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Friday, April 20, 2012

 

Keeping Up with the Redistrictingians

The latest review of California Redistricting comes from PBS with Power to the people, an analysis that likens the redistricting process to a rock concert that results in Brad Sherman handing out combs to confused 10 year olds who don’t get the joke (or vote).  Politico calls CA's process the Mother of All Redistrictings focusing on the electoral upheveal described by the Cook Political Report (behind a paywall).

The redistricting retrospective includes now a proposal by the commission to make several innocous changes for 2021 - including shifting deadlines, providing more time for the selection process and requiring that any bill amending the redistricting process to be in print for 12 days instead of 10.  Clearly earth-shattering work that will revolutionize the redistricting process in CA once again.

Also this week the Studio City Patch had an article titled “Ask Paul… what’s next in the redistricting process.”  This Paul is LA Councilman and former State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian who survived redistricting without having his seat parodied as a Big Fat Turkey,  Evil Squirrel,  U.S. Army Tank,  Losing Matador or a Ridiculous Poodle.

Of course, if the news media was really on their game they would have run “Ask Paul… what in the hell is going on with the Armenian political structure?”  Kim Kardashian, who is undeniably waaaay better looking than current rising star Adrin Nazarrian,  has suggested she may run for Glendale mayor.  Our more astute readers will recognize there is no such mayoral race given that it is a rotating position among councilmembers, but that doesn’t stop the news from briefly hitting #2 in Yahoo searches.(no info on if that was with the SafeSearch feature turned on or off).  She even got a supportive LA Times editorial, an endorsement from Glendale City Councilman Rafi Manoukian, and job offer as Chief of Staff from Councilman Ara Najarian – something that probably didn’t sit well with his current staff.

 

State

California, the Mother of all Redistrictings
Politico
The latest round of congressional redistricting is causing political havoc in a number of states, but nowhere near as much as in California.

Bill proposes changes for California's new redistricting process

The Sacramento Bee
Now that California's legislative and congressional districts have been drawn for the first time ever by an independent citizens commission, the 14-member panel is recommending ways to smooth the process in years to come. The commission's recommendations are contained in gut-and-amended legislation, Senate Bill 1096, proposed by the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee. The redistricting commission, created by voter passage of Proposition 11 in 2008, drew Assembly, Senate, Board of Equalization and state congressional districts last year that will be used in this year's statewide election.

Need to Know, Friday, April 13, 2012: Power to the people
PBS
This week, Need to Know travels to California to explore the state’s “experiment in democracy” — where ordinary citizens, not elected officials, are responsible for redistricting.

Organizations Can Now See How Redistricting Has Changed Their Members' Congressional Districts
CBS8.com
Online Image, a GIS software and technology company, today announced the Geocoded Address Batch Processing Service for New Congressional District Matching. This service is the first to match addresses to newly redrawn districts, enabling organizations to update their member address files and direct their members to support the candidates they endorse for the 2012 elections. "If an organization wants its members to support a particular candidate, it must first know which members are in that candidate's district. Due to recent state redistricting, more than 80 percent of the nation's congressional districts have changed. Many voters are no longer in the same districts they were before. Our batch address process makes this discovery painless for organizations," said Mitchell Pearce, CEO of Online Image.

New California district maps complete
Lassen County Times
The Citizens Redistricting Commission for the State of California (CRCSC) has completed the historic first creation of statewide district maps for Assembly, Senate, Board of Equalization (BOE) and Congress in accordance with the provisions of Article XXI of the California Constitution. The maps have received final approval by the CRCSC and have been certified by the Secretary of State. Redistricting is the redrawing of political boundaries for elective offices after the U.S. Census is complete. The goal is to reshape the political landscape into more competitive terrain.

Local

Early OK for SD County redistricting reform
U-T San Diego
Following the lead of California voters, San Diego County supervisors are pushing for a local independent commission to draw political boundary lines. But who should be on the commission has raised serious questions as some legislative Democrats questioned whether retired judges adequately reflect California’s diverse population. Nevertheless, legislation to make that happen was approved by the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee Thursday. “Voters should elect their officials and politicians should not pick their voters,” Supervisor Greg Cox told the committee.

