Politics

Borders in O.C.: "No, pendejos: I'm far-far-left-libertarian-STANDING. Do your homework!"

|

Gretzky, Orange County's luckiest cat, enjoys his accustomed spot between Loretta Sanchez' legs.

Gustavo Arellano, the tireless OC Weekly columist who first reported Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)'s anti-Vietnamese ramblings in a Univisión interview, returns to the scene of the hate crime with an update on how Sanchez and challenger Van Tran are still locked in a trilingual tangle—which is not as sexy as it sounds:

When asked by the Radio Bolsa host to explain her Viet-conspiracy remarks, Loretta replied "One of the questions [Ramos] asked was, 'Wasn't it true that Van Tran and the Vietnamese and Republicans were trying to take my seat?'"–which she claims led to her remarks that she continues to insist were misinterpreted. If only her two assertions had any semblance of truth.

Ramos never came close to asking a question like that–no way, no how. My only skepticism with the transcript is that I don't speak Vietnamese and thus can't objectively listen to the interview, and it's getting passed around by the Tran campaign, which itself still can't translate the Al Punto transcript properly. When they breathlessly claim in the email that, "Unfortunately for the Congresswoman, as the transcript below shows, the interviewer doesn't even say 'Vietnamese' EVER IN THE WHOLE INTERVIEW or mention 'Van Tran' at all before she made her racial comment," they also lie: Ramos introduced the segment with Loretta by noting her opponent was a "Republican candidate of Vietnamese origin, Van Tran."

Not only that? In their same email, they credit me with breaking this story but falsely call me "far-left-leaning." No, pendejos: I'm far-far-left-libertarian-STANDING. Do your homework!

Context for Sanchez' implication that Vietnamese immigrants are overrunning a Latino district: Sanchez' 47th Congressional District is actually one of the more competitive in California's highly gerrymandered map.

Incumbency Tetris.

The 46th District Sanchez won from Bob Dornan in 1996, with the help of several hundred non-citizen voters, no longer exists. The 46th is now a classic misshapen carveout, not for the Democrats but for Republican Dana Rohrabacher. Sanchez' 47th District may be more competitive, in terms of ethnic mix and major-party balance, than the one she took from Dornan, yet she has been re-elected with increasingly wide margins. That is now changing, at least according to Real Clear Politics, which gives Sanchez only a 2-point spread based on late-August data.

In 2008, California voters narrowly approved Proposition 11, a ballot initiative to take the task of drawing legislative districts out of the hands of legislators and give it instead to a 14-member commission. This year, Prop. 20 aims to extend that to congressional districts.

But a group of incumbent Democrats and public sector unions are already seeking to undo Prop 11. The November initiative Prop. 27 would get rid of the commission and let officeholders keep drawing up their own districts.

The self-dealing is obvious when you have state-level incumbents choosing their own districts, but the problem is just as serious at the federal office level. The competitiveness of Sanchez' district has shifted dramatically just since 2008, when she eviscerated Republican challenger Rosemarie Avila with nearly 70 percent of the vote. That's good news, if your concern is for the voters rather than the incumbents. But the way things stand now, Tran's base in a few years can be safely shifted into the neighboring Republican districts of Rohrabacher, John Campbell and Ed Royce. So when elected officials use this kind of anti-interloper language, they're not expressing racism so much as frustration at losing control of the voters.

NEXT: What We Saw & Who We Talked With at the One Nation Working Together Rally in DC

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. > So when elected officials use this kind of anti-interloper language, they’re not expressing racism so much as frustration at losing control of the voters.

    Bullshit. Sanchez is a racist. Google for “La Raza”.

    -jcr

    1. Actually, you should Google La Raza + Sanchez. That should narrow it down considerably.

  2. So it’s better for a “commission” to draw up districts than say, a body of elected officials? Interesting.

    1. Elected =/= good.

    2. A commission better than incumbents deciding the shape of their own districts? I think that’s an uncomplicated yes, no matter how anti-commission you are.

