Monday, February 27, 2012

Time for Another Ballot Measure About Redistricting

If I had a nickel for every time I wrote that headline...
It will soon be time for another state election. In California, as recent history demonstrates, that has meant another opportunity to vote on redistricting. In 2008 and 2010, Californians voted to create an independent redistricting commission. Per the responsibility given to them by the voters, this 14-member commission drew state and federal legislative district lines. Then a predictable thing happened: at least one party didn't like those lines.
In this case it is the Republican Party, who correctly recognize that they could risk losing their one-third minority in the state's upper legislative house under the current lines, and who are fighting hardest to get the new maps tossed out. This is particularly disconcerting for the GOP because it takes a two-thirds majority of both legislative houses to pass tax and fee increases. Legislative Republicans stand to lose a good deal of power if their membership falls below one-third in the state's upper house. After largely unsuccessful trips to the courthouse, a GOP-based group called Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR) submitted enough signatures to get their state senate map-killing measure on the November 2012 ballot.

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