Tag: California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission

California Supreme Court Rules Citizen’s Redistricting Commission State Senate Maps To Be Used in 2012

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This is a definite blow to the California Republican Party which fears that Democrats using the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission’s Maps will be able to take over two-thirds of the number of California State Senate seats in November – paving the way for tax increases.

The California Supreme Court ruled today that state Senate maps drawn by a citizens commission will be used in this year’s elections, despite a pending referendum to overturn them.

The issue came before the High Court after a Republican-backed group, Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting, filed more than 711,000 signatures with county elections offices in a referendum to overturn Senate maps drawn by a 14-member citizens commission.

Californians will decide the fate of the newly drawn Senate districts in November if 504,760 of the signatures are from valid voters. Legislative candidates must file and run their campaigns before then, however, so justices needed to identify district maps to be in effect immediately.

County elections offices face a Feb. 24 deadline for certifying FAIR’s referendum signatures. Thus far, they have verified 57,761 of 80,127 signatures checked. If the percentage of valid signatures holds steady, 72 percent, the referendum would qualify for the ballot.

Twenty Senate seats are up for grabs this year – and the results carry high-stakes politically.

GOP officials contend that the new, commission drawn lines would give Democrats a strong chance of gaining two additional seats in the Senate, enough to gain the two-thirds supermajority needed to raise taxes or fees.

One has to wonder, however, whether the California GOP would have been better to invest their time and effort on electing more Republicans rather than challenging the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission.

The entire California supreme Court decision is here.

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Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission

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California Congressional District 30

Not really a shocker and why I NEVER like Commissions – rather make the California Legislature responsible.

The citizens’ commission had pledged to create districts based on testimony from the communities themselves, not from parties or statewide political players. To get around that, Democrats surreptitiously enlisted local voters, elected officials, labor unions and community groups to testify in support of configurations that coincided with the party’s interests.

When they appeared before the commission, those groups identified themselves as ordinary Californians and did not disclose their ties to the party. One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley was actually a lobbyist who grew up in rural Idaho, and lives in Sacramento.

In one instance, party operatives invented a local group to advocate for the Democrats’ map.

California’s Democratic representatives got much of what they wanted from the 2010 redistricting cycle, especially in the northern part of the state. “Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to DC,” said one enthusiastic memo written as the process was winding down. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”

Statewide, Democrats had been expected to gain at most a seat or two as a result of redistricting. But an internal party projection says that the Democrats will likely pick up six or seven seats in a state where the party’s voter registrations have grown only marginally.

The federal courts should throw out the entire findings of the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission and the California Supreme Court should draw the lines.

Then, California voters should repeal the law, the Commission and end this charade.

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Full-Court Press by California Republican Party for State Senate Redistricting Referendum

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And, a nice $400 K donation by the California Republican Party was all that was needed.

Bolstered by a new $400,000 donation from the California Republican Party, officials of a referendum campaign to overturn the state’s newly drawn Senate districts says 400,000 voter signatures have been collected and a full-court-press has been launched for more.

“I’m confident that we’re going to do it,” political strategist David Gilliard, who is running the campaign, said of prospects for gathering the required 504,760 valid voter signatures by Nov. 14 to place the issue before voters next June.

Gilliard said that signature-gathering had slowed temporarily because campaign coffers were draining, but the California Republican Party’s six-figure contribution last week cured the problem and “we were able to unleash our people back again.”

This WILL change the landscape in Sacramento should they get the requisite amount of signatures.

But, referendum supporters will have to obtain about 100,000 signatures in each of the next three weeks.

It appears the referendum filed for the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission’s maps for Congressional Districts has stalled out and proponents are instead relying upon a federal lawsuit to overturn those maps.

Stay tuned…..

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FAIR Files Lawsuit to Overturn the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission’s State Senate Districts

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FAIR (Fairness and Accountability In Redistricting) has already filed a referendum on the matter and are in the process of collecting signatures. But, now FAIR is going to court as well.

Aruging that California’s newly drawn Senate districts are unconstitutional, a Republican Party-backed group says it is filing a lawsuit today asking the California Supreme Court to kill the new maps.

“We believe there are serious constitutional flaws in the maps produced by the redistricting commission, and these are matters that the Supreme Court should look at immediately,” spokesman David Gilliard said.

Gilliard’s group, Fairness and Accountability In Redistricting (FAIR), also is collecting signatures in a referendum drive aimed at asking voters to reject the newly drawn Senate districts in a statewide election next June.

California’s 40 state Senate, 80 Assembly and 53 congressional districts were drawn for the first time this year by a 14-member independent panel, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, rather than by the Legislature.

Gilliard’s group has raised nearly $500,000 thus far for its two-pronged effort to kill the Senate maps, including $188,000 from the California Republican Party and a cumulative $200,000 from current or past GOP state senators.

Many political analysts have said the new districts give Democrats a strong chance of gaining two additional seats in the Senate, enough to gain the two-thirds supermajority needed to raise taxes or fees.

The lawsuit alleges:

  • Eleven of the districts do not adequately consider compactness, contiguity, communities of interest, and existing county boundary lines.
  • Two major counties, Sacramento and San Bernardino, are unnecessarily split into six different districts.
  • The maps violate federal law by reducing the voting power of Latinos in Monterey, Santa Clara and the San Fernando portion of Los Angeles County.

The lawsuit also asks the California Supreme Court to ask special appointed court masters to draw interim state senate boundaries, if FAIR qualifies the referendum for the ballot.

Stay tuned…..

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Referendum Filed to Overturn California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission’s Congressional Maps

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Obviously, done by Republican Party operatives.

Filing the referendum with the attorney general is the first step in the process that ultimately requires the collection of 504,760 valid voter signatures within about three months to halt implementation of the maps until voters decide their fate on the June 2012 ballot. If the referendum qualifies for the ballot, the state Supreme Court would draw new maps or decide which maps to use in the upcoming political races.

The measure was filed by Julie Vandermost, an Orange County development and environmental consultant, and Charles Bell, a prominent Sacramento lawyer for Republican causes. Neither could be immediately reached for comment.

Now, the California State Senate and the Congressional Maps will be circulating petitions for signatures. It will probably be just as easy to ask for two signatures, as it is for one and now there are two pools of campaign cash to pay for the paid signature gatherers.

Also, it places some California races into an uncertainty mode and makes political calculus as to who runs for what in a state of flux.

Fun times….

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