Republican-backed group battles against redistricting maps

September 21, 2011

A Republican-backed group announced that it plans to file a petition in the state Supreme Court on Thursday to block newly drawn Senate maps from going into effect.

The petition, filed by Sacramento attorney Charles Bell Jr. on behalf of Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR), challenges the work of a 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission panel charged with reshaping California’s political lines as unconstitutional.

“The principal grounds are that the senate maps violate State Constitution criteria of compactness, contiguity and unnecessary division of two counties, and fail to draw districts that would afford Latino/Hispanic voters an opportunity to elect candidates of choice under section two of the federal Voting Rights Act,” the petition says.

However, FAIR’s petition does not mention that some political watchers contend the new maps could give Democrats a real shot at winning 27 seats — a two-thirds majority — in the state Senate. Such a supermajority would allow Democrats in the upper house to raise taxes without a single vote from Republicans, the Recorder said.

“The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is confident that its final district maps will withstand any and all legal challenges,” commission spokesman Rob Wilcox said in an email to the Recorder. “The commission followed the U.S. and California constitutions in drawing the district maps in an open and transparent process.”

FAIR needs 504,760 signatures by Nov. 14 to force a referendum on the Senate maps. The Recorder said that more than 100,000 registered voters have already signed the petition.

If voters reject the maps, the state Supreme Court would then appoint a special master to adjust the boundaries.

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I am conservative and have no issue with the boundaries. Based on my review of them, they seem to follow natural geographic and civic bounderies with no appearance of being gerrymandered or drawn to specifically favor one group or another.

If the boundaries so happen to favor one political group then the issue is with the voters and their choices and it’s up to the opposition party to make their case as to why they should prevail.

tj, with a comment like that,I can tell you aren’t nearly slimy enough to make it in politics. good for you.

tj, Anytime a redistricting encompasses a populace that is overwhelmingly registered to vote in a foreseeable fashion, it’s a gerrymander. Particularly when it clearly anticipates an alter to the outcome of the historical voting statistics which will favor the opposing party. It’s dirty Democrat “trix”

California as a whole is registered to vote and in a foreseeable fashion. That’s the problem and why the state is in the hole that it’s in.

And dirty dirty republican antix just a soften…depending which group is seated.

I am a conservative who does does care about the moving of the boundaries to benefit certain people running for office. I think moving boundaries is obvious proof of gerrymandering. Why now and why so important. All liberal politicians from any district want to include San Luis with Cal Poly in “their district” to assure the many students who vote liberal. This is really about the sups serving their districts and doing the work they were elected to do, without bringing in the “ringers” to prop up their failing performances…

The article is about the State Senate district boundaries, not the SLO Board of Supervisors district boundaries – which appear to me to be clearly gerrymandered.

You are correct about this article, but the habit reaches far and wide…

The most classic districts are those of our own Lois Capps and Kevin McCarthy, polar opposites, but both prominent in their parties. Lois gets the Santa Barbara south coast, the Santa Ynez Valley, then hugs the coast picking up Guadalupe, Grover, Pismo, Shell, Avila, goes inland for SLO then back to hugging the coast for LO/Baywood, MMB, Cayucos, Cambria and San Simeon. Kevin gets Santa Maria (where if you CAN vote your hard core GOP), AG, and the SLO County God’s Country north and east of the Coast Range to tack on to his valley base. The big beef the parties have is that common sense geographic districts (like a fire protection district or a roads division) inject moderation and common sense. This is clearly wrong!