Powered by Max Banner Ads
Steve Young’s opponent in State Senate District 37, Mimi Walters “of Irvine,” was the sponsor of Prop 40 — a referendum that would undo the recent State Senate redistricting and replace it with … an unknown something else. (A referendum requires the public to vote on a law, so that a “No” vote would undo the lines.)
I’ve favored the current district lines from the beginning, out of deference to the good and conscientious work of the Redistricting Commission, so (after some confusion about which vote would have what result) I’ve always wanted them upheld — the result of a “Yes” vote on Prop 40.
For some people, such as Walters and my own opponent State Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, the district lines have always been a matter of pure politics rather than principle. They’ve recalculated the odds of keeping their power in the Senate, improved their forecast, and so now they are opposing the referendum that they themselves had put on the ballot!
Huff and Walters told the committee that the referendum was pushed not so much to get voters to overturn the new districts, but as the basis for a plea to the state Supreme Court to use the previous districts for the 2012 elections.
Republicans have feared that they could lose two of their 15 Senate seats this year, thus giving Democrats a two-thirds supermajority in the Legislature’s 40-member upper house and enabling them to pass tax increase bills without GOP support.
Huff, however, told the committee that he now believes Repblicans can eke out 14 seats, thus denying Democrats a two-thirds majority, and under the new districts could pick up a seat or two in 2014. Therefore, he now wants the referendum to fail. [My emphasis.]
Normally, being his opponent, I don’t criticize Sen. Huff in this blog the way that I feel free to do with other people’s opponents (such as Schemin’ Mimi Walters.) When he’s doing something that I’d criticize him for even if I weren’t running against him, though, I feel free to do so. And this — first working to put a referendum on the ballot for pure political gain, and then opposing that proposition for pure political gain — richly warrants criticism.
Do you how much money the state has spent to put this referendum on the ballot — all purely for Republican political gain? How do you feel upon finding that all of that money was completely wasted?
Walters, at least, had an excuse to want to change the lines — but I suppose that now she may have decided that living apart from her family in an Irvine apartment beats living with her family in a different State Senate district.
Here’s what I just posted as a comment on the Sac Bee‘s web story:
The public voted for a Citizens’ Redistricting Commission — and its non-political determinations of what constituted a fair map deserved deference. Huff and Walters now admit that they chose to waste public money on putting a referendum on the ballot, one that they now don’t even support, purely for partisan political gain. This is disgusting and craven politics. They and/or the CRP should reimburse the state the costs of putting Prop 40 on the ballot. They should also undertake a non-partisan advertising campaign to ensure that citizens — who are likely to be confused by having to vote “yes” to say “no” to their plan — don’t mistakenly vote “no” Prop 40.
Ideology aside, if people want to cast protest votes against Huff in SD-29 over this, I’ll be happy to have them. I’m sure that Steve Young, Walters’ opponent in SD-37, feels the same about his race.
So: YES on Prop 40; NO on expensive and self-serving political trickery! (At least Huff and Walters can agree with me and Steve Young on the first part of that platform.)