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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One day you're in.   And the next day, you're out.

For the past several days the commission has been strutting their maps out on the runway, revising on the fly, and sending their consultants back to the drawing board.  It has been head-spinning for many of the elected officials, staff and consultants who have been seeing maps that would one day give them a congressional seat, and the next, give them nothing. 

Some of the last minute saves include: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez who was drawn into a Republican congressional seat over the weekend, but rescued in round two; Senator Bill Emmerson, who was drawn in with Senator Joel Anderson in round one, then in the second pass given a dream seat that unifies his district with his old voter base in Redlands; and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, who was split off with south Long Beach into an Orange County Republican seat, but who now must be giddy with the reunification of The LBC in round two.  Of course, for each of these "saves" there is someone else who got robbed... but we don't want to name names... Darrell Issa.

Additionally, with yesterday’s maps showing just one San Francisco senate district, the San Francisco Examiner says the city will be thrown into chaos.  Now, let’s be real… does getting to chaos in SF require a “throw” or just a gentle nudge?

Today the commission is taking a breather from all this fun, set to return Thursday and Friday for a vote on first draft maps and, according to the agenda, a “Possible Release of Draft Maps.”

The release of the draft maps will require a 9-vote super majority and a majority of each party, including the independent commissioners.   A scheduled press conference at the Capitol on Friday should put a little pressure on them to get that vote done.

Then get prepared for the real spectacle!

State

Redrawing Congressional Districts in California
Which Way, LA?, KCRW
California voters demanded that an independent commission re-draw the boundaries for Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.  New maps will be released on Friday.  Will Democrats increase their majorities?  Will moderates of both parties have a better chance? We get a preview.  Warren Olney interviews Dan Walters and Paul Mitchell.

California Democrats hope new district maps produce budget votes
Sacramento Bee
To secure Republican votes for the state budget, Democrats have enlisted business leaders, police officers and teachers.

California Congressional Map May Cut Out the Sanchez Sisters
Bloomberg News
Redrawing the lines of congressional districts in California could end the terms of legislative sisters Linda Sanchez and Loretta Sanchez, and still leave the nation's most-populous state with 35 Democrats in the House of Representatives, one more than it has now.

Paul Mitchell, a Democratic consultant in Sacramento who has studied draft maps on the website of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, said 10 of the state's 53 House members won't be back in Washington after the November 2012 election.

Rep. Sanchez regains turf in redistricting draft
OC Register
Amid growing scrutiny of a draft plan for the state’s congressional redistricting, an updated draft released today restores a key chunk of Rep. Loretta Sanchez‘s Democratic Latino district. That district had been virtually eliminated in a previous draft.

New California legislative districts make good on promise of reform
Sacramento Bee
When voters were asked to create an independent redistricting commission, they were told that it would end self-serving gerrymanders secretly drafted in the Capitol's back rooms and thus make elections less predictable and more meaningful.

As Redistricting Panel works, Legislature watches
Sacramento Bee
The California Legislature continues to spend public funds on redistricting even though voters have stripped lawmakers of their authority to draw new legislative and congressional districts every decade.  The spending involves monitoring the state's new redistricting commission, analyzing its documents, researching legal issues that arise, and responding to any questions from lawmakers or requests for information from the fledgling panel.

Redistricting Commission: The Blind Squirrel finds a Nut
Fox & Hounds
Well, they say even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. No one has been more critical of the new Citizens Redistricting Commission than I have been. But now their first plans are out in “visual” form, with draft maps to be released on June 10. At first glance, the squirrel got its nut.

Redistricting threatens to throw San Francisco politics into chaos
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco will lose power in state government. A portion of The City could be unrepresented in the state Senate for two years. And a host of career politicians’ futures are flailing wildly in the winds of redistricting.

Emmerson: CRC maps put me in San Diego district
San Bernardino Press-Enterprise
Last week's "visualizations" from the Citizens Redistricting Commission sometimes make it hard to see a district's details.

Redistricting panel releases revised “visualizations”
San Bernardino Press-Enterprise
State Sen. Bill Emmerson might be breathing a little easier this morning.

Countdown begins to strike deal on California budget
Sacramento Bee
California lawmakers on Monday kicked off the second half of their legislative session with their toughest issue ahead: resolving the state's remaining $9.6 billion deficit.

Orphan Districts, Fingers, and Curls. Oh my.
Capital Notes, KQED Capitol Radio
For those who haven't been closely following the months long deliberations of California's first independently drawn political maps, and who will only tune in when the draft maps are released this Friday, prepare to be disappointed. Maybe only a little bit. Maybe a lot.

So far, so good for state’s redistricting commission
San Jose Mercury News
When voters were asked to create an independent redistricting commission, they were told that it would end self-serving gerrymanders secretly drafted in the Capitol's backrooms and thus make elections less predictable and more meaningful.

