Pasadena Star-News Endorses Reform

The Pasadena Star-News has an opinion article supporting the Common Cause led reform effort. One section directly counters Dan Walters’ recent article:

[The commission] sounds better to us than earlier proposals that always fell back on the idea of a so-called “panel of retired judges” who would do the cartography. Judges, in our experience, tend to be at least as political as the rest of us – and oftentimes more so. Many of them have to run for office; others are appointed by politicians.

Walters had suggested the courts draw the lines, but this highlights the fact that Judges are often tied politically to a party or legislator that could influence the outcome. However another section acknowledges Walters’ two other issues with the proposal:

…finding people who are savvy enough to do the work who simultaneously are politically disinterested is not just going to be hard – it will be impossible.And congressional districts were purposely left out of the proposal on the theory that powerful members of Congress would use their large campaign warchests to defeat the fairness efforts.

But nothing’s perfect – certainly not the system we currently have. We’ll look forward to supporting the Common Cause proposal when it comes before voters. And then we’ll hope the powers that be aren’t able to confuse voters about the ballot issue’s intent and thus – once again – bring down an effort to fairly create California’s legislative map.

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