Maviglio v. The Press

The Rose Report’s first comment, received last week, is from Steve Maviglio, deputy chief of staff for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and writer over at the California Majority Report, in response to Wednesday’s post.

Asking the Rose Institute about redistricting is like asking the Tobacco Institute about smoking.

Sure, Steve . . . let’s see . . . the Tobacco Institute was a lobbying group for the tobacco industry that tried to stop legislation that hurt the tobbaco industry while deceiving people about the health risks caused by smoking. Since 1973, the Rose Institute has conducted research and public education outreach on redistricting reform, analyzing proposed reforms and revealing how redistricting works to minorities and other groups in an effort to keep the democratic process, well, democratic. This helps keeps lawmakers accountable to the people. What were we talking about, again?

I agree with my boss, too. And I agree with Diaz that redistricting reform is needed. And that’s what I wrote.

Well, you said that “the system we have in place is working in the Bay Area.” Your boss said that “[t]he current system is indefensible.”

The point of the post is that redistricting is just one element in improving legislative responsiveness and attracting quality candidates. Far more important is campaign finance reform, but, of course that wouldn’t interest you because it flies in the face of your “tortured logic” on redistricting.

I’m not sure if these priorities are reflected very well in your boss’ record. Googling Fabian Nunez and redistricting reveals that the Speaker has talked a lot about the importance of redistricting reform. Google Fabian Nunez and campaign finance and . . . well, let’s just say I don’t see too many proposals for reform in the results.

Take a look at an electoral map at the Secretary of State’s website and you’ll see why the Bay Area is solidly Democratic. The data that 2001’s redistricting was based was a long time ago, politically speaking.

I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t describe the Bay Area as a whole as solidly democratic, either now or in the late 90’s.

Of course, this sort of interchange is merely to play the back and forth game of spin that Maviglio and others on both sides of the aisle get paid to play. What’s really going on here is that Maviglio’s boss and the Democratic leadership are widely understood to have broken their promises when it comes to redistricting reform, and this has put Maviglio and others on the defensive in the midst of a  surge of bad press. Hence the snide attack on the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial page, etc.

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