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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

 

The Invisible – Visible Hand

When Props 11 and 20 passed many believed that politics had been removed from the redistricting process.  Many of these are the same people who believe in acai berries, powerbalance wrist bands, and legislative deadlines.

Last week ProPublica  broke the seal on the post-redistricting revelation that “invisible hands” were guiding the line-drawing.  Few know who ProPublica is, but their articles are getting picked up like an AP story, even popping up in Slate, which surprisingly still exists.

Now, for casual Slate reader these “invisible hands” seem a mysterious force guiding commissioners into making decisions they wouldn’t have otherwise.  But for those in the loop they are the same twitterers, bloggers, article-writers and hangers-on that were following the commission from its inception.  Were there clients always transparent or their motives always clear?  Prolly not.  But quite a bit more than those that influenced the line-drawing under the old system.

As a reminder of the old system, look no further than last night’s hearing at the LA County Supervisors where on a 4-1 vote they approved a plan to do nothing.  Yes.  You read that right...  As LA County Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman tweeted:  “So, let me understand.  The LA County Board of Sups voted to keep the same districts despite all of LA’s demographic changes since 2001.” 

And no supervisor could have acted like the issues were too complex after the stunningly brilliant coverage from the LA Weekly in Gene Maddus’ trilogy “Redistricting without Maps” – a brilliant look at the demographics and the politics  of redistricting and Racially Polarized Voting – all written clearer than any expert could have.

For more discussion about the redistricting process, and to meet a couple of the invisible hands, head to UC Berkeley this Friday for A Brave New World: California's Redistricting Experiment.   This is going to be the latest and greatest of reunion tours for commissioners and their groupies.   Our favorite panel, of course, will be the Mitchell/Feng/Rexroad nerd-fest with Prop 11 author Charles Munger.  Rumor has it that all will be sporting bowties for the event.

State

The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests
Pro Publica
Skillful redistricting can, of course, help create Republican or Democratic districts, but it can also grace incumbents with virtually guaranteed re-election or leave them with nearly no chance at all. In the process, it can also create seats almost certain to be held by minorities or break those same groups apart, ensuring that they have almost no voice. But it’s not cheap, and that’s where corporations and other outside interests come in. They can provide the cash for voter data, mapping consultants and lobbyists to influence state legislators, who are in charge of redistricting in most states. Outside interests can also fund the inevitable lawsuits that contest nearly every state's redistricting plan after it is unveiled.

Hidden Hands in California | CommonBlog
Common Blog
Here's what I worry about the most. Even as the idea of redistricting reform is catching on in other states, I know in California, political insiders are trying to figure out how they can game the independent process in the next go-round.

Complicated, messy, expensive: The 2012 election campaigns
Capitol Weekly
“This process was the most open, most transparent, good-government redistricting ever done in the history of mankind,” said Paul Mitchell, whose firm, Redistricting Partners, would be in a position to know. The way Mitchell’s firm maps the political landscape for the 80-member Assembly is 48 Democratic seats and two that lean Democrat – two less than the 52 seats Democrats now hold. Republicans have 21 sure seats and four that lean their way. On paper, registration allows five Assembly seats to swing either way although a Kings County seat tilts Democrat, another swing seat Republican and a third in Ventura is currently held by a Republican.

Redistricting Chaos: Partisan Gamesmanship in California and Arizona
American Thinker
Republican commissioners in both states are frustrated because no controls were ever specified and implemented in these redistricting endeavors, which led to domination by special interests and partisan politics.  "Transparent" is not a word that can be used to define either state's commission. Michael Ward, an outspoken California Republican Commissioner, wondered why certain transcripts have never been posted online.  He contends that there was a cover-up regarding race-gerrymandering at a hearing.  Los Angeles County has three African-American congressional districts, which should have been combined, according to the new laws, into one or two "minority-majority" districts.

Foes of new state Senate maps reach milestone in referendum drive
Los Angeles Times
Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR), a Republican-backed group trying to overturn new state Senate district maps, has announced it has collected more than 200,000 signatures in its campaign to put the maps before voters.

