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Fair districts means better representatives

Monday, November 22, 2010, 3:44 pm |

If you believe in fairness and impartiality — and oppose theft and man-worship — as God Himself does, you’ll be happy about California’s new redistricting commission.

Polls consistently show that California voters correctly agree that the Democrat-run California Legislature is corrupt. But, at election time, most voters go into denial and keep electing these same Democrat legislators.

Nevertheless, the voters’ anti-corruption sentiment resulted in the passage of Prop. 11 in 2008 and Prop. 20 this November to remove from the self-interested Legislature the power to draw state legislative and congressional districts. That’s a good thing!

The first 8 commissioners for the new Citizens Redistricting Commission were chosen on Nov. 18. Six more will be selected by Dec. 31. This working commission is a bold step of reform with standards that are likely to end a number of “safe seats” in California, mostly for Democrats, in both the Legislature and in Congress. 

You can see the problem by looking at unnatural, gerrymandered districts like this and this. The Democrats who control the California Legislature have largely been in control of drawing boundaries for state Assembly, state Senate, and Congress for the last 40 years. They created safe seats for incumbents by stuffing Democrat voters into certain districts. Then in 2001, when Republican legislators made a deal to create safe seats for themselves, the problem got worse.

Now the 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission will focus on a solution that has more standards, more accountability, a clear vision, and much less corruption. Consider that:

1. Before, legislative districts were drawn by self-interested, self-worshipping state legislators who would directly benefit from the outcome. Now, the district lines will be drawn by people who have not worked for, are not related to, and are not big donors to state legislators, in the last 10 years.

2. Before, legislative districts were created by the Legislature and Governor. Now, the district lines won’t be approved unless nine commissioners agree, including three Democrats, three Republicans, and three from neither party.

3. Before, there were no standards for drawing districts. Now, the standards in the California Constitution require that new districts shall “be geographically contiguous,” shall respect the “geographic integrity” of cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities, shall “encourage geographical compactness such that nearby areas of population are not bypassed for more distant population,” etc. Read more

4. Before, there was no accountability. Now, we have standards written into the California Constitution. And if the commission doesn’t abide by them, there’s an expedited complaint process to the California Supreme Court to enforce these standards. The state high court was good on this issue back in 1991 and is expected to be much better than the Legislature as a final arbiter.

So, be glad. California is in a civil war with liberal candidates mostly winning but liberal ballot measures mostly losing. Most Californians are against higher taxes and fees and in favor of fair legislative districts.

The bottom line: If it performs according to its purpose and rules, the Citizens Redistricting Commission probably means fewer “safe seats” for Democrats. This voter-created, powerful commission is what thieving, self-worshipping politicians hate. That’s why friends of the Democrat state legislators put Prop. 27 on the November ballot to eliminate the Citizens Redistricting Commission and restore power for redrawing all districts to the self-interested California Legislature. Fortunately, Prop. 27 lost and the goal of fair districts won. Therefore, in 2012, there may be more competitive districts open for good candidates who have renewed hope and opportunity to win and serve for God and family.


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