On November 2 there was a Republican landslide -- but like an avalanche in slow motion, the landslide just keeps going!
GOPAC chairman Frank Donatelli just sent out a press release crowing that 25 Democratic legislators have now switched parties and become Republican.
"We are pleased with the decision of these men and women to leave the Democratic Party and join with us. They are adding to the ranks of Americans who want to put result-oriented ideas into action to get us moving in the right direction. Each of these legislators’ insight, experience, and commitment to common-sense, conservative policies will make our Party stronger," Donatelli said.
When Louisiana's Representative Noble Ellington switched parties... it actually gave Republicans control of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. Here's the full list of legislators who have switched:
# Representative Allan Boothe – Alabama House
# Representative Steve Hurst – Alabama House
# Representative Mike Millican –Alabama House
# Representative Lesley Vance – Alabama House
# Senator Tim Golden – Georgia Senate
# Representative Ellis Black – Georgia House
# Representative Amy Carter – Georgia House
# Representative Mike Cheokas – Georgia House
# Representative Bubber Epps – Georgia House
# Representative Gerald Greene – Georgia House
# Representative Bob Hanner – Georgia House
# Representative Doug McKillip – Georgia House
# Representative Alan Powell – Georgia House
# Senator Chris Steineger – Kansas Senate
# Senator John Alario – Louisiana Senate
# Senator John Smith – Louisiana Senate
# Representative Noble Ellington – Louisiana Senate
# Representative Walker Hines – Louisiana House
# Representative Fred Mills – Louisiana House
# Representative Michael Willette – Maine House
# Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith – Mississippi Senate
# Representative Bobby Shows – Mississippi House
# Senator Eldon Nygarrd – South Dakota Senate
# Representative Allan Ritter – Texas House
# Representative Aaron Pena – Texas House
This is wonderful news, and the timing could not be better. Here's why:
1. Reapportionment. The 2010 census will be the basis for reapportionment of Congressional seats -- and the lower-tax, business-friendlier, family-friendlier "red states" have gained population, while the "blue states," with their anti-growth policies have -- imagine! -- not grown. In fact, many of them have lost population. That means a greater percentage of the 435 members of the House of Representatives will soon be coming from conservative-leaning states.
2. Redistricting. The boundaries for Congressional districts are redrawn by state legislatures every ten years, following the census -- and the GOP saw huge gains in state legislatures on November 2; some 18 state legislatures flipped from Democratic to Republican control on Election Day. Louisiana, as noted above, now makes that 19. This means Democrats will have considerably less leeway to pull their usual gerrymandering shenanigans in the redistricting process.
3. Standing up for state sovereignty. As pointed out by Big Peace contributor SusanAnne Hiller, we're living in an era in which, in matters ranging from health care to border enforcement, the federal government is actively attacking the individual states. And from Arizona to Virginia, the states are fighting back. The more state legislatures that are run by pro-active Republicans, the better the odds of curbing federal overreach. The recent spate of party switches further strengthens the Republicans' hand in each of their respective statehouses.
Wish I had the time to look up each and every one of these brave legislators and find out what exactly was behind their decision to switch parties. I'd like to think that a few of them might have had their minds changed by some caring constituent having given them a copy of Can a Catholic Be a Democrat? -- which was written by someone much like them, a Democrat state legislator disturbed by the direction that party has taken.
hat tip: Weasel Zippers
Crossposted at West to the West Wing 2012