GOP option: Nest state Senate districts in Assembly maps
Capitol Weekly
But Paul Mitchell, director of his own public affairs firm and the publisher of The Redistricting Report, said he didn’t think retroactive nesting would be legal. “When you nest districts that weren’t intent to be nested, you end up with weird anomalies,” Mitchell said. Some of those anomalies could end up violating the Voting Rights Act or causing other problems. A typical example could come in an area like Los Angeles, Mitchell said, where you had two Assembly districts - one intended to protect a Latino community of interest, next to a district where some Latinos were excluded for the same purpose. In other words, these Senate districts may not do a very good job protecting minority interests.

Field Poll: Redistricting results not on voters' radars
The Press-Enterprise
Two-thirds of California voters have not paid attention to the state's new political redistricting process, even though it will shape their representation in Sacramento and Washington, a new survey found. But among those who are aware -- 34 percent -- more people support than oppose the newly drawn districts for state Assembly, state Senate and Congress created by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Redistricting Floods Calif. With Competition

Roll Call
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. Republicans could face a loss of as many as six seats because of the state's new independent redistricting process, according to some educated estimates. Democrats currently hold a 34-19 majority in the delegation.

Field Poll: California's voters inclined to support new political maps
The Sacramento Bee
California voters are inclined to support the political maps drawn by a commission they created, but nearly two-thirds are unfamiliar with the work of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, a new Field Poll shows. The survey found huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisans unfamiliar with the 14-member panel and its work this year to craft new political boundaries for 80 state Assembly seats, 40 Senate seats and 53 members of Congress from California.

Drive to nix congressional districts stumbles in starting gate
The Sacramento Bee
A referendum drive aimed at killing California's newly drawn congressional districts appears to be on the ropes. Nearly two weeks after the campaign was cleared to begin collecting signatures, no fundraising groups or donors have been reported to the secretary of state, records show. Carlos Rodriguez, a Republican political strategist who announced the referendum drive last month, has not returned calls by The Bee this week to check on reports that it is dormant.

Redrawn District Lines Drawing Attention To California Races
Greater Long Beach
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. Republicans could face a loss of as many as six seats because of the state’s new independent redistricting process, according to some educated estimates. Democrats currently hold a 34-19 majority in the delegation.

Mapping new political lines
California Teachers Association
In the past the new lines have been drawn by the Legislature, but with the passage of Propositions 11 and 20, a citizens’ commission was established to draw the new lines this year. The resulting changes — which affect the shape and the voter base in every Assembly, Senate and congressional district in the state — have the potential to help public education. With a bit of hard work by CTA members before and during the 2012 primary and general elections, a new crop of elected officials committed to securing desperately needed revenues for schools could be put in office.

Democrats Forced to Face Issue of Race
Roll Call
House Democrats could endure an unprecedented number of primaries this cycle that pit white and black Members against each other thanks to redistricting.

The emerging Member-vs.-Member contests stand to stir tensions between the Congressional Black Caucus and the broader Democratic ranks as well as fracture state delegations.

California's new congressional maps spark big shuffle
The Sacramento Bee
When the state's new redistricting commission released its final maps of 177 congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization districts last month, it touched off a political frenzy. The election lineups for 80 Assembly and 40 Senate districts appear to be working themselves out. Democrats are likely to make gains, but with so many legislators forced out by term limits every two years and so many running for Congress, the net effect on incumbent lawmakers will be minimal.

GOP to state voters: Kill Senate maps or brace for tax increases

The Sacramento Bee
Here's the pitch to GOP voters: Unless newly drawn state Senate maps are killed, Democrats will seize control of the Legislature, raise taxes and kowtow to public employee unions. The California Republican Party is sending a letter to a million voters, reading: "Your signature on the enclosed petition will stop liberal Democrats in Sacramento from tripling the car tax and dismantling Proposition 13." The letter and petition are key elements of a referendum campaign to kill California's 40 new state Senate districts, which were drawn for the first time this year by a 14-member citizens commission rather than by the Legislature.

