Redistricting Roundup

The Los Angeles Times editorial page is happy California is finally getting some love due to our earlier primary. Add their editorial to the wave of press on the subject (and read Dr. Pitney’s “Attention Must Be Paid” post). Although the change in date was “all good,” the Times says:

We were hoping for still more. We assumed that Tuesday’s ballot would also include a measure yanking away from Nuñez, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) and everyone else in elected office the power to draw their own district lines. They flaked on us.But we got two out of three, and the third will come soon enough: Voters here will likely get a redistricting reform measure in November.

Jennifer Steinhauer writes up tomorrow’s ballot measures for the New York Times:

Mr. Schwarzenegger has agreed to support the measure [Proposition 93] if lawmakers back his proposal to create a commission to develop plans to redraw legislative district lines, a subject of a failed ballot initiative in 2005. A redistricting proposition will almost certainly be on the ballot in November, as three groups are cobbling together proposals now to amend the process.

From Steve Lawrence’s AP report, as it appeared in the San Jose Mercury News:

The Senate’s minority leader, Dick Ackerman of Tustin, wasn’t on that list. But he said he also opposed the proposition because it was not coupled with a measure stripping lawmakers of the power to draw legislative and congressional districts.That’s been a long-sought goal of the GOP, which has twice been on the losing end of redistricting done by a Democratic-dominated Legislature since 1960.”

Without having both of those (redistricting and term limits reforms), you aren’t going to solve the problems we have in California,” Ackerman said. “Just doing it piecemeal doesn’t do it.”

From Edward Sifuentes’ article in the North County Times:

Freshman Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, said he opposes the proposition in part because he would have preferred that term limits reform was accompanied with redistricting.”We would like to have fair, redrawn districts,” Garrick said.Two years ago, lawmakers had hoped to link term limits reform, which Democrats wanted, to redistricting, which Republicans wanted. But Democrats, who control the Legislature, dropped the efforts to include redistricting.

The state Republican Party’s chairman, Ron Nehring, issued a statement last month opposing the measure, saying the GOP wants “competitive districts and legislators frequently returning to the private sector to live under the laws they impose on their fellow Californians.”
Tim Hodson, executive director of the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University, said there is good and bad in the measure.
Others, such as Sen. Wyland, disagree. He said government can be improved by redistricting reform that creates more competitive districts and term limits reform that doesn’t include current lawmakers.

“Everyone has to make their own choices,” Wyland said. Supporters of the measure, such as Sen. Battin, are “capable and the people would be well served if they could continue in office. For me, the larger issue is governance, democracy and the state.”

Meanwhile, the North County Times editorial page says of Prop. 93:

We look forward to a term limits reform bill that includes a plan for sensible redistricting that will help introduce real competition into legislative contests.

The Mercury News reiterates:

Expanding term limits without adopting redistricting reform will throw a system that favors incumbents further out of balance.

Jamie Court’s reason #15 of “93 reasons to oppose Prop 93 and buck the Arnold-Gray campaign for cleaner government” over at the Huffington Post is that “Politicians failed to keep promises on redistricting reform.”

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