Earlier today, ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism website, released a bombshell report titled "How Democrats Fooled California's Redistricting Commission." The report systematically lays out the corrupt manipulation of what should have been an open and transparent process.
Among the first to comment on the report’s release was the San Jose Mercury News, which stated:
"California's congressional Democrats ran a secret effort earlier this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizen's panel that drew the state's new political districts, foiling the intent of reformers who sought to remove the redistricting process from the control of party bosses.
"Democrats met behind closed doors at the party's Washington, D.C. headquarters, hired consultants, drew their ideal districts and presented maps to the panel through proxies who never disclosed their party ties or "public interest" groups created specifically for the purpose. In many cases, the panel responded by doing just what the Democrats wanted."
The entire article can be found HERE. California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro issued this statement following the release of the investigative ProPublica report:
"The ProPublica report vindicates my repeated contention that the redistricting process was hijacked. That report, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The corruption of the process went far beyond what was disclosed in that report. No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by Congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process. Beyond that, the Congressional and Senate lines as drawn by the Commission should not be used in any way for the upcoming elections."
Chairman Del Beccaro had been petitioning the Redistricting Commission from the very beginning to conduct itself with openness and fairness, just like California voters asked when they voted in favor of Prop 11 and 20. Recommendations included bi-partisan line drawing experts and Voting Rights Act counsel to assist the commission with re-drawing legislative lines to avoid the commission being cast as a partisan one. Instead, they chose to hire Q2 Data and Research, a firm widely known for its ties to Democrats.
One of the commissioners, Dr. Gabianno T. Aguirre, had made multiple political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and has a special "web of connections" with a special interest group that submitted its own redistricting proposals to the commission. Again, a clear violation of the Redistricting Commission's rules that was ignored. Despite numerous calls for his resignation or removal, Dr. Aguirre was allowed to maintain his position on the Commission.
The California Republican Party has called for an immediate investigation into this scandal. Chairman Del Beccaro issued this call to action: “We need to work together to demand accountability in all phases of government, even from non-partisan commissions who got fooled by the Democrats. Make calls, write letters, let your network(s) know about this bombshell report. “