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Jason Cabel Roe

Arnold Could Cost Us the Majority

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to wrest control of redistricting from the elected representatives of the legislature probably seemed like a good idea by many California Republicans frustrated by the political wilderness they’ve been trapped in for so many years.  In fact, it might be just what is needed to be relevant in Sacramento – but the national implications are not helpful.

Proposition 77, which seems unlikely to pass in the Golden State – thus giving Congressional Republicans a gain of exactly zero seats, has at least inspired Democrats.  Democrats in Florida, Michigan, and Ohio.

Common Cause, a left-wing “reform” group that spends tons of George Soros’s cash pushing liberal initiatives around the country has set their sites on statewide initiatives in those three seats and many consider them far more likely to succeed in those states than in California.

Florida , a “swing state” has a congressional delegation of 18 Republicans and 7 Democrats.  In 2002, then-Speaker of the House Tom Feeney presided over a redistricting process that gave Republicans 4 additional seats in the U.S. House.  The Florida initiative could cost the GOP 3-5 seats.

If you think California is nutty about its initiatives, you ain’t seen nothin’.  Initiatives in Florida are automatically amendments to the state constitution.  In 2002, the Florida Humane Society garnered 54% for an initiative on animal rights and the summary reads like this:

This ballot proposal addresses the inhumane treatment of animals, specifically, pregnant pigs.  To prevent cruelty to animals and as recommended by The Humane Society of the United States, no person shall confine a pig during pregnancy in a cage, crate or other enclosure, or tether a pregnant pig, on a farm so that the pig is prevented from turning around freely, except for veterinary purposes and during the prebirthing period; provides definitions, penalties, and an effective date.  

That’s right.  Florida ’s constitution has an amendment on the appropriate way to crate pregnant pigs.  So you see how easily goofy things pass in Florida.

In Ohio , where observers predict the GOP could lose as many as 5 seats, congressional Republicans are raising $8 million dollars to defeat the initiative at the ballot box.  That is in part because Ohio is historically a dependable Republican state, however, Governor Taft has been embroiled in scandals that make Ohio ’s reliability less certain.

In Michigan , the effort appears to have lost steam with Governor Jennifer Granholm clinging to her political life but should the effort get back on track, we could lose 2 seats.

All this said, Arnold’s great idea could give the Democrats in the U.S. House, as many as 12 new seats while California will give Republicans zilch.  Arnold ’s great idea could cost us control of Congress.

[From the Publisher:  This is a great opportunity to remind all FR Weblog readers that all contributors here do not always agree.  As a matter of fact, you can read my extensive thoughts on Proposition 77 and our California Congressional delegation here.  – Jon]