Monday, November 28, 2005

Out with the old, in with the, er, nevermind

Take a look at this map (pdf file) of the 50th congressional district in California.

You might note that it contains towns with names like La Jolla, Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe as well as MCAS (the erstwhile NAS) Miramar.

It was also (until today) the district belonging to Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Duke, as you may have heard, is in a bit of a pickle, having been caught taking $2.4 million in bribes from (mostly) defense contractors. Oops.

So, yet another Rethug has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, must be a boon for Dems, yes?

Well, in fact, no.

May I refer you again to the above linked map of Duke's former district. If you're not familiar with the San Diego area you should also know that the 50th is one of the wealthiest and whitest congressional districts in San Diego, perhaps in California.

It is also a case in point as to why, without fair redistricting, Dems have virtually no chance of picking up the seat despite the rather egregious wrong-doing of its former Republican occupant.

It is also why I believe Dems who opposed the Gropenfuhrer's redistricting measure, flawed though it was, were doing themselves, the party, the state, and the country a disservice.

As voters grow increasingly unhappy with the level of corruption in government it will not be only GOPers who suffer. Lest they be tainted with the "pox on both your houses" curse, Dems must put forward an actual reform agenda and then behave as if it means something more than a mere campaign promise; a truly new vision well above and beyond politics as usual.

Redistricting, as well as public campaign financing should be integral parts of that vision. Certainly any "reform" that does not address these issues is truly no reform at all.

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