Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sacramento Bee: State Republican Party invests in redistricting referendum

The Buzz: California Republican Party sinks $400,000 into effort to nix Senate maps

by Jim Sanders
Published: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Bolstered by a new $400,000 donation from the California Republican Party, officials of a referendum campaign to overturn the state's new Senate districts say 400,000 voter signatures have been collected and a full-court press has been launched for more.

"I'm confident that we're going to do it," said political strategist David Gilliard, who is running the campaign to gather 504,760 valid voter signatures by Nov. 14 to place the issue before voters next year.
Gilliard said signature-gathering had slowed temporarily because campaign coffers were draining, but the contribution last week cured the problem.

The Republican-backed effort targets maps that critics say are likely to give Democrats the two additional Senate seats needed for the party to gain a two-thirds majority, the margin needed to raise taxes or fees.
The campaign has a goal of collecting 700,000 voter signatures, Gilliard said.

His group also is pushing a lawsuit claiming the new Senate districts are unconstitutional.
A separate coalition is fighting the state's new congressional maps. Its referendum effort has stalled, but it is still pushing a lawsuit, with former Mariposa GOP Rep. George Radanovich as a plaintiff.

A 14-member citizens commission drew congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization maps this year. Legislators drew the maps in decades past.

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