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Published on Oct 7, 2010
civics project for Mr. Ladd
The reform the people passed in 2008 has gone spectacularly well; more than 30,000 citizens applied for the Commission, and the 60 finalists include Democrats, Republicans, Green Party members, political independents, whites, Latinos, blacks, Asians and Native Americans. The Commission will reflect the diversity of the state, and will draw the new districts in 2011 according to specific and transparent criteria.
The first big lie is that Proposition 27 somehow saves money. The major costs in redistricting are the database and software used to draw the districts, and the technical and legal staff that does the work, and in the case of the Commission, the cost of public meetings and analysis of districting plans submitted by interested parties. The Legislative Analyst estimates that "the savings from this measure over the next year could be around $1 million." But that savings comes from doing away with the transparency provided for by the public Citizens Commission process.
Legislative Analyst estimates that $3 million was spent on redistricting in 2001, but this does not include defending against legal challenges to the legislature's redistricting; in fact, no one knows the exact amount because the legislature does its redistricting in secret. I know because I was on the Assembly redistricting staff in 1971 and 1981, and we carefully hid the real costs of our work. The notion that a secret process of legislators drawing their own districts saves money over the transparent Citizens Commission is just nonsense.
For a decade we have had a legislature that cannot even perform its most fundamental task, passing a budget on time, because it is paralyzed by partisanship.
But voters are not stupid, they can see the big lie of Proposition 27 for what it is, a grab for power by incumbent legislators whose sole interest is keeping themselves in power as stated from the brilliant mouth of: Tony Quinn Political Commentator and Former Legislative Staffer