FROM Tony Quinn
The Worst Fear for Elected Officials in Southern California In 1964, the US Supreme Court revolutionized political power by ruling that all people should be represented equally: one person, one vote — in Congress, the state legislature and local jurisdictions. But it never said just what it meant by a "person." Now it’s agreed to consider defining "people" not as the whole population, but as the number of eligible voters. That could mean big change.
Did Democrats Dupe California's Redistricting Commission? In 2008, California voters gave a citizens commission the power to set boundaries for legislative districts, taking it away from the politicians. But the pols found a way back in, according to a story by Pro Publica. The investigative news outlet says political operatives gamed the system, to give democrats safe districts. Guest host Jim Rainey asks whether the Republicans were robbed. What about the citizens?
Political Musical Chairs in California In the elections of 2008 and 2010, California voters created the first citizen's reapportionment commission in state history. Friday it finished its work and on August 15, it will take a final vote on district boundaries for Congress , the Assembly and Senate and the State Board of Equalization . One stunning consequence is that powerful Congressional Democrats Howard Berman and Brad Sherman will now be in the same district; and there likely will be a challenge by two African Americans who now live in the district just won by former LA Councilwoman Janice Hahn.
Reconciling California's Congressional Districts The independent Citizens Redistricting Commission created by voters to draft new legislative and congressional districts released a set of new maps on June 10. But a second set, promised for tomorrow, has been withheld. Struggling to meet a final deadline of August 15, the fourteen commissioners are trying to reconcile the ethnic and racial requirements of federal law with state laws that say districts should be compact, reflect common interests and conform to the boundaries of cities and counties.
Governor Brown Says, 'Thanks, but No Thanks' Governor Brown today vetoed the budget passed yesterday by the Democratic majority in Sacramento, issuing an explanation on YouTube. Last year, voters passed Proposition 25 , providing that legislators would not get paid if they failed to meet the constitutional budget deadline of midnight last night. For the first time in 25 years, they made it. But what happens now that Brown has cast his veto? State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, signs the checks.
Census Figures Indicate Shift in the Political Landscape Since it became a state in 1850, California grew so fast that it gained congressional seats after every census. Not this time around. Growth just isn't the story any more, but the way the population is shifting. One major impact of census data will be on the reapportionment of legislative and congressional districts.
California Gains Population, Not Clout, Census Shows Census figures released today will give Texas four new seats in Congress and Florida two, while New York and Ohio will each lose two. For the first time since becoming a state, California's Congressional delegation won't grow, but it will still have the largest with 53 seats. Tony Quinn is a political consultant and co-editor of the California Target Book , the last word on legislative and congressional districts. IFRAMES not supported
Would Public Funding Push Private Money Out of Politics? California voters prohibited the public financing of political campaigns in 1988. In 2000 and again in 2006, they refused to lift the ban by margins of 65 and 74 percent. But, in less that two weeks, they'll be asked to vote again, this time on a pilot program for just one statewide office. We get the details of Proposition 15 and hear a debate on the California Fair Elections Act.
Will Minorities Be Left Out of Voters' Redistricting Commission? Sacramento has been paralyzed by partisanship, and Republicans and Democrats have kept it that way. In 2003, they drew up their own district boundaries, to make sure that elections made no change from Democrat to Republican or vice versa. It worked almost perfectly. But two years ago, voters said they'd had enough and passed Proposition 11 , giving the re-districting power to an independent commission. Now it's time for that commission to be selected so it can draw new districts based on this year's census .
State Budget Impasse and Its Impact on the Sick, Elderly With only a day left until the State of California starts issuing IOU's, Governor Schwarzenegger is accusing Democrats in the Assembly and Senate of wasting their time. Both houses passed bills avoiding some of the cuts Schwarzenegger has proposed by raising the tobacco tax, imposing a severance tax on oil drilled in California and raising the vehicle license fee to keep state parks open. They acted even though the Governor promised to veto the bills.
California GOP Eat Their Own as Party's Base Crumbles "On behalf of the taxpayers of the 59th District, let the games begin." That's what former Republican Party chair Mike Schroeder claims he said to Assemblyman Anthony Adams when he served Adams with recall papers yesterday, just prior to a fundraiser for Adams featuring Governor Schwarzenegger. Adams earned the wrath of party leaders as one of three Republicans who caused the Governor's budget to pass.
Will a Budget Deal Create More Problems Than It Solves? Ten thousand state workers and 275 construction projects are the latest casualties of the budget crisis in Sacramento. Lay-off notices and orders to shut down went out today. Meantime, one Republican Senator is still needed to pass a budget with $14 billion in new taxes, $15 billion in spending cuts and $10 billion in borrowing.
Battle for the Soul of the California Republican Party As the GOP’s most likely candidate for president, John McCain hopes to win California this coming November with the coalition of independents and moderates that re-elected Governor Schwarzenegger last year. But California’s Republican Party refused to allow independents to participate in the Super-Tuesday primary. Registration has now dropped to just 33% of those eligible statewide. In a letter to party leaders, Businessman Lawrence K. Dodge said, “[We are] eating our own in public.” He withheld 3-million dollars to pay off the party’s debt in hope that last weekend’s convention in San Francisco would adopt a more moderate platform.
The Rise of California’s Independent Voters The presidential primaries are about to reach California, where Democrats and Republicans are more divided than ever. But the fastest growing group is the Independents . The Democrats allow Independents to take part in choosing their nominee, but the Republicans don’t.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?