Flip, Flop, Flip, Kansas Lawmakers Kill ‘Big First/KCK’ Plan, Revive It, Then Approve It
March 15, 2012

House Approved Congressional redistricting map places parts of Wyandotte County in a district dominated by west Kansas. The proposed district is shaded in pink.

The Kansas House Redistricting Committee has approved a new Congressional map that splits portions of Wyandotte County out of the Kansas City area Congressional District. Wyandotte County and KCK are currently in the Kansas 3rd District. This plan would move portions of the area into the Kansas 1st District. The working title of the map is ‘Eisenhower-B’
The new map would place some part of Wyandotte in a Congressional district dominated by west Kansas. That district is often referred to as ‘The Big First’, since the Kansas 1st Congressional district covers about half of the entire state.
The map is opposed by many local leaders in Kansas City, Kansas.
A Johnson County Democrat, St.Rep Mike Slattery says the idea of splitting Wyandotte County away from Johnson County is a “terrible” idea.
“Why would anyone in their right mind separate these two commonly bound communities from being served by the same congressman? Answer: Politics”, Slattery wrote in a newsletter Thursday morning. Other Democrats in KCK accuse the panel of gerrymandering the district. ‘Gerrymandering’ is a term that means putting the political opposition in politcally difficult territory based on politcs, not population.
Every 10 years congressional districts are adjusted to reflect changes in population.
In a unsual meeting of the committee Thursday afternoon, the ‘Big First/KCK’ plan was killed on an 11-8 vote.
But after another committee member arrived late and tried to get the map reconsidered, the motion was blocked.
So another member who voted with the prevailing side asked for the ‘Big First/KCK’ map to be brought up again.
It was. On the second vote, House Speaker Mike O’Neal broke an 11-11 by voting for the ‘Big First/KCK’ map. He is the author of that proposal.
It’s the second day in a row O’Neal cast the decided vote on the map.
The Committee plan goes to the full House now for its consideration. The Kansas Senate redistricting committee has a different version of a new map. The Senate version keeps Wyandotte and Johnson counties together in the Ks-3.