Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,

Enough already of Capitol love affairs: How about tackling a real issue? Why
is there such a perpetual fight over reapportionment? This is the most
boring subject I can think of, and I can’t understand why everyone in the
Capitol gets so excited about it. All this talk about boundaries, census
tracts and population shifts makes my eyes glaze over. What’s the big deal?
– Inquisitive

Dear Inquisitive-

Like many things in life, “entertainment” is in the eye of the beholder.
Some people in this world think going to the movies to see a Leonardo
DiCaprio love story or watching the televised morgue known as the state
Senate are entertaining ways to spend an afternoon, while many of us would
have to have a case of Johnnie Walker Red by our side to make it through
either of those events.

In other words, one man’s caffeine is another man’s tryptophan, and in Big
Daddy’s world, there’s only one time during the year when he’ll voluntarily
step up to the entertainment buffet for some tryptophan-and lots of it.

Reapportionment is, in many ways, the legislative equivalent of the “Big
Bang.” Actually, it’s even better for political junkies, since they get the
chance to re-make the world (or at least their piece of it) once every
decade instead of just once in the recorded history of mankind.

Now, I’d be the first to admit that the image of grown men running around
with reams of paper filled with census tract data, pencils, colored pens,
protractors, maps of California, and a truckload full of erasers is, on its
face, rather ridiculous. They look more like folks gathering supplies for
the first day of preschool than they do politicians carving up the state’s
political landscape for the next ten years. The new-fangled computers you
folks have today either make doing reapportionment easier, more ridiculous,
or both. After all, just because you have a computer that can produce
endless scenarios of “What happens if we move

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