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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

 

A Redistricting Plan you Can’t Refuse

Claremont McKenna Political Scientist Jack Pitney was quoted this week suggesting that the lessons of redistricting could not be understood by reading the Federalist Papers, but instead by reading The Godfather.

Seeing the litany of political power plays across the country, like a Texas plan that is about to get denied by the Federal Department of Justice, this makes sense.  But it also begs the important question: Who “reads” the Godfather?  To make sense to kids these days Pitney should at least update to the movie, or maybe suggest that people follow The Godfather on twitter.  But, before kids go downloading things from bittorrent.com, be warned... there can be a lot of profanity - we're of course talking about both redistricting, and the movie.

In California we are not Godfather, but Brave New World, according to UC Berkeley.  Of course, Brave New World had a movie version too, but it sucked, except for the stirring performance by the actor from Harold and Maude.  The Mario Puzo and Aldus Huxley dichotomy will be debated at three post-redistricting panels that Redistricting Partners will be participating in this month:

Monday, September 19: Public CEO Webinar

Friday, September 23: Assessing the Redistricting Process, Urban Habitat with Commissioner Connie Galambos Malloy

Friday, September 30: A Brave New World?  California’s Redistricting Experiment, hosted by Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley

Register for these conferences today.  Alphas and Betas will get preferential seating while Deltas and Epsilons will be seated with the Costra Nosta in the back of the room.

State

California Redistricting is a Disaster
California Political Review
Voters approved
the measure because they were tired of the endless backroom political deals
that created circumstances where incumbents were re-elected 99% of the time.
The idea to take the drawing of political districts out of the hands of
politicians and put it into the hands of a non-partisan citizens redistricting
commission was one that was well intentioned, but after watching its
implementation, has fatal flaws. The Commission is unelected and, therefore,
unaccountable to the taxpayers. To dream that politics could have been removed
from something as political as the drawing political districts, well that
turned out to be just a fantasy.

Redrawn Lines Upset South San Francisco, Coast
The Greenlining Institute
South San
Francisco is already split between two supervisorial districts - and now it
could be split between two state Assembly districts and two Senate districts as
well. There’s one neighborhood where the line is drawn just down these small
residential streets, said Mayor Kevin Mullin. You’d think they’d draw lines on
a big street like Hickey or Chestnut [streets], but they’re just randomly drawn
across that neighborhood. It’s kind of frustrating.
This week, Mullin wrote a letter to the
California Redistricting Commission saying South San Francisco would be better
served in a single state Assembly and Senate district.

District lines for Fontana are redrawn at
Congressional, Assembly, and Senate levels

Fontana Herald News
For Fontana,
the recently approved Congressional, Senate and Assembly districts signify
imminent new representation for the next decade, and already some political
figures have jumped to the challenge. Districts were completely redrawn by the
California Citizens Redistricting Commission in response to the 2010 U.S Census
results. The idea is to come as close as possible to the population target of
702,905 for California’s 53 Congressional districts; 931,349 for California’s
40 Senate districts; and 465,674 for California’s 80 Assembly districts.

Power drain for Southern Calif. Jews

Politico
Southern
California has long been home to some of the most influential Jewish members of
Congress. But the region is on the verge of its smallest Jewish congressional delegation
in more than a decade. Nearly half of the seven Southern California Jewish
lawmakers who were elected in 2010 will most likely be out of office by the
time the next Congress begins.

Pete Wilson sinks
San Diego City Beat
But even longtime San Diegans who regard Wilson as a positive political force should be
rolling their eyes at his latest crusade. Not long after the California
Citizens Redistricting Commission (wedrawthelines.ca.gov) approved new district
boundaries for the state’s legislature and congressional delegation, Wilson
endorsed a campaign to have them overturned through a voter referendum. If
Wilson wants to be viewed as a statesman in his old age, he’s made a bad move.
If, on the other hand, he wants to be seen as a bottom-feeding Republican Party
hack: Success!

California Members ‘at War’ Over Redistricting
Roll Call Politics
A debate over how to respond to California’s
new Congressional map has deeply split the state’s GOP delegation and is
pitting two top-ranking Members — Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rules
Chairman David Dreier — against each other in the fight. At issue is whether
Republicans should pursue a referendum to put the new district lines, which
could jeopardize as many as a half-dozen of the 19 GOP-held seats, before
voters.