      1. An uncomplicated yes indeed.

      2. The problem is that we don’t even KNOW whether it is better or worse to have an unelected commission draw up the districts instead of the legislators themselves. The Citizens’ Redistricting Commission hasn’t even had a chance to do its job yet. That’s the worst thing about Prop. 27 — it seeks to scuttle the Commission without giving it even ONE chance to do its job. You know that the pols are running scared when they want to abort the redistricting experiment before it can possibly show results.

  3. Tim: Appreciate the love, but they tossed all those illegal pro-Loretta votes in 1996–and she still beat ol’ B-1 Baboso Dornan! You can look it up.

    1. I know, that’s the best part of the story. It shows Nixonian determination when you cheat during a campaign you would have won anyway.

      1. It shows Nixonian determination when you cheat during a campaign you would have won anyway.

        Reminds me of police action in a case that was decided 15 years and 2 days ago, except they didn’t win. Now, where did I recently read about that………

  4. I’ve often said that congressional districts – like everything else – should be drawn by snapping chalklines. Make it a solid grid, sharp angles. Fuck topography and demography.

    1. If you did that, you would have districts of vastly unequal populations and the Supreme Court has said that’s unconstitutional.

      1. Solution: start at the northern most extent of the state, proceed south until 1/ of the population is north of the line, snap an east-west chalk line… repeat until the whole state is divided up.

        ‘Course it will make districts with widely disparate interests, which is less than ideal, but it takes the corruption out of the process. And make no mistake: letting the interested parties do the redistricting is corrupt by its very nature.

        1. D’oh!

          That should be 1/< number of districts >.

          It’s not that my webfu is weak, it’s just that I left it on the nightstand with my brain…

        2. ‘Course it will make districts with widely disparate interests, which is less than ideal,…

          Forgive my ignorance, but why is that a bug and not a feature?

    2. Since The Census has determined where every person lives, and since one ostensible purpose of The Census is enabling fair representation, how about the following scheme? Randomly assign every person to a (non-geographic) district in his/her state, and vote by mail or on line. Eliminates gerrymandering and polling places.

      1. Might work at the U.S. congressional level, where presumably all regions of a state have the same interest in business before D.C.

        Would not work at the state legislature level, where regional differences need to be represented — particularly in a state like California, where for example at least four regional interests (SoCal urbanites, Central Valley farmers, Delta/Bay Area residents and Northern Cal. residents) are fighting over the same water supply.

        1. As I’m not a Californian, perhaps I shouldn’t be meddling, but wouldn’t removing the connection to locality make finding a comprimise solution more likely?

      2. California is effing big. Your proposal would limit winning candidates to those who have the cash and volunteers to run a statewide campaign.

        Google Hawaii’s constitution re: census reapportionment to get a fairly good set of guidelines to keep gerrymandering down to a minimum.

      3. With all the yard signs around these days I find this option quite humorous. Imagine the chaos with each neighbor putting out signs for completely different races.

        Of course that’s the problem, even something as cheap and simple as yard signs would become too expensive to distribute, never mind having local TV ads all over the state.

        I was in college station visiting my girlfriend this weekend and saw far too many ads for the TX-17 race where Chet Edwards (D) holds the most conservative district with a Democrat incumbent.

  5. That picture is astoundingly tacky. Good spotting.

  6. I agree with Tim Cavanaugh’s alt-text for the motorcycle photo. Sanchez is physically attractive.

    1. My alternative text: ‘Yes, I would love to play with her titties but she votes like a Satanist who has never studied the work of Anton LaVey.’

      Adding my take to the anti-gerrymandering proposals — suppose after the next Census California has 31 districts because every one who is worth a damn has voted with his or her two feet. Find the 31 most densely populated areas that are separated out by the furthermost extent from one another. Expand each area out by a mile radius until 1) they bump into one another, and 2) they represent 1/21st of the population.
      Ta da! A non biased way to district. There may be a political advantage in this method for urban versus rural folk (by furthermost extent should alleviate much of that bias) but boonies only have to obey a fraction of the laws that urban dwellers do, so fuck ’em.

      1. they represent 1/21st of the population.

        That should be 1/31st obviously except for the dumbass who wrote it up.

