Tuesday, August 16, 2011

California's Redistricting Mess: No Hope, No Change

We haven't paid much attention to the work of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the "non-partisan" panel charged with drawing up new boundaries for voting districts in the state. Mostly because the story bores us to tears. Yesterday, the commission finalized the new districts, which purportedly will bring Democrats in the Legislature very close to the dreaded two-thirds-majority threshold, at which point they'll be able to increase taxes every Monday morning if they want to. Predictably, the state GOP is launching a drive to overturn the new districts via ballot referendum. Unsurprisingly, evidence is already emerging to suggest that the panel's work was tainted by political dealings, often in closed-door sessions. Which would be tough to swallow if, you know, we didn't all know that this would happen. Did anyone really imagine that the process of drawing the boundaries of voting districts would be immune from special-interest lobbying or partisanship? And more importantly, did anyone really think that increased personal and economic liberty would be an outcome of the commission's work? This is why we don't really care about the redistricting: whether it ultimately gives more power to the state's Democrats or not is irrelevant, if it does nothing to arrest the political establishment's war on Californians' freedoms.

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