Latinos Upset With Final CA Political Maps
Minority News
Latino rights groups are speaking out
regarding the California Citizens Redistricting Commission's approval of final redistricting
maps. A challenge was approved earlier this week and could result in lawsuits.
So far no lawsuits have been filed, but Latino civil-rights groups are
analyzing the new maps to determine if there are any violations of the federal
Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Redistricting sparks big-time feuds
Politico
Verbal altercations, charges of backstabbing
and plotting with the enemy, finger-pointing: It might sound like a midday soap
opera, but it’s not. The once-in-a-decade redistricting process hasn’t even
been completed in most states, but it has already torn through congressional
delegations across the country — shredding alliances, dividing parties and
fraying nerves.

New Congressional Districts Sought
Palos Verdes Patch
Activists may begin collecting signatures to
overturn the redistricting plan for the state's congressional districts.
Backers of the referendum need valid signatures equalling 5 percent of the
total votes cast in the 2010 gubernatorial election—or 504,760 signatures
total—by Nov. 13 to qualify it for the ballot, according to the secretary of
state's office.

Talking with Henrietta: The Power of Political Districts
East Palo Alto Today
Redistricting decisions can change the look
of one's political district. They can also change a district's representatives.
On this show, Henrietta and her guests -- Mary McMillan, David Tom, Menlo Park
City Council member Kelly Fergusson and Robert Rubin (who spoke by phone) --
discuss the issues involved in the upcoming redistricting changes that will
affect San Mateo County and the recent redistricting decision that splits Menlo
Park into two congressional districts. Both redistricting decisions involve
their share of controversy.

To understand redistricting, read 'The Godfather'
AP
"Redistricting is politics in the raw," he said. "To understand it, you don't need to read 'The Federalist Papers.' You need to read 'The Godfather.'"

Candidates

Echo Park Resident Eyes New Assembly District Seat
Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch

The new district runs from Silver Lake through Echo Park, and all the way to north to Highland Park and east to City Terrace – merging communities that have changed dramatically over a decade and are likely to do so again.

Anna Eshoo reflects on loss of Belle Haven in redistricting

The Almanac Online

For a few weeks
during the summer of 2011, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission had
redrawn a congressional district border such that the house of Rep. Anna Eshoo,
D-Menlo Park, was about 200 yards outside the district in which she will be
running for re-election in 2012. The commission later expanded the map with the
result that her house was back in what is now known as the 18th District, but
it would not have mattered, she said in a telephone interview from her house.
The U.S. Constitution requires that a district representative reside in the
state but not in the district itself.

Bustamante pitched as ambassador to India

The Fresno Bee
A Southern
California congressman with aspirations of his own is pitching former Lt. Gov.
Cruz Bustamante for the job of U.S. ambassador to India. In a maneuver that
seems to merge domestic politics with diplomacy, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman
Oaks, wants the White House to appoint Bustamante to the New Delhi ambassador's
slot. Sherman has rallied other California lawmakers on behalf of the seemingly
incongruous recommendation.

County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price to step down next year
The North County Times
North County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price
will step down from office next year, a staffer for the longtime elected
official said Thursday. Slater-Price, 67, represents communities from Solana
Beach and Encinitas to Escondido and Rancho Bernardo. She is the District 3
representative on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and has been
elected to five terms as supervisor.

New Assembly boundaries have Auburn's Kevin Hanley considering a state run
Auburn Journal
California Citizens’ Redistricting
Commission recent remapping decisions have separated District 4 Assemblywoman
Beth Gaines from Auburn and left her vying for a more-suburban seat that takes
in her Roseville home. And Auburn has been included in a sprawling Assembly
District 5 that stretches from Lake Tahoe in the North to Madera in the south.
For Auburn City Councilman Kevin Hanley, the new District 5 represents some of
the most beautiful country in California – taking in both the southern portion
of Lake Tahoe and all of Yosemite National Park. Lengthwise it’s meant to
encompass the foothills and mountains, avoiding large urban areas and providing
one voice for rural residents.

Garcetti gets ready for fundraising fray
Daily News Los Angeles
City Council President Eric Garcetti said his
long-expected announcement last week that he will run for mayor in 2013 wound
up being the best day -- and the worst -- of his political career. "It was
like a wedding, a bar mitzvah and a funeral," Garcetti said of the calls
he received from across the country on his plans to run for the city's highest
elected office. "It was completely crazy." With previous
announcements by Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilwoman Jan Perry, there are
now three elected city officials vying to succeed incumbent Antonio
Villaraigosa.