Redistricting: Competitive Districts Create Openings for Independents
California Independent Voter Network
Republicans are worried that the new legislative district maps that have been drawn up by the Citizens Redistricting Commission favor the Democratic party.  In conjunction with the top-two open primary, however, in some districts they may also favor an Independent candidate. Shortly after the Citizens Redistricting Commission legislative maps were certified by the secretary of state, Republican party activists launched a concerted effort to have them repealed and ultimately redrawn by the courts.

Republicans likely to abandon referendum on congressional maps
Capitol Weekly
Republicans backing a voter referendum to overturn California’s new congressional maps are on the verge of dropping the effort, sources say. One reason is a lack of enthusiasm among California’s GOP congressional delegation. One of the newest but most-prominent members of that delegation — Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield — reportedly led those arguing that it wasn’t worth fighting the new maps. At a recent meeting of the National Republican Campaign Committee, several strategists argued that the statewide referendum wasn’t a good use of campaign resources.

Calif. GOP Fighting Gerrymandered State Senate at a Cost to U.S. House
Human Events
The newly drawn lines of California’s 53 U.S. House districts that could cost Republicans as many as six of the 19 seats they now hold are likely to remain in place for 2012.  In contrast to what seems to be a successful petition drive to appeal similarly gerrymandered lines of state senate districts in a statewide initiative next year, there is relatively little support for the same movement to thwart the new U.S. House boundaries drawn by a citizens commission earlier this year. The situation is due in part to the fact that some senior Republican House members from the Golden State are happy with the “safe” districts they ended up with and do not want to help their endangered colleagues get another chance to survive politically in ’12.

Population Boost Isn’t Giving Latinos an Edge in State Redistricting Plans
New America Media
When the 2010 Census results came in, Latinos seemed poised to exert more political influence in the U.S. than ever before. In the past 10 years, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, more than quadruple the 9.7 percent growth rate for the country overall. But as states from California to Nevada to Colorado and Texas map out new electoral districts...... Hispanics are being shortchanged, advocates argue. Although the Latino population surged by 15.2 million nationwide, its political power—as measured by the number of voting districts in which Hispanics are the majority—has remained stagnant in many states or even regressed.

Just one in three voters aware of state commission's redrawing of district lines
YubaNet.com
One in three California voters (34%) reports being familiar with its work in redrawing legislative district lines this year, and these voters are more likely to say the commission did a good job than bad job in performing its duties. For example, by a 45% to 24% margin voters aware of the commission say it did a good job in drawing district lines that "keep voters from the same city, town or local community together within the same district." By similar margins they also feel the commission did a good job in drawing district lines that are "fair to each of the major political parties" (45% to 24%) and are "fair to each of the state's major racial and ethnic voting groups" (41% to 24%).

Citizen remap fulfills its purpose
The Davis Enterprise
The voters’ will was done. Politicians could not pick and choose their voters to ensure their own survival, as before. Instead, voters will soon change many more political faces than they have at any time since early in California’s statehood. This state’s biggest political shakeup in memory arrives next year. Which leaves some people unhappy, especially Republicans and a few Latino activists. Republicans heartily backed Propositions 11 and 20 because they didn’t want Democratic legislators and a Democratic governor deciding their fate.

Local

Fair Representation for Latinos Ensures Civil Rights for All
Huffington Post
On Tuesday, September 27, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors votes to redraw county lines, we will show California and the nation whether we have learned from past mistakes or are determined to repeat them. At issue is whether the Supervisors will make voting-age Latinos the majority in two of the county's five districts, not just one. We firmly believe the law calls for two such districts.

LA County supervisors reject 2nd Latino district
Southern California Public Radio
After hearing six hours of sometimes racially charged testimony, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday decided against creating a second district with a majority of Latino voters. Latino civil rights activists indicated they would file a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit in response, noting half the county’s population is now Latino but only one of the five supervisorial districts is majority Latino.

LA County Approves Status Quo Redistricting Plan – Denying Second Latino Seat
LA Weekly
After hearing six hours of testimony, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted today to approve a status-quo redistricting map, denying Latino activists' quest for a second Latino seat.

