From George Skelton’s column in the Los Angeles Times:
Their original lofty strategy was a winner: Team the term limits measure with redistricting reform that stripped legislators of the power to draw their own districts, an indefensible conflict of interest. Meanwhile, chalk up some significant achievements in 2007: reform healthcare, upgrade waterworks, pass an honestly balanced budget on time. But Democratic leaders arrogantly and timidly reneged on their promise of redistricting reform. And they failed to deliver major accomplishments.
“They could have had term limits on a silver platter, but they got greedy,” says Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant who has worked for redistricting reform. “They could have passed it with both hands tied behind their backs.”
There would not have been much of an opposition campaign if Democratic leaders had produced redistricting reform — rather than bowing to partisan extremists in their caucuses — and had played it straight on the 12-year tweak.
If redistricting ever does get stripped from the Legislature and turned over to an independent commission, Poizner says, then he could support altering term limits. “I am always open to ideas about how to make term limits work better.”
From the Los Angeles Times editorial page:
You also broke faith with voters by not giving them redistricting reform. Mr. Speaker, you said you would do your best to pair term-limits reform with a ballot measure to strip you and your colleagues of the power to draw your own district lines, but you didn’t follow through. Did you think voters would forget? Did you think they wouldn’t notice?
From Steve Wiegand’s column in the Sacramento Bee:
But an early presidential primary would be ideal. To get Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to go along, they pledged to tie term limits changes to redistricting reform.
But once the Feb. 5 special primary was set, Democratic legislative leaders came down with amnesia when it came to redistricting.
It took the amnesia bug a bit longer to bite the governor. First, Schwarzenegger said he wouldn’t support term limits changes without redistricting.
But in mid-January, the guv executed an Olympic-class flip-flop. Apparently coming to the sudden realization that he was going to be facing the state’s major budget woes while three of the four legislative leaders were being transformed into lame ducks, Schwarzenegger maintained with a straight face that “Proposition 93 is good public policy irrespective of redistricting.”
From Steve Lawrence’s AP report in the Modesto Bee:
Perata and Ackerman blamed the proposition’s defeat on the failure of lawmakers to put a measure on the same ballot taking away their ability to draw their districts, a power critics labeled a conflict of interest.”
If you want to try to solve the gridlock issue in Sacramento you need (redistricting) and term limit modification, not just one,” said Ackerman, who opposed Proposition 93. “We thought if we had the total package … we could get it through.”
From an L.A. Daily News editorial:
They even had Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who flip-flopped and endorsed Proposition 93, even though he previously said he wouldn’t support the measure unless it were tied to redistricting reform…on Tuesday, the truth won out.
From Dan Walters’ column in the Sacramento Bee:
When the measure was proposed a year ago, Schwarzenegger said he wouldn’t support it unless it was accompanied by legislative redistricting reform, but a couple of weeks before the election, he reversed himself and endorsed the measure, praising his working relationship with legislative leaders.
“It’s time for new leadership, for fresh blood in the Legislature,” [Steve Poizner] declared Wednesday. And he also indicated that he’ll launch another crusade â€“redistricting reform â€“ although he has not yet endorsed a pending measure that Schwarzenegger is touting for the November ballot.
Juliet Williams AP report in the San Jose Mercury News says the loss of 93 sets up Poizner’s run for governor:
Poizner’s campaign against Proposition 93 was triggered by his own outrage after legislators backtracked on a promise to tie any changes in term limits to redistricting reform. California Republicans have long been frustrated with gerrymandered districts that benefit Democrats.”
When the Legislature went back on their promise to combine both redistricting with term limits, I think they felt betrayed,” Hoffenblum said.
Tim Herdt points out in his Ventura County Star column that 93’s defeat will lead to a knock down, dragout fight in state senator Tom McClintock’s district:
The 19th Senate District includes Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura, Ojai, most of Santa Barbara County and a small slice of Santa Clarita. It was designed during the 2001 redistricting to favor a Republican, but the GOP advantage was relatively slight from the outset and has diminished over time.
Competition, rare in California’s gerrymandered political world, can be a wonderful thing. The candidates will have to be responsive, will have to appeal to a much broader segment of the electorate than just their respective ideological bases, will have to engage voters, and will be well advised wage issue-oriented, positive campaigns.