Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Two Jews One District
The Berman/Sherman congressional campaign broke new ground this week with a dedicated blog chronicling the day-to-day drama in what is bound to be the most expensive congressional campaign in this country’s history. The Jewish Journal gives the race its own special media coverage, its own disembodied heads streaking across the galaxy graphic, and, we’re hoping, its own theme music.
For a fleeting moment it seemed that the Congressional plan could be subject to a referendum, potentially avoiding intergalactic battle between two members of congress who actually live a few blocks from each other in suburban community of the San Fernando Valley, but that now seems dead.
The battles we see brewing against incumbents is clearly capturing the media attention, but the bigger story could be the massive number of competitive congressional races caused by redistricting. These races are for the most part one-time battles as part of the post-redistricting recalibration, not new “competitive” districts that will change hands every two years, so the 2012 races are both more numerous and more important that any this state has seen in at least 20 years.
And on the local scene, if you don’t get what all the fighting is about in LA, check out the very creative article by Gene Maddaus in the La Weekly. It’s got both pie charts and disembodied/re-embodied heads to explain one of the most pitched redistricting battles in the country.
Redistricting Floods Calif. With Competition
California has begun a new era of political theater that has caught the eye of both national parties as the decade-long drought of competitive Congressional elections comes to a close.
California Democratic consultant Paul Mitchell cited several districts his party will be looking to pick up next year. They include: Rep. Dan Lungren's Sacramento-area 7th district; freshman Rep. Jeff Denham's 10th district; the 25th district, in which GOP Reps. Buck McKeon and Elton Gallegly live; the open 26th district in Ventura County; Rep. Mary Bono Mack's 36th district; Rep. Darrell Issa's 49th district; and the 52nd district, where Rep. Brian Bilbray is running.
Groups offering information sessions on redistricting
San Ramon Express
A number of groups are offering seminars, webinars and even luncheon presentations in the coming days to help people make sense out of what the 14-member multipartisan Citizens Redistricting Commission accomplished. On Friday, the Urban Habitat organization will host a seminar on what the redistricting moves mean for local communities. Public CEO is also offering what it claims is the first-ever webinar discussing government redistricting, a perhaps more congenial forum about the redistricting process and what it means to the greater Bay Area is scheduled for noon Friday, Sept. 30, at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley. This free afternoon discussion is organized by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. For information, contact Jennifer Baires at (510) 642-1474..
Redistricting Promising for Assembly Republicans
I want to make the case that after the dust settles in the election of 2012 the California State Assembly will be the eternal resting place for the liberal’s attempts to shove new and higher taxes down the throats of over-taxed Californians. After looking at the new Assembly district maps as drawn up by the Citizens Redistricting Commission the prospects for the Assembly gaining seats is promising. Presently we in the Assembly are within a whisker of losing our ability to stop the relentless tax and spend juggernaut known as the Democratic majority in the California legislature.
Citizen’s Redistricting A Lot Better Than Backroom Deal Making
California Political Review
Over the last couple of months, much has been made of the historic Citizen’s Redistricting Commission process in California. This process, established by a majority of California voters when they passed both Proposition 11 and Proposition 20, took the power to draw their own districts out of the hands of the politicians and put it into the hands of a commission of citizens. Was this process perfect? Anyone paying attention over the past couple of months would tell you “no, it was not” – and truthfully it is unrealistic to expect any process as politicized as redistricting to be. But that is not the question we, especially Republicans, should be asking ourselves.
State Justices Asked to Block Redistricting Maps
A Republican-backed group announced that it would file a petition in the state Supreme Court on Thursday to block newly drawn Senate maps from going into effect. The petition, filed by Sacramento attorney Charles Bell Jr. on behalf of Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting, or FAIR, is the first legal challenge to the work of the Citizens Redistricting Commission, a 14-member panel charged with reshaping California's political lines.
Rep. Denham puts $25k into fight for districts
The Fresno Bee
Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of Atwater has broken new ground in the campaign to overturn newly drawn state Senate districts with a hefty $25,000 contribution to the redistricting challenge. Denham's contribution this week makes him the first member of Congress to put money behind the challenge to the state Senate lines. Others could soon follow, though Denham may be in a position to donate more than most.