Redistricting Hurdles in L.A. County & California, Explained
KCET
The first legal challenge to the yeoman-like work done by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission was filed in state Supreme Court, an effort to block the newly drawn Senate maps from going into effect. The same group bringing the challenge is also trying to collect enough signatures (504,760) to put the issue on the June ballot. While commission members declined to comment on the likelihood of the court-case succeeding, they remained optimistic their maps would stand the test of time.. "It's been over a month now, and it looks awfully good," said Peter Yao, one of the 14 members of the redistricting commission.

Three L.A. County supervisors criticized over redistricting plan
The Los Angeles Times
Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said Michael D. Antonovich, Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky favor a redistricting plan that would make it more difficult to elect a second Latino to the five-member board. "Those three supervisors … are trying to hold onto a power structure that is outdated," Durazo said at a news conference. "They probably don't want competition from a Latino opponent."

Redistricting Proposals to be Presented at Town Hall Meetings

Berkeley Patch
The City of Berkeley is redefining its electoral district boundaries, which must be done every 10 years to reflect population change. The task is a complicated one, but a number of proposals are on the table, including one from a student group who wants to create a student-majority district to give Berkeley's large student population a more powerful political voice.

Supes hear redistricting plans
Ledger Dispatch
The discussion got under way during the first of two scheduled public hearings at the regular meeting of the Amador County Board of Supervisors Sept. 13. In a presentation to the board, County Surveyor and Deputy Registrar of Voters George Allen called redistricting “a very complicated subject.” Allen said the California Elections Code requires that after each decennial federal census, the board is required to adjust the boundaries of any or all of the supervisorial districts so that they shall be as nearly equal in population as possible.

Yolo County supervisors sign off on new district boundaries
Woodland Daily Democrat
Yolo County approved new supervisors' districts Tuesday, which will have Woodland cut into northern and southern portions.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve Redistricting Advisory Committee member Craig Reynolds' map, which would also take Winters out of the rural 5th District. More of Woodland will be in the 5th District.

San Bernardino County supervisors adopt redistricting plan
Redlands Daily Facts
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a San Bernardino County redistricting plan that continues to draw opposition from mountain and desert residents as well as a Latino advocacy group.

Board faces decision on new districts
Contra Costa Times
An overflow crowd is expected today as the Board of Supervisors tackles the once-a-decade task of redrawing Los Angeles County's voting boundaries, and decides whether to give Latinos more political clout

Latinos support tentative maps
The Davis Enterprise
First, it is important to let your readers know that residents of Winters participated in all the public hearings regarding redistricting. In addition , many individuals from Woodland, including Vice Mayor Skip Davies and Councilman Tom Stallard, supported the tentatively preferred maps. At Tuesday’s hearing, Davies and Stallard both discussed the fact that in June, the Woodland City Council approved a resolution that requested that Woodland not be divided into three supervisorial districts.

Newton: Creating a Latino district
The Los Angeles Times
The surface conversation concerns the rising demographic significance of Latinos and the vague but consequential question of what constitutes "polarized voting." One faction, led by Supervisor Gloria Molina, favors creating a second district that would include a majority of voting-age Latino citizens. Molina and her allies argue that creating such a district is a necessary next step in the political enfranchisement of Latino voters in Los Angeles. Without such a district, they say, Latinos are likely to continue to hold just one seat on the five-member Board of Supervisors, even though about one-third of the county's voting-age citizens — and almost half of its residents — are Latino.

Morena Valley: Council to review nine redrawn district maps
San Bernardino Press-Enterprise
The Moreno Valley City Council will conduct a public hearing tonight to review nine proposed maps of the five council districts, with redrawn boundaries to reflect population changes.

Menifee: New voting districts being drawn
The Press-Enterprise
New electoral districts are being drawn in Menifee, marking the third time in three years the city will change its voting lines. A group of residents began meeting this week to draw new maps that account for population changes in the 2010 census. Anne Pica, the group's chairwoman, said the committee hopes to alter the city's four districts as little as possible. "We want to make the community happy, and they were happy with the four districts," Pica said. One change Pica hopes to make will unite the gated Oasis community that is now split between two districts.

