I have posted many times before about David Cicilline, former Mayor of Providence who hid the city’s financial problems during the 2010 election, and ran a scare grandma campaign, allowing him a relatively (for Rhode Island) narrow win over John Loughlin in my home RI-01 District.
Cicilline is in a lot of electoral trouble, so he is pulling a redistricting trick which has everyone, including RI Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin, very upset:
A whopping 125,000 Rhode Islanders will switch congressional districts next year despite a population shift of just 7,200 if the state’s redistricting commission approves a new map unveiled Monday to the dismay of Congressman Jim Langevin and local Republicans.
“It’s a big switch,” said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services, the firm getting paid nearly $700,000 by taxpayers to redraw Rhode Island’s political boundaries. The changes are being made to bolster the representation of the state’s burgeoning Hispanic population, he said.
Local blogger Tony Santos has background on Kimball Brace:
It’s no secret that without radical changes to Rep. David Cicilline’s current voting district he’ll have to breakout the tin cup or slap grinders in his brothers sandwich joint, Post 2012. But how does the freshman rep who left the capital city of Providence finances circling the bowl shuffle the voting deck to insure his return to the DC Temple of Wisdom?? A friendly commission… sure, but collectively they don’t have the brain matter to crunch the demographics… The consultant and President of Election Data Services, Kimball Brace hired to assist the R.I. redistricting commission previously served as expert witness for then Presidential contender Al Gore during the Florida 2000 “Dangling Chad” recount controvercy. Widely regarded as a Democratic consultant, Kimball was noted by Congressional Quarterly as “a pioneer in the use of computers for redistricting” and a “Secret Weapon” for Illinois Democrats.
Cicilline is so unpopular that he faces a likely Democratic challenger, who just called Cicilline a “liar”:
“He’s a liar,” said Anthony Gemma, who joined the charge against Congressmen David Cicilline saying that he is interfering with the redistricting process.
Gemma, told WPRO’s John DePetro that the proposed redistricting plan makes “no sense whatsoever” other than that it works to Cicilline’s advantage. “This is a fairly simple redrawing of a line in Providence,” said Gemma accusing Cicilline of influencing the process.
More to follow, for sure. Remember the RI-01 Focus Page for details on the status of the 2012 race.