Panel Oks Bill To Alter Supervisor Redistricting
U-T San Diego
A Senate panel Thursday unanimously approved legislation allowing San Diego County to change its Board of Supervisors’ redistricting process by establishing an independent commission of retired judges to draw political boundaries every 10 years. Who should be eligible to serve on the commission drew sharp questions from Democrats wary of whether retired judges adequately reflect California’s diverse population. The change would not come quickly. Gov. Jerry Brown would have to sign the measure into law and then local voters would have to approve amending the county’s charter. Supervisors have time to accomplish the mission, however. Redistricting rolls around only once every 10 years after the U.S. Census Bureau reports demographic changes.

Maywood to contest proposed boundaries for LAUSD District 5
Los Angeles Wave
City officials will lodge a formal protest with the Los Angeles Unified School District against a new alignment for District 5 which attaches Southeast cities to South and East Los Angeles. “Their population is much greater than ours. We will never be able to elect a board member from the Southeast area,” said Councilman Felipe Aguirre, referring to the cities of Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate and Vernon. “We may have to wait for the next census [in 2020] for a new district. I think the current district was master-minded by the city of Los Angeles. We need to say something,” Aguirre said. Mayor Ed Varela agreed. “There were less than 30 people at the meeting [to explain the new district]. They are trying to disenfranchise us. We have to stand up for our children,” he said.

Ask Paul...What's Next in the Redistricting Process?
Studio City Patch
Dear Councilman, Now that the City Council has voted to adopt the new lines, what's next? When can we expect you to be our Councilman in NoHo? Thanks! Mintzy Greg, North Hollywood-- Dear Mintzy, As it is mandated to do every decade by the City Charter, the Council recently voted to change the district lines of all 15 of its districts. Now that the Council has approved boundaries for each district, I will be representing a new variation of Council District 2 by July 1. By way of background, this redistricting process is required because each Census establishes shifts in the population of the City and its many communities, and all of the districts are required to maintain an approximately equal number of residents.

Pomona City Council to consider mail-election proposal
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Before either tax can be increased they must be place on a ballot for voter approval, according to a city staff report. If the city was to go to an all-mail ballot election, the city could have a special August election and if the tax measures were approved, the increases could be implemented sooner than if it went before voters in November, according to the staff report. Council members have the option of adopting an ordinance authorizing an all-mail ballot election and starting to prepare for a special August election or continue with the current system and place the possible tax measures on the regular November ballot, according to the staff report.

Final Supervisor District Map Approved: What it Means …
Beyond Chron
At 6:00 p.m. on April 14th (six hours ahead of the City Charter’s deadline), the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force approved a new map of the eleven districts – which will determine all Board of Supervisors elections for the next ten years. Of course, District 6 (which had to lose 20,000 people) will see the most change – but the Task Force really did their best to respect all current boundaries, only nibbling at the edges when necessary. District 1 will become slightly more moderate, and District 8 slightly more progressive – but the key word here is “slightly.” District 9 Supervisor David Campos now has to meet 15,000 new constituents – as he picked up the North Mission and got the rest of Portola, but also lost “Glen Bernal.”

Redistricting talk comes to Ward 4
The Press-Enterprise
Riverside Councilman Paul Davis wants to keep the Casa Blanca neighborhood in his ward through the redistricting process, but he should also retain the auto center, he said Thursday. His comments came at a public meeting on how the city should redraw the seven council wards to balance their populations. About 20 residents came to the Thursday meeting, hosted by Davis, to ask questions and give input. “Ward 5, if they’re not going to take Casa Blanca, they’re not going to take the auto center,” which has no residents, Davis said, adding, “Am I going to fight for Casa Blanca? Darn right I am. …I want to keep it.”

In Final Week, S.F. Redistricting Tinkers At the Edges
Beyond Chron
In less than a week, San Francisco’s Redistricting Task Force will have finished its job – and the City’s 11 supervisorial district boundaries will be set for the next ten years. And while they are still taking input and will alter the map until the very last meeting on April 14th, a majority of Task Force members have said at meetings that “major” decisions have been made – so we are probably now left tinkering at the edges. Populations between districts will be equalized, attempts at uniting neighborhoods will continue and decisions over exact blocks will be made. Ten years ago, we had a far more partisan process – with “progressive” and “moderate” Task Force members pushing particular agendas.

