Redistricting Roundup

From another “I told you so” editorial, this time from the Visalia Times-Delta:

Proposition 93 ought to have been paired with a measure that would set an independent body to draw district boundaries for elections.

In 2002, when lawmakers last adjusted district boundaries for the Legislature and Congress to reflect the results of the 2000 Census, leaders of both parties agreed to a cozy deal in which they drew lines that were comfortably weighted to one or the other party. The plan worked: Incumbents in the Legislature and Congress are nearly guaranteed reelection. If it weren’t for term limits, legislators would be elected for life.

When districts are drawn so one-sidedly, as much as 75 percent registered in one party, for instance, it does more than simply guarantee the election of the candidate from that party. It also discourages anyone from running against the incumbent from the other party. The two major parties don’t bother to offer support or financing to anyone in their own party who is courageous or foolish enough to run against those odds. Ask any Democrat in Tulare County who has run for state Senate or Assembly or for Congress in the past eight years. The state Democratic Party offers its best wishes and nothing else.

That’s bad for Democrats in Tulare County, certainly. It’s bad for Republicans in Santa Clara County, too. But it’s worse for the voters of California: They will never get a true choice of candidates as long as the two parties cooperate on setting up “safe” seats for each other.

Via San Joaquin Valleyfornia blog.

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