Activists taint redistricting?

The state auditor’s office, which is handling the selection process for the Citizens Redistricting Commission, has been sending emails to applicants encouraging them to attend various training workshops, some of which are sponsored by political activist groups such as California Forward, the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund, the Greenlining Institute and the NAACP.

The auditor’s office told me that these groups received funding from the Irvine Foundation for outreach and that the focus is on helping applicants through the application process. It seems bizarre to me — and to the applicant who alerted me to this situation — that groups with a political agenda would have official access to applicants. This could taint the process or at least undermine the sense that the commission is interested in fairness rather than in political correctness. Obviously, the whole idea of redistricting is based on the premise that districts will be drawn fairly rather than with political motivations.

In full disclosure, I wrote a letter of recommendation for one friend of mine who is one of the many applicants. He is not the person who alerted me to these troubling emails.

UPDATE: The auditor’s office contacted me and said that not all the activist groups received funding from the  Irvine Foundation. The auditor did in fact send information from activist groups along to applicants for the commission.

–Steven Greenhut


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