Herdt: We Got Our District. Now What?
Ventura County Star
There may be no one in California more passionate about political redistricting than Irma Lopez, a longtime fixture in Oxnard's civic affairs. A decade ago, after the Legislature drew congressional and legislative districts that marginalized voters in Ventura County's largest city, Lopez actually broke into tears. But now it's a new day in Oxnard. Under the plan crafted by the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, it was not only kept whole but also grouped in the new 26th Congressional District with the three other county cities — Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and Fillmore — in which Latinos make up a majority of residents.

Mt. SAC going to districts
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
The Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees recently changed the way each board member is elected, switching from at-large elections to individual districts and expanding the board from five to seven members. By a 4-1 vote, the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees approved a major redistricting plan that adds two members to its board and ends at-large trustee elections. Trustees will be elected from within seven distinct geographic areas. Each trustee will be elected by voters within each area. The number of trustees on the board will expand from five to seven. Only trustee Fred Chyr voted against the plan.

Redistricting Will Reunite Most of the Mission
Mission Local
The Mission Housing Development Corporation has helped low-income Mission District residents find affordable housing for more than 40 years. But when the San Francisco supervisorial districts were redrawn 10 years ago, the nonprofit organization’s office at 16th and Valencia streets was outside of the Mission’s boundaries. “It’s like they cut the Mission in half,” said Larry Del Carlo, Mission Housing Development’s president. “When you think of the culture and feel of the Mission, it has always included the North Mission.” That 10-year-old map placed the district’s northern boundary at 20th Street east of Treat Street and between 17th and 19th streets west of Treat.

Divided Portola seeks unity in S.F. redistricting
The San Francisco Chronicle
A little-known neighborhood in southeast San Francisco that's hugged by two freeways and is home to working-class families with little political clout has become the sharpest point of contention in the decennial exercise of redrawing the boundaries of the city's supervisors' districts. Under the city's current political map, the Portola district is divided in two, and the neighborhood's residents are clamoring to make it whole. "We're not OK with how it is now," said Dwayne Jusino, a Portola resident for the past 25 years who has been active in neighborhood issues and ran a losing race for supervisor in the 2006 District 10 election.

City Council to Deliberate on LAUSD Redistricting Puzzle
Eagle Rock Patch
The City Council's Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee began deliberating new district boundaries Wednesday for seven Los Angeles Unified School District board seats. The committee is considering a map of the seven districts drawn by a 15-member redistricting commission appointed last fall by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Eric Garcetti and school board members. The City Attorney's Office expressed some concern about the map. Deputy City Attorney Harit Trivedi told the council committee that the commission's decision to dramatically rearrange board member Bennet Kayser's Fifth District could draw scrutiny from a judge in the case of a lawsuit.

55 Laguna Still Not In D5
Local Addition
Thea Selby, president of the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association spoke in favor of bringing 55 Laguna, an empty lot with one long block located on Haight Street, into District 5 with the rest of the Lower Haight. This lot is located between Haight, Laguna, Buchanan, and Hermann streets. It currently does not have any residents and used to be an extension campus for the University of California Berkeley. The 55 Laguna project was approved in August 2011 to be redeveloped by Wood Partners and non-profit OpenHouse. The goal is to build 110 affordable housing units for the LGBT seniors as well as to build 330 market and below-market-rate rental units.

Parks urges community to demand mayor veto redistricting
Intersections South L.A.
One of the things that flew under the radar during the redistricting debate in City Council on March 16, 2012 was the testimony of one Senator Curren Price. During public comment, there Price stood fresh off of a flight from Sacramento: Home of the Backroom Deal and, not coincidentally, where many of my council colleagues got their start. For those of you who don't know Curren (and that's probably most of you), he's the State Senator of the 26th District and probably best known for his ability and, dare I say talent, to remain solidly grounded on both sides of any issue. I've been in city government almost 50 years, and that's a pretty hard one to pull off.

San Fran’s Japanese American and African American Communities Collaborate in Redistricting Process
Pacific Citizen
Nationwide debates about the redistricting process have been heating up as communities fight to maintain their district boundaries, but in San Francisco two neighboring communities collaborated to voice their concerns. The Japanese American and African American communities in San Francisco spoke out when the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force released Jan. 4 the first draft district boundaries for the city, which separated Japantown from the Fillmore Western Addition. The redistricting process happens every ten years, following the completion of the census.

