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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Democrats Can Blame One of Their Own for Redrawn Maps

If the latest proposed map for North Carolina congressional elections makes it harder for Democrats to win, they can thank Rep. G.K. Butterfield.

RALEIGH (By Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal Online) —
Tar Heel Democrats, meet Murphy’s Law. If you thought your situation was bad when the Republican-led General Assembly released its first set of congressional district maps July 1, Round Two is even worse.

Under the final maps issued Wednesday, what had been a modest Republican gerrymander may result in a decade of GOP dominance of our congressional delegation. And if the maps pass final muster with the General Assembly and survive challenges in court, Democrats should focus their ire at one of their own: Rep. G.K. Butterfield, the Wilson Democrat who has represented the 1st Congressional District since 2004.

Butterfield serves in one of the state’s two majority-black districts. Since the 2000 census, however, his northeastern district has lost nearly 100,000 residents; the population there and statewide has shifted from rural areas to urban and suburban neighborhoods. To keep the number of residents equal in every congressional district, the boundaries had to be moved. And to satisfy the federal Voting Rights Act, the 1st District had to include enough black voters to ensure their rights were not “diluted.”


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