The 2010 Census has been published, and it's now official, Nevada has won a 4th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. With Nevada's population at approximately 2.8 million, up 35.1% from the 2000 Census count, that means Nevada will be redrawing Congressional district lines such that each district has about 677,000 Nevadans.
As the gerrymandering begins in early 2011, we're likely to see the strife rise yet again between north and south and blossum into full bloom. Southern Nevada with its higher population counts will want to see more influence, not just in Congress, but at the state level as well. Achieving some balance between the needs of both the Northern and Southern reaches of our state will, needless to say, become quite a balancing act (pun intended) in assuring the needs of all Nevadans are met, and that one part of the state can't disadvantage the other. Before it's all said and done, we'll no doubt see at least one veto, if not more, and potentially a number of lawsuits as various parties allege the newly drawn District maps have somehow wronged or disadvantaged them.
Revisiting our state's strife between the north and the south could not come at a worse time, a time when our legislators need to be focussed on our state's budget crisis, an economy that is in desparate need of diversification, our seriously high unemployment numbers that put a serious strain on state services, a school system that's nearly if not dead last in the rankings, and housing market threatening even higher numbers of foreclosures. Instead of focussing their full efforts on these overwhelmingly important issues, their focus will be diverted to issues of partisan politics in an effort to promote their political futures.
To that end, we can expect to see some jockeying from various politicians hoping the district lines might be draw in such a way to favor their election or re-election to higher office ... and some carping if they perceive another party or side will have an undeserved advantage. And, if many of you had hoped that 2010 was the last you'd see from Sharron Angle ... well I hate to disappoint you ... but I don't think Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or even the almighty can grant a favorable outcome on that wish.
So, if you were hoping for a relatively uneventful year after last year's non-stop political circus, and before the next non-stop political circus next year, you might want to rethink that. 2011 is going to be a non-stop statewide political circus as various parties jockey get one-up on their opponents.