With reapportionment of seats about to take place in the House Of Representatives, based on the census figures, some states are gaining seats, while others are losing seats.
The Sun Belt is gaining seats, as they have done every decade since the 1950s, while the Frost Belt Northeast and Midwestern states, specifically the large ones, are losing seats.
This leads to some House members being gerrymandered into races against fellow members of the House of the same party, leaving the reality that some will be pushed out of their positions either by primary elections, or by reality setting in that they cannot compete in a primary or election in the new district and have a good chance of victory.
Such a circumstance is now faced by Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal and most controversial Democrats in Congress.
Kucinich, who was Mayor of Cleveland, acquiring the name “Dennis the Menace”; member of the Cleveland City Council later; and then has been a Congressman from Cleveland for eight terms, is faced with elimination unless he chooses to move somewhere else in another state which is gaining seats.
Kucinich, a national figure because of having competed for the Presidency in 2004 and 2008, was recently in the Seattle area of Washington State, which will gain a seat, trying to measure whether it was a good fit for a Congressional race, with Seattle being a progressive stronghold.
While it is required that a member of the House of Representatives must have a residence in the district he or she represents, in the year of reapportionment, the member can move into the district AFTER he or she has been elected, as often, even for members who keep their congressional seat, the boundaries have changed because of reapportionment, so new housing arrangements must be made, but it can be AFTER being elected to the new district seat.
The question is whether it is proper for Kucinich to do what he plans to do, and the answer is yes!
Why is that? Well, Washington State does not have a residency requirement in the state for someone to run for public office, much like New York State, which has had three non residents or “Carpetbaggers” run for and win a Senate seat–Robert Kennedy in 1964, James Buckley in 1970, and Hillary Clinton in 2000.
While there is no recent case of a “Carpetbagger” Congressman, it is not illegal or a first time situation, and what it all comes down to is that this is based on democracy! What the people of that particular new Congressional district in Seattle want, they are entitled to get. If the case can be made by a native Washingtonian that he or she should be elected over a well known Congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, it will rule the day!
The word “Carpetbagger”, originating as a derogatory term in the Reconstruction South, should not be looked at in such a manner, as even most of the so called “Carpetbaggers” in the Southern states, who were Congressmen, Senators, or Governors, actually performed well in office, and the term is therefore just political propaganda to be ignored as a myth of American history!