Series Exposed Redistricting Sham
By JOHN SEILER
In recent weeks, CalWatchDog.com ran an exclusive series of articles, by John Hrabe, exposing the process. He documented how two of the commissions, instead of being “independent,” were Left-oriented political activists. State Auditor Elaine Howle failed to do her job in vetting the applicants for commissioner.
Apparently relying partly on the CalWatchDog.com series, redistricting expert Tony Quinn wrote:
Dante condemned those who betray a public trust to the hottest place in hell. My candidate for Dante’ inferno this week is State Auditor Elaine Howle, who created the poll of candidates that formed the Citizens Redistricting Commission, now thankfully in its final weeks of existence….
Commissioner Gabino Aguirre managed to obtain a Senate district for his friend, Democratic Assemblyman Das Williams, in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Aguirre made a campaign contribution to Williams after he was in the running for membership on the commission, and then helped craft the new Williams district without disclosing his contribution to anyone. He also helped draw the district intended to end the career of GOP Sen. Tony Strickland. Aguirre hosted a fund raiser in 2008 for the candidate running against Strickland’s wife, the then Ventura Assembly member. These are the kind of people Howle thought were “impartial,” the primary criterion for a commissioner.
What a sham.
The Hrabe articles can be read here:
Part 1 of the Redistricting Series: “Gabino Aguirre’s Secret Political Past.“
Part 2 of the Redistricting Series: “Did Gabino Aguirre Flout Code of Conduct?“
Part 3 of the Redistricting Series: “Chart Shows Aguirre Conflicts of Interest.“
Part 4 of the Redistricting Series: “Jeanne Raya Failed to Reveal Donations.“
Mar. 9, 2010 Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters has been covering California politics since 1975. No one writing about our
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