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Feb 27 2012

GOP Referendum on California State Senate Districts Qualifies for November Ballot – But Who Cares?

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The Los Angeles Times has the news story which dropped last Friday.

California voters will get a chance in November to decide whether to approve new boundaries for state Senate districts drawn by a citizens panel. Republican activists qualified a referendum on the controversial maps Friday.

Elections officials determined that the group Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting turned in 511,457 valid signatures of registered voters, about 6,000 more than were needed to put the referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“FAIR will be asking voters in November to vote ‘no’ on these faulty Senate maps, so that new, fair and competitive districts can be drawn and put into place for the rest of the decade,” said Dave Gilliard, a Republican political consultant for the group. He said the districts were gerrymandered by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which used new census data to redraw the 40 Senate districts.

Scott Lay over at The Nooner has the why care part.

The long and short of it is:

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the California Citizen’s Redistricting boundary lines WILL be used for this November’s election. So, even if the referendum is approved the whole matter will revert back to the California Supreme Court who then has the power to redraw the lines anyway they wish.

Court and political pundits surmise that even though the people will throw out the Redistricting Committee’s lines via the ballot (and a big if at that), the Supreme Court’s redraw may not be that different anyway.

In the meantime, California Democrats are salivating at the prospects of taking two-thirds control of the State Senate in November.

The GOP will lose 1-4 seats in the State Senate in November, leading to a range from 26-29 members in the house in which 27 is the magic number. Democrats are anxious for 28, knowing that the party is certain to lose an Orange County seat in 2014. Of the four this year, one is a certain Dem pickup (SD17), another is likely (SD27) and two are toss-ups (SD05, SD31).

Also, since the California Republican Party is basically broke, it is doubtful that they will expend any more campaign cash to fund a speculative endeavor. So, the ballot proposition will likely fail at the polls from lack of trying to pass it.

Isn’t that what I said in the first place when the GOP decided to waste money funding the signature gathering?

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