Californians should vote NO on Proposition 77. Of all of the
ballot initiatives that we will vote on next month, this one
threatens us the most with a hidden, far-reaching agenda that is
fully known only to a few Republican operatives.
Californians should vote NO on Proposition 77. Of all of the ballot initiatives that we will vote on next month, this one threatens us the most with a hidden, far-reaching agenda that is fully known only to a few Republican operatives.
Everyone agrees that the system as established is broken but let’s face it, the damage has already been done. There would be so much more damage if 77 passed. As written, the proposition condones a Tom Delay/Karl Rove-type, mid-term redistricting whose ramifications is only beginning to surface.
All agree that south Santa Clara County is a worst-case scenario for poor redistricting, with representation split between three Members of Congress, three Assembly districts and three state senators including one state senate district that runs from Santa Cruz to Santa Maria. (Does Morgan Hill really have that much in common with Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch?)
However, the methods Proposition 77 would use to change a flawed redistricting process would simply exchange one set of problems with another.
The initiative’s language fails to adequately define how the panel of independent retired judges would be selected. It also calls for the panel to begin work immediately and have new congressional and legislative boundaries in place in time for the 2006 election. I believe both are impractical and dangerous. One year is simply not enough time for a redistricting commission, no matter how distinguished its members are, to properly do the work that is required.
Currently, redistricting is done after the census taken at the end of each decade. Changing that process midway through the decade is fraught with potential legal challenges endangering the U.S. Constitution’s one-person, one-vote mandate.
I could spend another thousand words further detailing the problems that will face California should Proposition 77 be voted into law.
Let’s vote NO on Prop 77 and then get to work on developing a truly comprehensive, fair and balanced redistricting plan that recognizes the value of each Californian’s vote and not preserve a badly damaged status quo.
Alex Kennett, Morgan Hill