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So far, city redistricting in 2011 reminds me of the comedian Jerry Clower’s tale about two dogs fighting over a dinner of boiled okra. That slick slimy boiled okra went down one dog’s throat so fast that he thought the other ate it and they commenced to snapping and thrashing.
In our case, we’ve got the Republicans snapping and thrashing at everyone else because, as John Lamb put it in CityBeat, “they were too busy playing political games leading up to the November election” to make sure they got their share of supper.
In addition to Lamb’s play-by-play, there’s a good summary of the most recent row over a commissioner’s residency by Adrian Florido, including notes on whether the commissioner even has to live in San Diego. Matt Hall at the Union-Tribune also relates the affair, with mention the parts of the squabble as it happened on Twitter.
In short, the San Diego County GOP used a private investigator to try to discover if Carlos Marquez, a member of the city’s Redistricting Commission, lives in San Diego. Before this, the GOP had merely been trying to paint him as a puppet of progressive interests. Now, they think they’ve found sufficient dirt to get him off the commission.
The GOP investigator found Marquez stayed at least some of the time in an apartment in West Hollywood and he gave a non-San Diego address on an official form.
In response to his party’s money turning up that pleasing result, Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, called on Marquez to resign. Supporters tweeted their high-fives.
• Now that the pre-map phase is done (basically, it’s the end of public hearings about redistricting in the city), it’s time to start drawing the lines.
In another article, Florido took a seagull-eye’s view of the interest groups trying to influence redestricting — “Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, LGBT, Republicans and labor groups” — and summarizes the ongoing campaigns with the Steve Perry-esque “Some will win and some will lose.”
Commenter Linda Colley thinks this is the wrong way to go about redistricting.
This process is supposed to be about communities of interest that share common activities, social and lifestyle patterns, and are geographically compact and contiguous territories. I’m sorry but I just have to say it, “It’s not supposed to be BASED on Race.”
As Florido points out, the Republicans — apparently more interested in sorting the city by politics than by race (though of course the two are highly correlated) — “have proposed a map they say minimizes gerrymandering while giving Republicans a better chance at competing against Democrats, who currently control five of the City Council’s eight seats.”
Vince Vasquez, who Lamb calls “one of the sharper knives in San Diego’s Republican drawer,” gave his opinion of the Republicans’ map:
“How shall I put this,” Vasquez said. “The GOP map is politically tone deaf. It doesn’t seem like they have a real knowledge of what San Diego is.”
Lucas O’Connor, writing at Two Cathedrals, a left-leaning progressive blog, sees the Republican map as part of their political manipulation.
First, they screamed bloody murder — complete with ageist attacks, sexist attacks, and vulgar attacks on moral character — all supposedly in defense of a nonpartisan redistricting. Now, to save us from partisan infiltration, the Republican Party will just handle it for us. It’s flagrantly dishonest, not to mention insulting to think the SDGOP considers the public to be so stupid.
He also warns of the sinister specter of Republicans hiding in the bushes outside your windows.
• Vince Hall, an active Democrat who has a website offering redistricting tools and data, tries to explain why the Republicans are acting out. He points to a comment by former Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte in the Sacramento Bee: “If you think 2010 was bad, just get a load of what’s going to happen in 2012.”
The article reports that “Republican voter registration has declined so precipitously that the party, while maintaining a registration advantage over Democrats in some counties, no longer holds a majority in any.”
Which, Hall says, is exactly what is happening in San Diego.
When you look at the City of San Diego, you’re looking at an electorate where Republican registration is now running only three points ahead of “Decline to State” and continuing to sink. They may soon be the third largest “party” in the City of San Diego’s electorate.
Further, Hall adds, these Republicans are socially moderate Republicans, apparently more palatable to Californians than socially and fiscally conservative Republicans are.
They are pro-choice, increasingly pro-gay rights, oppose off-shore oil drilling, support environmental protection and public schools, and emphasize competent administration of government over partisan ideological warfare. They compromise, cut deals, and move government forward. In other words, they get booed at Republican state conventions.
• We’ll leave the final remark to Cindy Lopez, who wrote on Twitter,
LOL the arguing between @SanDiegoDems & @tonykrvaric is pretty funny! I almost forgot what it was like to be in high school XD.
Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.