Capo Unified begins voter-approved redistricting process
Orange County Register
Capistrano Unified trustees on Monday hired a demographer to revise the district's election boundaries, the first step toward implementing a voter-approved plan to elect trustees by geographical area beginning next year.

Supervisors Hold Tense County Redistricting Hearing
Topanga Messenger
More than 800 people packed the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors boardroom on Sept. 6 as the supervisors sought input from the public regarding three rival county redistricting plans. At the meeting, the Board heard overwhelming public support for the Plan A3 Revised redistricting map, which was approved by the Boundary Review Committee. They also heard support for two alternative plans, T1 and S2, submitted by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina, that would ultimately create a second Latino supervisorial district.

County supervisors appear headed toward stalemate in redistricting battle
MercuryNews.com
The possibility that any proposed redistricting map for Los Angeles County supervisors will receive the necessary four votes to pass is looking slim. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina remain committed to maps that will build a new majority Latino district, while Supervisor Don Knabe is seeking to make minor changes to current district lines. On Friday, Molina and Knabe both said they believed a decision was unlikely at a meeting set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the County Supervisor's Board Hearing Room 381B at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple St., Los Angeles. The redistricting portion of the meeting isn't expected to be heard until 11 a.m.

Explaining merits of County Redistricting Plan A3
DailyBreeze.com
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on plans to redraw the district boundaries of Los Angeles County. Three proposed maps divide the county into five districts of nearly 2 million residents each. Two of those three plans were presented by the supervisors who represent the South Bay - Don Knabe and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Here, Knabe shares his perspective on the redistricting process and why each believes his proposal is the best for the county's residents.

Honestly Moving Past Racial Politics And Partisanship
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Group
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe wants us to move past racial politics and partisanship in the redistricting process. His website proudly proclaims this fact. But the current LA County redistricting dispute isn’t about race. It’s about fair representation for LA County’s cities. Fair representation doesn’t mean grouping a bunch of folks together because their skin color is the same. Fairness in this sense is grouping cities together because their issues are the same.

Candidates

Congressional candidates lines up backers in already hot races
Los Angeles Times
Candidates in some of what already are shaping up to be next year’s hottest congressional races are  adding to their endorsements lists at a brisk pace.

Redistricting Pits Two Incumbents At Odds

Canyon News
Two established democratic incumbents find themselves facing each other in June 2012 in a Democratic primary to represent the newly redrawn 30th congressional district in California’s San Fernando Valley. The district was redrawn as a result of the national census that is taken once every decade. The redrawing was done by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, a nonpartisan group that determined it was unnecessary for two districts that were represented respectively by Rep. Brad Sherman and Rep. Howard Berman to cover different portions of San Fernando Valley.

Gallegly’s response to speech
Ventura County Star
The article’s subhead read: "Will he run, or won't he? Republicans want to know." The only Republican quoted pushing Elton Gallegly to make a decision was from Orange County. What was that all about? Most of Simi Valley, including Elton's home, was gerrymandered out of Ventura County because the Redistricting Commission wanted to create a Democrat Latino Congressional District. They knew they couldn't get it with Simi Valley in the mix, so they put this part of the County in a district that runs across two mountain ranges, all the way to Victorville: gerrymandering at its worst.

Feuer just waiting for Trutanich decision
Daily News Los Angeles
Assemblyman Mike Feuer is caught in that political no man's land that many face these days. He is facing term limits in his West Los Angeles Assembly district, has ambitions for city attorney, but doesn't want to run against incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich in 2013. Trutanich, of course, has been "exploring" a race for district attorney next year and is the presumed frontrunner against a field of deputy and assistant district attorneys.

