Ben van der Meer has an interesting piece in the Modesto Bee, explaining the need for redistricting reform in California:
If you need to know why redistricting reform matters, take a look at next month’s primary ballot.
Around the Northern San Joaquin Valley, there isn’t a single contested seat in any of the party races. What’s more, many politicians face only token or no opposition in November.
Political districts have been drawn to favor whoever’s in power, and that benefits … well, whoever’s in power.
Meer goes on to explain the differences between the two proposals headed for the ballot and the dangers of having multiple redistricting proposals go to the voters:
Ex-Assembly Speaker Fabian NÃºÃ±ez has announced plans for his own redistricting ballot measure (with 17 members picked by the Legislature), ethics reform and, oh yeah, tweaks to term limits.
Voters may recall that attempted reform of the last item — partly because it would have benefited NÃºÃ±ez — took a trouncing at the polls in February.
Feng said she’s concerned that NÃºÃ±ez’s measure will steal thunder from her group’s and possibly confuse voters into rejecting both measures, leaving redistricting in the hands of politicians.