Redistricting in California: Control or Democracy?1 min read

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<a href="https://investortimes.com/progressreport/2008/06/”>Bill Cavala is very selective in the Democrats he names as supporters of the Common Cause/League of Women Voters/AARP-backed redistricting initiative. He neglects to mention that both former Controller Steve Westly and former Governor Gray Davis support it, and neither of them has ever been on the losing end of a redistricting fight. Also, the California Democratic Council, “the conscience of the Democratic Party”, supports the initiative (although certain California Democratic Party insiders are trying to get that undone before the November election).

The real issue is one of control. While it is egregious for elected officials to pick their voters before the voters get to choose their elected officials, most of those elected officials don’t want to give up the control that being able to draw their own districts gives them.
(In fact, some years ago, in a slightly different context, I asked one of the Party insiders if he believed in democracy or if he believed in control. He was honest enough to tell me that he’d have to get back to me on that.)

Experience with redistricting reform in other states shows that it doesn’t change much. A few districts become slightly more competitive, but most are safe for one party or the other just because of demographics. So why support redistricting reform if it won’t change things much? Because it is egregious for elected officials to pick their voters before the voters get to choose their elected officials.

Appearances matter, and getting rid of this apparent (and real) conflict of interest will do much to restore the public’s confidence in government.

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