Lawsuit Aims To Elect More Latinos In Escondido
KPBS
In the last decade, Latinos have become nearly half the population of Escondido, making them the North County city’s single largest ethnic group. But you might not know it if you visited City Hall, where only two Latinos have served on the City Council in the city’s 123 year history. A lawsuit working its way through the court system could change that if the plaintiffs can convince a judge that the city’s current system for electing council members disenfranchises Latino voters. In December, several Latinos and a union group filed the suit under the California Voting Rights Act, asking the court to throw out that system.

Is San Mateo County Ready For District Election?
Peninsula Examiner
Recently, the San Mateo County Community College District board of trustees continued a process that may eventually lead to a change in the way trustees are elected from a countywide system to one based upon districts. This issue of district versus at-large elections has been percolating for many years in California but has gained considerable steam recently. This is particularly true in San Mateo County which is the only remaining California County to elect county supervisors via at-large elections rather than by district. San Mateo County’s status as the last hold-out of at-large elections has drawn a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act.

Former school board member says new voting districts would be 'a step backward'
Pasadena Sun
A proposal to elect Pasadena Board of Education members by geographic district is designed to increase the voting power of minority groups and the accountability of the board, but a former school official says the plan would backfire. Measure A on the June 5 ballot will ask voters in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre whether the Pasadena Unified School District should abandon its at-large board elections for a set of seven geographic voting districts. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, other local officials and leaders of the Pasadena Latino Coalition, Pasadena NAACP and the Armenian Community Coalition of Pasadena have jointly signed ballot arguments backing the proposal.

Key neighborhoods in play during redistricting
The Press-Enterprise
Riverside residents got their first chance at a public forum Monday to comment on how the city plans to redraw district lines. Only a handful of residents showed up at the first of seven public meetings on redistricting, which is done every 10 years using census data to balance the wards’ populations. Between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the city’s population grew by about 19 percent, with most residents added in Ward 4. Wards 2 and 7 also have more than the average population — the city’s population divided by 7 — of 43,409 residents. Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6 have fewer people than the average.

La Mesa Redistricting
La Mesa Courier
No more will the city be in Republican Brian Jones’ 77th Assembly District. Instead, most La Mesans will find themselves residing within a redrawn 79th, a district many people believe is vulnerable to being captured by a Democrat. And no more will the city be in conservative U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s 52nd Congressional District. Instead, La Mesa will sit on the eastern rim of the revised 53rd, a district represented by Democrat Susan Davis. “I think for the most part, East County was kept together during the redistricting process. The exception is with La Mesa,” said Barry Jantz, a former La Mesa City Councilman, the current CEO of the Grossmont Healthcare District and someone who has long been involved in California Republican politics.

Looking back: Jan Perry on redistricting
Southern California Public Radio
Chalk it up to redistricting, but L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry's name has made a lot of headlines recently – and she's usually not happy. Redistricting, which occurs every 10 years, is the process in which city district boundaries are redrawn to reflect changes in population. A 21-member commission representing the council was created to do the actual redrawing, but if you ask Perry, the process has been a disaster. Take last November, for example, where she resigned from her post as council president pro tem out of "disgust" for a number of reasons – one, because she thought the way current Council President Herb Wesson came to power was shady and, two, because she thought the lines for the council's 15 districts were already being redrawn in secret, even though the commission was supposed to do that publicly.

Looking forward: Jan Perry on the outlook for South L.A.
Southern California Public Radio
Part of the reason L.A. City Councilwoman and 2013 mayoral candidate Jan Perry is so upset about how the redistricting process went down is the fact that South L.A., as she puts it, is "on the cusp" of something good – a renaissance, perhaps. "Over the last 10 years, I think that we have begun to rise," said Perry to OnCentral. She's been in office since 2001. The redistricting process, Perry said, left her with a Ninth District that's still recovering from the devastation of the Watts Riots of 1965 and the South Central riots of 1992 – and now one that, without its downtown portion, doesn't really have an economic engine anymore.

LA Redistricting Commissioner on Secret Meetings, Wesson’s Rejection and Who Lost K-Town
City Watch
I read the recent (CityWatch) piece by Joseph Mailander, "Who Lost K-Town?" with great interest.  In his article, Mr. Mailander suggests that it was the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council (WCKNC) that was responsible for the LA City Council Redistricting Commission's decision to split WCKNC into two Council Districts, because WCKNC's efforts thwarted the Commission's alleged desire to place WCKNC whole in CD10. I served on the Redistricting Commission, and this is the first I've ever heard that Council President Herb Wesson or the Redistricting Commission was ever willing to take WCKNC whole in CD10.  I can tell you that's categorically false.

