The only chance of upgrading the overall quality of our state representatives and making them more accountable to their constituents is through redistricting reform that bars politicians from choosing their own voters. Making districts more competitive will force candidates to actively listen to the concerns of the folks who send them to Sacramento.
From Hannah-Beth Jackson and the Speak Out California Team:
With term limits reform now off the table, the scuttlebutt is that it will only reemerge if it is coupled with redistricting reform. Ever-ready for reform, Governor Schwarzenegger has announced he will support a redistricting reform initiative if it qualifies for the ballot.
Here’s a more practical redistricting mention from Hank Shaw’s blog:
Congress Daily had a piece recently on where the enviros, still feeling stucky after helping defeat Tracy Rep. Richard Pombo in 2006, might focus their efforts in 2008. For the moment, one place they are not looking at is at the man who beat Pombo, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.
“We’re not actually convinced that he is vulnerable and needs a particularly large lift from the community,” The League of Conservation Voters’ Tony Massaro told Congress Daily, pointing out that McNerney benefits from a 2001 redistricting that stretches his district into the liberal (Huh? Contra Costa ain’t liberal, last I checked. – Hank) eastern San Francisco Bay. McNerney has nearly twice the cash on hand as his Republican challenger — former California Assemblyman Dean Andal — but Republicans are optimistic.”