this measure will repeal California Proposition 11 (2008), which authorized the creation of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. It would also modify the provision in California law that says that proposed congressional districts can't be subjected to a veto referendum.
According to political journalist Shane Goldmacher, Democratic political strategists say that this initiative can be seen as a political tactic to defeat the Congressional Redistricting Initiative, which is likely to be on the November 2, 2010 ballot: "Democratic political strategists say the best way to ensure a 'no' vote this fall on the congressional [reform] measure]] is to confuse the public further with a second ballot measure on the already head spinning topic of political line drawing."[
John Diaz, the editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, has written, " The proposed ballot language for the Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act makes the laughably absurd argument that this is about money: That a state facing an "unprecedented economic crisis" with a political leadership that "has failed us" cannot afford the cost of outsourcing this duty to a commission. A more honest title of this initiative, which is being conceived by a small group of Democratic insiders, would be the Incumbent Protection Act."
The editorial board of the Daily Breeze recommends that the publication's readers refrain from signing the petition to put this measure on the ballot, saying, "...staying in office and party control of seats has become more important than representing the people who gave them those seats in the first place."
Ian Johnson of The Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College says, "The California Democratic redistricting machine is worried. Led by Congressman Howard Berman and his consultant brother Michael, they controlled the state’s bipartisan incumbent-protection gerrymander in 2001. Now their control is threatened by an initiative that would place Congressional redistricting within the mandate of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Congressman Berman and his allies are responding with a misleading measure aimed at confusing voters, apparently conceding that they cannot win the debate on the merits of their views...In one respect, FAIR is a positive sign: when the beneficiaries of the status quo are forced to resort to deception to preserve their positions, it is a sign they are desperate. Clearly, even they can see which way the winds of change are blowing."
John Kabateck, executive director of the California branch of the National Federation of Independent Business. He says, "Enough is enough. Decades of cynical, self-serving behavior from politicians has helped plummet this state into a fiscal and economic abyss. We need to be able to hold our elected officials accountable when they don’t do the job we elected them to do. One way to ensure that politicians remain accountable to voters is by taking the power to draw political district lines from the very politicians who stand to personally benefit from the outcome."
Campaign finance complaint
Supporters of the Voters FIRST Act for Congress have asked the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Federal Elections Commission to investigate whether some members of California's U.S. Congressional delegation are "hiding their controlling involvement in the initiative" in a way that obscures who is really behind it.
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