Look Kids! Redistricting!

Share this:

After weeks and weeks of continuing Newport Beach Lifeguard fun, I’m going to bring this column back down to where it belongs…mired in obscure political machinations.

But if you are a political junkie like me, this topic will excite you to no end because of its wondrous possibilities of drama, political paybacks and scorched-earth campaigns that only happen once every 10 years.

It’s called Redistricting.

You see, with every Census that is done, a corresponding adjustment of Political Districts are also done in Congressional Districts, State Senate and Assembly Districts, County Supervisors’ Districts, and heck, even Newport Beach City Council Districts.

But while Orange County and Newport Beach’s Districts are drawn by the folks who benefit the most by drawing favorable District boundaries, the Supervisors and the Councilmembers, this year…oh boy…this year, the Congressional and State Senate/Assembly Districts will be drawn up by “normal” people, who have no (supposed) partisan interests in creating crazy, and Gerrymandered, districts.

And this “normal person” redistricting committee will have its new lines drawn up by Friday June 10!  Ya!

So while Newport Beach enjoys TWO Congressmen (John Campbell in most of the City and Dana Rohrabacher in Santa Ana Heights) and TWO State Assemblymen (Allan Mansoor by Superior Ave and Don Wagner in the rest of the City), maybe Newport Beach will logically be represented by only one Congressman and one Assemblyman.

What that means?  Well, since Newport Beach already is predominately in Campbell’s Congressional District and in Wagner’s Assembly District, probably nothing.  At least nothing that Redistricting will probably change (although their seats might be precariously threatened by the Open Primary…but that’s for another column).

So let’s look at the Gerrymander-able County Board of Supervisors.  The dynamics in that one don’t necessarily affect Newport Beach immediately, but it might affect someone Newport Beachians (Newport Beachites? Newport Beachlings?) will be familiar with, former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.  You see, Chuck is running for Supervisor Bill Campbell’s termed-out seat against the guy who used to occupy that seat, former County Supervisor and former State Assemblyman Todd Spitzer.  The current Supervisors (most of whom have already endorsed Spitzer) can draw up that District’s borders to favor Spitzer’s Orange base, and include less of DeVore’s Irvine base.  See how fun that is for politicos like me?

BUT…those supporters of Newport Councilmembers Leslie Daigle and Keith Curry who would like to see them rise to the Orange County Board of Supervisors might like to know that Supervisor Pat Bates’ District was drawn in 2001 to include the then-unincorporated Newport Coast, which just happened to be annexed by Newport Beach in 2001.

What does that mean?  If common sense dictates the Supervisorial Redistricting (I know…common sense involved with Politicians?), then Newport Coast will be included in whatever Supervisorial District includes the rest of Newport Beach, meaning Newport Beach voters will not be split and will have MORE influence in the election of their County Supervisor.

And guess which County Supervisor terms out in 2014?  Yup, John Moorlach from Costa Mesa.  A fully intact Newport Beach might become more a player in Moorlach’s 2nd District that currently includes Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, and Costa Mesa.  Maybe.

Now, to the Newport Beach City Council Redistricting.   If you knew I existed before the Lifeguard article, you’d know that I previously wrote about the crazy 3,000 to 5,000 registered voters advantage that District 6 (Corona del Mar) has over any of the City’s six other districts.

Let me quote myself…

“Corona del Mar’s Sixth District (Mayor Pro-Tem Nancy Gardner’s) had 12,369 registered voters in the 2008 election and 12,543 in 2010, making up 20 % of Newport Beach’s electorate in 2008 and 19% in 2010.

“And Newport Beach has Seven City Council Districts.

“Meanwhile Mayor Mike Henn’s First District had 7,444 registered voters in 2008 and 8801 in 2010 and Rosansky’s Second District had 7,195 registered voters in 2008, 8,028 in 2010.”

So with that said, the City’s Redistricting Committee made up of Councilmembers Steve Rosansky, Curry and Nancy Gardner (of District Six) really have their work cut out for them to re-draw City Council districts to spread out Newport Beach’s registered voters evenly among the City’s Seven Districts.

Are any of the Councilmembers in danger of being redistricted into another member’s City Council District?  Probably not.

But perhaps evenly dividing the Districts might prevent situations like what happened in 2008 with Councilman Steve Rosansky’s re-election win.  Rosansky lost his own City Council District 2 by 104 votes, lost in the neighboring District 1 by 513 votes, but won in Corona del Mar’s District 6 by 993 votes.  In total, Rosansky received 4,360 votes from District 6 alone, which is just a bit under the 4,958 total votes cast in his own District 2.

Regardless of how West Newport and the Peninsula voted, the 6th District’s 5,000-voter advantage in 2008 and 4,000-voter advantage in 2010 would have dominated any election.

Anyway, the 2011 “Year of the Redistricting” should prove froth-worthy for politicos like me for bringing excitement in the State and County, but also for providing fairness amongst the City’s Seven Districts.

Either that, or I move back to Corona del Mar to be part of the Majority again.




Share this: