Editorial: California’s Independent Redistricting Commission Is Dangerously Close To Failing its Basic Task


California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission has one task, and one only: to take census data gathered every decade and draw new boundaries for state, legislative and congressional districts through a public and transparent process that’s free from political manipulation.

Simple, right? But have the 14 commissioners doing the latest round of map-making fully grasped this awesome responsibility? It’s not looking good, and that’s a problem not just for the commission, but for the future of democracy.

Charles T. Munger Jr., a Republican donor and one of the chief proponents of the proposition that created the commission, has accused commissioners of violating state law by meeting privately — and routinely — with tech companies, legislative representatives and others without giving the required public notice or releasing transcripts or recordings of those meetings. In a letter sent to the commission May 7, he cites several examples of commissioners mentioning previous private meetings during the panel’s regular public discussions and notes that there were too many other incidents to fit in the letter.