WatchSonoma Watch

New lines, old politics

I just returned from the raging waters of Yosemite to catch the ripples from the redistricting commission’s draft congressional maps.

Let’s see, the commissioners envision making the coastal district … a coastal district. Not exactly a novel idea. Take a look at the region’s congressional boundaries in the 1970s. And the 1960s. And the 1950s. In fact, you can find districts spanning the North Coast from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border as far back as the 1890s. Is it a long way to travel? Sure it is. Just ask Rep. Mike Thompson, or his predecessor, Frank Riggs, whose territory spans from the Oregon border to Fairfield. Or look at states such as Wyoming and North Dakota that have a single house member for the entire state. In rural and suburban areas, it takes a lot of territory to include 700,000 people.

Santa Rosa in a district that stretches past Marysville? Well, our local congressman probably will be as familiar with Sacramento International as he or she is with SFO. But as a matter of politics, the population is concentrated in the west end of the district, so Santa Rosa isn’t going to get lost and Yuba County isn’t likely to elect a congressman who doesn’t fit Santa Rosa sensibilities.

– Jim Sweeney

2 Responses to “New lines, old politics”

  1. Stella says:

    You’re making too much sense Jim. So is the independent commission. That’s why most of the politicians (who opposed the independent redistricting initiative) are whining and proclaiming the end of the world. My favorite is Thompson saying the North Coast is “disenfranchised.” How is Napa any more connected to Del Norte than Marin? The commission is doing exactly what we wanted them to do – take the politics OUT!

  2. Sarky Fish says:

    Translation of “Santa Rosa sensibilities”: Prius progressives high on wine; global warming, and Obama while they ignore the plight of regular stiffs.