Pleasanton, Dublin
redistricting may result in Indian-American winning US Congress seat

Tri-Valley Desi-Indians
A young Indian-American is now challenging
established norms in an audacious bid to win a seat in the U.S House of
Representatives. Ranjit Gill, a law student at University of California in
Berkeley is just 24 (he’d have crossed the qualifying age by election day), but
he’s drummed up a war chest of nearly $ 500,000, the third-highest in the
country for a Republican challenger, forcing the party leadership and political
pundits to take notice. If Gill can pull it off, he will be the youngest U.S
Congressman since 1797.

From the Twitterverse


@ValleyFriends- VICA Urges Valley Residents
to Oppose Redistricting Plans: SHERMAN OAKS, CA — Two LA County redistricting
... tinyurl.com/3nw9hf8

@mymotherlode- Supervisors: Bring Additional
Alternatives: Sonora, CA -- Tuolumne County postponed a vote on the
redistricting ... bit.ly/ooawZj

@rebuildemocracy- 2 GOP members of Congress from CA want new
independent redistricting overturned by voters, 30 years in Congress not enough
for one member

@MoValCityHall- Redistricting Process Begins in Moreno Valley Read the
article... bit.ly/nGOOzN See the redistricting page... bit.ly/p0OX6X


Local

10 Redistricting Maps Being Considered Thursday
Rosemont Patch
Ten maps of
proposed boundaries will be considered at Thursday's meeting, including drafts
that would move Fair Oaks to District 3 and group it with Carmichael.
ES1e-Draft 4 keeps Rosemont in District 5, but plan ES1e places it in District
1, together with downtown Sacramento and Natomas.

Supervisors: Bring Additional Alternatives

MyMotherLode.com
Supervisor Dick
Pland was the first member to voice a complaint, that the Cuesta Surena
subdivision would be split up, and a portion would move from his District Five
over to John Gray's District Four. Pland stated that those residents drive on
the same roads everyday and face similar issues. Gray agreed that it
"makes sense" to keep the entire subdivision in one district.

Sacramento supervisors make final changes for
their districts' new boundaries


The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento
County supervisors gave the thumbs up Thursday to final district boundaries in
line with population changes over the last decade. The new map would shift
Elverta and Rio Linda into Board Chairwoman Roberta MacGlashan's District 4.
And Fair Oaks, which was in line to remain divided between Supervisor Susan
Peters' District 3 and District 4, will shift entirely to Peters' district.

Editorial: These incumbents need a wake-up call
The Sacramento Bee
Oak Park
residents marched, signed petitions and showed up in droves at City Council
meetings – an outpouring of neighborhood activism rarely seen in Sacramento. In
the end, however, it made no difference in the council's decision – and that's
a shame. With the same 6-3 split, the council voted Tuesday night to adopt new
election districts that move UC Davis Medical Center out of District 5 –
separating it from Oak Park – and into District 6 with Elmhurst and other
nearby neighborhoods.

Panel votes to move UCD Med Center into City
Council District 6

The Sacramento Bee
Despite the opposition of influential pastors, neighborhood groups and dozens of residents, the Sacramento City
Council stood its ground Tuesday night and voted to move the UC Davis Medical
Center campus out of the City Council district representing Oak Park. The 6-3
vote put an end to a summer's worth of tense debate and protests over the
city's once-a-decade redistricting process, a subject that historically has
been followed closely almost exclusively by political insiders and special
interests.



Supervisors approve modified map of new district
boundaries


KFMB 8
A slightly
modified map of supervisorial districts that proponents contend satisfies the
requirements of the Voting Rights Act was unanimously adopted Tuesday by the
San Diego County Board of Supervisors. The board, which has the final say over
its district boundaries, was poised to approve a map earlier this summer before
backing down in the face of potential legal challenges.

Redistricting: Board changes course

Siskiyou Daily
Though the
board members indicated last month they intended to adopt a different plan, the
Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors took steps to pursue an option to leave supervisorial
districts as they stand Tuesday. The Siskiyou County Clerk’s Office is required
to consider redistricting of supervisorial districts every 10 years following
the release of census numbers in order to ensure equalized population
distribution within a county’s districts. Since the first public hearing held
July 12, the supervisors have considered 11 different possible plans for
redistricting.

Racial, ethnic divides surface during supervisors'
redistricting hearing

Daily Breeze
Racial and ethnic divisions dominated the debate Tuesday at a crowded hearing where the
county Board of Supervisors considered three competing and radically different
proposals to redraw political district lines. The supervisors took no vote and
offered no statements on redistricting plans before them, but heard more than 4
1/2 hours of deeply divided comments from the public. The board moved
unanimously to return to the issue for a vote Sept. 27. Up for debate were
three maps dividing the nation's most populous county into five supervisorial
districts of nearly 2 million residents each. A growing Latino population - now
at nearly 48 percent countywide - has spurred two supervisors to seek new
district lines that would allow a second Latino to be elected to the board.

