Imagine my shock to discover Democrats act in duplicitous fashion. It’s almost as if they’ll break the law in a desperate bid to cling to power or something.
California’s congressional Democrats ran a secret effort this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizens panel that drew the state’s new political districts, foiling the intent of reformers who sought to remove the redistricting process from the control of party bosses.
Democrats met behind closed doors at the party’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, hired consultants, drew their ideal districts and presented maps to the panel through proxies who never disclosed their party ties or “public interest” groups created specifically for the purpose. In many cases, the panel responded by doing just what the Democrats wanted.
The New York-based nonprofit investigative foundation ProPublica released findings Wednesday from a months-long reconstruction of the Democrats’ stealth redistricting strategy, relying on internal memos, emails, interviews and map analyses.
The success of the strategy has Democrats projecting they might pick up as many as seven congressional seats in 2012 under new district boundaries adopted in the summer, far more than had been expected.
“Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to D.C.,” crowed one internal memo. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”
Democrats this week sought to downplay their role, with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, saying the final maps were “entirely out of the hands of the members” of Congress.
But California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro cited ProPublica’s investigation Wednesday as he called for an immediate investigation of improper partisan influence.
“The redistricting process was hijacked,” he said. “No fair-minded person can now say the process or the result was fair.”
Normally people should be outraged by such tactics, but the Democrats rule California with an iron fist so nothing will happen. Heck, they’ll celebrate being so sneaky.
If the GOP did this there would be federal investigations, of course.