      2. boonies only have to obey a fraction of the laws that urban dwellers do, so fuck ’em.

        You’re suggesting that the folks who are in the habit of passing fewer laws should be ruled by those who pass them in should get to have their lives ruled by those who seem to do it by habit? Really?

        No thanks.

  7. “Republican candidate of Vietnamese origin, Van Tran.”

    Ooooh, not the ‘yellow peril’! Where’s David Terry when we need him?

    1. Charlie has infiltrated local California politics!

      1. I need some more interns. Preferably in my internment camp.

  8. I distinctly remember Nixon napalming the Vietnamians into the stone age, and then John Kerry went around the country until he had killed the very last one of ’em with some kind of boat or something, right before he got shot in the vagina by Chuck Norris and then deported to France.

    There are no more Vietnamians left, ergo, this entire kerfluffle is a bunch of made-up BS.

    Case closed.

    1. No more Vietnamese?

      So who sells me those great mystery meat $2.50* submarine sandwiches?

      (*buy 3 get one free/4 for $7.50 and no sales tax)

      *The greatest tasty value in all of prepared food.

      1. You’ll need to take that up with John Kerry and his French vagina, but I’m pretty sure what you got there is actually Cambodians, masquerading as Vietnamians. It was a war, after all.

        1. I don’t care if they’re Laos as long as they don’t raise the price too much or skimp on the headcheese and liver paste.

          1. Well, now, if it’s a skrimp sandwich, I think that makes it a “po-boy”, which isn’t surprising. You gotta keep your eye on those shifty little bastards. I saw a movie about this, years ago. Apparently a bunch of these fake Vietnamians went down to Galveston and started skrimping all over the place, about which the local Bubba Gumps were none too keen. There were hints and allegations and various acrimonies, and what-nots.

            Then, miraculously, there was some kind of common threat, and they all realized they were just all the same, trying to catch enough skrimps to pay their bills and feed their kids, and so forth. Then they were all holding hands and there were unicorns farting Skittles all over the streets of Corpus Christie. If I’d had any cockles in my heart, I can assure you they would have been substantially warmed.

            I can’t remember the name of the movie, which is also not surprising, because I was drinking a lot back in those days, so there’s about 15 years are so when the details are a little hazy.

  9. Prop. 27 doesn’t just return district-drawing authority to the legislature. It also eliminates other redistricting restrictions, which had been instituted in prior years in order to combat gerrymandering. It might as well be named the “GIVE US GERRYMANDERING” initiative.

  10. One would think someone could develop a computer program to draw districts. I mean, Jesus, we had the technology to put a man on the moon at one time, right? Here’s how it would work.

    Program in the number of people in each municipality and enter those into a database. Enter the number of districts that exist. Set parameters so that only adjacent municipalities can be in the same districts and districts must be drawn when within 2-3% of the average population per district (when possible or a slightly higher % for states with very few districts). Start district assignment on a fixed point in each state (i.e. the northwest corner). Press enter.

    Do this three times and get three different results since it assigns adjacent municipalities randomly. Then, have a live lottery to determine which of the three is chosen. You could do this by dropping 300 ping pong balls into a hopper, 100 of which have Plan A, B and C on them. Whatever ball pops out, that’s the districting plan that will be used.

    Problem solved. Geographic congruency, elimination of partisan gerrymandering and equal size districts are ensured.

    Who could argue against a plan like this without looking like a partisan hack who wants to manipulate the system?

    1. To eliminate questions, start at three different fixed points to get your three different plans, then do your lottery. This eliminates any hint of manipulation.

    2. Obama?

      1. Really? Offer a fair criticism of this plan.

        Any programmer could develop it. In fact, it’s pretty similar to alan’s plan above without making the districts urban-oriented or -dominated by nature. There would be random and equal representation.

        Obama?
        Boy, you really got me with that one. [rolls eyes]

    3. Uhm, they already draw the lines using computer software. There’s actually one available online, I just forgot the link for it. It works like you describe, just a bit more manipulating than pressing “enter” once. Basically the state is divided into the smaller sub-units of census tracts, in “blocks”, then just click on each block until you reach the desired number of residents.