Republicans sue to overturn new Senate districts
An organization of Republican officials filed suit Thursday afternoon, asking the California Supreme Court to overturn the new state Senate districts drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The new District 5, which includes Lodi, Galt, San Joaquin County and the Modesto area, has two announced candidates for the 2012 election — Republican Bill Berryhill, of Ceres, and Democrat Cathleen Galgiani, of Livingston.
As We See It: Election '12: For Santa Cruz, safe but sorry
Santa Cruz Sentinel
The other big change has come out of the Citizens Redistricting Commission, also voter-created, which earlier this summer came up with a final plan to redraw the state's legislative and congressional districts. The biggest change locally is in the state Senate district, which had been politically carved up a decade ago into a district that slightly favored a moderate Republican, such as Maldonado or the current occupant of the seat, state Sen. Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo.
California’s Independent Strongholds and the Political Calculus of the Top-Two Open Primary
CA Independent Voter Network
Political insiders all over California are scrambling to make sense of how the state's newly-drawn legislative districts might affect next year's elections. Any such calculations are made all the more difficult by virtue of the fact that next year's elections will also be held under the state's new top-two open primary system. An important question many are asking is 'Where are the Independent strongholds in California's political landscape?'
California Republicans to attempt Hispanic outreach again
Even as party leaders talked about creating a sustainable strategy for Hispanic outreach, much of the lineup at the California Republican Party convention in Los Angeles this weekend would seem to be at odds with those goals. The headliners are two conservative presidential candidates who are unlikely to appeal to mainstream voters, much less many Hispanics in California: tea party favorite Michele Bachmann and small-government icon Ron Paul, who drew hundreds of enthusiastic supporters to his morning events. Paul won the straw poll Saturday afternoon.
CA Redistricting Comm. Michael Ward Speaks
Michael Ward of the California Redistricting Commission speaks to the Orange County Lincoln Club on September 13th, 2011.
Campbell Hosts Redistricting Meeting
Congressional District 19 will include Gilroy along with neighboring Morgan Hill, San Martin and parts of San Jose, Christensen said. Congressional District 20 will include half of Gilroy, along with portions of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. Other changes include separating Los Gatos, Campbell and Cupertino and Gilroy from Congressional District 15, which has been represented by U.S. Rep Mike Honda for years. The change means those elected to represent these communities live closer to their towns.
Congressional Redistricting Not All Bad News for California GOP
For Republicans, while there are some valid complaints about the final maps, the commission process surely saved them from a devastating gerrymander that could have been imposed by the state’s Democratic legislative majority and Democratic governor. After a decade of seeing only one seat change party hands among the state’s 53-seat House delegation, Republicans will surely have to defend some home turf and will likely suffer a net loss in seats. But there will finally be opportunity to challenge some old Democratic warhorses as well.
Contra Costa a lead county for GOP redistricting sour grapes
Halfway to Concord
Becky Kohlberg, chairperson of the Contra Costa County Republican Party, is urging party faithful to join a petition drive to strike down the new district lines created by California’s Redistricting Commission. If successful, the outcome could be that the Courts redraw the lines. Republicans, after clamoring for a Redistricting Commission, now are aghast that the outcome is likely to create an insurmountable super majority in both legislative houses for California’s hyper Progressive Democrat Party. According to Kohlberg, “Contra Costa County has been selected as a Lead County for Signature Gathering;” mostly likely due to the lingering influence of Tom Del Beccaro, chairperson of what’s
left of the California Republican Party.
Black Flight Redo Political Lines
To ensure that new districts don’t dilute black voting power, grass-roots organizations mobilized to present the commission with recommendations for keeping communities of color intact. New district lines must be drawn by Aug. 15. Although black flight from California cities is changing demographics, experts say that is unlikely to shake up the state’s political scene. “The 2010 census showed that there has been a drift of the black population away from the coastal areas to more inland areas in California,” says Michelle Romero, a fellow at The Greenlining Institute,
which is based in Berkeley and advocates for racial and economic justice. “But fortunately in Los Angeles, there’s the potential to build multi-ethnic coalitions of voters after this new redistricting cycle.”
