A Defense of those Defending Reform

John A. Smith has a posting at the California Progress Report defending Keeley and Panetta in their support of redistricting reform.

Recently, a political consultant attacked Fred Keeley and Leon Panetta for their position in favor of the Independent Redistricting initiative. Whether you like the initiative or not, Keeley and Panetta are outstanding former lawmakers who know firsthand how our redistricting process is broken.Call it a sound bite if you like, but it’s true: lawmakers drawing their own districts is a conflict of interest. Among the people defending this broken system most aggressively are those who benefit most from the status quo: key political staff. Consultants who encourage support of the current system are protecting their clients and elected bosses, which allows them to protect their jobs. It is, after all, how they make their living. We shouldn’t expect anything different, but please let’s not look to these very talented people to guide our judgment on an issue in which they have a direct, personal financial interest.

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