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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

 

Noah’s Ark Approach

With the Senate Lines facing the State Supreme Court today we thought we would focus a bit on the arguments before the court.  Particularly interesting from a map drawing perspective is the Noah’s Ark approach of just pairing up Assembly districts and coaxing them into a hastily made ship.

The Rose Institute has taken a swipe at the method in a manner that Republican Curmudgeon Emeritus and Rose Institute Board Member Tony Quinn has pointed out is not his version of nesting.  At the same time, Chris Chaffee of Redistricting Partners has applied his incumbent winner and loser focus to the Quinn nesting plan.  His analysis?  It surprisingly saves a couple key Republicans, protects incumbents, and fails to hold water after 2012.

Overall the Rose Institute and Redistricting Partners agree on this point: nesting of Assembly districts into Senate seats could have been acheived by the commission.  They chose not to do it, and now it is not possible to just next a bunch of seats that were not intended for that purpose.  It's like getting half way through making an omlett and deciding you want your eggs poached.

Outside of redistricting nerdom, the better application of Noah’s Ark could be yesterday’s late night leaks of Republican retirements from long-time members of Congress Wally Herger and Jerry Lewis.  Both tried to keep their decisions under wraps for a couple more days, but they couldn’t hold back the potent duo of Twitter and Jon Fleishman.  This round of retirements was also a nice vindication for Matt Rexroad who got some considerable heat a year ago when he predicted Herger and Lewis retirements.   Yes, a year ago that kind of statement was inflammatory… then last night it became true.

It should be noted that our predictions last year were that 10-12 members of Congress would not return to DC after the 2012 election cycle.  Last night we hit 10.

State

Nesting not an easy option for California Supreme Court
Rose Institute
On January 10th, the California redistricting process moves to the State Supreme Court. The Court faces a question it would undoubtedly prefer to avoid: the degree of involvement it will have in redistricting the State Senate. Following the 2001 round of redistricting, the Court in Andal vs Davis adopted a position of significant deference to legislative action in redistricting. In 2011, the Redistricting Commission is the "legislative" body. But Proposition 20, adopted by California voters in 2010, requires a significantly larger role for the Court in redistricting than the Court wanted in its Andal decision.

CA Supreme Court to Broadcast Statewide Redistricting Case
Find Law
Oral arguments for California's statewide redistricting case, Vandermost v. Bowen, will be broadcast live on Tuesday, January 10, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST. Arguments will be broadcast and webcast live on California Channel, a public affairs network. An archived audiocast will be available on California Channel on Wednesday, January 11. The case, which addresses the district lines that will be used for the California state Senate elections later this year, has been expedited to accommodate the statutory filing deadlines before the 2012 election.

Flash Report Gets It Wrong (I Know - We're Shocked Too) On Redistricting Report
California Progress Report
I consider Jon Fleischman a friend and his Flash Report blog an important reminder to California's resident ivory-tower intelligentsia that right-wingers can read and write, too - sometimes quite thoughtfully. But his piece Friday on the ill-advised attempt by Republican politicians to overturn by referendum the will of California's voters and the hard work of the bipartisan, Citizens Redistricting Commission was unique in its brazen disregard of, you know, obvious, widely-accepted facts.

AM Alert: California Supreme Court takes up redistricting fight
The Sacramento Bee
If Republican political consultant Dave Gilliard has his way today, the California Supreme Court will conclude he's on the verge of qualifying a referendum on the new state Senate district lines for the ballot in November. The court, meeting in San Francisco, is scheduled to consider at a 9 a.m. hearing whether to weigh in on which Senate districts will be used in this year's primary and general elections if the referendum qualifies. Gilliard is representing Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting, the group pushing to kill the Senate maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Supreme Court to weigh GOP claims on Senate maps
The Davis Enterprise
Republicans on Tuesday will ask the California Supreme Court to prohibit the use of newly drawn state Senate districts in this year’s elections while they try to qualify a ballot initiative intended to overturn the maps. GOP interests argue that their initiative is likely to qualify for the November ballot. That would trigger a provision of the state constitution that would halt use of the maps this year. The districts at issue are the product of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, a randomly selected, independent panel created by the voters.

Local

Highland Park Residents Express Redistricting Aims
Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch
Hundreds of Council District 1 residents filled St. Peter's Italian Catholic Church in Chinatown on Saturday afternoon to take part in a Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission community input hearing. From Highland Park to Echo Park to Koreatown, many of the residents who spoke made a similar plea to the city council appointed commissioners--unite our community. In Highland Park, which has been divided between Counci Districts 1 and 14 for more than 40 years, the calls for unification were made by community members like Richard Marquez, of the Historic Highland Park (HHPNC) neighborhood council; Gemma Marquez, a teacher at Yorkdale Elementary School and Paul Bonsell, a HHPNC stakeholder.