Redistricting turns up heat on Latinos, other minorities
Capitol Weekly
The state’s 2011 redistricting process reached a milestone in late May when the new California Citizens Redistricting Commission completed accepting public testimony before it releases drafts of new lines for the state’s Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts. 

Thompson puzzled by congressional redistricting
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Rep. Mike Thompson says he’s not thinking much about how his congressional district might be reshaped for the 2012 election, but he is wondering about the rationale for a proposed inland district extending from Santa Rosa to the Sierra foothills.

Redistricting could cost North Bay lawmaker her seat
ABC Channel 7 San Francisco
The complex process of redistricting could cost North Bay Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey her seat. A newly-released preliminary map shows her district would essentially disappear, merging with the one above it.

Redraw may toss American Canyon in with Solano County
Napa County Register
When the state’s independent redistricting commission draws new congressional district lines, American Canyon could be separated from the rest of Napa County and thrown in with Vallejo.

Will SF lose a senate seat?
San Francisco Bay Guardian
The new draft lines for state Assembly and Senate seats are out, and it's not good news for San Francisco. It's particularly bad news for Sen. Mark Leno, who could potentially be reapportioned out of a seat.

Indian Americans in Fremont wary of redistricting
San Francisco Chronicle
One benefit of having people who aren't politicians draw new boundaries for California's legislative and congressional districts was supposed to be that it would improve representation for communities of color.

Politically fragmented Berryessa neighborhood longs to be made whole again
San Jose Mercury News
To grasp just how little clout one of San Jose's most politically organized neighborhoods wields in Sacramento, look no further than a new law letting supermarkets give away free samples of booze.

Early congressional redistricting maps show carved up Fresno County
Fresno Bee
Fresno County would be divided among five congressional districts -- and Tulare County three -- according to very early unofficial maps at the California Citizens Redistricting Commission's Web site.

From the Twitterverse

@jasonkinney: Draft districts & potential budget vote make this week Mardi Gras 4 Sac political nerds. Which is why people r yelling "Show us your maps!": David Dreier? He'd be in a 64% Latino CD under commission's "visualization." Gary Miller? In a 49% Asian CD. Good luck.

 @KQED_CapNotes: #Redistricting Comm 2 vote on draft maps Friday using #Prop11 criteria: 9 yes votes (3/5 of Dems, 3/5 of GOP, & 3/4 of independents)

@jimmiller2 How can #redistricting maps be revised when they have not been officially issued?

@Johnnydontlike: Looks like redistricting could do away w/ @LorettaSanchez and her explicit Christmas Cards. I'll miss those cards. Damn!

@NewMajorityCA: Great Quote from Quinn, "For those Republicans who don’t learn how to respond to ethnic voter concerns it will.

@CraigCheslog in educ "town hall" mtg. last Saturday, Joe Simitian speculated redistricting may influence members' votes, even in draft form

@KayeLoren: Has any #calegislator played against type? “New #redistricting will make no difference in my #cabudget vote.” #justasking

@Mattmentos:
It appears that the commission #redistricting maps are already being altered. Sounds like they are succumbing to PR pressure already.

Local

Proposed Council District Maps to be Presented Wednesday
Elk Grove Patch
Redistricting Partners, the consultant hired by the city to referee the potentially-contentious process, held workshops in which any resident could sit down and draw a disrict map for consideration. And draw they did: 27 options were submitted and published on the city's website.

COS starts process for new districts

Visalia Times-Delta
The Sequoias Community College District — which includes most of Tulare and Kings Counties — grew by 22 percent in the last 10 years, from 321,953 to 393,378.  The numbers were compiled by Redistricting Partners, hired by the Community College League of California

Lack of awareness hampers North County participation in redistricting, researchers say
North County Times
North County Latinos lack awareness about redistricting and few appear to be actively participating in the process of drawing new political boundaries, according to the Cal State San Marcos-based National Latino Research Center.

County supervisors settle on new districts
Ventura County Star
After weeks of debate, fine-tuning and a little hand-wringing, Ventura County supervisors on Tuesday settled on a series of boundary shifts to equalize populations of the five supervisors' districts.

Woodland residents don’t want three supervisor districts
Woodland Daily Democrat
Most Woodland residents who attended the Redistricting Advisory Committee meeting Monday say they do not want to have a third supervisor's district in their city.

County Considers Redistricting Proposals
OC Weekly
There's more grumbling about the county redistricting process being voiced by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

7 proposals for Fresno Co. supervisor districts
Fresno Bee
Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson might represent more of Clovis. Or she might represent none of Clovis.

Task force to review possible changes to city’s 7 wards
San Bernardino Sun
As the state looks to redraw its political map, the city may experience some redistricting of its own soon.

National

Democrats See Chance For Payback in 2012
San Francisco Sentinel
Six months ago, one thing seemed certain about the 2012 election: While the White House and the Senate might be up for grabs, the House surely wouldn’t.