November 29, 2021
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Republican celebrations and Democratic anger reveal a widening political divide
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Matthew McConaughey won’t run for Texas governor in 2022 California Politics Roundup – KQED Kick Big Tobacco OUT of California Political Campaigns launches – Los Angeles Blade After decades in California politics, Allan Zaremberg has some parting advice for the GOP Inside California Politics: Bullpen talks CA redistricting ahead of 2022 midterm – KGET 17 Inside California Politics: Political Correspondent Marisa Lagos on Vice President Kamala Harris – FOX40 Inside California Politics: Representative Karen Bass, Oakland mayor on infrastructure bill passage, CA homelessness – KGET 17 Opinion | The Diminishing Democratic Majority Inside California Politics: Bullpen talks CA redistricting ahead of 2022 midterm – KRON4 Republican celebrations and Democratic anger reveal a widening political divide

California Politics: Redistricting gets real

The name most famously associated with political map drawing is Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts signed off on a diabolical “gerrymander” in 1812 to break his rivals’ stronghold on the state legislature.

But in

Members of the Draft maps in three weeks

The commission began reviewing early sketches of legislative and congressional districts earlier this month, drawings that were described as “visualizations” made by the panel’s technical consultants after several months of public testimony. A final round of visualizations is expected next week.

These efforts aren’t considered actual draft proposals because the commission has considered them only as snapshots of community preferences offered during weeks of public testimony but not drawings that reflect the potential effects of those preferences on the entire state.

“We do not have any draft maps yet,” Commissioner Sara Sadhwani said Wednesday. “We are simply thinking about what are the possibilities.”

The commission’s official draft maps are scheduled to be released Nov. 10, offering the first real look at the political consequences of a decade’s worth of population growth and demographic changes as well as These districts are drawn first

Other than the need to equalize population (especially for House seats), the top requirement for political districts is that there’s no dilution of the voting power of Latino, Black and Asian Americans. The state commission has hired lawyers whose primary job is to assess proposed districts for their compliance with that requirement based on provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act.

The 14 commissioners — five Democrats, five Republicans and four unaffiliated with a major party — have indicated they will draw these so-called VRA districts first and create as many of those districts as possible. That approach probably reflects the desire to support diversity and the realization that lawsuits filed against redistricting plans are often centered on alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act.

Look for this issue to dominate the choices made in drawing districts in Southern California (Surfing) noted last week, only one of the state’s political districts had a Latino population of more than 60% — 11 districts now meet that standard. Asian Americans make up 45% of the population in three current districts; Black citizens, the report notes, are more dispersed and line drawers could find it hard to draw districts where these voters make up sizable pluralities.

The early sketches have proved this point.

“In the Assembly visualizations,” wrote analysts at the nonpartisan Target book, “districts ranged from 53% to over 71% Latino Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP). After these districts were drawn, there was very little room to create Black-majority or Black-plurality seats.”

The political power of Black voters will be closely watched in the state’s current 37th Congressional District, where Rep. Karen Bass is leaving Congress to run for mayor of Los Angeles. Data in the recent PPIC report show 29.2% of citizen voting-age residents in Bass’ district are Black while 27.3% are Latino.

(Remember that the state is losing a congressional district, which makes some observers wonder whether Bass’ departure helps ease the political pain.)

In all of these areas, the commission will need to determine whether voters in traditional minority groups have a history of voting along racial lines. Look for reports on what’s known as “racially polarized voting” as a guide to how many districts will be drawn with these considerations in mind.

Tough choices: Look at San Luis Obispo

For a glimpse at the tough trade-offs inherent in drawing political maps, it’s worth taking a quick look at the challenges the California (Surfing) Environmental Voters, one of the state’s most prominent environmental advocacy groups, had a completely different viewpoint. Its map drew lines for an Assembly district down the coast from Santa Cruz to the southern border of San Luis Obispo County, separating the area for the agricultural regions to the east in an effort to give priority to the community’s record in support of environmental protection policies.

The two proposals would almost surely result in different partisan outcomes. In the coastal Assembly proposal, a Democrat would be the odds-on favorite to win. In the San Luis Obispo-Kern configuration, the partisan registration would probably favor the incumbent, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton).

It’s important to remember that the state redistricting commission cannot consider the residences of incumbent legislators. And beginning with the first commission’s work in 2011, the practice has been to also turn a blind eye to a region’s political registration data.

Political insiders, though, are tracking some of the potential shakeups in real time. Analysts at the Target book, which handicaps legislative and congressional races, noted this week that the preliminary sketches suggested big changes for the state Senate regions now represented by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-

the first step toward banning new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools and healthcare facilities, and requiring emissions monitoring of existing wells within those buffer zones.

— The suspended Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has been indicted on federal bribery, conspiracy and other charges. Hours later, city officials announced he would no longer receive his $223,800 salary.

— L.A. County supervisors decided to hire an outside law firm to investigate contracts that are central to federal corruption charges against Ridley-Thomas.

charitable contributions made on behalf of politicians with whom the donors may be trying to curry favor, an attempt to reveal wealthy donors who hide behind anonymous accounts.

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