Not one to pull her punches or knees to the groin, LA Weekly’s Simone Wilson calls LA’s Redistricting Commission “an embarrassing who’s-who of career City Hall
puppets … To say the 2012 redistricting commissioners are
cloaked in this culture of self-preservation and nepotism is an
understatement; they are the fibers that give it form.”
‘Take Michael Trujillo, the mouthpiece selected by City Councilman
Richard Alarcon to represent City Council District 7 .. How appropriate, now, that this incurable negative-campaigner should be
hand-picked (sloppy seconds!) by Councilman Alarcon, the most nepotistic of the bunch” who is charged with felony voter fraud/perjury over moving outside his own district.
The LA Times was far less forthright but did acknowledge that the draft maps released Wednesday set “the stage for a series of pitched battles over neighborhood identity, ethnic clout and raw political power” — a point made in the Daily News as well which said they kick “off a fierce battle over the political, cultural and ethnic lines of the city,”
In fact, the only voice that any reporter could find who praised this outrageous insult to the people of Los Angeles that is being foisted on them by a failing political machine engaged in a feeding frenzy as if there is no tomorrow (and there will be no tomorrow if anything like these maps is approved) was the Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s Stuart Waldman, which was predictable if you followed the group’s activities.
“You listened to me. You listened to the neighborhood councils. You
listened to the people of the San Fernando Valley,” Waldman told the panel at its Van Nuys Civic Center meeting Wednesday — a position that was clearly out of step with the howls of protest from community activists and neighborhood leaders Sunland-Tujunga to Sherman Oaks to West Hills and throughout the city from Koreatown to East, South and West LA.
Some commissioners were appalled. “Quite frankly, I am embarrassed to be associated with this product,” said former state Sen. David Roberti.
And even some the politicians who appointed this commissioners with the intent of enhancing their power, securing their political futures and expanding opportunity to raise campaign cash were shocked and dismayed at what they had wrought.
Bill Rosendahl called the maps an “outrageous case of gerrymandering,” which was always the intent but not if it cost him Westchester or inflicted Tom LaBonge on Sherman Oaks and Encino or robbed Jan Perry of the big bucks from downtown developers to provide Jose Huizar with that plum even as rumors of his legal problems with the feds are heating up.
Not to worry says Commission Chairman Arturo Vargas, the mayor’s appointee, the maps are “a work in progress” and “the final product won’t be the same product” as the ones that were released.
That, of course, is the scam. They released maps deliberately intended to infuriate almost everybody so that people will be begging for mercy and be willing to accept crumbs from the table of power as usual and settle for districts that are only half as gerrymandered as these.
I’d like to believe that this insult to our intelligence would spark a level of community outrage that would lead to real change and spark a voter rebellion that threw the scoundrels out and put into office citizen candidates committed to serving the public, not screwing the public. But I’ll have to see that start to happen to believe it.
Here are the current district and draft maps (you can see details in the LA Times’ Interactive Map):