Vote Yes on Prop. 11 – Custom Made For GOP Gain
10-23-2008 5:49 am
As we approach the general election, I have to tell you that no vote that one of the most important votes that any conservative in this state can cast is a vote in support of Proposition 11.
By passing Proposition 11, Californians will be making it possible to add more conservatives to the legislature than ever before. That's right - despite all of the rhetoric of misguided Prop. 11 supporters, who somehow believe that this measure will end partisanship in Sacramento - it will not. But what it will do is add more Republicans into the mix, giving us more votes to stop spending increases, tax increases and the growth in government that we have seen at the hands of the liberal Democrats who control the institution.
Ironically, a trip to the Yes on 11 website allows you to peruse quotes from officials of groups like the AARP, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and others - all advocating a vote for 11 to end "gridlock" in Sacramento. Let me say two things - the first is that gridlock is a good thing, if it is preventing higher taxes and massive increases in state spending. Second, and more important, Proposition 11 will bring more partisan gridlock, because it will bring more partisan Republicans to Sacramento. It will once and for all put the permanent brakes on the overspending in Sacramento that has taken us straight into financial chaos.
Here is a hard fact for you - whether districts are 'competitive' or safe, each political party will still nominate their candidate in a partisan primary. So while in some cases, it is certainly possible that a moderate of either party will win their primary, and have some cross-over appeal, what is certainly going to be the case the vast majority of the time is that, even in a competitive seat, it will be a left winger who wants to raise taxes running against a right-winger who does not. But with the passage of Prop. 11, which takes away the left-wing partisan gerrymander of the Democrats , there will be more seats where the Republican can be competitive with the Democrat.
Anyways, don't take my word for it, let me point you to a pretty extensive study conducted by Eric McGhee at the Public Policy Institute of California, Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship (link to summary
, link to whole study
), where McGhee conducts exhaustive research.
In the PPIC release
on this survey, they say:
Contrary to conventional wisdom about redistricting reform, there's little evidence that it would reduce partisanship in Sacramento, according to a study released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The PPIC analysis of legislative voting patterns finds that the 2001 redistricting - which has been blamed for gridlock over the budget and a polarized legislature - did not make legislators more partisan. Creating new election districts is unlikely to make the legislature more moderate, the report concludes.
"There was just as much partisanship in the late 1990s as there was in the mid-2000s," says PPIC research fellow Eric McGhee. "Redistricting did not make California legislators more partisan. They were partisan to begin with."
Disillusion with the redistricting process which allows legislators to draw district lines and, in effect, choose their own votershas fueled moves to give redistricting authority to a more impartial body. The latest is Proposition 11, on the November ballot, which would give an independent commission of citizens the power to draw the legislative map. The PPIC report does not examine Proposition 11 nor assess other goals offered by proponents of redistricting reform. The report, Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship, focuses solely on whether the 2001 redistricting made legislators more partisan by protecting incumbents from serious election challenges.
PPIC indentifies key findings of McGhee's research as:
- Legislators are more likely to vote with their own party than to respond to the partisan makeup of their districts on most issues most of the time.
- Moderate legislators are not consistently found in the districts that are more politically balanced. About half the legislators from evenly divided districts are not moderate on any issue examined by the report.
- Legislators who served both before and after the 2001 redistricting did not change their voting patterns in response to changes in the partisanship of their districts.
- Changing legislative districts to resemble those before 2001 would probably not change the outcomes of many specific votes on the state budget or contentious business regulation issues.
Of course you haven't read much about this PPIC report because proponents of Proposition 11 want to keep it buried. After all, this research paper is the "smoking gun" that shows that all of these so-called "good government" groups such as LWV, AARP, and their ilk (you know, the ones that consistently are unhappy unless government gets bigger and fatter and redistributes more wealth) might question what it is they are doing. As for me, I guess I am AOK with these groups, in essence, pushing the #1 priority for the Republican Party.
Frankly, I am surprised that opponents of Proposition 11 don't use the McGhee research to try and defeat the measure, but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth.
But I will tell you this - the research is right on. I would actually make the case that, at least from the GOP side of things, a competitive district means that our legislators will be even more beholding to the conservative interests groups that actually generate volunteer activity and local donations. Watch conservative grassroots activism flourish in areas where we can, in a fair district, put up a conservative Republican against a socialist Democrat.
As a conservative leader, I couldn't have written a measure better designed to increase Republican numbers in the legislature.
So I urge you to vote for gridlock, and for more conservatives in the legislature. I urge to vote you to vote Yes on Proposition 11.
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