ELECTION: Reining in state gerrymandering

by Staff

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By Patrick Walsh, Senior Staff Columnist

Proposition 20 is an initiative to take the responsibility of drawing California’s Congressional District boundaries out of the control of the State Legislature and to place it into the hands of a bipartisan citizen commission. Our state has a process called “redistricting” in which every 10 years our electoral boundaries are redrawn for both state and national representation.

In 2008, voters passed Proposition 11, which removed Californian politicians from drawing up their own district boundaries and gave that responsibility to a commission of local citizens from each district comprising of five Democrats, five Republicans and five Independents.

However, power to draw Congressional Districts still is in the hands of our State Legislature. Proposition 20 supporters would rather have the Citizen’s commission draw Congressional Districts  as a supplement to the current redistricting  process to prevent  politicians from drawing up districts that only benefit the political security of fellow party members. They wish to end  corrupt gerrymandering and back and reestablish integrity into the once-a-decade process. Supporters of Proposition 20 think it will create fair congressional districts, help push congress members to be more  responsive to constituents and make it easier to vote members of Congress who don’t do their jobs out of office.

The opposition to Proposition 20 thinks this measure is a giant waste of tax dollars. Opposers fear the commission will be a power-hungry broker that could possibly run the whole state.

The “Yes on 20” group counters by noting “The non-partisan state Legislative Analyst found Proposition 20 will result in ‘probably no significant change in redistricting costs.’  California Tax payers Association and other taxpayer groups all support (Proposition 20).”

The naysayers are weary of what the man behind the scenes, Charles Munger, Jr., a multi-millionaire who is the brainchild behind Proposition 20, is doing this to wrestle control away from California’s government.

This vote could change politics forever if it is passed. Many in the California State Assembly are against Proposition 20, while many community and business groups are in favor.

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