Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Cheese, Please

Last week, I noted that the redistricting maps were completed, and state Republicans were unhappy with the results of the work done by a citizens' commission, mainly because the new districts were drawn sensibly and sanely, rather than with an eye to protecting incumbents. Yesterday, those final maps were approved by the commission and officially registered by the Secretary of State. The Republican whines turned to howls of protests laced with ugly threats.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission consists of five Democrats, five Republicans and four unaffiliated members. But state GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro characterized the approved boundaries as "unfair if not unconstitutional." ...

A referendum drive to overturn the state Senate lines is being led by state Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) and Orange County businesswoman Julie Vandermost through a committee called Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting, according to Republican consultant Dave Gilliard. They may also launch a referendum on the congressional boundaries, according to Gilliard.

To be fair, the Republicans aren't the only ones unhappy with the new district maps. Some Latino groups feel the new lines dilute Latino voting power and are also considering legal action. What both blocs are conveniently ignoring is that the commission was given the task of drawing districts that conform to common sense and to geography; that was the whole point of taking the task away from state legislature, which preferred the gerrymandering of districts to protect themselves.

The Republicans, however, are making the most noise with the threat of an initiative on the issue. Putting the issue on the ballot will have the effect of rolling back the redistricting until after the 2012 election, which is clearly what their protest is all about. Rather than doing the hard work of persuading the voters that their agenda is more appropriate for California than the Democrats', they'll settle for the old boundaries.

You'd think the GOP would take notice of the shellacking they took in the 2010 elections and change their mode of operations. Sadly, you'd be wrong. And the entire state is going to suffer for it.



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