The irrelevant party
At last count, two separate referendum drives are under way to overturn elements of California’s new redistricting plan. One would kill the state’s new congressional districts, the other its state Senate districts. Each must gather 504,760 valid voter signatures by Nov. 13 to qualify for the June 2012 ballot. The California Republican Party has contributed $100,000 to overturn the Senate maps but so far has not been asked to endorse or fund the congressional measure. The referendums may make it
on the ballot.
California Republican Party Drops Mass Mailing To Help Qualify Senate Referendum
As has been written about on this page, the current State Senate lines that were approved by the California Redistricting Commission amount to an “extinction event” for Republicans in the legislature’s upper house. Right now Republicans, with 15 seats, barely can muster the votes to stop the tax and fee increases proposed by Democrats that require a 2/3rds vote. Without a redo on lines for the Senate, former Senate and Assembly Republican Leader Jim Brulte says that the GOP will be in a super-minority after the 2012 elections.
Marc Levine shows courage in defying Assembly speaker to run
Marin Independent Journal
Thanks to maneuvering over new North Bay legislative districts dictated by the state Citizens Redistricting Commission, Marin just got a lesson in Sacramento-style good-old-boy politics. In California's capital the ultimate goal has always been to protect incumbents. San Rafael Councilman Marc Levine recently witnessed that reality. Levine, 37, plans to run for the "open" seat in the new and overwhelmingly Democratic Marin-Central Sonoma 10th Assembly District. That territory is currently represented by soon-to-be-termed-out San Rafael Democrat Jared Huffman.
Introducing the Berman v. Sherman blog
Is the race between Jewish incumbent democratic congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman splitting the Jewish community in two? That was the question posed to me by a correspondent from CNN earlier this week. And while the short answer is no (or at least not yet), a longer answer is worthwhile—and serves as a good introduction to this new blog, which will follow this unique race as it develops.
Sen. Fran Pavley to run in new east county Senate district
Ventura County Star
Sen. Fran Pavley, whose existing district was blown to pieces under the new maps adopted by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, announced today she will run for re-election in the new 27th Senate District, which covers eastern Ventura County, the western San Fernando Valley, Malibu and portions of Santa Clarita. Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, will likely square off against Republican Sen. Tony Strickland of Moorpark next year, in what would be the only Senate race in California that pits an incumbent of one party against an incumbent of the other.
Johnson recall may be difficult, costly
Contra Costa Times
It has been more than 40 years since voters said yes to holding a recall election in Long Beach. Since the bid to recall Councilman James Johnson was launched last week, the politically rare effort has been veiled in secrecy. Though little has been revealed publicly about where anti-Johnson forces expect to get their support, any serious campaign effort is likely to be politically nasty - and financially expensive.
What will Gallegly do? He isn't saying
Ventura County Star
After a decade of easy living in gerrymander-protected districts, in which only one of the 53 had been unseated at the ballot box, they knew that new districts redrawn by a citizen's commission would unsettle their world. On Aug. 15, when the new districts were finalized, the predicted tumult began to unfold. Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat faced with the prospect of running against a Latino challenger in a heavily Latino district, decided to run for mayor of San Diego.
Torrance Man May Run for 66th District
Palos Verdes Patch
Torrance School Board member Al Muratsuchi might be a new candidate for the open seat in the new 66th Assembly District. So far, Muratsuchi has formed an exploratory committee, he told Patch in an email Wednesday night. "A formal announcement will be made in the near future," wrote Maratsuchi, who is a deputy attorney general with the California Department of Justice.
Wilk eyes seat, focuses on board
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal
The race for state Assembly in 2012 is shaping up so far to be a battle between Republicans, with Republican activist Scott Wilk seeking the nomination along with Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s wife, Patricia. Wilk said Tuesday he intends to run in next year’s election for a seat representing the 38th Assembly District and take over for Santa Clarita Valley Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who is required by term limits to leave office.
Long Beach's 2014 Congressional Race: It is on.
Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch
Belmont Shore’s City Councilman Gary DeLong announced Thursday that his campaign has raised $100,000 for the recently created U.S. Congressional seat that won't be decided until 2014, while his Republican opponent shared some of his endorsements. DeLong, also a Republican, represents about 50,000 people in the 3rd district, the city’s east side. He announced his run for the 47th Congressional District on August 17.
Democrat Raul Ruiz makes bid for Congress official
Dr. Raul Ruiz, a prominent east valley health care advocate, today announced his plan to challenge Rep. Mary Bono Mack for the desert's congressional seat. Ruiz, 39, a Democrat who lives in Palm Desert, made his announcement before a sold-out crowd at the Democrats of the Desert's annual Activist Brunch at the Renaissance hotel in Palm Springs. "Too many of our residents are feeling hopelessness and despair," he said. They deserve a representative in Congress who treats them with respect and compassion, he said to rousing applause.
Redistricting Tosses Two Jewish Democrats Into Los Angeles Street Fight
The Jewish Daily Forward
According to one of its contenders, the fight to represent the newly redrawn 30th congressional district in California’s San Fernando Valley may be framed as a peculiarly Los Angeles kind of class struggle: rich Hollywood Jews versus working folks in the Valley. “This whole race is a Valley thing,” Rep. Brad Sherman told the Forward in an interview September 4. “There is a Beverly Hills-centered Jewish community that has a lot of money and power that is less aware of my efforts, because there is a lack of respect for the San Fernando Valley. And the Valley is aware of this.”
Baca to run in the 35th Congressional District
Inland Rep. Joe Baca said Monday he would run in the California's newly drawn 35th Congressional District. "I have a proven track record and will continue to fight to create and keep new jobs here at home, lower the number of home foreclosures, and protect Social Security and Medicare for all Americans moving forward," the Rialto Democrat said in a written statement. Baca lives outside the 35th, which includes Ontario, Chino, Pomona, Montclair, parts of Fontana and Rialto and unincorporated Bloomington.
More candidates choose races in post-redistricting scramble
The Los Angeles Times
The search for seats to run for next year continues in the aftermath of the state's recently completed drawing of new political districts following the 2010 census. U.S. Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) made it official this week that he's running in the new 35th Congressional District that encompasses Pomona, Montclair, Ontario, Chino and parts of Fontana and Rialto. Earlier, state Sen. Gloria Negrete McCleod (D-Chino) declared her candidacy for the seat and Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona) also is considering a run.
John Laird will not seek Senate seat in new district
Ending months of speculation, Santa Cruz resident John Laird announced Wednesday that he will not join the state Senate race
for a newly redrawn Central Coast district that includes incumbent Republican Sen. Sam Blakeslee. Since losing a 2010 special election to Blakeslee, Laird was appointed state Secretary for Natural Resources by Gov. Jerry Brown, a position that gives him broad influence over environmental policy, a key issue in a political career that spans more than 30 years. "This was not an easy decision to make. Serving the Central Coast in the State Assembly was one of the greatest honors and pleasures in my life," Laird said in making the announcement.
Jose Medina Announces Candidacy for 61st Assembly District
Citing job creation and education as his top priorities, former Riverside Community College
District Trustee Jose Medina formally announced his candidacy to represent the 61st District in the California State Assembly. Medina also announced the following endorsements: City of Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge; City of Riverside Councilmember Andy Melendrez; City of Riverside Councilmember Nancy Hart; Riverside School Board Member Lewis Vanderzyl; Former City of Moreno Valley Mayor Bonnie Flickinger; and Past California Teachers Association President Barbara Kerr.
Long Beach councilman recall petition can proceed
City Clerk Larry Herrera ruled Wednesday that a notice of intent to circulate petitions recalling 7th District Councilman James Johnson is legally valid. The Recall James Johnson Committee announced Tuesday that it would attempt to
recall Johnson for allegedly neglecting his duties, performing incompetently and misusing his office. It needed 20 signatures from registered voters in the 7th District to begin the process, and it turned in 28 signatures.
