Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others ...

Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame teaches children how to spot important difference while singing his equally-famous "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others" song. Let's see if we can spot any differences in how most Californians think about redistricting.

There were two -- count 'em two! -- redistricting measures on the November 2010 ballot in California. One, Proposition 20, extended existing redistricting reforms by empowering the Citizens Redistrict Commission to draw U.S. Congressional districts. Proposition 20 passed with a 60% plus majority.

The second redistricting initiative on the ballot was Proposition 27. Proposition 27's aim was to eliminate the Citizens Redistricting Commission and to return redistricting control back to the California Legislature. Why was this a bad idea? First, the California Legislature is dominated by one party with nearly a 2-to-1 majority. Second, everybody remembers the horrible job that the Legislature did drawing the 2001 political district lines. Proposition 27 was funded by 25 self-serving incumbent politicians and their well-connected, big-money party donors--many from outside of California! No surprise, Californians rejected Proposition 27, also by nearly a 60% majority.

At the county level, both Proposition 20 and Proposition 27 were nearly universally approved or rejected statewide. Note the key word, "nearly." One county, and only one county, voted completely opposite of all the others. See if you can spot which one. Look carefully.
Spot the difference yet? Look along the West coast (the left edge) mid-way up the state.

San Francisco county was the only California county to oppose Proposition 20 and support Proposition 27.

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