An item that reminds me that politics is a dirty game, whether a presidential race or local race. Politicians sometimes do good things for "their people" and some politicians are basically good public servants, but I can't help coming away from a story like this with a dirty feeling deep in my soul. And vowing to never, ever trust a politician with anything of importance to me. From A Safe Seat for Twenty Grand
What if you could pay $20,000, and for that modest sum end up with lifetime employment at a salary of $158,000 annually, with the best health and retirement benefits, frequent travel to Washington D.C., and staff and paid expenses, all on the public's dime? What a deal, eh?
As the most recent election results show, that's the situation for California's congressional delegation as a result of gerrymandering their own legislative district lines. The 2001 redistricting in California was a travesty. The Democratic incumbents paid $20,000 apiece to the political consultant drawing the district lines -- who happened to be the brother of one incumbent -- to draw each of them a 'safe seat' where they would easily win re-election. It was like paying protection money to a Mafia don for your turf. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, knowing a bargain, told a reporter, 'Twenty thousand is nothing to keep your seat. I usually spend $2 million every election.'
Then, to the dismay of national Democrats, the California Democrats controlling the line-drawing gave the GOP incumbents safe seats too, in return for their acceptance. The fix was in. It was a bipartisan collusion against California democracy and the voters. And it worked. In the recent November election, 51 out of 53 congressional seats were won by huge landslide margins.