Republican redistricting gadfly Tony Quinn, in a post today on Fox & Hounds Daily, argues that the Senate district maps approved by the Citizens Redistricting Commission last week are the ones most vulnerable to court challenges and a referendum.
He argues that the commission, in essence, mangled the Central Coast from southern Santa Clara County to the San Fernando Valley in a manner that will have the effect of knocking out two Republican senators, Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo and Tony Strickland of Moorpark, and creating a new Democratic seat in the middle -- giving Democrats a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
Quinn, whose conspiratorial criticism of the commission grew somewhat tiresome during the map-drawing process, makes some solid points. But it should be noted that the proposed new maps along the Central Coast would essentially undo two deliberate, partisan decisions made by the Legislature in creating the existing districts. At the time, Senate Democratic leader John Burton assented to blowing up the district held by Democrat Jack O'Connell, who was being termed out, and Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte used part of the pieces to create a failsafe Republican district for Tom McClintock.
The proposed new district along the Central Coast would largely recreate the district that O'Connell held for eight years during the 1990s.