News and Tribune


July 22, 2013

HOWEY: New districts change Congressional rhetoric



It’s worth noting that since 1997, Stutzman's Howe, Ind., farm has received just under $180,000 in federal farm subsidies.

In the original farm bill, Republicans wanted to cut SNAP funding by $20 billion over the next decade, citing enrollment of 47 million as too high, with many coming on to the rolls via other programs. 

It comes as recent studies show 80,000 kids in Central Indiana face hunger. In 2011, a Map the Meal Gap study showed that 25 percent of kids in Vigo County faced hunger, along with 28 percent in Fayette County.

So this battle over food stamps comes with a persistent 8 percent jobless rate in Indiana since 2008.

It also comes as Indiana congressional maps drawn in 2011 have created much more conservative and whiter districts.  Most of the Hoosier minorities have been pushed into Rep. Visclosky's 1st CD (71.6 percent white, 20 percent black, 13.8 percent Hispanic) and Andre Carson's 7th (60.2 percent white, 28.8 percent black, 9.9 percent Hispanic). 

The rest of the districts are all at least 85 percent white, topped out by the 6th CD which is 94 percent white, followed by the 9th at 92.4 percent and the 8th at 92.5 percent.

And district makeup and competitiveness changes behavior.


— Brian Howey publishes at Find him on Twitter @hwypol.

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