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Monday, January 30, 2012

 

It’s All Over But the Orphan

The State Supremes decided on Friday to not redraw the Senate maps, no matter how “likely” the referendum was to qualify.  This brings to a close for 2012 all of the efforts of the CA Republican Party to undo the maps in time for the June election.  We won’t say we told you so, but Joe Matthews will

With this decision the State Citizens Commission has gone 4-0 in the courts and it is unlikely that the referendum, if qualified, will get the financial backing it needs to be successful. 

The internal fundraising argument for referendum backers was that the process would give them another bite at the apple.  They could use the signatures to force a redraw, then upon seeing an alternative set of maps decide if it was worth it to fund the ballot measure.  With this decision the courts have said they will not draw lines before any referendum vote, so without something concrete to see as an alternative it would be hard to fund the measure. 

Additionally, it is the 2012 cycle with the loss of the Blakeslee and Strickland seats that provided the impetus for the referendum.  In 2014 the Senate Republicans should be able to hold what they have with a tough re-election for Cannella but an opportunity to take back the Correa seat which has become increasingly Vietnamese and Republican.  Why would the Republicans want to redraw lines in advance of the election cycle in which they actually fared well under the Commission plan? 

In short, it would be kookoo for the CRP to put any more of their limited resources into the referendum without seeing a map, particularly when that wouldn’t impact the 2012 cycle and could hurt 2014 where they have a potential pickup.  The CRP already spent a few million dollars on the referendum and varied lawsuits – all this while one of their best Senate candidates, Jeff Miller (http://www.millerforassembly.com/) has no million dollar voter registration program and can’t even afford a new URL.

State

California high court backs panel's new state Senate districts
The Los Angeles Times
The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Friday that candidates for state Senate this year should run in new districts drawn by a citizens commission, a plan that may give Democrats a two-thirds majority in the upper house. In a ruling written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the court said the election districts drawn by the nonpartisan commission, established after a 2008 ballot initiative, were legal and better than alternatives proposed by Republican opponents.

State high court allows new political maps: Decision likely means Sen. Blakeslee won't run
Mercury News
The state Supreme Court ruled this morning that the upcoming 2012 elections will use maps created by a state redistricting panel, bolstering state Democrats' efforts to win supermajorities in the state Legislature. The unanimous decision also means state Sen. Sam Blakeslee won't seek re-election, likely handing Democrats one of two seats needed to push their legislative agenda through the Senate. Blakeslee, a San Luis Obispo Republican, does not believe he can win the new Central Coast Senate seat, which shifted heavily to Democrats when finalized by a 14-member Citizen's Redistricting Commission.

California Supreme Court denies challenge of Senate maps
The Sacramento Bee
The California Supreme Court ruled today that state Senate maps drawn by a citizens commission will be used in this year's elections, despite a pending referendum to overturn them. In a 73-page decision, justices evaluated several proposed alternative maps and concluded that the Senate lines drawn by the 14-member commission were the most appropriate and least disruptive to this year's elections.

CA high court spurns GOP redistricting request
The Daily Democrat
The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that Senate districts drawn by California's new citizens' commission must be used this year, even if the Republican Party's referendum to overturn the panel's maps gets enough signatures to force a November vote. The high court's unanimous decision means that Democrats, because of how the maps were drawn, could gain two more seats in the Senate, enough for the two-thirds majority required to approve new taxes. Republicans accused the court of undermining the rule of law and fretted over the ruling's implication.

Republicans Lose California Redistricting Dispute
Trial Insider
A Republican group lost its effort to put new state senate districts on hold and the lost in the California Supreme Court, which has a 6-1 Republican-appointee majority. The high court Friday said the lines drawn by a new citizens’ commission must be used in the 2012 elections in June and November. The Republican group had asked the state Supreme Court to put the newly drawn districts on hold until voters have a chance to sound off on a call to repeal them in November. The court’s vote was unanimous.

Supremes Won't Block Redistricting Maps
KQED News
If the state Senate districts drawn by California's new citizens redistricting panel are going to be erased and redrawn this decade, it will only happen if a referendum qualifies for the November ballot and voters agree. That's because the final legal attempt by GOP activists to block the map was resoundingly rejected Friday morning by the California Supreme Court. The court's 92 page ruling offers a fascinating look into what happens when something as politically charged as redistricting slams into the preternaturally cautious world of the courts

State Supreme Court upholds senate redistricting plan
KTVU.com
The California Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state Senate maps drawn last year by an independent redistricting commission, dealing a blow to GOP attempts to block Democrats from gaining enough seats to pass taxes on their own. The high court announced that the Senate maps drawn by the citizens commission should be used in the June primary and November general election, even though an initiative challenging the map is expected to qualify for the ballot. Republicans are seeking an initiative to overturn the new boundaries and wanted the new maps tossed out until voters decide the issue.

Redistricting, the Hole Republicans Won't Stop Digging
NBC Southern California
Why do California Republicans keep fighting a fight they can't win? They received plenty of good advice, including right here at Prop Zero (We Told You So!), that their efforts to challenge the new state senate districts drawn by the citizens redistricting commission were a waste of time and money. But they ignored it, and went forward with an expensive referendum. And today, the  Calfiornia Supreme Court ruled that the 2012 elections will go forward under the commission's districts, even if the referendum qualifies.

State high court upholds legislative redistricting map
DailyBreeze.com
The California Supreme Court on Friday upheld a new political map drawn by the state's independent redistricting commission in a ruling that gives Democrats their long-awaited opportunity to control two-thirds of a legislative chamber, the threshold needed to pass tax increases. The high court announced its unanimous decision that the Senate map drawn last year by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission should be used in the June primary and November general election, even though a Republican-backed referendum challenging the map is expected to qualify for the ballot.

