The latest on California politics and government
August 11, 2012
BURBANK – The California Republican Party and its officehiolders spent heavily to qualify a referendum that would overturn the new state Senate maps drawn by an independent state commission.
The referendum qualified and is Proposition 40 on the November ballot. But the state GOP convention is poised to do a 180-degree turn and urge voters to uphold the Senate districts that it had strenuously opposed.
The party’s invitiatives committee voted unanimously for that position Saturday after hearing pleas from the Senate’s GOP leader, Bob Buff, and Sen. Mimi Walters. The full convention will vote on Sunday.
Huff and Walters told the committee that the referendum was pushed not so much to get voters to overturn the new districts, but as the basis for a plea to the state Supreme Court to use the previous districts for the 2012 elections.
Ordinarily, something being challenged by referendum is held in abeyance until voters have spoken, but the court declared that even though the referendum had qualified, the commission’s new districts would still be used for the 2012 elections. The ruling relied on a 30-year-old Supreme Court decision on another Republican-backed referendum on redistricting.
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