Sunday, October 26, 2008

Politics: Yes on Prop 11

This initiative provides a new mechanism for redistricting for state offices. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover Congressional districts.

Redistricting is currently done by the state legislators. In other words, the districts are drawn by the very people who would benefit from those districts!

All 5 California newspapers (SF Chron, LA Times, Sac Bee, SD Union-Trib and Mercury) have endorsed this proposition.

The Sac Bee presents the problem and how prop 11 tries to solve it. Excerpt:

Every 10 years, the state lawmakers who have mismanaged California's finances and governance get a reward for their hard work. They get to design their own legislative districts.

It's one of the Capitol's most egregious conflicts of interest, and it needs to end. Proposition 11 would end it.

Under the current system, leaders of both parties meet in back rooms and carve up the state after each 10-year census. By dividing up communities based on party prerogatives, they ensure safe seats for incumbents or designated heirs, creating legislative districts that resemble a mix of distorted Rorschach blotches.
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The initiative allows citizens (those who are not lobbyists or former legislators) to apply for the panel. After screening them, the state auditor would then recommend 60 finalists. The four legislative leaders could then strike 24 applicants deemed biased or unqualified. From the remaining 36, the auditor would then randomly pick eight commission members (three Democrats, three Republicans and two others) and those eight would select the other six members of the panel.

Its time to change how this bit of business in done in Sacramento. Vote yes on 11.

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