Redistricting Roundup

Republican Reps. Devin Nunes of Visalia and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield just got approval from the FEC to “raise cash in $20,000 chunks to oppose” the Voter’s FIRST redistricting reform initiative, as Michael Doyle’s recent Sacramento Bee article reports:

“The threshold question is whether the funds are in connection with an election for federal office,” FEC Chairman Robert D. Lenhard noted in an analysis. Lenhard in his draft written opinion added that the congressional solicitations may be “made only to individuals,” suggesting that deep-pocketed companies, political action committees and unions can’t be solicited by the federal lawmakers. The money can also be raised only for committees that aren’t connected to a federal office.

Rick Hasen points out a CQ Politics article-in-brief about the FEC meeting (as well as the one above).

On the other side of the aisle, Steve Maviglio qualifed his boss’ postion recently, saying, “The Speaker has not said he is opposed to it; he said there’s problems with it.”

See also Jim Boren of the Fresno Bee‘s editorial on the Voter’s FIRST redistricting initiative picked up by Scripps News:

Even if you accept this convoluted process, it’s impossible to accept a system that cuts out Congress for political reasons.

More of Boren’s dismal view of the legislature on the blog of the Fresno Bee here.

Don Frederick of the L.A. Times‘ Top of the Ticket blog, responding to a Michael Gerson column on the GOP and immigration, says:

…the backlash [from Proposition 187] among Latinos paid long-term dividends for the state Democratic Party, as the numbers show.In the immediate aftermath of the ’94 vote, California’s delegation in the U.S. House was evenly split: 27 Democrats, 25 Republicans. Now, Democrats have a solid majority, 34 to 19. Likewise, in the state’s 80-member Assembly, Republicans and Democrats were virtually tied following the ’94 vote. Now, Democrats dominate 48 to 32.

Other factors played key roles in these shifts (not the least of which was Democratic control of the redistricting process). And as several recent studies have shown, the Latino allegiance to the Democratic banner is not set in stone; the state party’s share of the electorate has actually dropped since 1994, as more and more voters register as independents.

Stay tuned: later in the week, the Los Angeles Times promises a debate between Steve Westly and Steve Poizner on redistricting.

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