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Author Topic: Analysis of State Legislatures  (Read 41901 times)

stpeter

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #75 on: March 29, 2003, 11:04:55 pm »

craft_6 wrote that he has lived in six different states and has never had a candidate knock on his door. In NH, candidates do knock on your door. I guess I was figuring that would make people tend to turn out more...
Happens all the time here in Denver -- mostly for City Council elections.
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George Reich

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #76 on: March 30, 2003, 07:40:21 pm »

Happens all the time here in Denver -- mostly for City Council elections.

And how is the turnout?
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Robert H.

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #77 on: April 01, 2003, 02:30:31 am »

Being from northern Virginia, where there are a lot of lobbying groups and political types in general, I've seen the usual deluge of signage that Exitus refers to (and TV and radio ads like they're going out of style), but very little in the way of candidates actually coming around to homes.

Some of them have targeted other public places though, including supermarkets where they'll stand out front and hand out their literature and greet people.  The last such instance I noted was a guy who was running for a school board seat standing out front of a Giant in Burke.  He had also brought along the current, retiring school board officer whom he intended to replace, which I thought was a fairly clever approach.

Living here in South Carolina for almost two years now, we've had one state representative candidate drop by our house along with his young son.  But most events where I've met politicians were the sort where I planned to be there myself as opposed to their coming around to where I was.

Living so close to the capital for so long did give me a chance to see national politics fairly close up on a few occasions though: House and Senate sessions, Presidential inaugurations and such.  

exitus

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #78 on: April 01, 2003, 10:19:47 pm »

I think in all of this discussion of access to the state legislatures, we have missed one important role activists fulfill:


We know we will be fighting an uphill battle trying to get some of our kind of leaders in power, let alone a majority in our chosen state, and we wonder about many questions related to this such as access to the offices, electibility, voter apathy, and so forth.  It seems a dangerous prospect trusting too much in politics alone to lead our chosen state to becoming a free state.  

Obviously, we are going to have to capture the minds and hearts of voters towards this end, but it isn't going to happen right away.  .  .

In the mean time, what about those politicians who are 100% electable, even if they don't support our goals, I say they are 100% electable because they are already elected and in power.

If every leader in our state isn't having to refill the paper-tray in their fax machines every day, 20,000 activists aren't doing their job.

If city council meetings aren't packed to capacity everytime there is a meeting, 20,000 activists aren't doing their job.

If phones across the state don't ring continually, 20,000 activists aren't doing their job.

If the local media oulets aren't changing their phone numbers, begging for mercy when they run a bad story, changing the rules about submissions of letters-to-the-editor.   If the opinion page of the local newspapers aren't burning hot with editorials, 20,000 activists aren't doing their job.

If our local candidates aren't broadcasting on local television with money being poured-in from all over the country, and local leaders pleading with their out-of-state contributors to assist them, 20,000 activists aren't doing their jobs.

If we aren't capturing national attention, 20,000 activists aren't doing their job. . .

But not just in fighting, but in supporting. . .

We should be making friends with journalists and news people.  We should be making friends with those politicians who agree with us at least half of the time, we should have plenty of leaders who will anticipate all the good ammunition, encouragement and support we provide them as they seek to make the right choice, even if they are Democrat, Republican, Green, or by-golly Libertarian.


It's going to take a lot more work than that of the candidates for office or even of any political party.

We can work with non-libertarian politicians!!  It is possible.  Most of them like to get re-elected and like to hold on to the power they have.  Most of them are influenced more by opinion polls than by principles, they can bend, they can be bridled, reigned-in if they feel they are being watched, monitored, and popular opinion is shaping another direction.  It is just going to take a lot of work.  We don't necessarily have to have our guys in power to get a lot done.  Concessions can be made if opinion polls point that way.  There are many Republicans are a good measure libertarian on economic issues anyways.
As for the Democrats, there are a lot of well-intentioned among them that hold the line in other ways, they can be influenced for good.

There are many politicians who can be influenced to make the right choices, especially when lobbyied by intelligent, articulate people who are dilligent and enthusiastic, and when there is any perception that they might gain popularity for making the principled choice.

What it comes down to, is that we can ignore party labels, and focus our efforts the most on those lead-weight politicians who oppose freedom and support those who do well, no matter how easy or hard it is going to be for us to get our own members in public office.
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Robert H.

