Tony Quinn, in Fox and Hounds, reports that the California Redistricting Commission (CRC) has gone dark. The CRC, nagged by hundreds of alternate maps from electeds, special interests, and a quagmire of race-based voting rights laws, voted to not release its second draft of redistricting maps and to shut down future public input. Worse, the CRC consultants paid over $3M now don’t have time to review anymore maps from the public.
Their line drawing staff also has announced that the Commission must be done with its directions by July 20; they will accept no more directions on districts after that — despite the fact it is three and a half weeks until the Commission is supposed to adopt its final maps. This will allow for no public input on the final maps since their staff will have stopped working. California will get whatever districts their consultants concoct over the next nine days — like it or not.
What should they have done? All they needed to do was to look at the Supreme Court Masters plan enacted in 1991. The Masters divided the state into natural regions; in the north state, they ran one district down the coast; one district combined the rural counties, and one district followed the Sierra Range. Sacramento got two compact districts, exactly as it deserved.
Had the Commission regionalized the coast and Bay Area, as they were urged to do but refused, they would have seen that the area is due exactly 18 Assembly districts and nine Senate districts. They could have been easily drawn, but this Commission refused to do so because it has a partisan agenda to create Democratic districts along the coast and deliver a two thirds majority to legislative Democrats. I warned this would happen when they excluded Republicans from their line drawing process, and now it has happened.