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Friday, April 8, 2011

Slow and Steady?

On March 18 the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission hired their legal counsel.  Then, after an outcry from the blogosphere, they held off for three more weeks before yesterday finalizing the contract.  Given the state of the state redistricting process, is it any surprise that Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher immediately raised their rates?  

For all the commission drama, not one line has yet been drawn or proposed.  That will change Saturday when the Commission heads to Redding for their first outreach hearing.  The next week will see hearings in Redding, Marysville, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, Hanford and ending in Merced.  For the full schedule you can visit http://redistrictingpartners.com/2011/04/commission-public-hearing-schedule/

State

Rexroad Draws A New Central Orange County Assembly District
Flash Report
We've benefited from Matt's delving into what new lines might bring as he has posted up some theoretical seats for us that have caused people to really understand how some legislative districts might drastically change. Earlier Matt sent over a Matt to me about what a newly drawn 68th Assembly District in Central Orange County might look like. 

California: A breathtaking example of diversity
Capitol Weekly
California is the first time in history that such a diverse group of people has been brought together as equals. There was plenty of diversity in the Roman Empire but if you weren’t a citizen the options were slave or barbarian. Some 300 languages and dialects are spoken in California’s public schools, according to the University of California Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching.

Congressional Dems raising cash for Portantino's House bid
Sacramento Bee
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's 2012 U.S. House bid is already drawing the interest of congressional Democrats. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, a New York state congressman, is coming to California this weekend to raise funds for the La Cañada Flintridge Democrat.

Redistricting law firm favored Democrats in campaign giving
Sacramento Bee
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the law firm tentatively chosen by the state's new redistricting commission to provide legal advice on the federal Voting Rights Act, has given most of its campaign contributions to Democrats, a new compilation by Maplight.com found.

3 Words That Will Define Our Political Future
NBC Bay Area
Demography, redistricting and representation. Hard to find a title much more boring than that, isn't it? But those three words will define the rocky political path for California elections for the next decade. That's all!

Political Notebook: LGBTs engage in redistricting process
Bay Area Reporter
LGBT activists around the state are beginning to engage in the redistricting process as local panels, as well as a statewide commission, tasked with drawing up political boundaries begin their work. The process stems from the decennial census count and is expected to alter California's political map as most of the state's population growth since 2001 has occurred in the Central Valley and southern California's inland areas.

Redistricting can’t wait for partisan games
San Francisco Business Times
It would be ironic and funny if it wasn’t so depressingly predictable: A panel set up by California voters to reduce the influence of partisan gamesmanship on state politics is being stymied by ... partisan gamesmanship.

Redistricting site lets locals weigh in
San Bernardino Sun
Should San Bernardino and Grand Terrace be in the same Assembly district? Should the same congressman represent Claremont and Montclair? How about Redlands and Needles? A state commission will ultimately answer those questions later this year. But before that, Inland Empire residents have a chance to weigh in.

National

Redistricting Battle Under Way, With Lobbyists and Lawyers
New York Times
Hundreds of officials around the country are relying on a wide array of political tools — some unorthodox, many old standbys — to try to keep their grip on power, or pry it away from their opponents.

Texas state Rep. seeks to bypass Holder’s DOJ on redistricting
Pajamas Media
Phil King (R-Weatherford. TX) is concerned that Texas' redistricting maps won't get a fair shake from President Obama's Department of Justice. He says that's because the staff lawyers in the DOJ's Civil Rights Division are “exceptionally liberal.”

Local

Board shoots down redistricting committee
Hanford Sentinel
Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle put forward a proposal Tuesday to form a citizens' redistricting advisory committee, but it died when no other supervisors supported it. "Wow, that's a sad day for Kings County," said Valle after no one seconded his motion.

Refugees in San Diego Seek Representation in Redistricting
KPBS San Diego
San Diego’s redistricting process will have to keep a large community of refugees in mind as it looks to re-draw the lines, according to advocates for refugees. Local non-profit organizations will be holding an event Thursday aimed at educating San Diego’s refugee community about redistricting and how it affects them.