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #79 on: April 02, 2003, 12:38:06 am »

Excellent points, Exitus!

When contacting politicians, make it clear that you are a constituent, that you will donate to a cause or candidate that represents your views, that you vote, and that you will encourage as many people as you know to do these same things.  If possible, try to throw in a sentence or two demonstrating that you have some knowledge of this person's history in office and/or the specific issue in general as opposed to just rendering an opinion on the matter.

Appearing knowledgeable, attentive, and willing to back up your actions with deeds is an effective combination for getting a politician's attention.

Especially if there are a whole lot of you.   ;)

Joe

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #80 on: July 03, 2003, 03:24:49 pm »

Number of people per representative district.
VT & NH have some mult-seat districts and all of SD, ND house districts are 2-seaters.
  3,089  to 42,586   New Hampshire   (some multi-seat districts 400 reps for 1,235,786 people)
  4,059 to 8,118   Vermont   (some 2-seat districts and 150 reps for 608,827 people)
  8,230   Wyoming   (60 reps for 493,782 people)
  8,443   Maine   (151 reps for 1,274,923 people)
  9,022   Montana   (100 reps for 902,195 people)
13,106   North Dakota   (2-seat districts and 98 reps for 642,200 people)
15,673   Alaska   (40 reps for 626,932 people)
19,112   Delaware   (41 reps for 783,600 people)
21,567  South Dakota   (2-seat districts and 70 reps for 754,844 people)
36,962   Idaho   (2-seat districts and 70 reps for 1,293,653 people)
Compare the above with the detail for New Hampshire below.

A lot of debate has been about how big or small (in population) the New Hampshire districts are.
Here are the facts from the NH Supreme Court.
One 14-seat district has 42,586 people.
New Hampshire has the following districts.
  1 with 42,586 people.
  1 with 38,821 people.
  5 with 32,479 to 35,509 people.
  1 with 27,918 people.
  6 with 24,304 to 24,967 people.
  4 with 21,559 to 22,563 people.
  7 with 17,712 to 19,254 people.
  6 with 14,930 to 16,062 people.
14 with 11,846 to 12,797 people.
24 with   8,846 to 9,704 people.
14 with   5,967 to 6,413 people.
  5 with   2,982 to 3,208 people.

Source: New Hampshire House Districts Supreme Court Plan Population Summary Report
http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2002/0207/hse2002_sts.pdf
« Last Edit: July 10, 2003, 10:07:34 am by Joe (sequel to Solitar) »
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2003, 03:49:04 pm »

In NH, perhaps median district size is more important than mean district size.  Median district size in NH, according to the above figures, is 12,356 people, lower than the mean district size of 14,043.
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Michelle

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #82 on: July 03, 2003, 03:53:44 pm »

Please enlighten me. Exactly what is it that you don't understand here, Joe:

Wow, I was beginning to think NH had the smallest.

New Hampshire does have the nation's smallest districts, with 3089 residents per.  Keith Carlsen chooses to use average district size, for reasons of his own.  

Many districts are multi-member, with most having three or four members, and one large one having fourteen.  

What I find it difficult to explain is that these multi-member districts are even easier to win than the single-member districts!  The two large parties are often unable to find enough people to run for all the seats, and fusion allows for cross nomination.  Allow me to demonstrate:

Say you've got a district with six seats.  The Republicans and the Democrats each put up four candidates.  

Say you are running as a Libertarian.  On primary day you find TEN  people who are willing to write in your name.  All it takes is ten.  You say, "Listen, sir, you're going to have six votes in the booth, and only four people from your party to vote for.  Would you mind using one of your extra votes to write in my name?"

If ten Republicans do this, you appear on the general ballot as a "Libertarian-Republican."  If ten Democrats do this, as well, you appear as a "Libertarian-Republican-Democrat."  

It's that easy in New Hampshire.

Of the 59 people who tried to win using this method in NH last year, all 59 won office.  

Don't beleive me?  Go to the NH General Court website and look at the list of members.  You'll see 59 "Republican-Democrats" and "Democrat-Republicans."

The single-member districts in NH will be the hard ones.

People - PLEASE read this. It is absolutely critical and Keith just explained it in very simple terms. We can WIN in New Hampshire. We know how to do it. This strategy has been used successfully in the past. Just ask Don Gorman as those who came to Escape 2 NH did.