New Candidate Enters Agoura's State Assembly Race
Agoura Hills Patch
An incumbent has entered the contest to represent Agoura Hills and the rest of the 50th District in the state Assembly. But some people might want to put an asterisk next to the incumbent designation. Betsy Butler, who currently represents the 53rd District that mostly covers the South Bay, announced this week that she would run in the 50th District election.
Weighing mayor's race, Yaroslavsky takes risky gambit on Latinos
Los Angeles Times
But as Yaroslavsky weighs whether to jump into the crowded race, he finds himself in an awkward position — one that could haunt his political prospects. He has emerged as a high-profile and sometimes sharp-tongued critic of redistricting plans that create two Latino-majority districts for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He has dismissed the proposals as "a baldfaced gerrymander that is completely unnecessary" and would rip apart his district. It's a stand he says is based on sound principles, but one that also carries political risks.
San Diego County eyes independent redistricting panel
Sign On San Diego
Supervisor Greg Cox unveiled a proposal Thursday that could preclude county elected officials statewide from redrawing their own district boundaries in a once-a-decade process that has long been criticized as an inherent conflict of interest. Carving supervisorial districts rests with boards of supervisors under state elections code. Cox’s plan would start the process of drafting state legislation permitting San Diego County to establish a court-appointed independent panel of retired judges to carryout redistricting duties.
SB County: Redistricting plan OK'd
San Bernardino County supervisors approved new district boundaries on a split vote Friday while trading accusations of backroom deal attempts. The board approved the same draft plan that won tentative support last month despite opposition from speakers during the more than three-hour meeting. That plan shifts parts of the San Bernardino Mountains -- from Lake Arrowhead to Running Springs -- from the 3rd District to the 2nd District. The map also moves Barstow, Lucerne Valley and Twentynine Palms from the 1st District to the 3rd District and half of Upland from the 2nd District to the 4th District.
School districts seek more equal representation: Redistricting task force to examine population shifts
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Area school district officials hope a pending realignment of trustee areas for the county Board of Education will result in more equal representation for the 38,500 students from Scotts Valley to Watsonville. For the past 10 years, the boundaries have left Scotts Valley schools with four trustees while Pajaro Valley schools, a district 7.5 times the size, has three trustees. Three other districts much smaller than Pajaro Valley also have three trustees overseeing parts of their geographical area.
Welcome to District 7: Mission Valley will now be a part of District 7
Mission Valley News
On Aug. 25, the City’s Redistricting Commission took its final vote on new city council district boundaries for the city of San Diego, as a result, Mission Valley will now be a part of District 7. This will go into effect after the November 2012 general election. In addition, a new 9th District was created and will cover the area south of I-8, including the College Area, Rolando, El Cerrito, City Heights, Talmadge, Kensington, and South along Interstate 15, including the Mount Hope, Mountain View, and Southcrest communities.
Supervisors vote to move more than 9,000 San Mateo County residents into different districts
Following Tuesday's vote by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, 3,815 residents in western San Mateo and 5,358 in southern Belmont will soon find themselves in different political districts. In making the switch, the supervisors aimed to comply with state law that requires them to review and adjust voting boundaries every 10 years after the federal census update to make sure each district is relatively equal in population. Topography, geography, territory cohesion and the maintenance of "community of interests" are other factors they're supposed to consider.
Board of Supervisors advances redistricting ordinance
CBS 8 San Diego
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday tentatively passed a redistricting ordinance which adjusts the boundaries of the areas its members represent. The measure unanimously approved on first reading -- a final vote is set in two weeks -- includes an adjustment from a map approved last week -- placing all of Barrio Logan in District 1, currently represented by Supervisor Greg Cox. The map originally had the community split between two districts.
Citrus College Redistricting Splits Azusa
As Citrus College continues to redraw trustee district boundaries, proposed changes drew concerns from the board of trustees over gerrymandering lines and split communities. Citrus College was presented with several scenarios outlining possible changes to the way the campus' trustee districts are established during the Sept. 13 Board of Trustees meeting.
The L.A. County Redistricting Battle Explained -- Without Maps!
