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Monday, July 25, 2011

 

What the Commission Giveth, Others Taketh Away

The lines now appear in their final form.  Still officially unreleased, but for most candidates and incumbents the writing is on the wall and they know exactly where their seats are going to be.  And so, as with the first release of draft lines, this period finds us again witnessing the jockeying for once-in-a-lifetime Congressional campaigns.  And unlike years past, there seems to be little deference to incumbents or big-named candidates.

In San Diego, freshman Senator Juan Vargas, already a candidate for Congress in 2012, finds former Senator Denise Ducheny exploring a bid.  It could be another bruising fight between him and a prominent Latina – and Ducheny may be looking at last year’s campaign against Mary Salas for a sense of what could be headed her way.  (The Union Trib suggests this could be a two-round fight given the open primary, but in 2010 the top vote getter wasn’t Salas or Vargas, but Brian Hendry.  Had the race been run under Prop 14 rules it still would have been a Dem vs. Rep General)

In Los Angeles, the commissioner’s Kleenex hasn’t even dried, yet one of the African American seats the commission fought hard to protect could be in jeopardy.  Assemblyman Isadore Hall is in, and Laura Richardson has announced that she will move back into the district from her Long Beach home to challenge him, and now newly elected Janice Hahn is reminding people that SHE is the incumbent based on her residence in San Pedro.  Could the commission lines have cut it too close when they dropped African American Voting Age Population in this district by 2%?  Could the Hahn legacy survive a campaign to eliminate an African American seat?  African American leaders are already sending around an email claiming that she is trying to “disrespect, fool, dupe and trick the Black community.”  This thing could get more ink in the LA Times than the Berman/Sherman contest!

The drama, of course, isn’t limited to Democrats.  A group of prominent Republicans are going to have a bit of a shove fest in Orange County where Miller, Royce Campbell and Rohrabacher are looking at three seats between them – and one newcomer, Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson is throwing his hat into the very tightly packed ring.

These battles will officially take shape in the coming week as the commission votes on Friday to complete their plans and place them on the August 15th agenda.  If you didn’t get your city unified or the congressional district you want, then you’re going to have to wait until 2021.  During the two intervening weeks the public can officially pound sand, and the commission will listen, but but they can't hear you... the final vote will be an up or down… no changes… no way.

Of course, if you’re looking for drama beyond August 15th, you could just turn your attention to local redistricting where places like Sacramento are just now turning up the heat.

State/Federal

With reshaped congressional district, Santa Cruz reunified in eyes of redistricting commission
MercuryNews.com
Santa Cruz appears to be politically reunified after a citizen-led state redistricting commission reversed course over the weekend and proposed keeping the city in one congressional district. Paul Mitchell, founder of Redistricting Partners, said the move was a tricky switch that included changing the borders of four districts while avoiding cleaving ethnic communities in the south and east bay. He said Schaller and the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council called his firm just in time to make the switch.

California redistricting panel puts finishing touches on new maps
The Sacramento Bee
In the Assembly, there were more swing districts, about a half-dozen, and less certainty for gains by either party. Republicans could hold the current partisan line, 52-28, or either party could snatch or lose a seat, analysts said. "I don't think it's likely that (Democrats) are going to get two-thirds in the Assembly," said Paul Mitchell of Redistricting Partners.

Multi-racial coalition relieved by latest redistricting map
Intersections South LA
There were accusations of racial segregation, because the proposed map would have cut out key African-American and Latino neighborhoods creating a white majority district. This prompted members of several community organizations to form a multi-racial coalition to present a united front in the battle to keep the 33rd District in its current form. Their efforts paid off.

Will Ducheny and Vargas face off for San Diego Congress seat?
The Sacramento Bee
Former Democratic Sen. Denise Ducheny is considering a run for an expected vacant congressional seat in the San Diego area, setting the stage for a primary battle against another state legislator from San Diego -- Sen. Juan Vargas.

Vote set on letter to protest redistricting
Redding.com
Shasta County supervisors may vote today to send a letter, drafted at Sen. Doug LaMalfa's office, opposing a state redistricting plan that would bar him from representing Shasta County. But board Chairman Les Baugh said the letter, whose template came from Brenda Haynes, a field representative for the Richvale Republican, is mainly about keeping Shasta County grouped with other counties with the same concerns.

O.C. redistricting could be subject of lawsuit
The Orange County Register
The state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission is gearing up for legal challenges, and one such lawsuit could target the division of Little Saigon into two congressional district. What the commission is calling “final maps” are now scheduled to be unveiled July 29, with Aug. 15 the deadline for commission certification

Jeanne Raya Failed to Reveal Donations
CalWatchdog
A second member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission,  Jeanne Raya, failed to disclose financial contributions made within the past 18 months to a state political campaign committee, according to documents reviewed by CalWatchDog.com. Ten days ago, CalWatchdog.com first reported Commissioner Gabino Aguirre’s failure to disclose three campaign contributions, one of which was made nine days after the State Auditor completed its background investigation.

From the Twitterverse

@CalPoliticsRSS California Politics-Progress Report: Redistricting Maps Head Towards a Finished Product http://dlvr.it/cl37w

@mayorcabaldon Christopher Cabaldon-sheedy/camp using a disgustingly fake character assassination as cover for a self-serving redistricting map they drafted behind closed doors

@MontereyHerald Monterey Herald-Redistricting creates segregation http://bit.ly/ojn5Da

@devinlavelle-Council appears prepared to undermine their own redistricting process-http://devinlavelle.com/2011/07/27/when-four-maps-is-not-enough/

Local

Redistricting meeting sees new maps, accusations
Sacramento Press
The redistricting process became more complicated at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting as new maps were introduced and ethics accusations leveled. Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy called the integrity of the Citizens Advisory Redistricting Committee into question after finding out one of the committee members anonymously submitted a map.