      California district lines are actually quiet stable. They have to be since legislators who get to draw them want to keep the same district lines they got elected in.

      1. Right, but the people clicking on the blocks are the ones with a direct interest in which block gets clicked next to round out the district, and they more often or not have a vested interest in which block gets clicked next, leading to gerrymandering.

        Another benefit to what I propose is there would be dramatically different districts every ten years, possibly eliminating and certainly diminishing the lifetime seats many congresscritters currently enjoy.

    4. The only thing I would add to that is that I’d set an upper bound on the perimeter-to-area ratio allowed in a district, one low enough to prevent districts that run along stretches of highway for miles to pick up certain neighborhoods.

      1. I would think since there would be random selection by a computer that this wouldn’t be necessary, but it is a good point.

  11. Let’s see, she says that Van tran is anti-immigrant? He is an immigrant! The bitch is pretty stupid, but it is typical gibberish from an east LA beaner politician. Shes’ trying to get her “base” to fight for the crumbs that “the man” allows them. It is sad, yet funny when minorities fight each other for those crumbs. Of course, Sanchez is simply fighting for her right to retain the power to obtain as much graft as she can as a “leader” of the latino community.

    1. Am I the only one who has noticed a recent increase in the number of comments with overt racism?

      1. You are not alone.

  12. I’m not sure that having an independent commission draw congressional districts would be any better. Arizona’s districts are drawn by an independent commission and AZ-2 may well be the craziest-looking district in existence.

    1. This is probably a good reason:

      The odd shape of the district is indicative of the use of gerrymandering in its construction. The unusual division was not, however, drawn to favor politicians. Owing to historic tensions between the Hopi and the Navajo Native American tribes and since tribal boundary disputes are a federal matter, it was thought inappropriate that both tribes should be represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by the same member. Since the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation, and in order to comply with current Arizona redistricting laws, some means of connection was required that avoided including large portions of Navajo land, hence the narrow riverine connection.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona‘s_2nd_congressional_district

      1. Do you really think they would have donned their war paint when going to their precincts?

        I keed! I keed!

  13. Lorreter, will you marry me?

  14. good read learn much from here

  15. I’m far-far-left-libertarian

    Which, to many of us, makes you not libertarian at all. Perhaps you could explain where the Left and Libertarian meet? You are a coercive, coercive opponent of coercion?

    1. Thanks, Marshall, for asking the obvious question.

      Since the sine qua non of leftism is the use of the State to perfect society, you are more likely to encounter a rainbow-farting unicorn than a “far left libertarian”.

      1. I always thought “Far-left libertarian” was code for someone who wanted pot legalized but didn’t give a fuck about anything else.

        Meh, if we stick around for the answer we may all learn what it really means.

        1. I thought far left libertarians were liberaltarians.

  16. So when elected officials use this kind of anti-interloper language, they’re not expressing racism so much as frustration at losing control of the voters.

    You can say that again, baby!

  17. Since I believe I was accused above of being racist, I would like to say that I have been called a beaner may times, in both friendly and unfriendly ways, and never once was hurt or angered by it. The point I was trying to make was made better by others (not surprisingly); Sanchez is simply trying to control her voters. I believe that left-wing minority politicians are often taking advantage of their minority base so they can keep their power. Not that right-wing politicians aren’t doing similar things. It’s just that Sanchez, it is argued, is “representing” her “people”. And she is most certainly NOT. She wants power, and graft. And, she’s a beaner.

  18. Here in Orange County, the Vietnamese community is quite conservative/capitalist. Growing up, almost all of my friends were Vietnamese immigrants, and I still keep in touch with a lot of them. Almost to a person they despise everything leftist, which they say is because of their recent disastrous experience with Communism. That this was reported in the O.C. Weekly is amazing, because like your standard alt-weekly rag it is very, very leftist. I haven’t read it in a while, but apparently they have moved beyond food reviews, leftist punk rock reviews, and ads for “Asian massages” and “Asian escort services.” Very impressive!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.