Let's back up and recall the precise promise.
In 2005, Schwarzenegger was backing a goofy redistricting proposal on his special election ballot. It would have forced a mid-decade redistricting, rather than waiting for the customary next census. Worse, it would have required any redistricting to be approved by a statewide vote, a political consultants' bonanza.
If voters would reject the governor's ballot proposition, Perata told me, "Our commitment. . . is to fashion a bipartisan solution in a thoughtful way and put it on the ballot next year." Ditto, said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles).
The Schwarzenegger measure was soundly rejected by nearly 60% of voters.
Then the Democratic leaders didn't deliver.
I know we should know by now that when legislators promise to stop drinking and hitting the kids, and this time, we mean it, we really mean it they are lying. Maybe they mean well, and they are lying to themselves as well, or maybe they are lying consciously to us.
It doesn't matter.
For me, I'd gladly sign on to the flawed referendum that was slammed in 2005. Anyone going to propose it?
And can someone deal with the Democratic staffers who are breathing hyperbolically about the electoral "reform" bill proposed by the Republicans, and get them to lower the level of fire-and-brimstone faux moralizing?
On Thursday, California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres announced the launch of an exciting program called Fraud Busters to combat misinformation being spread by proponents of a misleading initiative effort ("The Presidential Election Reform Act") which would make California the only large state in the union to award its electoral votes by Congressional District, instead of by statewide popular vote.
"We want activists around the state to help us stop the Republicans from stealing the White House and stealing California's electoral votes," said Torres. "We are asking our activists to be the California Democratic Party's frontline team and help us stop the Republicans from spreading their lies around the state."
In order to ensure that Republicans hold the White House next year, well-connected GOP operatives are attempting to put an initiative on California's June 2008 ballot that, if passed, would all but guarantee the Republican nominee could steal 22 electoral votes from California in the November 2008 presidential election.
I'd feel soooo much better if a) the Democrats hadn't talked about doing exactly the same thing in North Carolina (with approving noises from the MyDD folks) until pulling it at the direction of the national party, who apparently realized that the few electoral votes they'd gain in NC wouldn't offset the ones they'd lose in California. And if one of the main reasons the democrats scuttled districting reform here wasn't because they want to protect the gerrymandered Congressional seats that they have managed to engineer for themselves. Per Kaus:
The big hang-up was fear that Nancy Pelosi would oppose any measure that ended gerrymandering of Congressional districts as well as state legislative districts.
Like the European autocrats in the post below, our political class seems to be uncomfortable talking to us as adults.
And for me, I can't help but wonder how a party that showed some respect for voters and their intelligence would fare.