Berryhill talks issues with Patterson tea partyers
Patterson Irrigator
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres, has redistricting fresh on his mind as he plans to move out of the 21st District to San Joaquin County when making a bid for the 5th District Senate Seat next year. The assemblyman, whose district now includes Patterson, discussed newly drawn legislative district lines and government regulation among other topics during an hour-long forum hosted by the Patterson Tea Party Patriots on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Bilbray again may face strong Democratic challenge
Sign On San Diego
Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray could face challenges from two high-profile Democrats, making the campaign among the most intense in the region and placing it on the national chessboard in the struggle over control of the House in 2012. Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has announced her candidacy for the redrawn 52nd District and Port of San Diego Chairman Scott Peters, former president of the San Diego City Council, plans to make a decision in the coming days.

Tony Cardenas Is Headed To Congress: Howard Berman Endorsement Clears Last Roadblock
Los Angeles Weekly
Looks like Councilman Tony Cardenas can start looking for apartments in Washington, D.C. Today, he got the endorsement of Rep. Howard Berman in his race for the new "Latino" Congressional seat in the San Fernando Valley. That appears to eliminate the most serious threat to Cardenas' campaign: the chance that Berman would move into the district and bigfoot him out of the race.

Asian American groups enter fight over L.A. County supervisor districts
Los Angeles Times
A coalition of Asian Pacific Islander groups waded into the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' political redistricting fight Wednesday, backing a plan by member Don Knabe, a white Republican from Cerritos they say has supported them. By siding with Knabe, the groups joined opponents of two proposals seeking to create a second Latino-majority district on the five-member board. Such plans would undercut Asian American influence in county government, they argued.

Why redistricting Plan B-2 is not optimal
CalCoastNews.com
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors’ 2011 redistricting plan is in line to pass Tuesday, September 20. Redistricting is one of those thankless tasks that tends to generate more enemies than friends. But neither the Board of Supervisors nor any other representative body seems to be able to approach the task of its own redistricting from a neutral position.

Committee submits supervisorial redistricting plans
Lassen County Times
New district boundaries for the Lassen County Board of Supervisors will be coming this fall — the question is how sweeping will those changes be? Responding to the results of the 2010 U.S. Census in Lassen County and the dictates of both federal and state law, an ad hoc committee led by Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante presented three of nine redistricting plans it considered to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, Sept. 13 meeting.

Redistricting: Smith's Option A Modified chosen
The Ukiah Daily Journal
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a new map of the five county supervisor districts, ending a five-month redistricting process. The board adopted neither of the two maps developed by an eight-person citizen's advisory committee the board appointed for the job in May. The new district map, dubbed "Option A Modified," was drawn by 4th District Supervisor Kendall Smith after the advisory committee brought its two maps, options B2 and E2, before the board in July. The vote was 3-2, with 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown and 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches dissenting, each saying they would only consider the two maps the advisory committee drafted.

2011 Redistricting, San Bernardino County causes controversy
Examiner.com
This year’s new lines are a source of controversy in San Bernardino County.  Neither residents nor two of the five County Supervisors are happy with the new boundaries. San Bernardino County Supervisors began redistricting talks last May, with the goal of setting boundaries so that each district has approximately equal population and to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race.

Registrar of voters says redistricting expands American Canyon's political clout
Daily Democrat
Despite contentions that proposed school and college redistricting lines could enhance their political clout, City Council members are united in opposition to them. And because of that opposition, Napa County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said Tuesday night that the lines -- for the Napa County Board of Education and Napa Valley College Trustee voting districts -- might be reworked. Tuteur told the council Tuesday night that his proposed districts, which essentially split the city from north to south -- accomplish two things: They help him create mandated equal population voting districts, and they also provide residents the chance to help fill four seats instead of two on those boards.

County district lines approved
The Tribune
An exasperated Board of Supervisors majority approved its final redistricting plan Tuesday over the objections of two its members, who insisted again that the compromise proposal does not meet the wishes of the citizens of Templeton. “I can’t for the life of me see how Templeton is going to be damaged by this plan,” Supervisor Bruce Gibson said. “I don’t see how the voice of Templeton is somehow suppressed.” He joined Adam Hill and Jim Patterson in approving the plan.