Board of Supervisors weighs idea of new Latino-majority district
The Los Angeles Times
An epic redistricting battle over whether to boost Latino representation on the L.A.
County Board of Supervisors or protect incumbents began Tuesday morning. Latino
activists are pushing for the county to create a second Latino-majority
district, saying demographic shifts in the last decade demand it. Latinos now
make up 48% of the county population, up from 45% in 2000, Census data show.
And Latinos constitute a third of the county's potential voters, up from a
little more than one in four a decade ago.

Orange County Supervisors adopt new district map
Our Weekly
Orange County supervisors today adopted new political district boundaries, but not without
some dissension, with Buena Park leaders criticizing the splitting of their
city’s representation and Latino activists saying they may challenge the vote
in court. Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, who cast the lone dissenting
vote on the five-member board, accused his fellow supervisors of
“gerrymandering.”

Valley redistricting
plans are met with resistance

The Oakland Tribune
More than 800 people jammed into the Board of
Supervisors meeting Tuesday to testify about two controversial proposals to
create a new Latino-majority supervisorial district. The majority of speakers
opposed the plans, instead favoring a county committee's recommendation to only
make minor adjustments to the current boundaries. Stuart Waldman, president of
the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, noted the redistricting proposals
submitted by Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas would split the
San Fernando Valley - now represented by two supervisors - into three
districts.

Scotts Valley vote could put it at odds with
redistricting plan

Santa Cruz Sentinel
The Scotts
Valley City Council is expected to vote today on a plan that would put it at
odds with a local redistricting task force, setting the stage for a county
showdown that includes strong political undertones. Tonight's vote is over
proposed political maps for the county's 5th supervisorial district, which has
included Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley. But a county redistricting
proposal now on the table bisects the city along Highway 17 and, importantly,
places the home of Scotts Valley's mayor outside of the district that has
traditionally included the city.

Council Approves Alternate Redistricting Plan to
Keep Scotts Valley Whole


Scotts Valley Patch
With the county
considering approving a proposal that would split Scotts Valley into two
supervisorial districts, City Council members met on Wednesday night to discuss
a game plan that would keep the city whole. The council voted unanimously to
approve a resolution that proposes a revised redistricting plan for the Santa
Cruz County Board of Supervisors to consider.

County Board Hears Redistricting Input

Palos Verdes Patch
After nearly
five hours of public comment, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ended
its first official public hearing on a county redistricting plan Tuesday and
set Sept. 27 as the date for the final hearing. During the hearing, the county
heard very two distinct sets of views on how to redraw electoral boundaries,
with a majority of speakers favoring a plan called A3 that would result in only
minimal changes to the districts, with just more than 200,000 people being
switched from districts.

Vice Mayor Bonnie Pannell calls Sacramento citizen
an assh*le just before redistricting vote

RansackedMedia.com
To say that the debate regarding Sacramento redistricting in Sacramento has heated would be an
understatement at best. Hundreds of citizens have waited in council chambers
during the regular weekly meeting to voice their opinions, and sometimes those
comments have become personal and inflammatory. But a comment caught on an open
mic made by Vice Mayor Bonnie Pannell has one citizen demanding an apology:
Clear as day and without any question, Pannell called the individual an asshole
from where she sat upon high in her position as the Councilmember of District
Eight.

The Voting Rights Act is Dead in Los Angeles … Not!

City Watch
The Los Angeles
County Board of Supervisors will soon decide upon new district lines for
themselves and, as a result of term limits about to take effect for four of the
five supervisors, for their successors elected in the next decade.  Unlike
the state legislature, which relinquished the authority to adopt its own
district lines as a result of voter-enacted initiative, the Board of
Supervisors continues to enjoy the right to draw its own districts.

Templeton in 2 districts instead of 3

Atascadero News
The plan would
keep from shifting some of rural western Templeton into a coastal district. It
would also alleviate one concern raised by some who objected to the plan to
split Templeton into three districts — that if all three supervisors
representing Templeton were to meet, it would violate the Brown Act, because three
supervisors constitutes a quorum for a meeting of the five-member Board of
Supervisors and any meetings require advance notice and a publicly posted
agenda.


