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Independent redistricting initiative getting GOP dollars

Inside Bay Area reports: In a display of bipartisan unity, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Controller Steve Westly, a Democrat, went from table to table at a local restaurant this week, beseeching diners to sign a petition supporting a new redistricting initiative.

But where it counts in campaign contributions there is a more partisan tinge to the ballot drive than the image promoted by backers. Republicans, who would love to cut into the Democratic stranglehold on the Legislature, have been far more enthusiastic donors than Democrats.

Nearly all of the $542,500 raised so far by California Voters First has come from donors who typically give to Republican candidates and GOP causes, according to campaign finance reports.

"If they don't fix that, they're in trouble," said Barbara O'Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at Sacramento State University who has served on the Voices of Reform board advocating redistricting reform. "If Democrats don't start contributing, people will say, 'Who's this helping and whose ox is being gored?'" -- Push to redistrict remains partisan - Inside Bay Area

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