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Thursday, February 24, 2011


[Editor: If you’re wondering who this Paul Mitchell Redistricting Guy is, you can find a short Comcast Newsmakers interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xqRv00c7K4

State

Let’s Give the Redistricting Commission a Chance
John Wildermuth, Fox and Hounds
With the chorus of complaints starting to grow, there are a few things Californians should remember.   First, when it comes to grumbling, consider the source. About the only thing the state Democratic and Republican parties have been able to agree on in recent years is that they both hate the idea of having an independent commission draw the new district lines, instead of leaving it to the Legislature.

Reapportionment commission looks to be fiasco in the making
Douglas Jeffe, Fox and Hounds
The only qualification for serving as a Reapportionment Commission member, staffer or consultant seems to be a total lack of qualifications and experience.  By excluding almost everyone who has been part of the political process, the reapportionment initiative has relegated the important task of drawing legislative and congressional districts to a group of amateurs who don't represent and aren't accountable to the electorate.

Marin Voice: Protecting 'community of interest'
Marin Independent-Journal
For the last several decades, our own state Senate district has been a victim of gerrymandering for political purposes, spanning the bay and including half of San Francisco.  There is simply no community of interest among the residents of Marin and Sonoma and those of the Hunter's Point and Ingleside neighborhoods.  Jumping over major geographic features just makes no sense.

National

Abusing the Voting Rights Act
National Review
The Holder Justice Department’s opposition to race-neutral enforcement of the law over the last two years suggests that redistricting may touch off contentious court battles over the rule of law. Unless states opt to bypass DOJ and go straight to federal court, the Left’s effort to exploit the Voting Rights Act for crass political purposes may reach a degree of success once thought unimaginable.

Why new Census figures do not doom Democrats
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, California Progress Report
The conventional wisdom that the 2012 redistricting will lead to long-term GOP gains is a fallacy—and Nevada is the best example of why the right-wing talking heads are wrong.

Lawyers: Keep mum on redistricting
Politico
The lawyers closely involved with redistricting this year have some advice for members of Congress: Shut up.

They’re giving their clients the political equivalent of the counsel that “loose lips sink ships,” warning them that when it comes to the process of redrawing congressional districts, it’s best not to be chatty in public. Otherwise, they run the risk that their idle comments could return to haunt them in later litigation.

Local

REGION: Redistricting panel warned to keep process public
North County Times
Speaking at the first meeting of the San Diego County Redistricting Advisory Committee, former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre told the panel: "I urge you, no parallel meetings. No closed sessions." "Really, you're it. You're the best chance the public has to restore confidence in this process,"