Much of the news coverage of the Congressional redistricting plan released yesterday is giving the state legislative Democrats who drafted the map significant credit for the “politically explosive” (Globe) decision to combine the districts currently represented by Bill Keating (D-Newbie) and Stephen Lynch (D-Labor).
Please. This move was about as explosive as Play Doh. Here’s the Herald:
Beacon Hill’s new congressional map is prompting U.S. Rep. William Keating to flee his recently adopted home in Quincy to take up residency in a new Cape Cod and South Coast district after lawmakers pitted him against veteran Southie congressman Stephen F. Lynch.
“After talking with my wife Tevis and our children Kristen and Patrick I have decided to run in the new 9th Congressional District, where we’ve owned a home for 17 years,” Keating said in a statement, apparently referring to his summer home in Bourne. He will have to run in the new district, which includes Plymouth, New Bedford and Cape Cod, in 2012.
Anyone out there think the mapsters were not fully aware of Congressman Keating’s summer home, and his family’s remarkable geographical flexibility (the clan just last year moved from Sharon to Quincy to set Bill up for his 2010 run)? If so, the Congressman has a gently-used investment property in Quincy that he’d like to sell you.
As the Globe notes, Keating isn’t the only highly mobile member of the Massachusetts delegation.
It is not unusual in Massachusetts for political figures to relocate to run for Congress. Keating moved two years ago from Sharon to Quincy to campaign for that seat. In 1980, Barney Frank, a state representative from the Back Bay, moved to Newton to seek that congressional seat.
It seems when it comes to Congressional incumbency, these guys are much less worried about the districts they represent back home than they are about the seats – the literal ones – that they occupy in Washington.
And please let’s stop with all the talk about how open and non-political was the Congressional redistricting process. Were that in fact the case, presumably the redistricting committee’s Republicans would not have been almost entirely excluded from the process. Even the committee’s two chairs, Rep Michael Moran and Senator Stanley Rosenberg, openly admitted to drawing the squiggliest of the lines with an eye toward incumbent protection… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS