Providing a nonpartisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

Shining a light on Minnesota public policy since 2005

                                                                                                  About Civic Caucus   l   Interviews & Responses  l   Position Reports   l   Contact Us   l   Home  

 Response Page - R. Moe / S. Sviggum Interview - Drawing Legislative District Boundaries   

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Roger Moe / Steve Sviggum Interview of 02/08/08.

The questions:

____ On a scale of (0) no urgency whatsoever, to (10) most urgent, please
indicate your feelings about the need to find a new way to draw boundaries of
legislative and congressional districts.

____ On a scale of (0) most opposed to (5) neutral to (10) most supportive,
please indicate your feelings about the Moe-Sviggum proposal to assign the job
to a bi-partisan group of retired judges.

Chuck Slocum (8) (8)
This necessary reform approach is one of a number that has been considered over the years; I support its placement on the ballot in 2008. The current legislatively directed system for reapportionment and redistricting is inherently partisan and self-interested.

Charles Lutz (10) (9)

Joe Mansky (10) (5)
The process the speaker proposes is quite similar to the plan Gov. Ventura proposed in 2002, except that the Ventura plan included public members.

I would not make the assumption that being a retired judge makes one nonpartisan or unbiased. Remember, our judges are all "political". It's a function of how they get into office. I don't think you can get politics out of a process that is inherently political. What you can do is make the political aspects of it, including the biases of each side, more visible and transparent to the public.

John Farrell (7) (10)

Ina Erickson (10) (10)

Marianne Curry (10) (10)
Our forefathers of the MN Constitution (and the federal Constitution for that matter) intended that our democratic system be governed by a citizen legislature, ie., citizens tied to the reality-test of making a living in the private sector. Instead, what we have today is a professional legislature comprised of too many representatives who serve repetitive terms and whose self-interest is to reduce competition for elective office and to draw legislative boundaries that maximize their likelihood of re-election.

One serious result is that both parties tend to be controlled by extreme voices and not moderates who can reach compromise. Hence, stalemate. We are losing democratic principles of governance as a result. The primary is one answer. Removing judicial selection from politics is another. And the third leg is to mitigate gerrymandering through a more impartial commission to draw legislative boundaries.

In Minnesota, we face another potential threat: the loss of population relative to other states and the aging of population, ie., loss of representation in Congress. Watch for fresh water fights in the next generation. Minnesota has a lot to lose if Lake Superior water is piped to Reno and Phoenix to support unsustainable growth in the arid Southwest.

Kevin Dahle (8) (10)

Lonni McCauley (8) (10)

Scott Halstead (10) (2)
I still like the judge appointment for a fixed term and reappointment after performance evaluation for a maximum of 2 additional terms.

Susan Herridge (7) (10)

Tony Solgård (10) (8)
What I think is most important is keeping alive your proposal to create 3-member districts in the state house with a proportional voting method that would not allow one party to win all the seats.

David Durenberger (5) (4)

Tom Swain (10) (10)
The advisory board for the Center for Politics and Governance, which recommended the redistricting change, must not be confused with the overall advisory board for the Humphrey Institute.

George Pillsbury (10) (8)

John Nowicki (9) (10)

Wayne Jennings (10) (9)

Ed Oliver (8) (8)

Paul and Ruth Hauge (9) (9)

Steve Alderson (8) (8)

Shirley Heaton
While this is out of my bailiwick, I was interested in the presentation. THANX for sharing.

Eric Schubert (10) (10)
Thank you for these updates. I greatly enjoy them. I understand there may be increased collaboration between the Civic Caucus and Citizens League; I hope that is the case. It seems there could be some good synergy there.

Ray Schmitz (8) (8)
The interesting point that was almost touched by Roger is the history, think back to the pre computer days, discussions with town boards, county commissioners, and in the larger areas, block, precinct workers. The parties knew the voting history of a family for 5 generations in rural areas and except for new folks in the metro the same. But because it was not, as noted, on the computer screen it seems it was less of an issue, remember this also was pre one man and the entire gerrymander issue was less present. I agree that the knowledge of safe seats is more on the publics mind today, but is it really true or just perception, that is, were they less safe 50 years ago.

Judges are not political! O'sure.

Larry and Ann Schluter (9) (8)

Gary Clements (8) (10)

Bob Brown (10) (2)
I reiterate what I said in response to one of your earlier inquiries that it would be extremely disappointing to see the status quo position on redistricting. Having been on redistricting and reapportionment committees I know that it is a rare legislator that can do the job objectively, and even if some want to others subvert the process. In 1971 we passed our senate compromise bill 53-14 with 27 Conservatives and 26 DFLers voting yes and 7 on each side voting no. The bill passed the House easily by a substantial margin with most of the Republicans and the senior DFLers voting yes, but Wendy vetoed the bill because he has made a commitment to Marty Sabo to veto the bill unless ALL of the freshmen DFLers were protected - an impossible demand if you wanted a bill passed. So legislation went to the courts and the courts can be even worse - see the legislative districts drawn by Judge Gerald Heaney in 1972 as the worst example. Districts should
be drawn by computer programs, starting at a corner of the state picked at random, and using some reasonable criteria (drawn up long before census data are known) for keeping local units of government (city or county) whole as much as possible. Taking the human element out of the process can and should be done.

Clarence Shallbetter (9) (8)

Don Fraser (9) (9)

Matt Kane (7) (5)
Have you looked at Iowa's approach? May be the only state left with competitive congressional districts.

Robert A. Freeman (10) (10)
Pair of 10s, although I would like to modify second suggestion to qualify that only judges who have not sought a party designation be selected for the panel (or words to that effect).

Donna Anderson (10) (10)
It's really important for a bi-partisan group, and perhaps 2-3 others bipartisan people (not elected officials) on group of retired judges.

Ed Dirkswager (8) (8)

Lyall Schwarzkopf (7) (4)



The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  Lee Canning,  Charles Clay, Bill Frenzel, 
Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and  John Rollwagen.  

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

contact webmaster



Hit Counter