Kansas House Speaker Drops Plan to Split Wyandotte from Johnson County in Redistricting
March 22, 2012

(This is one of the proposals considered that would have split Wyandotee and Johnson Counties out of the same Congressional District)
The speaker of the Kansas House on Wednesday dropped his push for a redistricting plan that would split the Kansas City area between two congressional districts.
Speaker Mike O’Neal, a Hutchinson Republican, said the emergence of an alternative plan — even though it was defeated — showed that too many legislators want to keep the Kansas City area together.
O’Neal is abandoning a plan would have moved urban Wyandotte County neighborhoods into a district with rural communities more than 400 miles west. It has drawn criticsm from both sides of the state.
Earlier, the House rejected the alternative plan that kept the Kansas City area in one district, but O’Neal attributed its defeat to other issues.
O’Neal said a new plan will be drafted to keep the Kansas City area intact while altering south-central and southeast Kansas as little as possible.
“It’s a good thing they’re starting over,” said Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Tim Owens, an Overland Park Republican.
The Senate already has passed a plan, and the final map is likely to be drawn by negotiators from the two chambers.
The debate is complicated by the desire of officials in Manhattan, home to Kansas State University, to stay in the 2nd District with other eastern Kansas communities.

Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/kansas-house-speaker-drops-push-to-split-kc-area-in-congress-map/#storylink=cpy

Kansas House Casts Early Vote to Keep WyCo in Ks-3
March 21, 2012

(map for Kansas Congressional Districts approved on voice vote Tuesday)
KC Star:
The Kansas House tentatively approved a redistricting plan that keeps Wyandotte County in the 3rd Congressional District.
The House approved the plan on a voice vote, but a second vote for approval will be required.
The plan is very different from one proposed by House Speaker Mike O’Neal who proposed putting Wyandotte County in the First Congressional District, which extended from the Missouri border to the Colorado state line.
O’Neal’s plan took population from Wyandotte County to make up for losses in western Kansas to ensure that each of the state’s four members of Congress represent an equal number of people.
Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon was in the capitol today meeting and greeting lawmakers. He applauded the House’s decision.
“It just makes really good, solid sense to have Wyandotte County and Johnson County together as a community of interest,” Reardon said.
“I suppose anything could change,” he said. “But I am a big believer in this process that common sense can and will prevail.”
Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/wyco-moving-back-3rd-district/#storylink=cpy

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.

JoCo Picks Rick, Santorum Cruises in Wyandotte, Too
March 10, 2012

Johnson County Final Results:
Gingrich 778 – 11 percent
Paul 770 – 11 percent
Romney 2,089 – 30 percent
x-Santorum 3,268 – 47 percent
Uncommitted 18 – 0 percent
Bachmann 1 – 0 percent
Cain 5 – 0 percent
Huntsman 11 – 0 percent
Perry 3 – 0 percent

Wyandotte County Final Caucus Results
Gingrich 53 – 12 percent
Paul 66 – 14 percent
Romney 67 – 15 percent
x-Santorum 271 – 59 percent
Uncommitted 1 – 0 percent
Bachmann 0 – 0 percent
Cain 1 – 0 percent
Huntsman 0 – 0 percent
Perry 0 – 0 percent

Kansas Redistricting: Wyandotte County Stays in Ks-3
February 2, 2012

From KC Star Prime Buzz:

Wyandotte County would remain in the 3rd Congressional District, while all of Douglas County would be moved to the 2nd District under a new plan approved by the Kansas senate reapportionment committee Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican who represents the 2nd District, had lobbied senators to pull Wyandotte County into the large, rural 1st District with most of western Kansas. The committee instead approved a plan that moved Lawrence, which was previously divided between the 2nd and 3rd Districts, completely into the 2nd District.
A small portion of Leavenworth County would also be a part of the new 3rd District in the plan.
The plan will move to the full Senate for vote and possible revision. It could face further revision in the House, as well.
Riley County would be moved from the 2nd District to the 1st in the new plan along with Riley County, upsetting representatives from Manhattan who pushed to remain in the 2nd district.
“The only issue is that the Manhattan issue is a difficult one,” Sen. Ted Owens said.
“It wasn’t easy not doing what some of the folks there wanted to do, but I think we’ve done the best that we can do.”
The committee voted down a proposal from Sen. Mike Peterson which would have kept Riley County in the 2nd District, while moving half of Shawnee County, including part of Topeka, into the 1st District.

Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/wyandotte-county-remains-3rd-district-approved-redistricting-plan/#storylink=cpy