Not only can we win in New Hampshire, we can begin doing it IMMEDIATELY. In New Hampshire the FSP will hit the ground running, see success in short order, and generate even more enthusiasm and energy to achieve future wins.

Can ANY other state say this? If they can, they certainly haven't made it clear to me. How long will the enthusiasm of the members be sustained as we struggle to gain a foothold in another state? No, it won't be easy anywhere, but in New Hampshire we have a plan and proven strategy to begin winning immediately - to sustain and build on all of this energy that we've all got now. Our election laws, our small districts, our nonpartisan local elections, our inexpensive campaigns, even our multi-seat districts that some of you like to pretend are a liability - they all give us the ability to win in New Hampshire.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2003, 04:27:47 pm »

Every system is different. Comparing systems on state rep districts without taking the differing systems into account would be comparing apples and oranges.

There's a better way I can see that would eliminate these differences:

Last elections lowest # of votes to win a state house seat, and max # to win a statehouse seat.

That will let us know the real numbers that we would have to realistically hit in order to win seats.

It would also be useful to do this for min/max costs per win. But that info would be pretty tough to get.

JM
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #84 on: July 03, 2003, 04:40:53 pm »

There's a better way I can see that would eliminate these differences:

Last elections lowest # of votes to win a state house seat, and max # to win a statehouse seat.


Well, you never want to base a statistical indicator on outliers, but the principle there sounds good.  I would recommend something like this: average number of votes needed to win in the all lowest-votes-needed elections at least 1 standard deviation below the median contested by both a Republican and Democrat in 2002, and average number of votes needed to win in all highest-votes-needed elections at least 1 standard deviation above the median contested by both a Republican and Democrat in 2002 - for both state house and state senate.  That will give a range of values suitable for judging relative ease of getting a foothold in the state house and senate of all states.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #85 on: July 04, 2003, 07:11:47 pm »

If you can find the min and max winning #'s, that would be an interesting thinng to look at... The min would represent roughly what it would take to win one seat (ideally) and the max, an indication of what it would take to acheive dominance.

<Darth Vader voice>"Your Democratic phone tree is no match against the power of the FSP...." :D

JM
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freedomroad

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2003, 03:12:43 am »

I new thread that deals with this issue has been started.

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=2271
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Hank

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #87 on: September 01, 2003, 12:43:27 pm »

In spite of numbers showing conclusively that WY is easier to win a majority in, the NH contingent keeps bringing up smoke like "fusion".

What happens if the D's and R's get mobilized in the face of a libertarian takeover and have both a D and R for each and every NH House seat? What if they have more than enough in every district? What if they have 16 D's and 16 R's running for 14 seats in NH's largest district.  How does fusion work then?  Which candidates get credited with a  "straight" ticket vote when there are enough D's or R's for every seat?  Can a person even get on the ballot then as a D+R or R+D or L+R or L+D?? ???
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jgmaynard

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Re:Analysis of State Legislatures
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2003, 12:55:38 pm »

What happens if the D's and R's get mobilized in the face of a libertarian takeover and have both a D and R for each and every NH House seat?

I thought you didn't want to work within the LP? Come on, Mxyzptlk, you're not doing a very good Hank imitation... ;) You're even contradicting his posts from this morning.  :P

Quote
What if they have more than enough in every district? What if they have 16 D's and 16 R's running for 14 seats in NH's largest district.

If EITHER party had the ability to run a full slate, they would already be doing it.

Quote
How does fusion work then?  Which candidates get credited with a  "straight" ticket vote when there are enough D's or R's for every seat?  Can a person even get on the ballot then as a D+R or R+D or L+R or L+D?? ???

Yes, you can still get on the ballot, in any of those combonations, but then you would have to make enough of a write-in campaign in the primary to beat the lowest person.
With thousands of new activists, and all the assistance the LPNH is offering, and will be offering it's candidates, that should be quite possible.

And you don't NEED to win a majority, because not everyone will be allied against you. More thoughts on this are at http://www.freestatenh.com/SAQ.html#leg

JM
« Last Edit: September 01, 2003, 12:59:00 pm by jgmaynard »
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Hank

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Re:Analysis of state legislature control
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2003, 12:58:53 pm »

There are advantages to having one party being an "assumed winner".
By winning the primary in that party, the rest of the way is a slam dunk (usually).
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