Following Wednesday’s blistering ProPublica investigation claiming California Democrats manipulated the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to protect Democratic incumbents, both Republicans and Democrats are lashing out.
According to the investigation, reportedly based on obtained internal emails and memos, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee supported an intentional manipulation of the commission, from enlisting elected officials to lobbyists to testify as “ordinary Californians,” without disclosing party ties, at community forums influencing redistricting. Previously the California State Legislature mapped out redistricting lines, drawn up every 10 years. In 2008, Proposition 11 placed redistricting in the hands of an independent commission made up of 14 citizens – five Democrats, five Republicans, and four with other party affiliations – who listen to communities all over the state to create new districts. In response to the report, Republicans say the state’s newly drawn up congressional map – which favors Democrats – should be eliminated. “No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process," California GOP Chairman Tom Del Becarro said in a statement. California Democratic Chairman John Burton has countered that the report is “pure fantasy,” adding, “I've never had a single conversation about redistricting with any of the Commission's members and frankly I wouldn't recognize a single member of the Commission if I ran into one on the street.”
Do you think Republicans will take legal action to prove ProPublica’s claims? Are you for or against the redistricting commission?
Senator Mimi Walters (R-CA's 33rd), California State Senator; Chair of the Legislative Ethics Committee
Eric Bauman, Vice Chair, California Democratic Party; also serving his sixth term as Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation.
Bruce Cain, Heller Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley; Executive Director of the University of California Washington Center in D.C.