Candidates

California, the mother of all redistrictings
Politico
The latest round of congressional redistricting is causing political havoc in a number of states, but nowhere near as much as in California. David Wasserman, the redistricting guru for the Cook Political Report, explains: During the past decade, just one out of 265 elections for House in California produced a partisan turnover of a seat. An ultra-safe map helped generate above-average numbers of chairmanships and leadership posts in the delegation, even accounting for California's huge size. But what members saw as seniority, voters saw as entrenchment, and this year's citizen commission-drawn maps have already brought about seven retirements. With the filing deadline now passed, there are 238 candidates competing for 53 seats, including four new seats, five open seats, and two featuring two incumbents.

Challengers for Central Valley congressional seats competing with incumbents on fundraising
The Republic
Two political challengers in the Central Valley continued to rack up impressive fundraising totals in the first quarter of the year, showing that the region is likely to feature some of the state's most competitive congressional races in November. Republican Ricky Gill, who is just 24 and not yet old enough to serve in Congress — though he would be by the next Congress — outraised Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney in the quarter and has slightly more money in the bank than the incumbent. Gill raised nearly $317,000 while McNerney raised about $267,000. The two are running for the state's redrawn 9th Congressional District, a seat that is centered Stockton and stretches from the Sierra foothills to the San Joaquin Delta.

Feinstein whups competitors in fundraising
Political Blotter
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein outraised her next-closest electoral competitor 18-to-1 in 2012′s first quarter, displaying substantial fundraising muscle in the wake of an embezzlement scandal that had depleted her coffers. Meanwhile, Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken of Danville loaned her own campaign $200,000 – something a spokesman in November had said she wouldn’t do. Feinstein, D-Calif., rasied $1,128,573.48 and spent $447,458.03 in the first quarter, and had $7,279,096.15 cash on hand with $5,289,997.89 in outstanding debts as of March 31. Of that debt, $5 million is what she personally loaned her campaign last year as the extent of former treasurer Kindee Durkee’s embezzlement became clear.

Peters, Saldaña take U.S. House election bids to planners, locals
sdnews.com
Scott Peters and Lori Saldaña want to represent their constituents in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they’re ramping up campaigns to win the hearts and minds of Peninsula residents by starting with Ocean Beach voters. Earlier this month, it was Democrat and La Jolla resident Peters who made his election pitch to the Ocean Beach Planning Board (OBPB). Peters is a former two-term San Diego City Councilman and currently serves as a member of the San Diego Unified Port District Commission. He was allotted 30 minutes at the April 4 monthly meeting of the OBPB. For those who missed that pitch, Peters will appear again tonight, April 19, at the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library, 3701 Voltaire St., to address the Peninsula Community Planning Board. That meeting gets under way at 6:30 p.m.

Looking For Someone More Liberal Than Pelosi? Look to Garamendi
TownHall.com
California Democrat John Garamendi has found himself in one of the most competitive races we’ve seen in the Golden State in years. It didn’t start out that way, but redistricting has shifted Garamendi’s district from solid Democrat to a real toss-up. Meanwhile, the congressman’s own missteps, votes and campaign fumbles have put him in a dicey spot as he seeks another term. Add all that together and it explains why Garamendi began airing recycled television ads from a past campaign in March – an extremely odd and early move for an incumbent to make.

Three candidates -- two seasoned, one newcomer -- running for Contra Costa supervisor
Contra Costa Times
Two accomplished, articulate and professional women with many similar policy views want to be your next Contra Costa supervisor, but it is their split on social issues that is generating the most fireworks. Candace Andersen and Tomi Van de Brooke, who are vying to succeed retiring Supervisor Gayle Uilkema of Lafayette, oppose expanding the county's urban growth line into the Tassajara Valley, reject the proposal for a peripheral pipeline around the Delta and agree that taming the budget and protecting public safety are top priorities. But they clashed Tuesday in their meeting with the Contra Costa Times' editorial board over whether their stances on hot-button subjects such as abortion, Planned Parenthood funding and same-sex marriage are valid campaign topics.