Sacramento councilwoman, union leader bash remap panel's work

The Sacramento Bee
Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy said "there is a taint" on the Redistricting Citizens Advisory Committee after it was revealed that one of the four maps the panel recommended for the council's consideration was submitted anonymously by a committee member. A few minutes later, Bill Camp, the head of the Central Labor Council who served on the committee and was appointed by Sheedy, said the committee had been "conned" and "lied to," and that the anonymous map "poisoned" the process.

Contra Costa Supes to engage with public over proposed redistricting maps
Martinez News Gazette
There are four proposed alternatives; one has Martinez remaining within Gail Uilkema’s District 2 but three call for shifting the city into District 5, a seat held by Federal Glover since 2000. Since California Election Code requires each of Contra Costa’s five supervisorial districts to encompass roughly an equal number of residents, the district lines are being redrawn now that the 2010 U.S. Census is completed and population figures reveal large shifts in distribution of the county’s 1,049,025 residents.

Board of Supervisors hears reactions to redistricting plans
Visalia Times-Delta
Dinuba officials told Tulare County Supervisors Tuesday what they think of three maps showing suggested ways to reorganize the county's five voting districts. "Good news for Dinuba, it gets to keep Steve Worthley," in all three maps, Dinuba Mayor Mike Smith said of the District 4 supervisor, who lives in his city.

City Council should choose from panel's redistricting maps
The Sacramento Bee
If the Sacramento City Council does not select one of the four maps put forward by its redistricting advisory committee as the basis of new council district boundaries, it will have wasted the time and energy of many city residents.

Asians Didn't Get What They Wanted in Redistricting
VoiceOfSanDiego.org
For a year, the Filipina former school board member led the charge to draw a new, ninth City Council district with the largest possible Asian population. But last week, the Redistricting Commission adopted a district that fell short of what Lee and other Asian leaders wanted. Allen Chan, a doctor and restaurant owner who helped organize the coalition of Asian leaders, said the group is preparing a lawsuit to challenge the commission's plan.

Supervisors adopt new redistricting plan
Contra Costa Times
Butte County supervisors today adopted the redistricting plan that won preliminary approval two weeks ago. When the proposal won preliminary approval during the July 12th meeting, Supervisor Steve Lambert and Chico Supervisor Maureen Kirk opposed what's called Option 4. Today Lambert joined the majority in voting for the plan, leaving Kirk as the only no.

County mulls redistricting plan
The Herald
On Tuesday, a split board signaled its intent by a 3-2 vote to approve the proposed plan, but only after hiring its own voting rights expert to evaluate it. The county will continue discussions with Salinas city officials about possible alternative redistricting plans. If the analysis suggests the proposed plan is vulnerable to legal challenge, the board could convene a special meeting to consider possible changes.

Redistricting commission inches closer to forming districts
Santa Monica Daily Press
As of the latest map, commissioners are no longer considering the division of the city, and Malibu is included in the new district. That last not only pleases City Hall, but also the Santa Monica-Malibu School District, whose board considered with some trepidation the consequences of splitting the district between two state senators.

Supervisors disagree on redistricting proposals; discussion to continue Aug. 2
Lake County News
The Board of Supervisors' first discussion on proposals for new boundaries for supervisorial districts became heated on Tuesday, as board members argued about where the new lines should be and how best to minimize the impact on the communities around the county. The board discussed the matter for close to an hour and 15 minutes before continuing it to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at which time it's expected a full board will be in attendance.

Solano County approves new district lines
Times-Herald
Solano County's old supervisorial district lines are out and the new ones are in, pending final approval of an ordinance introduced Tuesday by the board of supervisors. Solano is moving toward the end of the redistricting process, initiated as a result of the 2010 census that showed the county population grew to 413,334 people.

One Basin, one county district?
Hi-Desert Star
The entire Morongo Basin is likely to find itself in a single supervisorial district under the county’s redistricting plan, which is still under way. Currently, the Basin is represented by two districts — the 3rd District, which encompasses most of the western half up to Twentynine Palms — and the 1st District, which includes the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and a large rural area east of Twentynine Palms.

Two Sacramento County supervisors split on remap option
The Sacramento Bee
The dispute came as supervisors discussed five proposed maps drawn for the board's five supervisorial districts by the county's Department of Voter Registration and Elections and a new map by a Rancho Cordova resident. Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan is opposed to a map favored by Supervisor Susan Peters. MacGlashan and Peters will be up for re-election in April.

Local cities to retain same supervisors
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Inland Valley cities in Los Angeles County are expected to again be split into three different supervisorial districts for the coming decade, based on the recommended plan for redrawing electoral boundaries. The five cities will be divided among the 1st District of Gloria Molina (Pomona), the 4th District of Don Knabe (Diamond Bar), and the 5th District of Michael Antonovich (Claremont, La Verne and San Dimas).

American Canyon still not happy with redistricting commission
Times-Herald
This city's all-out effort to convince state redistricting commissioners to keep Napa County whole may have worked, but now the county appears separated from most of the rest of the wine country, local officials said Tuesday.