On Monday, California's citizens' redistricting commission voted 14-0 to approve a map that's a dream for Democrats. Technically, the commission (five Democrats, five Republicans and four others) was prohibited from taking partisan or incumbent data into consideration. But the end product features strong districts for California's 42 Democratic incumbents (save for two who are retiring) and makes five out of 11 GOP incumbents more vulnerable.
The commission is required to submit its final product to the Secretary of State's office by December 27, but that's expected to be a formality. Now, the jockeying gets underway for the March 11 filing deadline and June 7 primary — including for a lot of open seats.
National Republicans are fuming that the commission got "rolled" by Democrats and allege it was never truly independent. For example, they point out one registered GOP commissioner is a UC-Berkeley professor who has donated to Planned Parenthood. Nonetheless, Democratic strategists did an effective, if stealthy, job of indirectly influencing the process by rallying advocacy groups to submit input, and in the end the vote was unanimous.
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