ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A proposed remake of a Minnesota congressional district map would lump Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum into a district with Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, the presidential hopeful who hasn’t ruled out another bid for Congress should her current campaign fail.

The pairing is a key feature of a map put forward by Democratic Party lawyers Friday. It’s an option for a special state court panel to consider as it oversees the politically charged process known as redistricting.

It came at the deadline for the parties to submit ideal versions of congressional and legislative maps. The court panel expects to issue a verdict in late February, fewer than nine months before the 2012 election.

Every 10 years district boundaries are adjusted to account for population changes in the census. The aim is to create districts for each office with similar numbers of people.

Republicans previously crafted a congressional map that leaves all eight Minnesota incumbents in separate districts but dramatically alters the shape of some. Their submission to the court Friday mirrors the earlier map.

The Democratic map would help freshman GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack stay in Congress because it removes him from a northeastern district that leans Democrat, leaving the seat covering that area incumbent-free for the 2012 election. His new district would have plenty of Republican-leaning pockets.

It also would give the dean of Minnesota’s delegation, Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, more ground to cover. His new district would run the length of Minnesota’s western border from Canada in the north to Iowa in the south.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature could short-circuit the court case by negotiating a deal before a ruling. But Dayton said he considers that outcome unlikely.

McCollum blasted her party’s map in a statement from her chief of staff.

“The DFL chair and his high-paid lawyers have proposed a congressional map to their redistricting panel that is hyper-partisan and bizarre,” the McCollum aide, Bill Harper, said.

Bachmann has repeatedly declined to comment on her fallback options if her presidential campaign doesn’t survive the GOP primaries. An adviser for Bachmann did not immediately respond to a message Friday.

Another map submitted by a Democratic lawyer working separately from the party would leave McCollum in a district by herself and make more subtle changes to the congressional districts.

In May, majority legislative Republicans approved new maps for Congress and the Legislature that Dayton vetoed.

Under their congressional version, three districts would span from one state border to the next.

Cravaack, who defeated a seemingly safe Democratic incumbent in 2010, would lose most of the Democratic-leaning turf in his current district and gain plenty of Republican-friendly geography.

The northern third of the state would be rolled into a single district, with Peterson as the incumbent.

Bachmann would see a similarly shaped but smaller district if she sought a fourth term in Congress. Her current district far exceeded the ideal population size after the 2010 census.

Under each plan, all House districts would have about 663,000 residents.

The state’s eight-member House delegation is currently split at four seats apiece for Republicans and Democrats. Minnesota’s two U.S. senators are Democrats.

For the competing legislative redistricting proposals, the intrigue surrounds the number of incumbents who would be forced to run against each other.

Democrats want to set up six incumbent rivalries in the state Senate and 17 in the House, most involving sitting Republicans. Nine seats would have no incumbent.

Republicans would have two incumbent match-ups in the Senate and eight in the House, most involving Democratic lawmakers.

One highlight from the Democratic legislative map is a northwestern House district that has an American Indian population of nearly 30 percent. Party officials say it would be among the most concentrated Indian districts in the country and give a tribal member a good shot at joining the Legislature.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. Swamp Rat says:

    All H–l is going to break out if Rep. McCollum is paired with Bachmann for the redistricted MN 4th District. She doesn’t have the GOP/T-Bag base in this district and die-hard real true-blue Republicans of the old GOP School would revolt. Who dreamed up this wacky gerrymandered district?

    Oh, well, another MN political chapter to as the [MN] “World Churns”! Can’t wait to see how this reality messy show turns out!

  2. Jake says:

    Oh, I’ll bet that Kessler is just licking at the chops to put his ‘steel’ TWO CENTS into this race, to give us a ‘reality check’, and tell us how to think.

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      This ‘gerrymandering’ [redistricting] happens every ten years as mandated by the Constitution. Yes, Kessler will be licking his journalistic chops over the oncoming legal and political feuding that is going to be happening in the courts over this messy MN redistricting case. BUT, Jake, you are a bit off-base when you infer that Kessler will tell us how to think. He will just present the facts as they present themselves &/or fall into place. They same holds true for Mary LaHammer [MN-tpt] and the other journalists who are assigned the Capitol beat.

      Minnesota has unique problems facing it with its redistricting since it is so politically wide sweeping. More so than other states. If gerrymandering isn’t done legally, judiciously, and fairly based on the Census stats etcetera Minnesota will be in a political mess for at least another 10 years. So all Kessler and the other reporters can do is report the changes to the MN political landscape as they happen. To tell us how to think is ludicrous since most MN citizens don’t really understand the process completely, anyway, and trying to sway our mind sets only adds to the political confusions at hand. Catch my point?

  3. Murph says:

    I think they should offer the district to Wisconsin and forget about a bridge.Just dredge the river aound it and say CHEESE! Maybe Michele could hook up with the wacko Gov.Walker..once he gets out of the clink and dump Marcus.She needs a fresh start somewhere and sure won’t be moving to Washington anytime soon!

