California Common Cause Criticizes Unbalanced Reporting Of Propublica

Media Contact:

December 21, 2011

Phillip Ung (916) 520-4070

California Common Cause Criticizes Unbalanced Reporting of ProPublica

Regarding California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission

California Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan citizens’ lobby organization, criticized the recent ProPublica claims that the maps drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission were hijacked by secret efforts of the Democratic Party as inflammatory and conclusory. In an unusual lapse of journalistic objectivism, the reporters failed to research or report on similar Republican Party and Tea Party efforts to organize individuals and front-organizations to influence the Commission.

CCC Executive Director Kathay Feng stated, “Simple research would show that the 14 Commissioners were very wary of partisan and incumbent efforts to influence the process – exercising judgment throughout the process about how to weigh the testimony of members of the public versus those from people who had motivation to benefit parties or candidates. California has a record number of incumbents – of both parties – who have been displaced from their previous district or paired with another incumbent.”

“I doubt Democratic congressional members Brad Sherman or Howard Berman, who now find they share a district and in a heated 2012 election battle, would agree that Democrats got their way,” continued Kathay Feng.

Multiple examples ignored by the December 21, 2011, ProPublica article, demonstrate the nonpartisan nature of the Commission’s redistricting efforts:

– Democratic congressional incumbents Howard Berman and Brad Sherman found themselves drawn into the same Congressional district.

– Republican congressional incumbents Ed Royce and Gary Miller found themselves drawn into the same Congressional district.

– Democratic congressional incumbents Laura Richardson and Janice Hahn found themselves drawn into the same Congressional district.

– Congressional district 32 (which has the homes of both Rep. Judy Chu (D) and David Dreier (R)) was drawn to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.