I have not weighed in on the redistricting issue partially because of time limitations but also because when I last checked we had a Democrat-controlled Board of Supervisors who are solely in control of the decision and no one has explained to me why any of them would give a rat’s patootie what any Republican anywhere thinks about this matter. I suppose if a conservative were to craft an argument to win the hearts and minds of the Loudoun populace that would be one thing, but I for one am not up to that task.
I agree strongly with BlackOut’s comment in the thread linked above that it seems silly our BOS is allowed to set as one of their priorities for designing the new districts that BOS incumbents will be protected. That just strikes me as bad government all the way around; but I guess the fact it is stated baldly in the redistricting “guidelines” is supposed to make it ok with everyone. Like if someone were to craft a “10-point Plan For Starting A Business In Loudoun County” for the Economic Development portion of loudoun.gov, and Number 4 was “Steal a truck,” everyone would be all right with it since it was posted on the county Web site.
It is amusing to consider LI’s suggestion that Supervisor Andrea McGimsey may need a district as far away as possible from her current constituents in order to have a chance of being re-elected. If I were running against her, in whatever far-flung part of Loudoun County she finagles as her new district of residence, I could imagine putting up “Missing” posters all over the neighborhood streets, just for the fun of it.
UPDATE: Supervisor Stevens Miller gives a reasonable explanation of why the Board agreed to make protecting incumbents one of the guidelines. In essence, this policy protects against hyper-partisan gerrymandering by the majority. Point taken. However, my personal bias against “protecting incumbents” is not because of fear of a nefarious majority but because of desire that magisterial districts reflect actual communities contained therein – a belief that the ideal boundaries should leave communities as whole as possible rather than broken apart to keep a supervisor in office. Admittedly, that is an ideal. As a longtime supporter of reality, I will take Supervisor Miller at his word that the guidelines are intended to guarantee fairness.
UPDATE II: It has just been brought to my attention that there is a very good reason for the LCRC to put forth a redistricting plan. All plans submitted to the Board of Supervisors will be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department as well, so that when DOJ considers the proposal from Loudoun County they will also have the alternatives for reference. It would be irresponsible for the LCRC to not put forward its own suggestion.