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      Are you still drinking the strange tea you like? You are on the wrong thread again!!!

  4. See BS says:

    Unless WCCO can prove the election map made by the State Legislature has a problem with one district having more people than the other – The Court System is out of order.

    So essentially WCCO is aiding and abetting election fraud by making the fake impression this is not illegal behavior by our Judicial branch.

    “Appointed” Judges do not reflect the “Will of the people” at all.

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      WCCO doesn’t have to prove anything regarding the Legislature’s redistricting map. The fact of the matter is the Legislature, the Democrats & GOP, can’t decide on the remapped districts. The US Constitution mandates this every 10 years after every ten year US Census is released. If the states’ legislatures can’t decide on the gerrymandering to the Congressional Districts then the US courts decide the issue as set forth in the Constitution and Federal statutes. This basic Civics1&@ or PoliSCI101!!! Funny thing is I learned this stuff way back in 6th grade!

      I don’t know what tea you have been drinking but screaming at or blaming the messenger [WCCO] isn’t going to explain the inane present politics of this state. Do your research!!!…………….

      1. See BS says:

        The Legislature did pass a redistricting map — it PASSED.

        Just because Dayton does not like the map, doesn’t give the Judicial Branch to just dismiss the district map PASSED by the Entire Minnesota State Legislative Branch and do what every they want.

        The Constitution requires Judges by law to side with the Constitution — and if the district map PASSED by the Legislature does not have population issues, the Judges have no case to make up any map they want.

        if there are population issues, the Judges can tweak the map to correct the population issues and that’s it.

        It’s not hard to prove WCCO aids and abetts criminal behavior from our government. — thats why they kept the public hearings regarding the districting so hush hush.

      2. No BS says:

        See BS doesn’t seem to realize that the Republicans commenced the very lawsuit he complains of.

        1. Swamp Rat says:

          This happens every ten years one way or another. This time the process is more vicious and strung out! Besides, you can’t blame WCCO or any other news outlet for that. The present MN processes are so convoluted that even Constitutional scholars are shaking their heads in amazement at it all.

          I guess if BS can’t relate to or read it in an 140 character Tweet then blame the regular media for telling the story! LOL!

          1. See BS says:

            Sounds like the Minnesota Supreme Court has been drawing our maps since they started “Appointing” Judges back in the 60’s.

            Article 1 section 4 of the US Constitution says the Legislature draws the map.

          2. See BS says:

            Over a million people voted for the State Legislature, and the first thing the “Appointed” Minnesota Supreme Court wants to do is gerrymander Michelle Bachmanns district?

            Drown out rural voters with our “sanctuary city”, after Nancy Pelosi made it clear she doesn’t want Michelle Bachmann in congress?

            Just another political ruling and election fraud from a panal of draft dodgers.

            1. Swamp Rat says:

              @the BS’ers!!!
              Sorry folks but Supreme Court Justices are elected except when vacancies {IE-retirements, deaths, or resignation] occur during a term of service. The only time the Governor appoints justices when a position is opened. The last time an open court vacancy was filled by election, at the proper time, was in 1992 with the election of Justice Allan Page. So get your facts straight guys and forget the BS you are spreading on this thread. It has no bearing to the discussion at hand.

              1. See BS says:

                It wasn’t until recently Supreme Court Justices have been subject to elections, prior to the last election they have been appointed from a “Short list” by the governor.

                only 60,000 people voted for Allen Page — so really it does not reflect the population of Minnesota like the whole entire State Legislature.

                1. Swamp Rat says:

                  If you remember correctly the 1992 election didn’t see record turnouts for voting! The supposed 60,000 votes you allude to were from the whole state returns. 60,000 Minnesotans voted for Justice Page so what’s your point? Does it relate to the germane question on this thread regarding gerrymandering a new 4th District?

                  Enough said.

  5. Murph says:

    Jack the Ripper could beat Bachmann.The lady Mc Collum must have low self esteem or something! People just seem to have unnatural fears and so called leaders have no common sense,especially politicians.Senior citizen loans would bail out Freddie and Fannie in a hartbeat! They[seniors] have a steady income,pensions and social security and reasonably low balances on their mortgages.SO why let Freddie and Fannie die ?.The fact is banks are getting money for nothing but won’t lend it except at too high a rate for credit and low but not low enough for seniors on their mortgages! SO 25 lows on mortagages that are not underwater could ofset many if not all the worthless mortages Freddie and Fannie are stuck with! Until the government becomes more realistic and see’s the horrible fate they are flirting with by delay and squabbling! That one last chance is dissappearing one retired couple at a time!Get it together people.The old days are gone,but there are some alternatives to a dissolution of Congress and eventual martial law! But it dissapears with each day they dither! One old man and old lady at a time!

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      What are you gabbing about???????????????
      Wrong discussion as usual……….

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