Look It Up: Independence Is Not a Synonym for Ignorance

It’s hard to face the harsh reality of rejection.

But now I must learn to shoulder the shame of being too despicable to serve as a member of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. My application was denied. Almost instantly.

I have a conflict-of-interest.

They don’t exactly sugarcoat the news either::

“Your responses to the questions on the application indicate that you either do not satisfy the eligibility requirements for serving as a member of the Citizens Redistricting Commission or you have a disqualifying conflict of interest that prohibits you from serving on the commission.  As a result, you will not be included in the pool of applicants from which the commission will be selected.”


Why the brusque brush-off?

Not because I am white, although 76 percent of the 7,681 applications submitted to the state’s Auditor General through January 22 are from white Californians.

That would be the same California that became the first state in the continental United States to have a white minority. 

Of the remaining applications, 4.4 percent are from Asians, 8.9 percent from Hispanics, 7 percent from African-Americans and .63 percent from American Indians.

Of the 7,681 applications, I join the 1,211 who received the royal kiss-off. Didn’t even make the first cut.

Rejected for being male? Nope. Although 71 percent of the applications for a coveted commission slot come from males.

The rejection stems not from political affiliation, age or geography.

I am not a registered California or federal lobbyist. (Registered. You know, like sex offenders.)

I’ve voted in the November 2004, November 2006 and November 2008 elections. I voted in the primaries too but apparently that doesn’t count. I even voted in that weird February presidential election thing. But that doesn’t count either. You’d think there’d be extra credit points or something. But no.

Redistricting Commission to June Primaries: Drop Dead.

Within the last 10 years I have not been appointed by the governor or a member of the Legislature to any post or elected to a California congressional or state office. Nor have I been a candidate for same.

All would constitute hideous conflicts-of-interest.

Haven’t been a paid consultant, officer or employee of a California political party or a campaign committee. Further grounds for disqualification.

Nor has there been a stint as a paid congressional, legislative or – God forbid – Board of Equalization staffer.

And, seriously, is there any Congressional, state or local candidate for office deserving of a $2,000 contribution from me?

But even if there were, wouldn’t being punished for writing such a check kinda trample my First Amendment  right to free political expression just a teeny bit? Courts have so opined.

These listed actions and activities are no-nos because, as it says right on the website with the application, the “Voters FIRST Act is designed to produce a Citizens Redistricting Commission that is independent from legislative influence, and therefore disqualifies from service any person having a “conflict of interest,” as defined by the Act.”

So eager is the Voters FIRST Act (Their emphasis) to produce a redistricting commission independent from legislative influence that members of an applicant’s immediate family can’t have done any of the aforementioned stuff within the past decade either.

The more appropriately named Voters LAST Act defines immediate family as “your parents, spouse, registered domestic partner, children, siblings, parents in-law, siblings in-law, and sons and daughters in-law with whom you have:

1) Resided for a period or periods totaling 30 days or more during the past 12 months;

2) Shared ownership of any real or personal property having a total value of $1,000 or more; or

3) Provided or received a financial benefit totaling $1,000 or more during the past 12 months.”

Presumptively, that means its OK to have a brother-in-law who was appointed by a governor to be a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge because we don’t live together and none of my Christmas gifts have trended anywhere close to $1,000 cumulatively over 10 years, let alone annually.

But Redistricting Commission war criminal status is achieved through the ghastly transgression of marriage to Mrs. Lucas.

Guilty by association.

Savagely tainted goods.

Mrs. Lucas was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to be one of his deputy chiefs of staff, a job she held during 2004. She was then appointed the First Lady’s chief of staff, a job she held in 2005.  Both years lie well within the 10-year window. And the dreaded “A word” is involved.

That’s it. Game over. Outta there:

“A member of your immediate family has been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for a California congressional or state office in the last 10 years.”

So reads the e-mail response to my application.

Contact information is included so that disgruntled applicants can question the propriety of their DQ.

Haven’t heard the last from me, Madame Auditor.

Strongly worded e-mail to follow.



Filed under: Venting


  1. And to think that you have not committed a felony.

    Comment by Management Slug — 1.26.2010 @ 5:40 pm

  2. I too was rejected immediately, but for another reason. In my case, I have not been a member of the same political party for the past five years. Evidently, only loyal party members are qualified to help draw district boundaries. How else could the districts be properly gerrymandered? The claim that this will be an biased process is simply a veiled smokescreen.

    Comment by Bruce Morgan — 1.26.2010 @ 6:05 pm

  3. Greg,
    Demetria was as disappointed as you, but she does sleep with someone registered.

    Comment by D Loper — 1.26.2010 @ 6:18 pm

  4. This spousal “prohibition” nonsense goes back 30 years. Yeah, it can be abused, but the mere fact that a person is married to an individual that has a history, should not qualify a person from appointmnet to a position. My best friend ( a guy, and not my souse)has more influence over me than my spouse…………

    Comment by Patrick H. — 1.26.2010 @ 6:25 pm

  5. Maybe it didn’t help that you ran the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland in the ’70’s. So much for the “Trophy Husband” label.

    Comment by Jim Cassie — 1.26.2010 @ 10:33 pm

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