Trustees Take Another Stab at Redistricting
Mission Viejo Patch
Capistrano Unified School District trustees and the public will give input tonight on two new maps that redraw the areas from which the seven trustees are elected. The district looks at its trustee boundary areas every 10 years, right after the Census recalculates its population figures. By law, the districts must have roughly the same number of people residing in them. This year’s adjustment, however, takes on new meaning now that the voters decided to elect their trustees by area, instead of at large.

Business Community Weighs In on Council Redistricting
Hollywood Patch
The Hollywood business community appears to have mixed opinions about the upcoming redrawing of Los Angeles City Council districts, which affect which council members will represent Hollywood. Public hearings scheduled by the L.A. City Council Redistricting Commission are giving residents and business owners a chance to speak out on the issue before a draft plan is adopted later this month. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is urging its 900 members to support maintaining current district boundaries at a hearing planned for Monday at Los Angeles City College.

Redistricting: Should Valley Districts Completely Stay within the Valley?
KCET
Redistricting seems to be the one governmental process that can unite members of both aisles. And by unite I mean join together in fighting each other tooth and nail. I have previously detailed the numerous fights -- both at the courthouse and in the ballot box -- surrounding the newly drawn state legislative lines. Now comes word that a fight is brewing on the local level as well. Valley leaders are asking for the creation of new city council maps. Specifically, representatives for the San Fernando Valley are urging the creation of six districts completely contained in the Valley. These districts would not stretch over the hill.

LA Voters’ Political Voice Hangs on Redistricting Commission
KoreAm
Few people on the streets of Los Angeles are aware of a local process underway that could determine whether or not they have a voice at Los Angeles City Hall. The 21-member Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission, formed only once every 10 years, held a press briefing last week to boost public response to its efforts in redrawing the map of LA’s 15 City Council districts to reflect population changes since 2000. “We are talking about empowerment and political representation,” said Redistricting Commissioner Helen B. Kim, a respected attorney, who is also the commission’s controller.

Keep Our Community Together: Theme At CD 13 Redistricting Hearing
Echo Park Patch
The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission made its next-to-last stop Monday night, touching down at the Los Angeles City College Theatre. Located deep in the current City Council District 13, the theatre played host to almost a hundred people who came to share their views on how the district should be redrawn. Council District 13--currently represented by Eric Garcetti-- has seen 10.4 percent drop in population between 2000 and 2010.

Candidates

Gallegly to retire
Politico
Rep. Elton Gallegly will not seek reelection in 2012, he announced Saturday, forgoing an uphill post-redistricting race against fellow GOP Rep. Buck McKeon. "The decision to step aside at this time did not come lightly," the California Republican said in a statement. "It has been an honor and a privilege to have served our communities and our country for the past 25 years and I look forward to continue to do so for the next year." Gallegly, who was elected to the House in 1986, had been thrust into the same Los Angeles County-area district as McKeon by an independent redistricting commission.

Redistricting leads to Gallegly's retirement
Daily News Los Angeles
A longtime Republican congressman from Southern California announced Saturday he will retire rather than face another Southland GOP congressman in a new district's primary race. Rep. Elton Gallegly's decision to retire clears the way for Rep. Buck McKeon, of Santa Clarita, to run without significant opposition for the Republican nomination for the newly redrawn congressional district, which includes McKeon's home base in the Santa Clarita Valley. Gallegly, 67, announced his decision in a news release from his Washington office Saturday.

Two more GOP reps. from California leave
Human Events
Barely two days after longtime Rep. Elton Gallegly announced his retirement from Congress, two more veteran Republican U.S. Representatives from California are poised to say soon that they are also calling it quits in 2012. With the well-placed "Flash Report" breaking the early news on the West Coast, GOP Reps. Jerry Lewis and Wally Herger will soon declare that they are not running again.  Lewis, past chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, came to Congress in 1978 and Herger, senior GOP Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, was first elected in '86.

Candidates at the gate
Calaveras Enterprise
Calaveras voters will be faced with full ballots June 5, as seats for U.S. Congress, state Assembly and supervisors in Districts 1, 2 and 4 are up for election. For supervisor hopefuls Russ Thomas, Anita Paque, and Michael Dell'Orto, Jan. 3 kicked off their long journey to election day. Tuesday marked the first day candidates could pull petitions that allow them to collect 10 percent of voters' signatures in lieu of a filing fee. "A petition in lieu does not make them a candidate," county Elections Coordinator Rebecca Andahl said. "It just means that if they get the necessary signatures they will not have to pay the filing fee."

Retirement causes ripples in race
The Signal
A Ventura County congressman’s announcement that he will not seek re-election could trigger a domino effect and change careers for at least two locally elected politicians. Both Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, and Santa Clarita Valley Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, told The Signal separately Monday they will be holding serious talks about the future with their respective inner circles of friends and advisers.

Dogfight Over New 26th House District
Cal Watchdog
California’s 2012 redistricting already is shaking up state and even federal politics. The candidates’ dogfight for the new 26th congressional district could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives after the November election — or at least the degree of Republican control. Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, announced on Saturday that he’ll retire from Congress. He currently represents the old 24th Congressional District, which was drawn after the 2000 U.S. Census.

Redistricting could uproot San Francisco supervisors
The Examiner
Board of Supervisors President David Chiu may want to start packing. The City’s Redistricting Task Force is working on drawing new boundaries for the 11 supervisorial districts, and draft maps under discussion last week cut Chiu’s apartment on Clay and Polk streets out of his district, which includes the North Beach and Chinatown neighborhoods. The District 3 representative turned up at the Jan. 4 task force meeting to oppose the maps.

Update: More Candidates Emerge for Garcetti's Seat
Echo Park Patch
Council District 13, which includes large portions of Echo Park and Silver Lake, is facing changes. Current representative Eric Garcetti is termed out of office, after three terms. While Garcetti announced his candidacy for the Mayor’s office, others are now stepping forward to run for his seat on the council. The Eastsider reported earlier today that two new candidates have joined the race. Rueben Martinez of Atwater Village and Josh Post of Echo Park filed to run. They join two other candidates, who already filed their paperwork.

Auburn Recreation District director mulling a District 3 Placer County supes challenge
Auburn Journal
New Placer County Board of Supervisors boundaries could result in a challenge for incumbent District 3 representative Jim Holmes. North Auburn resident Scott Holbrook, an elected Auburn Recreation District board member, has taken out signature-in-lieu papers. It signals a first step in a possible run against Holmes, who is up for re-election after two, four-year terms on the county board. Holmes has also taken out signature-in-lieu papers.

Osborn throttles competition at first debate
Santa Monica Daily Press
Torie Osborn trounced her fellow Democratic candidates in the 50th Assembly District to take the Malibu Democratic Club's endorsement at the first debate between the three contenders in 2012. Osborn, a community organizer and former executive director of the Liberty Hill Foundation, scooped up 41 votes to win the endorsement. Assemblywoman Betsy Butler picked up five, and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom walked away with zero. Thirteen members of the club voted not to endorse anyone.

McCarthy floats David Dreier as possible Feinstein challenger
The Sacramento Bee
With less than six months to go until the June primary, viable Republican challengers to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein aren't exactly rushing to file nomination papers. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 ranking House Republican, suggested Monday that fellow House Republican David Dreier could be a formidable challenger. "He's a good member. He has probably statewide name ID, more so, having served," the Bakersfield Republican told a group of reporters Monday. "I think he's very smart, he's smart on issues. I think he'd be a big contrast."

Frye Throws Support Behind Saldaña in Race for CA-52
Examiner.com
Donna Frye, one of San Diego’s more intriguing public figures has come out early to endorse former State Assembly Member Lori Saldaña for Congress. Frye, the two time former Mayoral candidate and Councilmember for District 6 threw her support behind Saldaña due to what she stated as ‘shared ideas about governing’. “I’m supporting Lori’s candidacy for Congress because she stands up for the public’s best interest while staying true to the community and her grassroots vision of government,” Frye said.

Candidates line up to replace retiring Rep. Elton Gallegly
Daily News Los Angeles
Rep. Elton Gallegly's announcement last week that he will retire has set off a chain reaction of potential successors in the June 5 election. Ventura County Supervisor and moderate Republican Linda Parks announced her candidacy Monday. Democrat Supervisor Steve Bennett had already thrown his hat in the ring, and aides to state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Simi Valley, said he will make his decision in the coming days. Several other Democrats also have announced for the seat, one in which Democrats have placed a high priority on winning.

Enigmatic councilman a political wild card
The Sacramento Bee
Darrell Fong fancies himself an independent everyman on the Sacramento City Council, someone who isn't afraid to tell it like it is. For him, it's a badge of honor to declare, "I'm not a politician." He certainly isn't a polished or predictable one. That was on full display in Janelle Lathrop's living room at a recent neighborhood watch meeting. Fielding one question after another from a dozen Pocket residents, Fong didn't play it safe.