Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“What’s your take on the independent redistricting commission? Court fights, VRA problems, partisan criticism, communication issues, etc., but is it doing its job and will we be better off because of it?”

Commission was a great idea but has had poor execution.  They have spent all their time determining communities of interest and have yet to grasp the Voting Rights Act.  
Bad idea, worse execution.

The Senate plan is worse than the Legislature ever did, absurd districts and a clear partisan agenda along the central coast.

At a cost of millions of dollars we could have spent on kids, economic development, or health care, the commission has proved what opponents have said all along: redistricting isn’t easy, and it’s best left in the hands of a panel with experience that would be accountable to voters, not a handful of amateurs who are clueless about VRA and other important information.

It can’t help being better. The last politicians’ gerrymander blatantly screwed over the voters to protect the majority parties – Republicans in Congress and Democrats in the statehouse. The new commission can’t conceivably do any worse.

Doing its job or not, the redistricting commission is going the way of high speed rail and the stem cell board. A voter-approved program that has Sacramento insiders gnashing their teeth.  

The commission was set up to reform a very corrupt system. The fact that it didn’t produce a result anywhere near perfect their first time out should not be a surprise or disappointment if the alternative is to hand re-apportionment back to Democratic operatives who sell favorable district lines to the highest bidding incumbents.

The commission and its work is a disaster that will have to be remedied in the courts.

The jury is still out. But much of the verdict will depend on the final version of the maps. If they cave to political pressure, they will be the example of Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Conversely, if they stick to the mission, the commission will win kudos for serving California’s best interests.

I was a strong supporter of an independent commission to draw the lines, but this process has been so sloppy, amateurish and unfathomable as to make me question the whole concept. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be surprised if the line-drawing ends up in the courts. We could have a worse result than the clean, non-partisan court-drawn lines in ‘91.
It’s the worst redistricting system there is, except for all the other redistricting systems. Republicans would claim bias no matter what they did, because the demographic bell is tolling for them no matter what they do at this point.

Do you really think anybody else could do any better? Surely not the courts – they only looked good before by comparison. Surely not the Legislature, which has never done it right, despite all the public outcry. Not the political consultants, who must put their clients’ interests first, and not the think tanks, because who knows who their financial backers are? So leave it with the commission.

Andrew Acosta, Elizabeth Ashford, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger


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