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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

State Reforms Could Compound Problems

November 08, 2003

Re "A Legislature at War," editorial, Nov. 2: Redrawing district lines and lengthening term limits are both good suggestions. Unfortunately, they are a definite blunder when combined. Term limits are too short; our politicians learn the ropes and are then forced out of office. Changing the district lines would inevitably bring new faces into our Legislature. But this would create the opposite result of having longer terms. Eventually it would be positive for the state, but at such a time of importance one questions whether we should throw out our three- or four-year political veterans.

During this time of crisis, any possible solutions, no matter how contradictory, are lumped together. More change might not be what will help California rebound from economic travail.

Pat Beck

Long Beach

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So they're at it again. The same partisan Republicans who overturned a valid election and saddled the state with millions of dollars of debt are now out to work on redistricting (Oct. 31). At first their proposition to have California's legislative districts be decided by a nonpartisan commission seems reasonable, until you look at the larger picture. California doesn't exist in a vacuum. In Colorado and Texas, Bush political advisor Karl Rove and his minions have been engaged in blatant partisan gerrymandering in an anti-democratic power grab.

The orders from Rove and company seem to be partisan redistricting in states with Republican majorities and keeping states with Democratic majorities from following suit by proposing nonpartisan commissions. After the Florida recount, the California recall and the Texas and Colorado redistricting, it is apparent that the Republican Party is on an all-out anti-democratic and anti-constitutional power grab and won't be satisfied until it establishes a one-party autocracy.

Leonard Cataldo

Sylmar

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