With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, the mostly Republican
proponents of a measure that would change the way the state draws its
political maps have a new strategy-focusing on Democrats.
While opponents have criticized Proposition 77 as a “Republican power grab,”
the campaign is trying to place Democrats and “good government groups” front
and center in their campaign to demonstrate bipartisan support for the
measure. Earlier this week, Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg became
the first legislative Democrat to break ranks with his party leadership and
endorse the measure. And Yes on 77 mail pieces will soon appear featuring
former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, who has also backed the
The new mail pieces will also feature endorsements from former Secretary of
State March Fong Eu, and number of recent newspaper editorial endorsements
of the measure.
Canciamilla appeared at a Yes on 77 press conference Monday along with
Chellie Pingree, national president of Common Cause and representatives from
CalPIRG and TheRestOfUs. And while he may wind up being the only Democrat in
the Legislature who publicly supports the measure, Canciamilla said he
thinks some of his colleagues will privately vote for it come Election Day.
“I have had conversations with people, and I think there will be others,”
who vote for Prop. 77, he said. He refused to name people he thought might
privately support the measure.
No on 77 spokesman Paul Hefner said Canciamilla’s decision to publicly
endorse the measure fits the Assemblyman’s MO. “Canciamilla seems to have a
solution for everything, but it always seems to be the same solution and it
always involves holding a press conference,” said Hefner.
Canciamilla has tangled with Speaker Fabian Nu