SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special-election redistricting initiative would create some closer races — even in the populous Bay Area and Los Angeles Democratic strongholds — but it would not shift decisive power to Republicans, a report is expected to show today.The reason for at least one of the updates is clear: between versions 1 and 2, additional data is discussed with respect to Joe Simitian's AD 21. Unfortunately, Joe hasn't represented that seat since he was elected to the Senate last year, but whatever. Wait, actually, it says that through version 4. Whatever. I think they meant that the data used was current through when Joe held the seat.
The study by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is foreshadowed in research papers obtained by the Oakland Tribune, a sister paper to The Argus, and roughly matches previous findings by institutes at Claremont McKenna College and the University of Southern California.
But we'll never know since IGS has had a change of heart.
More on this momentarily . . . .
And: So, the reason IGS gives is that the research was never intended to have any relationship to Prop. 77, it's an academic exploration of what happens when competitiveness is assigned different levels of priority in redistricting.
Rumors are supposedly flying around the capitol (with Reep communication directors grabbing any and all journalistic ears available)about whether this could have anything to do with IGS programs depending on state funding - that they have several key line items under direct control of the legislature.
But that's a bit much, isn't it? Honestly, it's not Chinatown here - this is a wonkfest of a ballot measure that is so bogged down in nuanced pro/con/basic political self interest it probably won't pass anyway. And IGS is highly respeted institution and Bruce Cain is, from what I understand, the reason why.
But it leaves a bad taste, doesn't it? One reporter has seen something - or not - or has - or whatever - and the cat's out of the bag. So there's a perception problem now - probably an unfair one - but it's there.