George Skelton in the LA Times has an article in which he looks at the political timing of the reform initiative. One interesting aspect is to look at what could have happened if the redistricting commission had been in place earlier.
“Democrats whine and moan that they can’t get a two-thirds vote for the budget,” says political analyst Tony Quinn, a redistricting consultant for Republicans in the 1980s. “Why can’t they? They gave it away in 2001 by creating too many safe seats. Democrats would have been better off today — and would be in the future — if independent redistricting were in place.”Quinn says it’s now or never for redistricting reform. There’d be no hope in 2010, one year before the next scheduled gerrymandering. “Democrats will begin to smell the coffee and never want to give up the power.”
The article also includes Schwarzenegger campaigning in favor of reform:
“People complain in America about how set up the system is in Russia,” Schwarzenegger told a group of local officials in Riverside on Tuesday. “Well, what do you think has been happening in California? . . . The system is rigged.”Redistricting is all about getting people to compete and to campaign and to be more in the center. . . . So when they go to Sacramento, it’s easier to get together and to come to an agreement.”