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Friday, October 14, 2011


State

California remap commission asks for lawsuits to be dismissed
The Sacramento Bee
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission's legal response said its maps complied with constitutional requirements and that the lawsuits rely "exclusively on the unsupported factual speculation and legal conclusions of a single, shared 'expert' -- whose preferences they would substitute for the Commission's public process, measured deliberations, and careful exercise of its constitutional mandate."

Redistricting Reflects The State’s Demographic and Economic New Realities
The Planning Report
Now that redistricting season is over, the focus is on the possible results—usually in the context of the partisan horse race:  how many seats will the Democrats and Republicans end up with in both houses of the Legislature and in California’s Congressional delegation in Washington?  Who loses their seats in the high stakes game of musical chairs?  Berman or Sherman? Osborne or Butler? It’s all part of the decennial ritual for political junkies across America and here in Southern California.

Redistricting nightmare: Politics as usual
The Huey Report
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC) was formed to provide fair, objective districts designed without gerrymandering, or a repeat of any past craziness—like dividing cities and areas with common interest. What we got are divided cities, broken promises—and politics as usual. This best describes the final district boundaries drawn by the CCRC. The result: Uncompetitive races, incumbents who never lose, districts that divide cities and boundaries that make no sense, especially from the viewpoint of “communities of interest” criteria specified by voters.

Senate Referendum Efforts Benefits From Over $1 Million In Donations To State GOP
The Flash Report
Our sources have confirmed that this week the California Republican Party has received over a million dollars in donations that will be used to super-charge the signature gathering process to refer to the voters the State Senate lines drawn by the California Redistricting Commission.   This is not “committed” funding — we have confirmed that these donations have already been put into the party’s bank account.

Group seeks to toss out electoral maps
the-signal.com
Local advocates who spent a good part of their summer calling on redistricting commissioners to keep Santa Clarita Valley whole are getting help from petition-writing groups seeking to toss out the revised electoral maps. A group called Fairness & Accountability In Redistricting — with the help of the California Republican Party — has until Nov. 13 to submit a petition that would essentially rip up maps drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and order them replaced with alternate court-drafted ones.

Redistricting Reform Threatens Minority Voice
Minority News
Few ordinary Californians have been more intensely interested in the state’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission than Berkeley-based Tea Party activist David Salaverry.  Back in March, he realized that the fledgling panel, with its 14 citizen members drawing political districts instead of politicians and its commitment to openness and transparency instead of behind-the-scenes deal-making, offered a golden opportunity for conservative Californians to influence the redistricting process at a time when their political clout was waning in other ways.

The Congressional Redistricting Shuffle: The Status of this Decennial Dance
AGC of America
Every ten years following the census, state legislatures, special commissions, courts, and occasionally the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) engage in a complex, two-step dance to redraw congressional district lines to address population shifts. AGC PAC continues to closely monitor the status of this process across the country to better position the construction industry for the 2012 election. To date, 21 states have completed the congressional redistricting process—accounting for just 153 of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Local

SCC redistricting to impact board representation
The Benicia Herald
Like other governing bodies in California, Solano Community College is undergoing redistricting, drawing new electoral boundaries for its Governing Board of Trustees. And when the map redrawing is done next spring, the number of voting districts may expand from four to as many as seven, said Dr. Jowel Laguerre, SCC superintendent-president. “Currently we have four districts: Benicia, Suisun City and part of Vallejo; Vallejo proper; Fairfield; and Vacaville, Winters and Dixon,” Laguerre said.

City council districts redrawn in San Jose
Mercury News
Ten San Jose City Council districts simultaneously changed political boundaries this week in order to equally represent each citizen in a more than 950,600-person city. But District Four, covering much of North San Jose and considered the fastest-growing council district in the city by population, will see few boundary changes under a final redistricting map that became effective yesterday (Oct. 13).

Seal Beach sets its redistricting agenda
Sun Newspapers
The process of redrawing Seal Beach council districts began Monday night, Oct. 10.  The City Council introduced an amended ordinance that moved some residents from District 3 into District 1.  Council District 3 is represented by Councilman Gordon Shanks. District 1 is represented by Councilwoman Ellery Deaton.

