Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Latest Republican Temper Tantrum

The following is from the latest "Blue View" by SDCDP Chair Jess Durfee.

On every school playground there's a type of spoiled brat who wants a do-over as soon as he thinks he's losing. Or, even worse, who tries to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Consider the San Diego Republican Party and their clumsy, whiny attempts to influence the redistricting process in the City of San Diego. Of course, the outcome of this fight is far from trivial.

Struggling for relevance in a city that over the years has become more diverse and more Democratic, Republicans seem to think they can railroad the process by submitting their own set of maps and discrediting the Redistricting Commission itself.

In a PowerPoint presentation they made to the commission this month -- partisan right down to the elephant in their logo -- they offered a gerrymandered map of districts contorted to make a Republican majority on the City Council. This despite the fact that they're far outnumbered by Democrats, and close to falling behind independent voters in the city. By law, the commission can't even consider feedback from a political party.

Betraying their evident fear of greater racial diversity on the City Council, the Republicans warned commissioners that "race can't be your motive" in drawing districts, though the law actually requires the consideration of race to empower "communities of interest."

When that didn't seem to be working, the Party hired one of their own officers to spy on a commissioner for a week, leading to a trumped-up charge that he's not really a San Diegan. That commissioner, a Democrat with deep roots in the city, just happens to be the only Latino and the only gay person on the panel.

The commission and the community were unimpressed by their antics, so yesterday the Republican Party Chair, Tony Krvaric, sued the City of San Diego to dispute the whole process. He claims that the judges who picked the commissioners (both judges appointed by a Republican governor) were illegitimate. In other words, he wants a do-over.

More of the public's time and money will now be wasted in court. Still, I don't think the result will change. The Republican Party might not accept the diversity of our city in the 21st century, but that's their problem, not ours. The Redistricting Commissioners -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents -- have an important job to do for San Diego. It's time for them to get on with the people's work.

No comments: