Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Judge Wapner says No on 77

I just saw a tv ad for No on Prop 77, featuring Judge Joseph Wapner from the original People's Court tv program. Prop 77 is Governor Schwarzenegger's so-called "reform" plan for the redistricting process. There are several obvious reasons to be suspicious of Prop 77:

  • What's the rush? Why do we need to redistrict in 2006 instead of just waiting for the 2010 census?

  • This panel of three retired judges will either be two Republicans and one Democrat or vice-versa. Either way, one party will be dominant and the other an afterthought, not to mention the "third parties" like the Greens and Libertarians.

  • This redistricting plan was put onto the ballot by the governor without any public input whatsoever. No hearings, no hammering out the best possible solution, just "take it or leave it" trust-me politics, locking the change into the state constitution.
Judge Wapner highlights some additional reasons. Wal-Mart, an Arkansas corporation that can hardly claim to be a great defender of California's democratic process, has contributed $700,000 to support Prop 77, on top of hundreds of thousands from oil and insurance companies and over $6 million from developers. The League of Women Voters has officially endorsed No on 77.

I said it before, and I stand by it: California desperately needs real redistricting reform, but the first step must be to reject this charlatan. In fact, his support for Prop 77 is just one more reason to oppose Schwarzenegger's re-election effort next year.