There has been plenty of gnashing of teeth surrounding the new state senate map insofar as Senator Lembke gets a much more democrat leaning district and Cunningham ends up the loser in high stakes musical chairs with no seat at all. But just to show the mapmakers have a sense of humor, they employed a cute tactic by where they put that seat. To what end, remains to be told.
The judicial panel envisioned shifting the 7th (a seat I once held) into east/mid Missouri in an area running from Lincoln and western St. Charles Counties on the east out to Callaway in the west. Instead, this band of Nixon appointees deliberately moved the 7th to Kansas City while moving the 10th to Mid-Missouri. Why do that?
The clear result is that the people of Kansas City, residing in the new 7th, will get an immediate election they never expected. That was certainly a scheme designed to benefit some well-connected Democrat, perhaps a House member who is termed out this year. Kansas Citians will also enjoy an extra Senator for two years barring Senator Jolee Justus who represents the 10th now making the exceedingly conscientious decision to move 200 miles eastward to follow her district. That means, that Kansas City will have an extra voice and the people of the new 10th will have no voice, except to the degree Senator Justus wants to moderate her views to please her constituents who will never have the chance to vote for her. But it gets better. Senator Justus, a attorney, is also a hard left, out of the closet lesbian.
This is not the first time this tactic of switching district numbers has been employed. Lembke's predecessor in the 1st, Harry Kennedy, from St. Louis City, spent two years representing the people in south central MO. I used to have fun ribbing him about making regular visits and 150 mile round trips to visit his "constituents". When you call or visit your Senator, you get what you get. At least Harry was Catholic, pro-life and essentially blue collar, so not totally repugnant to the people withwhom he otherwise had no connection. To assign a leftist lesbian lawyer to rural Mid-Missouri is to take the cute trick way too far and really strip 170,000 people of any serious representation. To be sure, Senator Justus is a super nice and generous person and she will help anyone who asks, but don't look to her to give any serious consideration to representing her temporary new constituency on the Senate Floor. That may be a basis for a lawsuit from the people of the 10th.
Meanwhile, Justus' defacto replacement in the Senate from the new 7th will give Kansas City and the political left an additional voice to assist Jolee's.
It is very interesting to me that this map was supported by three of the repub's, but not Executive Steve Ehlmann. He is an historian and the only one on the panel who has been a Senator. It is hard to not trust his wisdom as the lone republican dissenter against this map. The others are more traditional Party first types with solid records of loyalty to the Missouri Republican Party. One is actually the GOP accountant.
So what did the Party get in return for this bargain by removing Cunningham and possibly Lembke and adding a leftist seat in Kansas City? Let's do the simple math. Start with an overwhelmingly Republican Senate that is already "underwhelmingly" conservative. Subtract two conservatives. Now add a Kansas City leftist democrat. X - 2c + (1l) = X-3. This is a massive shift to the left in an already disappointing Senate. Could a leftist shift in the Senate have been the goal of the Missouri Republican Party? Did the Republicans go rogue or just prove incompetent? Could there have been a Party decision to remove Lembke and Cunningham for not towing the party line?
I think we need to hear from the conveners in "Independence Hall"
"Mr. Franklin, what have you given us?"
"We have given you a crappy map, if you can keep it".