Supervisors approve county redistricting
Ledger Dispatch
Supervisors have approved a redistricting plan made necessary by Amador County’s changing population numbers as reported by the 2010 U.S. Census. Deputy Registrar of Voters George Allen, who also holds the job of county surveyor, said the new lines were drawn in accordance with state and federal rules. Allen said he had received three requests for parcel adjustments from the board since the first public hearing on the redistricting plan held Sept. 13. “There was an area up by Pine Grove, between Pine Grove-Volcano Road, and Highway 88 there, that was in Supervisor (Brian) Oneto’s (district), I moved that back into District 4,” said Allen.

Town Hall Meetings Coming to San Mateo
San Mateo Patch
Councilmember David Lim will help host two town hall meetings in San Mateo in an effort to engage the community in local issues, the first of which is scheduled to take place Thursday. Thursday's meeting, sponsored by the San Mateo Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, will feature Assemblymembers Jerry Hill and Sally Lieber as they discuss “How Redistricting Affects You.”

Candidates

Merced Co. Sheriff Mark Pazin decides against congressional run
The Fresno Bee
Scratch Mark Pazin off the Republican congressional wish list. Pazin, who is currently serving his third term as Merced County Sheriff, was approached by several prominent Republicans to run for Congress in the newly created 16th District -- which includes half the City of Fresno, parts of Fresno and Madera counties and all of Merced County. He considered it, but decided against it. Pazin cited three major reasons that played into his decision:

Royce extends fundraising lead over Miller
The Orange County Register
In Orange County’s most competitive congressional race – which pits two incumbent Republicans against each other – Fullerton’s Ed Royce has extended his already significant fundraising lead over Diamond Bar’s Gary Miller. His just-filed campaign report shows that Royce raised $353,00 in the third quarter, bringing his campaign account to $3.05 million.

City Council Candidate Joe Buscaino Talks About Campaign
KCET
Janice Hahn's election to Congress has left an empty seat on the Los Angeles City Council. Eleven candidates are now vying for her vacant council district 15 seat in a special election to be held Nov. 8. Joe Buscaino, an LAPD officer, is one of those candidates. Buscaino says he is running for city council after being approached by several members of the community.

District Issues Take Center Stage At Council District 15 Candidate Forum
KCET
Around 100 people came out to hear what some of the candidates for the vacant 15th district city council seat had to say Wednesday night. The event, attended by eight of the 11 official candidates, was held at L.A. Harbor College. Former city council member Robert Farrell, now a write-in candidate, also joined the forum. The candidates sat according to the order their names will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The evening was more of a discussion than a debate, an aspect that surprised a few

Morrell could face Dutton in 40th Assembly District race
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Freshman assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, might be facing a fellow Rancho politician when he's up for re-election next year. His potential primary opponent is Senate minority leader and Sacramento veteran Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who terms out of the Senate next year. Dutton on Tuesday said he wants to continue in public service and is eyeing a run the 40th Assembly District. "I want to continue on in public service if the people let me," Dutton said. "I've learned a lot and I think I have a lot to still provide. I can still do two more terms in the Assembly. That's currently what my plans are, but we'll have to wait and see."

Sacramento Councilman Rob Fong says he won't run again
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Councilman Rob Fong, among the most well-known faces in local politics and a key figure in the city's ongoing struggle to build a new sports arena, says he will not seek re-election in the June primary. Fong told The Bee on Wednesday that after eight years on the City Council and six years on the Sacramento City Unified School District board, he will leave politics when his term ends in November 2012.

Hansen throws his hat into the ring for District 4 Council seat
Sacramento Press
Local community activist Steve Hansen announced Thursday that he will run for City Council in 2012, seeking the District 4 council seat currently held by Councilman Rob Fong, who announced Wednesday that he will not seek another term. At the moment, he is the only horse on the track for District 4, but Hansen said he knows others may join the race. The lack of – or potential for – other candidates wasn’t part of his decision to run, however.

Who’s Going to Run Against Dianne Feinstein?
Fox and Hounds
The election is a little more than a year away and no major Republican candidate has announced a run against incumbent U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Often cited as the most revered politician in the state, Feinstein has won four elections to the senate, and in a strong Democratic state, she would seem tough, if not impossible, to beat. Still, there have been signs that the challenge may not be hopeless. The last two Field Polls have her approval rating a scant four points and two points ahead of disapproval.

Third-Quarter Reports Show Member Donations to Howard Berman
Roll Call
At least four Members of Congress donated money last quarter to Rep. Howard Berman (Calif.), who is running against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a redrawn Los Angeles-area district. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) were among his list of contributors, which also included big names in the entertainment industry.

