As Asian American elected officials and community leaders take the stage here this week at the Democratic National Convention, the formidable presence and political force of Asian American voters on the nation’s electoral decision-making process can no longer be ignored.
After Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012, the Republican Party determined that it needed to connect with the nation’s increasingly diverse electorate. But two years earlier, writes author Dave Daley in his new book Ratf**ked (Liveright), GOP strategists had already embarked on a strategy to win control of Congress by in effect “re-segregating” America. The title for the book comes from a term used to describe political deeds done on the cheap to sabotage opponents. Project Redmap used redistricting to create gerrymandered districts in key states based on race and political preference. It’s “the oldest political trick in the book,” according to Daly, and one with political implications long after the upcoming 2016 race. Daley is editor in chief of Salon.com. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Our next election is less than seven months away. But memories of the last city election—one of Richmond’s most expensive—remain fresh in the minds of many voters. For residents of this refinery town whose recollections are fading, we now have a fascinating 90-minute video history of that campaign. Entitled “Nat Bates for Mayor,” it provides a timely reminder of the stakes involved in a local battle against big money in politics that got national attention.