Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Redistricting Watch: Schwarzenegger Calls on McCain (and Other Updates)

Sorry for two McCain posts in a row, but I couldn't resist noting this morning that the Senator was out in California yesterday, appearing with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in events designed to boost support for November's special election. Voters will decide on four ballot initiatives proposed by the Governor: redistricting reform, limiting political activity by labor unions, reforming the teacher tenure system, and making changing to the state budget process.

Of the redistricting reform measure, Prop 77 - which isn't perfect, but is better than nothing - McCain said "It is astonishing that here in the great state of California all 53 congressmen, every member of the state house and Senate, did such a magnificent job that not a single one of them was turned out of office. Well, it seems that maybe it's more difficult to keep your job in the Politburo in Havana than it is in the California state Assembly."

McCain, arguing that competitive districts will tend to send centrists to Congress, added "We need more competitive races. We need a voice of moderation."

- It's certainly good to have McCain's support on this issue - I hope that he's serious about it, and perhaps he'll even consider being a Senate sponsor of Rep. John Tanner's Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act, of which I am a strong backer. Currently the bill stands at 41 cosponsors in the House (Dianna DeGette of CO joined in September).

- Also on the redistricting front, reform efforts in Florida are proceeding apace, and the Centrist Coalition has gotten into the mix - we've released a radio ad which is now airing in support of the petition drives there to get reform on the 2006 election ballot.

- On the California effort, the must-read op/ed column comes from the Fresno Bee's Dan Walters, who calls continuation of the gerrymandered status quo "a lingering death for legislative democracy."

Previous Redistricting Watch posts:
- "Broder's Right" (9/1)
- "WaPo on Prop 77" (8/21)
- "Prop 77 Back On" (8/12)
- "Updates from the States" (8/10)
- "Updates on Several Fronts" (7/28)
- "Cosponsors Update" (7/22)
- "How Exactly do you Gerrymander a Birthday Cake?" (7/20)
- "Happy Birthday Mr. Gerry" (7/19)
- "Federal Authority in Historical Perspective" (7/16)
- "Blue Dogs, on the Scent" (7/12)
- "Cosponsors Update" (7/1)
- "Links, News, and Views" (6/24)
- "Polarization & Collegiality" (6/24)
- "Centrist Action on Redistricting Reform" (6/23)

1 Comments:

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Cecilia Martinez said...

The lack of competition in elections undermines the founding principles and values of our nation’s democracy. Unfortunately, this is what happens when politicians are allowed to pick their voters not the other way around. 73 percent of California voters agree that it is a conflict of interest for legislators to draw their own districts It was encouraging to see the coverage of this important reform after Sen. McCain's recent trip to campaign for the initiative in California. It's my hope that California's voters are able to see the need for this type of reform.

 

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