The redistricting battle at the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is the ultimate arcane, inside-baseball political fight. From a distance, all you can see is a bunch of people squabbling over some maps. So let's try to simplify it a little bit. And the first thing we need to do is forget about the maps. The maps aren't helping. Instead, we need some outside-the-box visual aids.
Woman wants another apology from Pannell
The Sacramento Bee
A 61-year-old Oak Park woman will be at tonight's council meeting to demand an apology from Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell, who was caught on video calling the woman an expletive at last week's meeting. Pannell and the woman, Margo Rose-Brunson, exchanged words during the debate over whether UC Davis Medical Center should be separated from the council district representing Oak Park. In the end, the council voted 6-3 to draw council district boundaries that included the change.
Favored Yolo redistricting plan splits supervisors, draws ire of Winters
The Sacramento Bee
A divided Yolo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday backed a redistricting plan that would break up the county's vast agricultural district and put the farm town of Winters and half of the university city of Davis under one supervisor. A final vote on the plan is scheduled Sept. 27. But three of the five supervisors at Tuesday's hearing expressed a clear preference for it.
El Dorado supervisors approve redistricting plan
The Sacramento Bee
Without public or board comment, El Dorado County Supervisors gave their final approval to a redistricting plan for board seats today. The plan's basic outlines were approved in July and got their first detailed approval
in August, despite opposition from organized groups advocating better representation for El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park, the county's fastest-growing communities.
California Redistricting: How will it affect Santa Barbara?
Santa Barbara Real Estate Blog
Some of the proposals submitted contain radical changes to SB County Districts. For example, see the two maps submitted by COLAB that propose dramatic district boundary changes. At the same time, note that maps titled Ron Fass, Mark Preston, Rosemary Holmes, and MVP 1 and MVP 2, by people from Santa Maria, Buellton, Lompoc and Goleta respectively, meet all the legal requirements, with only minimal changes from the current districts.
Though hotly debated, county redistricting proposal seems politically neutral
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Scotts Valley officials have been vocal about not wanting their city to be split when the county adopts new supervisorial districts, saying they want to remain whole. The objections have persisted for weeks, and politics have been an undercurrent of the debate. Mayor Dene Bustichi and Councilman Jim Reed recently called the proposal "backroom politics" and have floated concerns the county wants to dampen the voice of typically more conservative Scotts Valley voters by splitting them among two districts.
Riverside County: Supervisors weigh final district boundaries
Riverside County supervisors take up a formal redistricting ordinance today, and it is likely to be a low-key affair compared to last month when Supervisors Bob Buster and John Tavaglione clashed over how to divide the city of Riverside. After the board deadlocked in August, Tavaglione ultimately supported a plan by Buster to add portions of La Sierra Acres and Arlanza north of Arlington Avenue into Tavaglione's 2nd District. Tavaglione had instead sought to add the Victoria neighborhood east of Highway 91 to his district.
Panel To Discuss Student-Majority Redistricting Proposal
The first in a series
of discussions about the relationship between UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley begins next Wednesday at 7 p.m. Students make up a quarter of the population in Berkeley, and a recent push by campus leaders and a coalition of students aims to make that population a majority in its own city council district. A group of UC Berkeley students submitted a redistricting proposal in August, which would redraw boundaries to concentrate students and thus give them more political strength.
Redistricting Plan Set For Approval
San Bernardino, CA - San Bernardino County supervisors will hold their fifth public meeting on the 2011 redistricting of supervisorial districts and consider adoption of a plan on Friday, September 16, at noon. The meeting will convene in the Covington Chambers of the County Government Center. Many mountain residents are expected to attend to once again express their concerns about the proposed ordinance.
Watsonville City Council rejects redistricting committee's recommendations, goes with attorney's choice
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Ignoring the recommendation of a redistricting advisory committee, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a redrawn map for City Council districts that was originally rejected by the committee. In the plan selected by the council, Mayor Daniel Dodge and Councilman Oscar Rios remain in their home districts. It also shifts some District 4 neighborhoods to District 1, while keeping communities from being too broken up. Debate over the maps Tuesday night was at times contentious, with council members and committee members questioning the selection process itself.