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Redistricting commission hires map-drawing expert [Updated]

March 19, 2011 |  8:18 pm

The Citizens Redistricting Commission voted unanimously Saturday to hire Karin MacDonald of Q2 Data and Resources as its map-drawing expert, overruling concerns among California Republicans that she is linked to an academic who has worked for Democrats.

The move comes as the commission, an independent body created by voters to draw congressional and legislative districts, has been under pressure from Republicans and Democrats, who hope to influence the process.

Responding to such concerns, the commission is requiring Q2 to place a “firewall” between the map-making and co-owner Bruce Cain, a UC Berkeley professor who worked for Democrats during past redistricting. Q2 also agreed to have its maps peer-reviewed.

The Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College, the sole other applicant, was criticized by Democrats as partial to the GOP. The commission disqualified that bid because the Rose Institute failed to disclose donors and potential staff conflicts.

-- Seema Mehta in Sacramento

[Updated Monday at 1:50 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect that the Rose Institute is part of Claremont McKenna College.]

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