State Supreme Court spurns Republican request to keep old maps
The Santa Cruz Sentinel
The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that Senate districts drawn by California's new citizens' commission must be used this year, even if the Republican Party's referendum to overturn the panel's maps gets enough signatures to force a November vote. The high court's unanimous decision means that Democrats, because of how the maps were drawn, could gain two more seats in the Senate, enough for the two-thirds majority required to approve new taxes. Republicans accused the court of undermining the rule of law and fretted over the ruling's implication.

California Supreme Court Leaves Senate Districts in Place for 2012 Elections
NBC Bay Area
The California Supreme Court ruled Friday that state Senate district lines drawn up by a citizens' commission should be used in the June primary and November elections. The panel rejected a request by the Republican sponsor of a referendum petition to suspend those district lines and use one of several alternatives instead. A statewide hand count of signatures to determine whether that referendum qualifies for the November ballot is due to be completed by Feb. 24.

Supreme Court upholds Commission Senate maps
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
The California Supreme Court ruled Friday to uphold redistricting maps for state Senate election races in June and November. Alternative Senate maps were not better than the commission's version, and there was also no time to draw, analyze and provide public scrutiny of new ones, the justices reasoned. The decision is considered a setback for Republican attempts to block Democrats from gaining enough seats to pass taxes on their own.

State high court upholds legislative redistricting map
Press-Telegram
The California Supreme Court on Friday upheld a new political map drawn by the state's independent redistricting commission in a ruling that gives Democrats their long-awaited opportunity to control two-thirds of a legislative chamber, the threshold needed to pass tax increases. The high court announced its unanimous decision that the Senate map drawn last year by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission should be used in the June primary and November general election, even though a Republican-backed referendum challenging the map is expected to qualify for the ballot.

Keep commission’s Senate lines for 2012
The Press-Enterprise
Republican prospects for future relevance in the state Senate dimmed Friday when the California Supreme Court rejected a GOP-led effort to derail an independent panel’s redrawn Senate map for this year’s elections. In a decision with broad implications for the balance of power in the 40-member Senate, the court ordered the state to use the Senate plan approved last summer by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, regardless of whether a referendum measure to overturn the map qualifies for the November ballot.

Local

Redistricting the Council: The Pieces Don't Add Up to a Plan
KCET
Slicing and dicing Los Angeles into new city council districts isn't going to be pretty, easy or even fair. As Jessica Levinson noted at 1st and Spring, the special commission set up to draw new boundaries voted a bare majority to release a proposed map that would make - and break - political ambitions at City Hall. And that has everyone wondering how the puzzle pieces will eventually fall into place. The commission chairman has said he will convene a series of public meetings to gather comments, before the commission approves a final map by the March 1 deadline.

Redistricting just got interesting - Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills tossed up between Wesson and Parks
Leimert Park Beat
Leimert Park and Baldwin Hills seems to be caught in a struggle between the new City Council President Herb  and Councilman Bernard Park. The Redistricting Commission released a draft of the new Los Angeles City Council districts boundaries, moving Leimert Park Village from the 8th to the 10th district. At 11 a.m.  Saturday, Feb. 11, the Commission will hold a public hearing at West Angeles Church, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd. Be there. Be heard.

Armenians hope new districts give them a voice on Pasadena school board
Pasadena Star-News
Armenian voters appear to be the big winners in the ongoing effort to divide the Pasadena Unified School District board into seven geographic voting districts, according to Chris Chahinian, Armenian community leader and a member of the PUSD redistricting task force. On two of the draft maps, a voting sub-district has been formed to keep together the ethnic group's coalition of voters, many of whom live along or near North Allen Avenue. Chahinian said the concessions to his community are long overdue. "The Armenian community has been in Pasadena since the 1880s and to not have a consistent voice in the school district is an outrage," he said.

Candidates

Sam Blakeslee not running for reelection
CalCoastNews.com
State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, officially announced he will not seek reelection shortly after the California Supreme Court validated redistricting maps slated to give the Democrats an edge. On Friday, the high court decided that senate maps drawn recently by a 14-member independent commission will be used for this year’s legislative elections, even though a pending referendum challenging the maps is expected to qualify for the ballot.

Marty Block Sets Sights On 39th State Senate Seat; High Court Affirms New Senate District Boundaries
East County Magazine
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision to leave newly redrawn state Senate boundaries in place for this year’s elections. That’s good news for Assemblyman Marty Block, a Democrat and education expert running for the 39th State Senate district. The redrawn district has a 38.1% Democratic registration, 30.9% Republican and 26.1% decline to state, giving Block a clear advantage. In an exclusive interview with ECM, Block shared his goals and recapped his legislative accomplishments.

Santa Monican hopes to unseat Feinstein
Santa Monica Daily Press
A Santa Monica businessman has thrown his hat into the ring to challenge longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein when she runs for her fourth term in November. Al Ramirez, 43, felt that now was the time to challenge the career politician with a fresh perspective and ideas he believes will help turn around the flagging national economy. "I believe in new types of businesses, new types of opportunities," Ramirez, a Republican, said.

New Line-Up of Democrats for El Cerrito Solicit Signatures in City
El Cerrito Patch
If you're wondering why Congressman George Miller and state Senator Loni Hancock, who don't represent El Cerrito, were in town Saturday morning with Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, who does represent the city, to collect signatures for their re-election campaigns, the answer is redistricting. Though Miller and Hancock's current districts do not include El Cerrito and Kensington, recent redistricting puts the two communities into new Congressional and state Senate districts that Miller and Hancock hope to represent.