12 seek House seat in District 2, liberal sanctuary
The San Francisco Chronicle
If most of the Democrats remain bunched together, as early internal polls are showing, and "one of the two Republican candidates catches fire, he could be in there," said Paul Mitchell, a Democratic consultant who has analyzed the demography of California's congressional districts for its redistricting process. Mitchell has worked against primary candidate Jared Huffman, a Democratic state assemblyman from San Rafael, in a previous Assembly race and contributed $500 to Huffman's current campaign. "That is what I'm hoping happens," said Republican Dan Roberts, a Mill Valley securities broker who has loaned $160,000 to his campaign and raised a fraction of that.

Focus on California's 8th Congressional District: Phil Liberatore
Examiner.com
The new 8th Congressional District in California, created last year through the redistricting process, is the largest district in California and one of the most conservative.  There are 13 candidates in the running including 10 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 “no party” candidate. Phil Liberatore is one of the Republican candidates.  He is founder and president of two companies in Southern California, Philip L. Liberatore, CPA and IRS Problem Solvers, Inc. Liberatore works with clients on their accounting and tax issues.  He says he has successfully helped thousands of clients across the country in resolving all types of IRS problems.

Outsider fights odds in the 35th Congressional District
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Anthony Vieyra dreams of a seat in Congress. Vieyra said politicians too often represent the interests of corporations and not the will of the people. The Pomona resident and former General Dynamics employee aims to make a difference with his run for the 35th Congressional District seat, which represents an area from Pomona east to Rialto. "Congress is not listening to us, they're not responding to us and I want to change that, Vieyra said. "I'm more of a customer service person and Congress is supposed to be representing you. I feel the shift has been that Congress is representing corporations, so instead of the United States of America, we're going to become the United States of Corporations."

Upcoming election will be a real doozy
The Sacramento Bee
Hey, voters listen up. California's ballots are always challenging, what with their usual glut of confusing local and state initiatives and special district elections. But this year's ballot will be doubly, even triply so. Here's why. First, the once-in-a-decade redistricting that takes effect this year was done by an independent panel of citizens, instead of legislative leaders. That has created more dramatic changes in voting boundaries for state and congressional races than usual. As a result, many more voters than usual after a decennial reapportionment will find themselves in different state Assembly, Senate and federal congressional districts.

House Democrats poised to achieve milestone for women in November
Examiner.com
If the perception in American politics is that Republicans, through their policies, are waging a war on women (and minorities, for that matter), the perception of Democrats being a haven of political representation for women will soon be reinforced in a grand symbolic gesture come Election Day. For the first time in American history, white males will likely become a minority on the Democratic side of the House this fall, even if Democrats don't take back the House in November. In the 2010 election, women and minorities accounted for 91 of the 193 Democrats in the House --47 percent, and the non-partisan Cook Political Report projects that'll hit between 52 and 54 percent when the next Congress convenes in January.

Focus on California's 8th Congressional District: Brad Mitzelfelt
Examiner.com
The 8th Congressional District in California was created through the redistricting process last year.  It is the largest district in California and one of the most conservative. San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt made the decision to run for California's new 8th Congressional District after Congressman Jerry Lewis announced his intention to retire. This decision made him ineligible to run for another term as a county supervisor. As an elected county supervisor, Brad Mitzelfelt represents the largest county district in the contiguous United States. He is the only candidate in this election who represents more than 50 percent of the population in the newly formed 8th Congressional District.

Terry Hara Announces Candidacy For City Council
Rafu Shimpo
Terry Hara, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, announced that he is running for the 9th City Council District. A campaign kickoff will be held on Wednesday, April 25, at Ocean Seafood in Chinatown. “I’ve never been a politician, so I offer a fresh perspective to represent Council District 9 and the City Council,” said Hara in an interview with The Rafu Shimpo. “People are looking for fresh faces, new ideas and somebody who is a problem- solver.” Hara, who joined the LAPD in 1980, is the highest-ranking Asian American in the police department.

Rouse announces congressional bid
Red Bluff Daily News
Amid the hullabaloo of redistricting and retiring p o l i t i c i a n s , Charles Rouse, a Democrat from Corning, kicked off his campaign Wednesday for State Assembly District 3. Rouse is running against Republican candidates Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams of Corning and incumbent of the former District 3, Dan Logue of Marysville. The district, redrawn in 2011, encompasses all of Tehama, Glenn, Sutter and Yuba counties and portions of Butte and Colusa counties. After moving to Tehama County in 1976, Rouse worked as a U.S. Postal Service rural mail carrier for 20 years in the Gerber area. Although he has no governing experience, the 68-year-old candidate believes his life experiences have prepared him for the job, he said.

