Governor Says Yes to Prop. 93 UPDATED

From Jordan Rau’s article in the Los Angeles Times:

…his endorsement conflicts with his original view on term limits, as well as with comments he made throughout last year that he would support changes to the restrictions only if a measure were also placed on the ballot to strip lawmakers of the power to draw their own districts.
Tony Quinn, a retired Republican consultant, called the governor’s support for the proposition “a sign of weakness,” because Democratic leaders did not meet his demand to place a redistricting measure on the ballot.”If this is a quid pro quo for healthcare, which every single Republican in the Legislature opposed, this is going to only make them more alienated and make it more difficult to get a long-term budget solution,” Quinn said, alluding to Republicans’ ability to block a state budget deal. “For him to further appear to be so willing to pander to the Sacramento establishment, it certainly undercuts the image he ran on five years ago.”

Governor Schwarzenegger’s own words on the matter are also printed in the Los Angeles Times:

We need redistricting reform to make the political system more competitive and more representative of the citizens of California. We need campaign finance reform to limit the influence of money in politics, and it is time to reform legislative term limits.
When Proposition 93 was first introduced, I said I would not support it without a companion redistricting measure. Though some progress was made last year on that issue, we have not been able to agree on a redistricting measure in the Legislature; I’m supporting a proposal that was drafted by reform allies including AARP, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters. But Proposition 93 is good public policy irrespective of redistricting, and on its own, it will go a long way toward improving the quality of state government in California.The reform of term limits — along with campaign financing and redistricting — will create fundamental and positive change in Sacramento.

See also Jim Sanders and Dan Smith’s article in the Sacramento Bee:

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, said Schwarzenegger’s endorsement is likely to undercut GOP efforts to revise redistricting by having an independent commission, rather than lawmakers, draw legislative districts.”It’s puzzling to me,” DeVore said of Schwarzenegger’s decision. “It seems to me to be a reward for serial incompetence.”[The governor’s communications director Adam] Mendelsohn said that, ideally, Schwarzenegger wanted voters to be presented with term limits and redistricting measures on the same ballot. Reform is needed in both areas, Mendelsohn said.The reality, however, is that only the term limits measure is on the Feb. 5 ballot – and Schwarzenegger does not want to oppose one good policy while waiting for another, Mendelsohn said.So Schwarzenegger is endorsing Proposition 93 and is chairing a separate campaign to qualify a redistricting measure for the November ballot.

“As the governor states in his op-ed, the best thing you can do for the people of California is to pass both term limits reform and redistricting reform,” Mendelsohn said. “And we’re in a position to do that by November.”

The San Francisco Chronicle runs Steve Lawrence’s AP report:

Schwarzenegger has not previously taken a position on Proposition 93, but he has said several times that he wanted a change in term limits linked to a measure that would strip lawmakers of the power to redraw their own legislative districts after each national census.Last February, Schwarzenegger said he would not support a term limits measure if it was on the ballot without an accompanying redistricting proposal: “Part of (a political reform package) could be term limits. But just to be out there by itself, I don’t support that,” he said then.

Schwarzenegger attempted to convince voters in 2005 to give that power to a commission made up of retired judges, saying it was a conflict of interest for lawmakers to draw their own districts. But voters soundly rejected the proposal, Proposition 77.

After the election, Nunez and Perata promised to seek redistricting reform but never followed through.

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