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Politics

Antonio Villaraigosa shames L.A., slamming the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

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Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 6:30 AM
click to enlarge Villaraigosa's top L.A. redistricting consultants
  • Villaraigosa's top L.A. redistricting consultants

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa embarrassingly complained that no L.A. resident has a shot at today's lottery in which eight Californians will be picked for the commission that draws up the state's voting districts. The lottery live-streams at We Draw the Lines, here at 10 a.m.

The strength of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, whose names will be picked from 36 balls in a bingo drum in Sacramento, is that California's regions are represented. Not specific cities.

We know Villaraigosa sees libraries as optional (the Weekly detailed his attack on them), and reads mostly menus. His swipe at the Citizens Commish shows, again, that he can't pay attention.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission shuts the door on pols like Villaraigosa who were itching to play big roles in gerrymandering California in 2011.

Voters said No More and approved Proposition 20 on November 2, building on a previous voter reform to end gerrymandering.

The Commish will pore over maps and 2010 U.S. Census data. By August, they will un-gerrymander California.

click to enlarge "Ribbon of Shame" Congressional District 23 stretches 200 miles, narrows to 100 yards and some joke "disappears" at high tide.
  • "Ribbon of Shame" Congressional District 23 stretches 200 miles, narrows to 100 yards and some joke "disappears" at high tide.

Some bizarrely-shaped voting districts will vanish. They were created by the California Legislature and its chief map maker, Michael Berman, solely to ensure that incumbents got reelected in fixed elections.

Villaraigosa's spokeswoman told the L.A. Times that he will cooperate with the Citizens Redistricting Commission even though he's bent out of shape that no L.A. citizens' names are on the 36 balls in that bingo drum.

He'll cooperate?

click to enlarge Hizzoner's thoughts aren't paramount
  • Hizzoner's thoughts aren't paramount

It doesn't matter if Antonio Villaraigosa chooses to sulk, places duct tape over his mouth, cheers -- or leaves for Europe.

The power is no longer even in the vague realm of folks like him.

Once the eight names are randomly chosen today, California's 120 state legislators are even banned by law from personally speaking to the commissioners until after December 31.

Leading up to Dec. 31, the eight commissioners will hold public hearings at which they will pick a slate of six final members for the 14-member Citizens Commish.

The "no talk" rule banning California's poisonous pols from intercepting and manipulating the commissioners is humorous in its simple honesty.

It's explained in this Weekly story.

None of the six commissioners who round out the 14-member panel will be from L.A., either. They'll be chosen from 24 remaining balls not selected from the bingo drum today.

The 36 citizen names in the drum represent Southern California, Northern California and Central California.

It doesn't matter which cities they pay their utilities bills in.

Utterly, totally not what this commission is about. At all. Even a little bit.

The person at City Hall complaining that no commissioners live in Los Angeles still thinks this is about factions grimly struggling over self-interest.

Geography was important only in the sense that the commission not be heavily dominated by Northern, Central or Southern California. It won't be.

People who still don't understand will be shocked when these 14 draw the new voting district lines next year.

They will be working for the voters, and paid $300 a day to do so. Their mission is to restore communities of interest destroyed in 2001 by incumbents in the legislature and Congress -- lots of Antonio Villaraigosa's close allies, in fact.

Some compact voting districts, shattered to bits, will be restored. Some false voting districts created by carving through mountain ranges to protect this or that politician's fanny will be dismantled.

So onward and upward to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Woo hoo!

A breath of fresh air in California. Regardless of city of origin.

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