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Thursday, March 24, 2011

“Spazzed Out”

This week saw an escalation in the partisan bickering around the state commission process, and PR trip by commissioners to editorial boards in their defense.  The Daily Kos, a Progresive national blog claimed that the CA GOP “spazzed” about the hiring of a line drawer.

And while the partisans slung blog postings at each other, the analysis of the recent Census data is helping people understand the flight of African Americans from San Diego and the exodus of about everyone from LA.  Also an acceptance from a thoughtful Senator that his future is all in the numbers…


Corrupting the redistricting commission
Tony Quinn for Fox & Hounds Daily
The Citizens Redistricting Commission, built upon a hopeful ideal of enhancing political competition in legislative and congressional districts, has now descended into a cesspool of corruption, and the promise of fair new districts has been compromised by brutal partisan politics instigated by the commission itself.

California Republicans, Rose Institute, and Tony Quinn dead wrong on redistricting
Steve Maviglio for The California Majority Report
It's sad to see the new chairman of the California Republican Party -- as well as respected former GOP redistricting consultant, Tony Quinn -- accuse the Citizens Redistricting Commission of playing partisan politics -- particularly when neither of them are letting facts get in the way of their whining.

New state GOP chairman rips redistricting commission
Sacramento Bee
The California Republican Party's new chairman accused the state's independent redistricting commission Tuesday of playing politics in its hiring of a technical consultant to draw legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Tom Del Beccaro blasted the decision by the commission last Saturday to hire Q2 Data and Research, an Oakland-based firm owned by Karin Mac Donald, director of the state's redistricting database at the University of California, Berkeley.

Criticism of redistricting commission wildly off-base
Mercury News editorial board
California's new redistricting commission is working furiously to meet its Aug. 15 deadline for redrawing legislative lines. Partisans are busy too -- trying to smear its 14 members with wild accusations. Don't be fooled. The criticism aims only to undermine the commission's credibility and generate political support.

Remap commissioner: Republicans will not get rolled
Riverside Press Enterprise
"In reality we're going to dictate the way the lines are drawn," Filkins Webber said. All of her fellow commissioners seem impartial, she said, and any plan will require the votes of at least three of the panel's Republican members.

Sacramento Assembly District

Matt Rexroad for  Flash Report
In redistricting some districts draw themselves.  The population and geography just work out that way.  Consider the City of Sacramento.  The incorporated area is 814 people more than the ideal population for an Assembly District.

Political Notebook: Leno awaits redistricting decision on Senate boundaries

Bay Area Reporter
"I have this pesky little bay separating my district in half," said [Senator Mark] Leno. "So I can't tell you I know what the commission is going to do, but they have to respect geographical boundaries, respect the integrity of city and county lines, and respect communities of interest."

To make up for the loss of his North Bay constituents, Leno's district will likely be combined with that of state Senator Leland Yee's (D-San Francisco) District 8 seat. Yee represents the western half of San Francisco and the northern parts of San Mateo County.


Where to count prisoners poses redistricting dilemma
After he was elected in November as the first black county commissioner in the 344-year history of Somerset County, Maryland, Craig Mathies Sr., confessed that he hadn’t exactly run an intense campaign. He had knocked on fewer than 15 doors. “I figured if God meant for this to happen, it would happen,” the pastor, civil rights activist and former car salesman told the Baltimore Sun. “It did.” What Mathies didn’t mention was that you don’t have to knock on a whole lot of doors in his county district: He won with just 307 votes. Somerset County, at the southernmost point on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is a mostly rural place, but it’s not that sparsely populated. The other districts in the county produced at least 1,400 votes, compared to the 542 cast in Mathies’ District 1.


For redistricting advice, City Council turns to friendly faces
Sacramento Bee
The mayor appointed Steve Maviglio, the political operative who ran Johnson's successful 2008 campaign.  Maviglio said his background would be an asset, as "redistricting is inherently a political process and I think it's helpful when citizens with political experience are appointed to the commission."

He said he has conflicting views on whether the downtown grid should be one district - three council districts currently have a slice of the grid - and that "we need to worry about keeping neighborhoods together more than we need to worry about keeping incumbents in their districts."

91 Years Old, and Fine With the Changes She’s Seen
Voice of San Diego
Jewell Hooper could sense that her neighborhood of Valencia Park, once majority African-American, no longer was. "It doesn't surprise me," she said when I told her Census data confirmed that black residents continued being replaced by Latinos in large numbers. "Now practically every house that goes up for sale goes to Latinos." But when I asked her whether she thought those changes would make it harder for African-Americans to continue electing a black representative to the City Council, she was visibly annoyed.

San Diego: North County supervisor districts exceed target populations
North County Times
The county's Redistricting Advisory Committee was told Wednesday that those two districts need to shrink by thousands of residents to reach the target population of 619063 for each of the five supervisor districts. Horn represents District 5 and …

About 50,000 now live in Downtown
LA Observed
One of the most eagerly awaited discoveries from the 2010 census (at least for me) is to find out how many people actually live in the Downtown neighborhoods after more than a decade of intense in-movement. Yet go figure — it took me more than a week to finally sit down with the number crunching done by Eric Richardson at Blogdowntown.

County redistricting panel member resigns
North County Times
North County has another shot at getting a representative on the county's Redistricting Advisory Committee with last week's resignation of Bruce Reznik.
Reznik was North County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price's appointee to the committee, which is charged with recommending new boundaries for the county's five supervisor districts.