Monday, October 03, 2005

More Redistricting Comments

A now-frequent commenter has asked me to post an "excellent white paper" on Prop 77 by Rick Hasen. If it exists, I can't find it. What I can find is a white paper by Dan Lowenstein as part of this post:

September 30, 2005

"No on 77" White Paper

I have just received a copy of this white paper from a committee opposing the passage of Prop. 77. The Chairman of "No on 77" is Dan Lowenstein and the committee's campaign consultant is Berman & D'Agostino Campaigns.

I should add that I have not taken a position on 77 and I'm not sure how I will vote on it. Though Dan and I have a lot of projects together (a casebook, the election law listserv, and the Election Law Journal), we often disagree about both political and legal issues.
The white paper was prepared by the No on 77 people. So take from it what you will. I'll be reading it later . . . . and probably agreeing and disagreeing with large parts of it.

9 comments:

Jared said...

That Dan Lowenstein is leading No on 77?

He was one of my favorite professors at UCLAW, and he's a very good guy. He taught the legislation and election law classes, which I didn't get a chance to take, and the "Law and..." classes, which are a nice reminder that school was once thought-provoking and fun.

This has no bearing on his qualifications to analyze Prop 77, or the quality of his analysis. It's just one of those moments where you realize that politics is a small world after all.

Daniel Lowenstein said...

I don't know who Jared is, but from what he says about me as a teacher, I suspect he is an impostor. :-)

Anyway, to give credit where it is due, the actual primary authors of the white paper are my son Nathan Lowenstein, who graduated from UCLA Law School this year, and his classmate Steve Kaplan. They did an excellent job. Although it reads like a campaign document (it was edited by Michael Berman!), it is quite solid substantively.

If Jared or anyone else chooses to read the white paper, I think you will find that the reasons to vote against 77 are compelling. And by the way, Jared, I do appreciate your comments!

cd said...

Hi Prof. Lowenstein - thanks for visiting the site! And I'll definitely be reading the white paper and posting more about it. I invite you in advance, however, to join our pro/con 77 banter here on the site. I don't think many blogs out there are as redistricting focused as this one and the more expert commentary, the better!

I'm jealous that UCLA Law kids get a regular election law offering. Here at UC Red-Headed-Stepchild-Hastings, we used to have a visiting professor teach election law, but sadly, that course seems to be no more . . . not that I haven't done a fairly good job getting an education in election law from other sources - but a formal offering would've made legit my extracurricular reading.

jbl said...

Here at McGeorge, of the second tier variety, we get election law once a year. We also have a whole Governmental Affairs certificate program. And a class on California initiatives (from a more legal, less political stance).

[I have a little bit of school pride, but not much]

Nathan Lowenstein said...

Stephanie Williamson also deserves credit for the White Paper as she wrote substantial sections of the piece and did a lot of the research.

cd said...

jbl - if i had it to do over again (and still made the law school mistake), I'd probably go to McGeorge. Sounds like your classes are more bearable, applicable to my chosen field, and given the slide in funding for my lil'UC, it's going to tank in rankings any day now - so more debt for more services seems like a fair trade.

Plus there's a lotta alums in Sacto. Supposedly there are many of ours as well - but good luck getting them to get together and wave the school colors.

(I've been ruined by a very high-level, pride-ridden undergrad alum association. Hastings is a joke when it comes to that kind of stuff).

It's not that I dislike the profs or students, but with an administration like this one, it's hard to enjoy the experience.

jbl said...

Yeah, I'm actually sort of glad I ended up at McGeorge, although, it's definitely not where I wanted to be.

From most accounts, it seems to me, and my colleagues here, that most other schools have it much easier in terms of classes. We have lots of requirements, and most requirements are year-long courses. But maybe the grass is always greener...

Oh, and one big complaint: my school actively deflates grades.

PS: sorry to threadjack. I love all the discussion of Prop. 77. I'm co-authoring a paper on it now, that will be published online a few weeks before the election. It attempts to be a pretty straight, objective piece, with the crux on basic legal analysis of the proposition.

cd said...

No threadjacking concerns - the comments box is a free-flowin' kinda place (and there's a whole new post on the various reports where the Prop. 77 discussion can continue).

Of course, I expect a sneak-peak at your paper . . . .

Everyone thinks other schools have it easier. Oh - except I don't think anyone at quarter-system schools have it easier. They get screwed. They seem to have some sick need to defend their 3peat finals season. But whatevs.

It may suck for you that the school deflates grades, and maybe McGeorge will be a leader without followers on that front, but I salute the efforts to make grades, I dunno, like, mean something.

Why on earth my otherwise respectable GPA lands me where it does percentile wise is beyond me. No, I get the math, it's the philosophy that sucks. Stop making us feel better with faux Bs, damn you!

jbl said...

Sneak peek huh? Hmmm. Once it's finalized, I might be able to get you a copy before publication, but it'll be a while. The "final" draft is due thursday, but I've still got significant sections to write. (Such is the life of law students with internships). Also, I'm a little nervous about opening up myself to the criticism of the obvious heavyweights on this blog. If I do share early, you'll have to be kind. (And you'll have to keep in mind that it's about the legality of the measure, not the politics, even though there are small sections about that).

I guess it's good for our grades to "mean something." But by actively deflating grades, they're trying to remedy a problem, of which there is no evidence. All in the name of improving rankings (woohoo, we're #90!).

Two other things that bug me about our grading system: Minuses (-) hurt your GPA more than pluses (+) help. That's just not fair. But they're changing that system, just not for my graduating class.

Second, I got slammed GPA-wise last year for a relatively bad grade in Business Associations (aka, Corporations, a required course). But, I took two classes of the pass/fail variety (where I didn't have a choice to take them for letter grades) and I received honors in both classes. They don't count towards my GPA.