Candidates
Santa Rosa council members weigh run for supervisor
PressDemocrat.com
Two political rivals from Santa Rosa are maneuvering for potential runs for the 1st District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Susan Gorin confirmed Friday that she is considering a bid for the seat now held by Valerie Brown, who is retiring at the end of 2012 after 10 years as a supervisor. “I'm not ready to go public with my plans. I'm still in the talking stage,” said Gorin, 58, who has served as mayor and as a city planning commissioner and school board trustee.

Hollywood plays starring role in Howard Berman-Brad Sherman clash
Politico
During his nearly three decades in Washington, California Rep. Howard Berman has become known as “the congressman from Hollywood.” Now Berman is counting on his famous friends to bolster him in the most perilous race of his political career: a looming post-redistricting Democratic primary against Rep. Brad Sherman. Berman’s contribution list reads like a red carpet lineup, including donations from Steven Soderbergh, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Jerry Zucker.

Johnson decries cost of a recall
Press-Telegram
Councilman James Johnson issued his official response Wednesday to a group's effort to recall him, saying that the potential $187,726 cost of the election should be spent on "real needs, not more elections." The response, which is allowed by law, follows the Recall James Johnson Committee filing last week of a notice of intent to circulate petitions recalling Johnson. The response must be included with the petition by state law.

Long Beach councilwoman Gerrie Schipske to run for Assembly
Press-Telegram
City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske announced late Tuesday that she will run next year for the new 70th Assembly District. The move will pit her against fellow council member Patrick O'Donnell, who announced his candidacy last month after the California Citizens Redistricting Committee finalized the state's new political borders. The new 70th District covers most of Long Beach, except for North Long Beach, along with Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.

Hopefuls eye seats for ’12
the-signal.com
While two Republican candidates have already announced they will seek the local Assembly seat in the 2012 election, the two Republican senators who represent the Santa Clarita Valley are more quietly going about campaigns for re-election. Meanwhile, the Assemblyman who is being termed out off office says he might seek election to the Senate; or could seek a seat in Congress. “I haven’t ruled anything out,” Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, said Wednesday.

Royce receives endorsements
The Daily Titan
Congressman Ed Royce is receiving widespread support for his campaign for representation in the new 39th congressional district. A list of endorsements was released Aug. 23 by his campaign group, Ed Royce for Congress. The list was released via press release by Dave Gilliard, Royce’s campaign consultant. It includes endorsements from officials all over Southern California like Sheriff Lee Baca, LA County Board of Supervisors members Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, and various other members of city governments.

McQuiston says it's the right time to move on
Ridgecrestca.com
After holding office for 15 years, and working as a public servant for almost 43 years, Jon McQuiston said Monday it was time to step aside. The Kern County First District Supervisor will not seek a fifth term in 2012, instead “going out on a high note.” “There’s a lot of people who want to serve and deserve an opportunity to do so,” McQuiston said. “I think too often, people try to hang on too long, whether it be in sports or in public service. There’s something to be said about going out on a high note.” McQuiston said he made the decision on Thursday after carefully evaluating the pros and cons of running for a fifth term.

Is Calif. Sen. Feinstein Vulnerable?
Jim Ellis Insights
According to a new poll released late last week by the California-based Field survey research organization, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is suffering from the lowest approval ratings of her nearly two-decade tenure in the U.S. Senate. The survey comes as troubling news for the former San Francisco mayor, just 14 months before she must again face the voters in the nation’s most populous state. The Field Poll of 1,001 registered California voters (Sept. 1-12; 3.2% error factor) shows 44 percent of voters surveyed would not send Feinstein back to Washington for a full fourth term if the election were held today.

Eric Swalwell Announces Run for Congress – Dublin High Grad Aims for New 15th District
OneDublin.org
Eric Swalwell, City of Dublin Councilmember and Alameda County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor, today announced his campaign for the newly drawn 15th District in the U.S. Congress for the 2012 election. Swalwell is a Dublin High School Class of ’99 grad (as well as the current president of the Dublin High Alumni Association) and earned his degree in law at the University of Maryland. Swalwell was profiled last year by OneDublin.org.
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