Home rule, the Iowa legislature, and your county board

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Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese sounds the alarm about a Republican bill that’s stayed mostly below the radar. -promoted by desmoinesdem The Iowa Senate is considering a bill that would force Iowa’s ten most populous counties (and only those ten) to use districts to elect supervisors. Not only that, but supervisors would be elected only by the people in those districts, not by everyone in the county. It’s called House File 2372, and it’s a bad idea. And I say this not just because I have a dog in this hunt. The numbers say I’d stand a pretty good chance if I were to run for re-election, with or without the districts (no decisions on that yet, by the way, though at this point I don’t see why I wouldn’t). But the aim of the plan–which depending on who you ask is to get either more Republican or more rural representation on the board–is misguided at best, and foolish at worst. There is no legal way to create a majority rural (or majority Republican) district in #JoCo. Why? Because math. I’ll leave the wonkier details to resident election data guru John Deeth, who handled it quite aptly on his blog a while ago. The long and short of it is that no matter how you draw districts, here or in at least eight of the other nine counties (Woodbury: maybe), no model shows both evenly distributed districts AND a majority of either rural residents or Republicans. Besides, historically, Johnson County has done just fine with rural representation, and today two of the five live in unincorporated Johnson County (myself and Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass), and two others grew up on farms (Supervisors Mike Carberry and Rod Sullivan). It’s another aspect that I feel is more important, though. The Board of

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