They Can't Even Spell Gerrymander, Let Alone Do It: Colorado Republicans are incensed over the congressional redistricting plan done by a special panel of three federal judges, which is likely to give Democrats and Republicans an even split in the state's congressional delegation. The 1980 census gives Colorado an additional House seat. The plan, which is final, protects the five incumbents, three Democrats and two Republicans, and puts a new sixth district in the predominantly Republican suburbs west and south of Denver.
The judges got into redistricting because Democratic Gov. Richard Lamm kept vetoing the plans drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature. They would have split Pueblo, the heart of Democrat Ray Kogovsek's district, and put a lot of conservative rural areas in the western end of the state in Democrat Tim Wirth's district.
That Old Gang of Mine: The team that helped elect Gov. Thomas Kean (R) in New Jersey last fall is at it again in neighboring New York. Robert Teeter, the national Republican Party pollster, and Washington political consultants John Deardourff and Roger Stone are working for state comptroller Edward C. Regan, who is running for the Republican and Conservative Party nominations for governor.
Regan, the GOP's highest statewide officeholder, will vie for the GOP nomination with former state chairman Richard Rosenbaum, whose chief stategist is John Sears, a good friend of Stone's. Sears was with Ronald Reagan for one and a half of his two presidential campaigns--he was fired on the day of the 1980 New Hampshire primary.
Musical Chairs: President Reagan named Lee Atwater, who ran his 1980 South Carolina primary and was Strom Thurmond's campaign manager in 1978, to be his White House deputy assistant for political affairs. Atwater, who has been working on southern regional political matters for the White House, replaces Ed Rollins, who replaced Lyn Nofziger. Nofziger, who quit the White House to go back into private consulting, has signed on to advise Lt. Gov. Mike Curb, who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in California.
Blessed and Not-so-Blessed Events: Richard F. Celeste, former lieutenant governor of Ohio and director of the Peace Corps, who narrowly lost his gubernatorial race to Gov. James Rhodes in 1978, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Ohio . . . Jeffrey Bell, who in 1975 drafted Ronald Reagan's first proposal to turn federal programs, $90 billion worth, back to the states, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey that may be vacated by Democrat Harrison A. (Pete) Williams Jr.; Bell ran against Bill Bradley in 1978 . . . Philip Winn, assistant secretary for housing and urban development, is resigning and will announce his candidacy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Colorado . . . former governor Ken Curtis (D) of Maine, who suffered a heart attack in December, has decided not to challenge Sen. George J. Mitchell in the senatorial primary, saying that the polls showed them neck-and-neck and it would be "divisive."
Long John Silver (and Gold and Paper): Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.) has an explanation for high interest rates. The 5-foot-8 Baker told the Republican National Committee that he was talking to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker the other day, "and it suddenly occurred to me that if you're 6 foot 7 inches tall, as he is, maybe 16 percent doesn't look so high." After the laugh, Baker added: "It convinced me even more that the country needs shorter leaders."
Is The Mother's Milk of Politics Turning Sour? In a speech before the Columbia University Law School, Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals said that U.S. Supreme Court decisions allowing unlimited campaign spending by political candidates are not protection of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech, as the justices contend. Instead, Wright said, "the court has given protection to the polluting effect of money in election campaigns."
The new political technology of television, direct mail and high-priced campaign consultants has put an increased premium on money in politics, Wright said. The result is that inequality in this country is aggravated, he contended, because the rich and powerful are pouring money into campaigns and enjoying political influence in return. The court has a "tragic misconception of money as speech" and the overwhelming power of big money is the equivalent of "the loudmouth and long-talker at the town meeting," he said.