Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“The conventional wisdom is that the newly created independent redistricting commission will have a major impact on California’s existing, hyper-partisan political districts. What do you think?”

Even if the commission creates a dozen or so competitive districts it will be an improvement.  This combined with the open primary should, over a period of time, bring some moderation to our dysfunctional Legislature.

Redistricting commission, open primary, majority budget vote – these are all good steps to attacking gridlock. Next up: repealing or modifying term limits. One can only hope.

A few districts may be marginally more competitive. But L.A. and the Bay Area will still be strongly Democratic, and other areas more Republican.  But fairer districts, when combined with the new primary system, where it may no longer be necessary to be the most liberal Democrat or extreme right-wing Republican to win, could result in better chances for more pragmatic, less ideological, politicians who actually want to solve problems.

The business community bet heavy on this. Yet an Assembly Republican Caucus of 21 members will not be good for them.

Yes, if lines are drawn with no regard to party registration or where current incumbents live, it will shake up the system for sure.

The plan they create would have a huge impact, but unfortunately it will end up in court and never see the light of day.

Like any legislative committee or the Supreme Court, the commission needs a majority to do anything. There are five Democrats, five Republicans and four with or without other party affiliations. That means to get to the Magic Number 8 compromise is guaranteed. This is a windy way of saying the open primary will probably have more impact. That said, it seems likely legislative districts will no longer look like critters from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

It would dramatically change the landscape of our state’s politics if it were not going to be adjudicated.

Whose conventional wisdom? The new districts will have, at best, a marginal impact on the hyper-partisan pollution now strangling state and national politics. The “open primary” will likely have a greater impact – provided it survives court challenges.  

Long-time observers of Capitol goings-on can only hope that the commission will draw fair districts that reflect ‘communities of interest’ and, more importantly, result in the election of more moderates (read: pragmatic statesman, a la Ken Maddy). Perhaps then we’ll have fewer policy deadlocks and stalemates that have hurt California the past decade. Again, we can hope.

Andrew Acosta, 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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