County supervisors vote to move Rancho Murieta
into District 4


RanchoMurieta.com
Sacramento
County's supervisors on Thursday approved a redistricting plan that moves
Rancho Murieta from Supervisor Don Nottoli's District 5 into Supervisor Roberta
MacGlashan's District 4. An ordinance formally changing the boundaries will
come before the supervisors Sept. 20. Previous coverage: It appears Rancho
Murieta will lose Don Nottoli as its county rep (Aug. 25, 2011)

Visitors
at hearing on Los Angeles redistricting appear to back status quo

The Daily Bulletin
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
will not decide on its redrawing of supervisorial districts until Sept. 27, but
the plan to add any other "Latino district" continues to be a
difficult idea to sell. More than 800 people jammed into the Board of
Supervisors meeting last week to testify about two controversial proposals to
create an additional Latino-majority supervisorial district. The majority of
speakers opposed the plans, instead favoring a county committee's
recommendation to only make minor adjustments to the current boundaries.

Sacramento supervisors
make final changes for their districts' new boundaries

The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento County supervisors gave the thumbs
up Thursday to final district boundaries in line with population changes over
the last decade. The new map would shift Elverta and Rio Linda into Board
Chairwoman Roberta MacGlashan's District 4. And Fair Oaks, which was in line to
remain divided between Supervisor Susan Peters' District 3 and District 4, will
shift entirely to Peters' district.

Vietnamese retain influence in O.C. redistricting
The Orange County Register
A months-long fight to preserve the
political influence of Vietnamese Americans in Orange County ended with a
victory Tuesday after supervisors finalized a redistricting plan that restores
Asian neighborhoods in north Fountain Valley to the First District. Vice
Chairman John Moorlach, who represents the Second District and had represented
all of Fountain Valley, was again the lone dissenter. “This is not right,” said
Moorlach, accusing the county of engaging in gerrymandering. “I can’t ethically
vote for (it.)”

Dan Walters: Redistricting angst in Southern
California

The Merced Sun-Star
The political angst that has followed an
independent commission's redrawing 177 legislative, congressional and Board of
Equalization districts is being duplicated on a smaller scale in hundreds of
local governments. Cities, counties, school districts and other local agencies
that elect boards from districts must also reconfigure them to equalize
populations as reported in the 2010 census, while following federal Voting
Rights Act guidelines to protect nonwhite communities' political standing.

Redistricting could cost Anaheim OCTA seat
The Orange County Register
The city of Anaheim is in danger of losing
its automatic seat on the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of
Directors if county supervisors go through with their preliminary redistricting
plan. Supervisors will hold their second public hearing on the plan during a
special board meeting Tuesday. The plan was approved last month on a 4-1 vote,
with Vice Chairman John Moorlach voting no. The proposed plan would move north
Fountain Valley – along with its large Vietnamese population – into the First
District, shift part of Buena Park into the largely coastal Second District,
and move Brea from the Third District into the Fourth.

Supes to decide on
final redistricting lines

The Times-Standard
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is
scheduled to make a final decision on the county's new district boundaries. The
boundaries will decide which district representative seats residents can vote
for, including the seats of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts, in the upcoming
2012 election year. The board is expected to approve the revised plan on
Tuesday in order to make a Nov. 1 deadline. The plan, selected from six options
during an extensive public input process, includes Blue Lake moving into the
3rd District while leaving Fieldbrook and Glendale in the 5th; straightening
the border of the 1st and 4th districts; and moving the Tompkins Hill area to
the 1st District.

Complexion of board
expected to stay same, observers say

The North County Times
Don't expect the complexion of San Diego
County's all-white, all-Republican Board of Supervisors to change anytime soon.
Even with the panel's recent endorsement of a more unified Latino and black
political district in South County, political observers said last week the five
incumbents ---- who have served together since President Clinton was in office
---- remain a dominant political force in the county.

Boulder County
commissioners receive another redistricting proposal

TimesCall.com
Boulder County staffers have added a fifth
option to the mix of proposed maps being considered by the Board of County
Commissioners, who have until Sept. 30 to complete a realignment of
commissioner district boundaries to reflect population shifts shown in the 2010
census. The latest map reflects some of the comments and concerns expressed
during an Aug. 23 public hearing about four earlier redistricting options the
county staff had prepared before that hearing.

Supervisors available via video-conferencing
The Press-Enterprise
High Desert residents will be able to participate
in San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meetings from Victorville via
video-conferencing beginning Tuesday. The pilot program will save residents a
trip down the hill and could pave the way for it to be expanded to other remote
locations, county spokesman David Wert said. "We do have quite a few
people who come to board meetings from the High Desert to testify on things and
the assumption is there might be even more if distance weren't a factor,"
he said.