EQCA Announces Endorsements of Four Gay and Lesbian Candidates, Seven LGBT Allies in 2012 Legislative Races
Equality California
Equality California (EQCA) today announced the endorsement of eleven candidates running for state assembly offices in 2012 who fully support EQCA's efforts to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Today's endorsements include pro-LGBT candidates running for an open seat, pro-LGBT incumbents running for reelection and four gay and lesbian candidates running for open seats. The endorsements of these four gay and lesbian candidates, combined with endorsements of seven gay and lesbian candidates endorsed in December 2011 and January 2012, represent a record number of LGBT candidates for legislative offices endorsed by Equality California in any single election cycle since the organization was founded.

Stakes rise in primary fight between Democratic Reps. Sherman and Berman
The Hill
Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are already fighting for a congressional seat in California, but because of recent developments, the winner could take home an even bigger prize: a committee gavel. Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is battling Sherman in one of the nation’s most closely watched member-versus-member primaries after a state redistricting commission put the two in the same Los Angeles-area district. The primary election is June 5. When the campaign began last summer, Sherman was fifth in seniority behind Berman on the committee.

New ballot to greet voters in state's June primary
The San Francisco Chronicle
When Californians vote in the June 5 primary, they will see an entirely new kind of ballot that some hope will lead to changes in the types of candidates who are elected to public office. For this first year, many voter advocates and elections officials say, they are just hoping to avoid mass confusion. "I think it's going to be bewildering for voters," said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation. The new election process comes as voters will be choosing candidates in newly drawn districts, a result of the once-a-decade redistricting, she noted.

Congressional Candidate Foley Takes Aim at Kuykendall, DeLong
Orange County Breeze
Four little words. But they are filled with both history and potential. It matters that Carter was elected in 1976. It matters even more that Reagan was elected in 1980. It matters that Al Gore lost in 2000. It matters that Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Allen West went to Washington in 2010. The same significance present in the last 35 years applies in 2012 and beyond. It matters who governs. It always has. It always will. What changes from election cycle to election cycle is the possibility and the opportunity to change who governs. So many things influence who runs for office which, obviously, impacts who is elected.

Candidates shy away from new seat
Daily Breeze
South Bay politicians and party insiders rarely hold back when a seat opens up for state or national office. Just last year, 16 candidates competed to represent the region after Rep. Jane Harman resigned from Congress. Then-Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn eventually took the seat. In contrast, only three candidates have emerged in the race for a newly created state Assembly district that takes in much of the same area. The reason, according to many local politicians: Sacramento. "It's dysfunctional at best," said Manhattan Beach Councilman Richard Montgomery, who is termed out next year.

Birther Queen Orly Taitz Leads in Early Polling in California’s GOP U.S. Senate Primary
Pensito Review
Talk about the silly season! Last month, right-wing clown Joe the Plumber won the Republican primary in Ohio’s heavily Democratic 9th Congressional District. Joe — whose real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — will run against veteran Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who has represented the district for 30 years. Now it appears that another Republican joke, birther queen Orly Taitz, could well win the Republican primary in the California U.S. Senate race in June. She is, by far, the best best known candidate in a field of 23, including 14 Republicans, who are vying to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has served in the Senate since 1992.

Two candidates for 6th Assembly District answer readers' questions
The Fresno Bee
Two of the three candidates running for the Sacramento region's newly drawn 6th Assembly District responded to reader questions in a sacbee.com live chat Wednesday. Here are excerpts focusing on positions taken by Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, and Democratic challenger Regy Bronner of Lincoln on issues raised by readers and Bee moderator Torey Van Oot. The third candidate for the seat, Folsom Republican Andy Pugno, declined to participate.

California Senate hopeful touts support for Herman Cain's '9-9-9’
The Sacramento Bee
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Hughes is playing up his support for Herman Cain, touting his endorsement of the former presidential hopeful's "9-9-9" tax plan in a fundraising appeal. An email to supporters highlights the Southern California businessman's endorsement of Cain's tax plan, which would replace the current tax structure with a federal tax rate of 9 percent on incomes, businesses and sales.The message, which listed Cain as the sender, includes a quote from a previous release announcing that Hughes had promised to "read the legislation once it is drafted and push to enact '9-9-9.'"

