OC’s new Congressional Districts! (UPDATED with new analysis, chismes, and wisecracks.)


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These new districts seem pretty fair.  The Commission did a fine job, and it’s unlikely any judge is going to overturn these after all the work, all the public input, and the truly dismaying paper trail detailing their decision-making processes.

Here’s the brilliant part:  At this point nearly all observers predict us Democrats gaining seats in Congress, state Senate and Assembly;  possibly reaching the elusive 2/3 threshold in Sacramento;  and taking as many as five Congressional seats away from the Party of No – surely a most invaluable contribution to the restoration of Madame Speaker!

But why that’s funny, two things:  California Republicans, perpetual victims that they are, were among the prime agitators for this reform, having convinced themselves that if they could only undo the diabolical Democratic gerrymanders they would certainly gain seats – NOT!  In their victim mentality they failed to realize that the old “safe” districts were drawn not to protect Democrats, but to protect INCUMBENTS of either party.  And as I wrote the other day, it “just makes sense, in a state where the Republican Party has been dying for so long, that when the shameful ‘safe districts’ are demolished, evidence of the GOP’s morbidity wafts up in gaseous clouds.

Meanwhile the Democratic Party and most Dems I know, in their perpetual timidity, opposed Prop 11 as they thought it must be some kind of clever trick to take away their majority. Now I’m amused to look around and see several Democrats that I know opposed it, claiming to have always supported it.  Well, I always did.  You could look it up.

Anyway, these appear to be the OC’s new Congressional districts.  As before, we have six, three of which we share with other counties.  But this time we’ll probably end up with two represented by Democrats instead of just one, and be able to hold our heads up just a little higher.

[The following maps, from http://www.mpimaps.com/mapanalysis/crc-july-28th-final-maps-congress/,
were created by Max Rexrod and Chandra Sharma, 916-648-1222, www.meridianhq.com]

from Garden Grove to Catalina: our amazing new 47th District!

The new 47th puts Little Saigon with a big Democratic chunk of Long Beach and even picks up Catalina Island (not shown here) along with Stanton, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Cypress.  This, largely Democratic, part of Long Beach is currently represented partly by the hinky Democrat Laura Richardson, partly by Rohrabacher whose district’s been moved into the OC.  Laura will probably stick with another part of her district since there aren’t so many black folks in this part, but we Dems won’t mind if the corrupt lady gets squeezed out of Congress.

And the very worthy Democratic State Senator Alan Lowenthal has announced that he’s running for this seat – in this district that is now 43% Dem, 32% Republican.  He’s going to be a great Congressman, and I love the idea of him representing a big chunk of the OC.   Sorry Viets, there are just not enough of you to make a Viet Congressional district, although maybe we’ll see Van Tran take a shot at Alan.

Loretta’s 46th!

The new 46th shows that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Thanks to the tireless advocacy of LULAC, Armando de la Libertad, [update: Claudio Gallegos] and others, the Latino “community of interest” of Santa Ana, the Anaheim flatlands, and Orange west of the 55 has successfully been kept together.  Translation = Loretta is safe.  42% Latino, 40% white, 15% Asian;  and 45% Dem, 32% Reep!  Excellent work, hermanos y hermanas.

Our Alaska:  the New 39th up north

Well, this is Greg Diamond’s worst nightmare come true, with his beloved Brea – along with Yorba Linda, Placentia, Fullerton, La Habra, and Buena Park – stuck with people up in Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, and other hinterlands up farther north than most of us ever go.  Gus says this seems to be a “community of interest of people who can’t get anywhere.”  Interestingly, it’s 1/4 Asian and 1/4 Latino.

Here’s where the fun happens though:  It looks like this will pit long-time corrupt embarrassment Gary Miller against even longer-time wheeler-dealer Ed Royce for the same majority-R district – both possibly now wishing they had out-Muslim-bashed the other back in Yorba Linda.  Only one can come out alive!  Word is, State Senator Ed Hernandez, head of the Senate’s Health Committee, will be galloping down from Walnut to carry the Democratic standard – and who knows what could happen with our open primary system?

Word also is that very ambitious Supervisor and Fullerton resident Shawn Nelson is dying to take on the fossilized Royce.  Shawn has, rightly or wrongly, endeared himself to some folks outside his tea-party base, with his vote against the Coyote Hills development last year, and just yesterday with his demand for an FBI investigation into the deadly Kelly Thomas beating – wise moves for an aspiring politician (and also the right things to do.)  I’ll wait to see how he responds to Bushala’s & my questionnaire on foreign affairs, civil liberties, the Patriot Act, the Drug War, free trade, gay rights, women’s reproductive rights, immigration reform, and the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Meanwhile I’ve been sitting on damaging information on Ed Royce’s relationship with disgraced Tiger Capital, as I wait to see who will face him in the runoff.

Dana’s and John’s new fiefdoms: the coastal 48th and the inland 45th.

Well, that’s a disappointment, we were all hoping Dana Rohrabacher and John Campbell would run against each other and we could be well rid of one of ‘em, but Dana’s Costa Mesa has ended up in a different district from Campbell’s Irvine after all. These are both as safe Republican districts as they were before. Dana, having lost his long ridiculous strip of coastland going all the way up to Rancho Palos Verdes, has been consoled with cherry-red Newport and the Lagunas. And it will be a herculean effort for Sukhee Kang to attempt what Beth Krom tried last year – to beat the deadbeat “Leader of the Resistance” in his crimson domain.

Lest We Forget – ‘Way down south – the FIGHTING 49th!

Finally, our friends down in Dana Point, SJC, and San Clemente have been put into a district that’s mostly northern coastal San Diego County – that’s Camp Pendleton, San Onofre, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar.  I suppose that louche and showboating creep, Darrell Issa of Vista, will hang onto this district, due to his celebrity status as chief tormentor of Obama, and his legendary mountains of riches.  [And now that he'll be an Orange County Congressmen, the Orange Juice Blog can start paying a little more attention to him - the kind of attention he doesn't want, but NEEDS.]

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One final celebratory note – as the Winships already mentioned, Orange County can now feel a little cleaner, as KEN CALVERT’s District no longer TOUCHES us!


Chime in with your thoughts and knowledge, and if it makes sense I’ll quote you in the text here – this post is in progress.  Over the weekend I’ll do assembly and senate districts.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.