaires' disease, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. For more on this and other news tohttp://www.lvrj.com/news the Las Vegas Review Journal on-line.
If the opening day in 26 foreign countries is any indication, Harry Potter's last big-screen adventure will leave the others in the box office dust.
The last chapter in the amazingly successful franchise -- Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" -- took in $43.6 million on its first day playing in Europe and Australia.
It enjoyed the biggest opening day of all time in Italy, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Finland and Australia, as well as the biggest-ever Wednesday in France. It also scored big in Germany and Russia.
The total take was 82% higher than opening day ticket sales in the same countries for November's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1."
With more than 6,000 shows this weekend already sold out and record-breaking advance sales for midnight shows Thursday night, according to online ticketing service Fandango, the new "Potter" movie is poised for a huge opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada as well. Many in Hollywood believe it will surpass the $158.4-million domestic opening weekend record held by Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight."
-- Ben Fritz
Los Angeles Times, Variety and New York Times. For a full list of the nominees, go to the official Prime Time Emmy Award site by clicking here.
Firestorm derails BSkyB deal. News Corp.'s dreams of owning all of powerful British Satellite Broadcaster BSkyB have come crashing down in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at the media giant's now-shuttered British tabloid News of the World. On Wednesday, News Corp. announced it would drop its pursuit of the 60% of BSkyB it doesn't already own. That move was made after it became clear that there was no way the government would sign off on it after revelations of tremendous abuses of power at the tabloid. In the meantime, the outcry in the U.S. over the debacle is growing. The latest from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and, if you're joining our story late, a thorough recap of all the action from Business Week. Also, an amusing story from ProPublica, a nonprofit headed by former Wall Street Journal staffers about how some members of the Bancroft family, which used to own the Wall Street Journal, now regret selling to News Corp. Well, then donate the money you made off it to charity.
Meet the new boss. NBC has finally filled its long-vacant Entertainment President position with Jennifer Nicholson-Salke, a top executive at 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind "Glee" and "Modern Family." The move had been expected, as Deadline Hollywood noted last month. More on the hire from the Los Angeles Times.
Netflix backlash. The move by Netflix to raise the prices on its subscribers is causing quite the backlash. The move is seen as the movie rental company's way to get out of the DVD rental business to focus on its streaming service, but it is also causing a split in the company's customer base. More from the Wall Street Journal.
Class dismissed. Some of the biggest stars of "Glee" will be graduating high school after Season Three. "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy sat down with the Hollywood Reporter and spilled the beans.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on the final "Harry Potter" movie.