I am writing in response to Bob Cuddy’s Dec. 4 column on the referendum effort challenging state Senate redistricting.
California voters through Propositions 11 and 20 approved a redistricting process that allows for a referendum if the commission selected to redraw legislative lines did not fulfill constitutional obligations. By all means, the commission failed to fulfill its constitutional obligations.
For some, holding our government accountable may be “annoying,” but for me and the California GOP that is important.
We know better than to accept the status-quo explanation that acquiesces to the idea that an “independent” commission’s work is beyond reproach — that is just nonsense.
The process by which the lines were drawn was a very corrupt one. The commission conducted itself with a level of secrecy that parallels the CIA.
The lead commissioner, who was initially screened out of the process for using a false address, conveniently made his way back onto the commission. In another instance, commission member Dr. Gambino Aguirre failed to disclose his deep ties and donations to political organizations that benefit from the lines as they have currently been drawn.
The commission preceded these very questionable actions by hiring the Democrat firm Q2 Research to draw the new legislative lines. Moves like these do not instill confidence in the public; the commission’s actions from the very beginning removed its aura of autonomy and integrity.
Being a fair-minded Republican, I do believe in our system of government. More importantly, I believe in holding our government accountable, and sometimes the actions of one can serve as a catalyst for improvement in the lives of many. The California Republican Party has no qualms fighting for the integrity of our voting system in the same manner that many other groups have questioned the commission’s acts, a story that goes untold by the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Californians have spoken by submitting more than 710,000 signatures — a very direct statement that says that integrity and transparency trumps convenience and lack of political will. Abiding by the rules and laws of this state and this nation is a far cry from being an annoyance. Rather, it is our obligation as American citizens to keep our government honest and accountable to the people.
I look forward to future editorials that acknowledge the ongoing fight to keep the people of California sovereign.
Tom Del Beccaro is chairman of the California Republican Party. He lives in Contra Costa.