CA-26: Republican Referendum on Congressional Maps Over?

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Elton Gallegly

Flap’s old Congressional District CA-24 and the new one CA-26

It looks likely.
Republicans backing a voter referendum to overturn California’s new congressional maps are on the verge of dropping the effort, sources say.

One reason is a lack of enthusiasm among California’s GOP congressional delegation. One of the newest but most-prominent members of that delegation — Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield — reportedly led those arguing that it wasn’t worth fighting the new maps.

At a recent meeting of the National Republican Campaign Committee, several strategists argued that the statewide referendum wasn’t a good use of campaign resources. And some noted that the congressional maps, drawn by a voter-approved independent commission, are more favorable to Republicans than they would have been under a Democrat-controlled gerrymander.

The effort to put the new congressional maps in front of voters was submitted last month and had been cleared for signature gathering, although no committee had been created to raise funds, according to the secretary of state’s office.

There was no formal announcement that the ballot referendum campaign for the congressional districts was abandoned. However, in such cases groups typically elect to cease signature gathering, causing the measure to fail once the deadline is passed. The referendum’s sponsor, Julie Vandermost, and its attorney did not return phone calls seeking comment.

At the recent GOP convention in Los Angeles, there were closed-door discussions about the initiative’s failure to gain traction.

Plain and simple, the supporters of the referendum (whoever they might be i.e. Gallegly, Dreier, Lungren, Miller, Royce, Bilbray) would have to pony up around $2 million or so to qualify the referendum.

Even if they could do so, and nobody has shown the interest, the California Supreme Court is no slam dunk to draw Congressional Districts that are any more favorable to the GOP, especially all of the delegation.

The referendum is a colossal waste of campaign resources. Money that the California Republican Party does NOT have.

So, back over to my Congressman Elton Gallegly who will now decide to either run and run hard in CA-26 or not.

California Congressional Districts NOT All Bad for Republican Party

Posted Posted in California Citizens Redistricting Commission, California Republican Party

Flap’s old Congressional District CA-24 and the new one CA-26

I have to agree with Republican political operative and consultant Rob Stutzman.
What will it take to win these competitive seats? We will have to do the hard work of becoming a more competitive party. We have to expand our message to Latinos and field candidates who can compete in marginal districts. These new maps will finally force to the surface Republican candidates in California who can compete and win in swing districts.

Since 1992, Republican voter registration has fallen by 8 percent. Recently released Field Poll data make the point even clearer. At the same time, our party message is not resonating with younger voters as the GOP is a graying electorate. More than half of current California Republican voters are over the age of 50, up from 40 percent in 1992.

Republican registration in the Latino community has nearly stagnated since 1992, growing only one percent at a time when the state’s Hispanic voters doubled during that time from 10 percent to 22 percent.

In a state that has dipped to only 31 percent GOP registration, providing more opportunities to be competitive is a positive development. We have been slowly withering to a darker shade of blue here, but shedding the gerrymander of the past decade gives us the chance to adapt and learn to win again.

The California Congressional redistricting is probably as fair as you are going to achieve vis a vis population and federal voting rights demographics.

I understand that, although a referendum has been approved for signature circulation to overturn the California Citizen Redistricting Commission’s Congressional District plan that no actual signatures are being solicited.

Yes, there will be few long time GOP Congressmen who will be forced either into retirement or to run in districts where there will actually be a contested race.

Isn’t that why we have elections?

California Republicans will be far better to accept the California Citizen Redistricting Commission’s and use any money raised for the referendum in party building activities.

California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission Approves New Congressional and Legislative Districts

Posted Posted in California, California Citizens Redistricting Commission

Flap’s old Congressional District CA-24 and the new one CA-26

The new Congressional and California Legislative Districts have been approved by the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission this morning.
A citizens panel gave final approval Monday to new boundaries for California’s state and congressional legislative districts, setting the stage for possible challenges to the plan in the courtroom and on the ballot.

The maps adopted Monday by the Citizens Redistricting Commission will be used during the next decade in elections for 120 seats in the state Legislature, 53 congressional seats and four seats on the state Board of Equalization.

“Given the conflicting requirements, I think we did a very good job,” said Commission Chairman Vincent Barabba, a Republican businessman from Santa Cruz County who is a former director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 14-person panel was created after voters approved Proposition 11 in November 2008 to take the job of redistricting away from legislators, who drew the boundaries in a way that helped make sure incumbents were reelected.

Some Republican members of Congress have complained about how the districts were drawn and hinted that the new districts could be subject to a court challenge.

California Republican Party spokesman Mark Standriff said it is “less likely” the state party will go to court, and a decision on whether to put a referendum on the ballot to challenge the plan will probably be made this week.

By and large, the Citizen’s Commission followed the law and their plan is probably about as fair as one can expect in politics. Sure, some POLS will be upset, but having been exposed to the last decade of blatant gerrymandering, this is a vast improvement.

But, stay tuned, since there is liable to be some challenges either by referendum or by lawsuit.

