Monday, June 22, 2020

'This is a war': Republicans ramp up bid to control election maps for next decade

Shilpa Jindia
Mon 22 Jun 2020 06.00 EDT
Last modified on Mon 22 Jun 2020 13.28 EDT

A little-known Republican group is ramping up millions of dollars in funding from major US corporations such as CitiGroup and Chevron to protect the conservative stronghold on the country.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) – which held the key to the GOP’s political takeover a decade ago – launched the Right Lines 2020 campaign last September, taglined: “Socialism starts in the states. Let’s stop it there, too.” It’s hoping to meet a $125m investment goal in an effort to retain 42 state legislature seats that the group says are key to holding power in the House of Representatives in battleground states including Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and New York.
By "socialism", they mean workers rights.


The RSLC has gone to extreme lengths to undertake its mission, changing the political landscape in the process. In the run-up to the 2010 midterms, it led an unprecedented strategy, the Redistricting Majority Project, or Redmap, to flip legislatures in competitive states. Once in charge, Republicans manipulated district maps to their advantage, a tactic known as gerrymandering. “He who controls redistricting can control Congress,” Rove famously said in 2010.

In 2012, Democrats won 1.4m more votes than Republicans, yet Republicans maintained a 33-seat margin in the House. A 2019 USC study found that 59 million Americans now live under minority rule, where the party that receives the minority share of the vote in a state election controls the majority of seats in the subsequent state legislature. While both Democrats and Republicans gerrymander, Redmap changed the game.


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