Downey mayor to run for state Assembly again
The Downey Patriot
After months of speculation, Downey Mayor Luis Marquez formally announced on Tuesday that he will run for the California State Assembly in the newly-created 58th District. "This is a great opportunity to be able to represent Downey and other local cities in this brand new 58th Assembly District," Marquez said. "There are very few champions fighting for working families and these cities, I hope to bring the skills of what we've done in Downey, creating jobs, balancing the budget, and economic development, to Sacramento."

Denham acquires challenger
The Modesto Bee
San Joaquin County native and former astronaut Jose Hernandez will launch his political career today when he formally announces his candidacy in the 10th Congressional District. Hernandez will be vying for the chance to take on freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, in a newly redrawn, Stanislaus-County focused district whose contours still face a potential legal challenge. "As an astronaut, I relied on thousands of people to do their job. As citizens, we rely on Congress to do their job, and they are failing miserably," Hernandez said in remarks prepared for delivery at his campaign kickoff.

Congressional Candidates Race to the Left at Debate
Novato Patch
If you’re looking for the arch, absolute, antipodal response to Tuesday’s Republican Party Presidential debate at Dartmouth College, look no further than last week's debate among eight candidates vying to represent the reapportioned 2nd Congressional District.  It was clear from the outset that Lynn Woolsey’s soon-to-be vacated Congressional seat has attracted politicos from across the geographically massive district, which stretches from the north anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge and up the entire 286-mile California coastline to Crescent City and the Oregon border.

Seven candidates vie for three seats on Monrovia school board
Pasadena Star-News
Incumbents Ed Gililland and Bryan Wong will square off with five other candidates for three school board seats in a race focused on the district's financial challenges. The two incumbents are running against former mayor and businessman Rob Hammond, retiree David Crabtree, escrow officer Janeane Lechuga Covarrubias, businessman Ed McCarthy and entrepreneur Terrence G. Williams for seats on the Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education.

CA primary opponents Berman, Sherman split on trade votes
The Hill
Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who will face off in a primary in a newly drawn Los Angeles-based district, split on a series of votes to ratify free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea Wednesday night, an issue that could emerge as a major policy difference between the two candidates, who have voted similarly over the many years they've shared in Congress. Berman voted for all three trade bills, while Sherman opposed them.

COUSD Candidate Q&A: What Do You Bring to the Board?
Glendora Patch
With school board elections coming up, it's important that voters know as much as they can about their candidates. At Glendora Patch, we'd like to offer voters an easily accessible and centralized place to meet each of their candidates in a weekly Q&A forum. There are three incumbents and two newcomers vying for two empty seats. With Election Day Nov. 8, we’re giving voters the opportunity to get to know their candidates for Charter Oak Unified School Board.

San Ramon council candidates have their say
Mercury News
Incumbents in the San Ramon council race vowed to maintain the city's quality of life and newcomers said they plan to bring a new voice to elected leadership during last week's mayoral and council candidates forum. On Nov. 8, San Ramon voters will select two council members and a new mayor. Running for council are incumbent Scott Perkins, termed-out mayor Abram Wilson and challenger Phil O'Loane, a former San Ramon planning commissioner. Voters will also chose a new mayor. Councilwoman Carol Rowley and Bill Clarkson, a former San Ramon Valley School Board trustee, are running for the spot.

Mayoral Candidate: John Marchand
Livermore Patch
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? I am running for this office for the same reason that I originally ran for public office twenty years ago; to make the community a better place to live.  That is why I served on the Zone 7 water Board.  My experience and leadership resulted in significant improvements to water quality that the region still enjoys to this day.

Mayoral Candidate: Barbara Hickman
Livermore Patch
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? My primary reason for running for office is that, as I was collecting signatures on the petition for Keep BART on 580, so many people commented that "We have to replace the current Council," or words to that effect, combined with the urging by former mayor Cathie Brown, former Dublin mayor Linda Jeffery Sailors, and former County Supervisor Valerie Raymond. After mulling it over, I realized that a win is possible, and with so much public opposition to the current Council, perhaps even probable.

Meet the candidates: Ventura City Council
VCReporter
The VCReporter continues its coverage of the Ventura City Council election this week by publishing two interviews per week. Three weeks in, we have featured six of the 11 candidates. This week, Ken Cozzens and Cheryl Heitmann. As many Ventura residents will vote by mail, all interviews will be online at vcreporter.com starting Thursday Oct. 13. If it isn’t on the homepage, search for, Meet the Candidates: Ventura City Council 2011. We will also do endorsements in the Oct. 20 issue while interviews will still be published over the next few weeks.