You can view your new California Congressional and Legislative districts here with an interactive map.

Flap’s California Morning Collection: August 15, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in California, California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Flap's California Morning Collection, Jack O'Connell

California’s Capitol

Watch out Californians, the California Legislature is back in session this morning after a month’s long summer hiatus.
The Legislature returns from a month-long summer recess this week with hundreds of bills, many of them highly controversial, still awaiting action before the Sept. 9 adjournment.

The recess itself was unusual, since in recent years the Legislature has remained in session through the summer due to budget stalemates. This year, with a budget – albeit a very shaky one – in place, the Capitol’s denizens can concentrate on bills.

That means renewing traditional end-of-session follies. Hundreds of lobbyists will battle over high- dollar issues, and legislators will cash in with fundraising events – an average of at least five every working day.

Fittingly, perhaps, the Legislature’s return coincides with the supposedly final vote of the new Citizens Redistricting Commission on legislative and congressional maps for the 2012 elections and beyond.

New maps mean some incumbents will be fighting for their political lives next year while others will be maneuvering to ascend the political food chain, thus making late-session campaign fundraising even more frantic than usual.

Late-session bills tend to be controversial and/or involve taking money from someone and giving it to someone else, which is fertile ground for political fundraising.

Plus, an added bonus today, with the above referenced California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission approving final legislative and congressional maps. The meeting starts at 9 AM.

OK, on to the links…..

For Some, Redistricting is Splitsville

Even with testimony from the public and formal guidelines written into law, California’s first-ever citizens redistricting effort has found no easy answers to the question, “What is a community?”

And so, in the statewide maps being certified Monday morning, some will see their communities split between political districts. Others will be lumped together with communities with which they think they have nothing in common.

The complexity and controversy of shaping political maps based, when possible, on community boundaries has been a dominant theme of the dozens of meetings and decisions made by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

On Monday morning’s edition of The California Report, we take a look at how some of those decisions have left some grumbling in different parts of the state, while commissioners believe the new maps reflect a thoughtful and careful deference to the needs of the public.

Mike Ward: Redistricting Panel Broke Law

A member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission believes that the commission broke the law, failed to uphold an open and transparent decision-making process and used political motives in drawing California’s new state and federal legislative districts, according to an exclusive, in-depth interview with CalWatchDog.com.

“This commission simply traded the partisan, backroom gerrymandering by the Legislature for partisan, backroom gerrymandering by average citizens,” Commissioner Mike Ward said in an interview with CalWatchDog.com on Sunday night. “This commission became the Citizens Smoke-Filled Room, where average citizen commissioners engaged in dinner-table deals and partisan gerrymandering — the very problems that this commission was supposed to prevent.”

Ward, who was the lone member of the commission to oppose all of the commission’s proposed maps at its July 29 meeting, will outline his opposition in a detailed statement to be delivered at the commission’s press conference later today. An advance copy of the commissioner’s remarks was obtained exclusively by CalWatchDog.com and is reprinted below.

Life after politics for O’Connell

Former state superintendent of public instruction and longtime Ventura County lawmaker Jack O’Connell seems to be settling into life after politics. I visited him yesterday in his Sacramento office at School Innovations & Advocacy, the national education consulting firm where he serves as “chief education officer.”

Interesting for Jack saying he didn’t miss the zoo. For someone who taught continuation high school, for what less than two years, before sitting at a card table in a gerrymandered Democratic districts to win the first of many political jobs, he should not be so dismissive. Wouldn’t you think?

Have a wonderful morning!

California Redistricting Via an Interactive Map: See Your New Legislative and Congressional Districts

Posted 1 CommentPosted in California Citizens Redistricting Commission

This is my California State Senate District

Check out the Sacramento Bee’s new interactive map to see your new California legislative and congressional districts.

I know the maps will not be final until the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission finally adopts them in a little less than two weeks. But the poop is that the maps are not going to change.

Flap’s California Morning Collection: August 3, 2011

Posted Posted in Amazon Tax, California, California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Flap's California Morning Collection, Internet Sales Taxes, Tea Party

A morning collection of links and comments about my home, California.

For Central Coast Democrats, a prize and a problem

Democrats on California’s Central Coast were handed a rare prize last week when the Citizens Redistricting Commission created a Senate district with no incumbent and a 12-percentage point Democratic voter registration edge.

The race is already on to see who gets to claim the prize of becoming the party’s candidate, and it could be run on a track that is crowded, uncertain and potentially dangerous.

Three contestants have either reached or are approaching the starting line:

– Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, a former assemblywoman who lost a Senate race in 2008 by fewer than 900 votes in a district that was much less friendly to a Democrat. She says she’s “seriously considering” becoming a candidate. “I’m very much leaning in that direction.”

– Jason Hodge of Oxnard, a Ventura County firefighter and an elected commissioner of the Oxnard Harbor District. Hodge has been planning a run for the Legislature for months, has formed a campaign committee and begun raising money. He says he’s definitely running and has “a full expectation to raise $1 million for this primary.”

– Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara, a former assemblyman and onetime member of the California Coastal Commission. He says he hasn’t made up his mind, but muses that the Senate district “almost looks like someone drew it for me.” Nava says that by Labor Day, “Everybody should have a sense of what’s real and what’s possible.”

None says he or she would shy away from a primary race in which there are multiple Democratic candidates.

Tea Party picks up steam, demands further cuts

National Tea Party leaders in California were thrilled about one by-product of the political bloodbath over raising the federal debt ceiling: The fight showed that after two years of rabble-rousing from outside the Capitol, the Tea Party has real power to shape the debate in Washington.

Their challenge now that President Obama has signed the debt limit law: Can the Tea Party transform its government-shrinking mantra into long-term power, or will it be a one-hit wonder?

They’re not stopping to think about it. This month, Tea Partiers will storm town hall meetings of Republican and Democratic members of Congress and demand even more cuts. It’s the same strategy Tea Party groups used two years ago to protest – and ultimately water down – the health care reform law when they burst on the national scene.

“You’re going to see a lot of heat at those meetings,” said Mark Meckler, a Grass Valley (Nevada County) resident and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, a national organization that called House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to lift the ceiling “an embarrassment.”

Tea Partiers say the debt deal didn’t cut enough federal spending, was crafted behind closed doors, and assigned responsibility for further cuts to a small, joint committee of Congress.

That heat will be stoked further on Aug. 27 in Napa, when thousands of supporters and at least two GOP presidential candidates are expected to attend a rally to start a Tea Party Express bus trip across the country. It will end in Tampa, where the group will co-host a Republican presidential debate with CNN.

Two years ago, the idea of the Tea Party co-hosting a debate with the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” was unimaginable.

Dan Walters: Remapping of California districts still on a rocky road

So the state’s new redistricting commission, after countless hours of hearings, discussions and mind-numbing exercises in specific line-drawing, has produced its almost-final maps of 177 legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization districts.

What now?

Partisan and independent analysts have cranked up their computers, and their scenarios generally agree that the proposed districts, which need one more commission vote this month, would result in a Democratic gain of congressional seats and give Democrats a strong chance to claim two-thirds majorities in both legislative houses.

Whether those conclusions become reality, however, would depend on what happens in “swing” districts – those potentially winnable by either party – in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. And their dynamics would be affected by the new and untested “top two” primary system.

It’s “would” rather than “will” because it’s uncertain whether the Citizens Redistricting Commission’s maps will actually go into effect, since they are subject to attack by those – Republicans, mostly – who believe they got the shaft.

Critics could challenge the maps by referendum – collecting signatures to put them on the 2012 ballot – and if a referendum qualifies, the state Supreme Court would adopt temporary maps for the 2012 elections.

It could simply decree that the commission’s maps be used for 2012 while voters decide their permanent fate.

That’s what the court, headed by Chief Justice Rose Bird, decided when a Republican referendum challenged the 1981 maps adopted by a Democratic Legislature and then-Gov. Jerry Brown – a ruling that fueled a drive to oust Bird in the 1986 election.

Or the Supreme Court could draw its own maps, as it did to break redistricting stalemates after the 1970 and 1990 censuses.

Attorney general, FPPC asked to investigate identity theft ads

The state attorney general and California’s campaign watchdog agency have been asked to investigate a new labor-backed group telling voters that signing initiative petitions increases risk of identity fraud.

Carl DeMaio, a San Diego councilman supporting an effort to qualify a local pension reform measure, filed a complaint over the weekend with the Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that Californians Against Identity Theft is running afoul of state disclosure laws and “knowingly using false information to alarm voters and stifle the constitutionally protected rights of individuals” in the radio spots and website it launched last week.

In a separate letter, DeMaio asked state Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the ad and other activities he said are “undermining the initiative process” for San Diego voters.

As The Bee reported Friday, the organization behind the ads has received funding from the California Building and Construction Trades Council. The secretary-treasurer of the group, a retired attorney who formerly represented the union, declined to identify other contributors Friday. He said Californians Against Identity Theft, which has not filed a campaign committee, has been incorporated as a 501(c)4 nonprofit.

Californians Against Identity Theft’s 60-second radio ad, which is airing on stations in Sacramento and Southern California, urges listeners not to sign initiative petitions.Organizers say the effort is intended to educate the public about a need for more regulation of the initiative system, particularly the paid-signature gathering industry. But the ad came under fire Friday from good government and consumer advocates who said its claims were largely unsubstantiated and the timing sparked questions about whether the real goal of the campaign is to derail efforts to qualify measures circulating for local or statewide elections.

Attorneys for a statewide proposal to overturn a new online sales tax collection law have also taken aim at the effort, asking radio stations to stop airing the ad amid concerns that it is “filled with false and misleading statements.” The “Amazon Tax” referendum is one of several high-profile measures currently collecting petition signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot.

Enjoy your morning!