Independent candidates ready to crash the party
The San Francisco Chronicle
The Bay Area is known as a Democratic stronghold, but it also has some of the highest registration of independent voters in California. So here's a tidbit for all you non-party types: 36 candidates on the June 5 ballot have listed themselves as "no party preference," according to the Secretary of State. While that's a small percentage of the overall number of people running for various offices, it's more than advocates for independent voters expected. (By the way, independents used to be known officially as "decline-to-state" voters, but with the new top-two primary system the designation has been changed to "no party preference.")

Alarcón favored in race despite charges
Daily News Los Angeles
In an era of term limits, City Councilman Richard Alarcón has managed to pull off the now-rare feat of staying in elected office for nearly two decades, bouncing between state and city posts. And now, even as the veteran Northeast San Fernando Valley politician is facing criminal charges for alleged voting fraud, he remains the name to beat in the open 39th Assembly District seat for the June 5 election. Alarcón is facing one Democrat, three Republicans and a Green Party member - none of whom have held elected office before or garnered substantial name recognition among voters. And he's counting on voters to not hold his criminal charges or his political musical chairs against him.

Howard Berman, Brad Sherman squared off during radio debate
Contra Costa Times
Incumbent Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, along with two Republican candidates for a new congressional seat, clashed repeatedly on issues ranging from tax and trade policies to health care on Tuesday in a radio debate. Berman and Sherman, the incumbents forced into a race against each other by redistricting, disagreed on the federal bailout plan while Republicans Mack Reed and Susan Shelley also found themselves at opposite ends in several areas. The four debated on "Which Way, L.A." on radio station KCRW. The four are vying on June 5 for two runoff spots in the November general election. Under new state rules, the top two vote getters, regardless of party, face each other in November.

AD51 – No Incumbent, Serious Redistricting, Interesting Candidates
NELA Lives
Living in Northeast LA is not always comfortable, but it is always interesting!  Witness the new Assembly District 51, which appears to be specifically designed to capture Northeast Los Angeles and guarantee a latino elected official. If memory serves me right, the old AD 51 was actually in Inglewood until the recent California Lottery for Politicians — oops, I mean redistricting exercise.   Perhaps there is a metaphor here, since the ‘old’ AD 51 was essentially an African-American District and the ‘new’ AD 51 is essentially a Latino District.  As goes the demographics, so goes the prize.

California State Senate Races Guide and Analysis
Calitics
In 2011, the California Redistricting Commission redrew California's Congressional lines, California's Senate lines and California's Assembly lines. The California Redistricting Commission is a group of five Democrats, five Republicans and four Independents who worked together to draw lines that combine communities of interest and create competitive districts. California's bipartisan incumbent protection plan in 2002 eliminated competitive districts. No seats in the California State Senate changed hands from 2004 to the 2010 elections. Currently, the State Senate map is being sued in court but most pundits believe the California Supreme Court will uphold the map.

Republican Assembly, Senate candidates playing catch-up
Pasadena Sun
Late entries by Republican candidates have made local state Senate and Assembly races competitive for Democratic incumbents. But if money is the marker for political power, the conservatives face an uphill battle. State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) will face Republican Gilbert Gonzales, director of government relations for the Vons grocery chain and a Pasadena resident. Liu, 70, has nearly $250,000 after collecting $200,000 in contributions over the past 15 months, according to the secretary of state's office. Liu's supporters include law enforcement groups, Indian tribes, medical and insurance groups and real estate interests. She has also lent $100,000 to her own campaign.

Yolo County candidates release campaign contributions
Daily Democrat
As campaign contributions come in for Yolo County candidates, victory could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Campaign finance reports were due March 22 for the period between Jan. 1 and March 17. Election day is Tuesday, June 5. Supervisor District 5: When the first campaign finance statements were due in January, Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel did not report any campaign contributions of more than $1,000 while incumbent Supervisor Duane Chamberlain reported $200 in contributions.

Donation patterns disproportionate
Recordnet.com
What do Mitt Romney and Susan Eggman have in common? Both can count the Spanos family of Stockton among their political campaign donors. Eggman, a Democrat, is a Stockton city councilwoman running for California's 13th Assembly seat. Romney is the leading contender for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Campaign-finance statements filed last week by Eggman and other candidates for the California Legislature show that just like their counterparts seeking the presidency, they are busy raising money, although their totals tend to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars rather than the tens of millions.