California: initiative would shift to redistricting commission
The New York Times reports: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has spent more than $2 million from his campaign coffers to support a ballot proposition that could profoundly alter the composition, and perhaps the governing style, of the California Legislature. ...
Under the proposal, the responsibility for drawing the new boundaries for legislative districts — in both the Senate and the Assembly — would shift from the Legislature to a new 14-member commission comprising five Democrats, five Republicans and four independent or minor-party voters who would draw new maps every 10 years, corresponding with the census cycle.
California’s legislative districts, which resemble little oil spills when viewed on a map, are heavily gerrymandered. Not one of the 120 seats changed party hands in the last two elections, held two and four years ago.
The initiative, which was largely written by Common Cause and the AARP, is supported by Mr. Schwarzenegger, various former state officials and the League of Women Voters. -- Plan on California Ballot for New Districting Panel - NYTimes.com