36 Potential Redistricting Commissioners

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The four legislative leaders have made their alloted strikes to the pool of men and women who are still eligible for seat on California's first independent redistricting panel, leaving now the final applicants -- eight of which will actually be selected for the panel next week.

The hugely complex system of choosing 14 redistricting commissioners under 2008's Proposition 11 is now nearing its conclusion, with the real heavy lifting still to come in 2011 -- the drawing of legislative, Board of Equalization, and thanks to Proposition 20, congressional districts.

Prop 11 allowed each legislative leader the chance to strike, for any reason, six applicants from the final pool of 60 selected by state auditors. Interestingly enough, the four legislative leaders -- Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker John Perez, Senate GOP Leader Bob Dutton, and Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway -- chose to make their decisions public in one lump sum... thus obscuring just who axed whom. And there's no word on why they chose to do it that way.

So, are any of the remaining 36 candidates... or for that matter, the rejected 24... household names? No, but that's probably what the backers of Prop 11 wanted -- people who, while somewhat active in civic life, were not movers and shakers.

The 36 finalists -- 12 Democrats, 12 Republicans, 12 who are either independents or belong to a minor party -- do have some standouts:

Paul McKaskle, an independent, is perhaps the most seasoned; the retired dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law served twice as an adviser to the California Supreme Court when it intervened to draw political maps.

Vincent Barabba, a Republican, served as director of the U.S. Census under President Richard Nixon and later was appointed again by President Jimmy Carter.

William Hamm, an independent, served as Legislative Analyst for the state from 1977 to 1986.

Victoria Aguayo Schupbach, a Democrat, is a former regional director of the National Labor Relations Board.

Many others in the final pool are college professors, civil servants, or attorneys. Others are, well, just folks who seem to be interested (count co-owner of the Sacramento area bookstore The Avid Reader Stanley Forbes in this list, as well as Sacramento Press Club treasurer Kathleen Beasley who -- full disclosure -- I know from my time as president of the organization).

Demographically speaking, most remaining applicants are either white or Latino; most are in Los Angeles County; and most have an income between $75,000 and $250,000.

Next Thursday, state Auditor Elaine Howle will randomly select eight names on the list of 36, and those eight will become the first members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. Those eight then (again under the complex rules of Prop 11) will choose the remaining six members of the commission, which begins its work once census data is fully compiled this coming winter.

You can see the full list here.

NOTE: I'm having trouble seeing the list myself on the auditor's website, so here's a direct link to the list of names.

Saturday Post Script: I should note that while final census data for the commission could possibly arrive before the end of "winter," the most likely scenario is that it won't be in hand before April 1, the drop dead date prescribed by federal law. Thanks to both this weekend's statehouse reporters conference and an astute CapNotes reader for point this out.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.