Funding the Yes on 27 Campaign. Or is that the Intention?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

The campaign to bring congress under the independent redistricting commission (Yes on Prop 20), and at the same time defeat the effort to do away with the redistricting commission all together (No on Prop 27), has taken a look at the efforts of Congressman Howard Berman to get legislators to fund Prop 27 and has suggested the money raised to pass 27 will eventually end up being used to defeat Prop 20.

Here’s the deal: Berman is encouraging legislators to donate to a campaign to pass Proposition 27, which will get rid of the independent redistricting commission the people set up by passing Proposition 11 a couple of years ago. The commission takes over the power once jealously guarded by legislators to draw legislative districts. Legislators would prefer to create their own safe legislative districts than see independent commissioners drawing the lines.

However, Proposition 11 did not apply to redistricting congressional districts. Proposition 20 was put on the ballot so that congressional redistricting would become part of the new commission’s portfolio.

Prop 27 was created to not only get rid of the commission created by Prop 11, but also to confuse voters and undercut Prop 20.

According to the Yes 20/No 27-campaign, despite Berman urging funds go to the Yes on Prop 27 campaign, he has reserved $5-million in television ad time for No on 20.

Berman’s opponents question if the congressman is telling the legislators to concentrate on passing Prop 27 while intending to see an amendment to the 27 committee’s filings so it can switch gears and buy No on Prop 20 ads.

That’s what the Yes 20/No 27-campaign thinks Berman is up to.  It has been suggested by pundits in the past that a "fair" redistricting in Berman’s Los Angeles-based district could cost him his seat in congress.

It will be worth watching how the money flows into those two ballot measure campaigns and if the campaign supporting the redistricting commission is on to something. I imagine certain California legislators will be curious, as well.

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