Voters First Redistricting Reform Update

Dan Weintraub on Governor Schwarzenegger and Proposition 77:

…Schwarzenegger’s goal was noble: To end a system controlled by political insiders that has helped polarize the Legislature into warring camps of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. With district lines drawn to create safe seats for members of both parties, candidates for the Legislature merely have to win over their party faithful in the primaries and then glide to an easy general election in the fall. Almost no one serving in the Legislature today has ever had to run a campaign appealing to independent voters or independent-minded members of the opposite party.

Now the governor is trying again. After waiting in vain for two years for legislative leaders to make good on their pledge to reform the system themselves, he has endorsed a new measure drafted by a coalition of political reform groups and, possibly, headed for the November ballot.
The measure Panetta and McKernan are backing is flawed. But it would probably be better than the status quo. If you get a chance, sign the petition to put it on the ballot. That would at least give Californians a chance to debate the issue one more time in November.

Bill Cavala (unsuprisingly) attacks Dan’s column and tries to paint the Common Cause, League of Women Voters supported reform initiative as some sort of GOP conspiracy.  Meanwhile, Steve Maviglio trumpets the fact that the State’s Building and Construction Trades Council is against the initiative.  As Shane Goldmacher reported a few days ago, Governor Schwarzenegger gave another 250k to the initiative “bringing his total donations to the cause to $550,000.”

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