Referendum proposed to overturn redistricting plan
"A referendum will be filed with respect to the Senate lines and possibly the congressional lines," said California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro. "The California Republican Party will wholeheartedly support those efforts when they come about."
He said the redistricting commission's actions "have been unfair if not unconstitutional."
GOP lawmakers and activists have formed a committee called Fairness & Accountability in Redistricting to launch a petition drive to overturn the state Senate lines, according to Republican political consultant Dave Gilliard. The new district boundaries could give Democrats the two-thirds majority in the Legislature needed to pass taxes.
The Senate Republican Caucus has voted to endorse the referendum drive, according to Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton of Rancho Cucamonga.
"As an individual I do support it and I indicated my willingness to try to help raise some money for the referendum," Dutton said. "I just think it [the redistricting plan] is questionable. The people of California were hoping for an open and free process that was free of political influence and I'm not so sure that's what they got."
He would not name the lawmakers organizing the referendum drive.
Opponents of the redistricting plan have 90 days to collect 504,000 signatures to qualify a referendum. If a measure qualifies, the redistricting plan adopted Monday is suspended, and the state Supreme Court would then decide which districts to use for the 2012 election.
--Patrick McGreevy and Rich Simon
Photo: Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), speaking at the Capitol in Sacramento in July. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press