ProPublica Blew Orange County Redistricting Story Targeting Loretta Sanchez

LorettaOCWeekly-thumb-190x126.jpg
Sanchez on the big screen
Earlier this month, ProPublica--a respected, investigatory news agency based in New York City--issued a report that blasted Democrats for an unethical campaign to corrupt the California Citizens Redistricting Commission that was charged with designing new boundaries for federal and state elections.

Though high-ranking Democrats are deriding the article, ProPublica's report is in many ways a valuable contribution to the public's understanding of the behind the scenes machinations that control government entities.

The two journalists who wrote the story obtained fascinating emails from Democratic insiders planning to manipulate redistricting, detailed misinformation campaigns and exposed the liberal interests that funded related efforts to convince the commission to protect Democratic Party-held districts.

But this week, Chris Prevatt at TheLiberalOC.com blog slammed the article's Orange County section that left readers with the hilariously false impression that a dastardly Loretta Sanchez cheated in the redistricting process over wide-eyed, innocent OC Republicans, who--if you believe the report's caricature--were simply interested in creating fair districts for minorities, especially the Vietnamese in Little Saigon.

(Those of you familiar with OC's political history and the local GOP's shameful, regular efforts to dilute Latino political influence or intimidate Latino citizens from voting can stop laughing now.)

How could two veteran journalists leave such a false impression?

Prevatt believes that ProPublica's reporters were "duped and manipulated" by Republican sources.

He's probably right. The reporters quoted one Republican who claimed that GOP interests were "essentially non-entities in the redistricting process" and continued on with their story as if that absurd lie was the truth. Yet, anyone who watched the process in Orange County saw that both Republicans and Democrats (everyone from right-wing religious nuts to hardcore labor activists) here worked feverishly behind the scenes to manipulate district boundaries. In fact, most of the secret, self-serving redistricting pressure in OC came from Dana Rohrabacher, John Campbell, Ed Royce and Gary Miller--all incumbent Republicans who were frantic about manipulating the redistricting commission.

(Indeed, if the reporters weren't present for the 2011 redistricting battle, they would have gained serious doubts about their premise if only they'd looked at how Rohrabacher avoided voter accountability in the previous redistricting process by essentially leaping over heavily Democratic Belmont Shore in Long Beach to grab Republican-loaded Rancho Palos Verdes.)

But the article's biggest weakness is its opinionated assertion that Little Saigon residents "lost" in the redistricting battle. To arrive at that stance, the reporters must have accepted several false assumptions: The Vietnamese Republican politicians who lobbied the commission were motivated by loyalty to the Vietnamese community, not the GOP and their own careers; the Vietnamese community is a monolith of Republicanism; and, though the area is home to some of OC's most needy residents, who rely on government assistance programs, there is little backing for Sanchez--the county's lone Democrat.

(Again, anyone with local knowledge of the political scene understands that Sanchez enjoys substantial, passionate support in Little Saigon even when facing a well-funded, Vietnamese Republican challenger backed by national Republican Party interests in Washington, D.C.)   

As Prevatt accurately observed, Republicans were just as "heavily involved" as Sanchez in redistricting efforts. Underscoring his point, he exposed how one Republican member of the redistricting panel may have sabotaged the commission in a way to aide future GOP efforts to sue over certain boundaries.

Prevatt wrote, "The specific [Republican/Vietnamese] goal was to set up congressional, senate and assembly seats that favored Republican/Vietnamese elected representation disproportionate to their demographic."

Too bad ProPublica ignored that half of the story.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly


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22 comments
bigtiny99
bigtiny99

why cant an asian be fairly represented by a non asian?

Briansays
Briansays

long term Loretta needs to hang aroundas a former OCer for near 20 years i known she gets a lot of shit locally mostly from reps who resent any democrat as they consider OC their SFergo you get the crappy, lazy and corrupt representation you deserve from on a one party areai say the same thing about much of SF's representativesbut long term the republicans are dead statewidedifi and boxer getting up in years and jerry is in his 70's

Loretta for any shortcomings running statewide is still far better news than Kamala or Gavin your likely choices amongst democrats

Lan
Lan

my friendis a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now she is seeking a good man who can give her real love, so she got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

But wasn't Prevatt's Republican pal Janet Nguyen the biggest manipulator of redistricting, from the GOP side?  She pretty much got what she wanted.  Isn't it curious that NO Democrats have thus far dared to challenger her?  It is pretty obvious that Prevatt and his union pals don't want any Democrats to take her on...

clprevatt
clprevatt

My comment a moment ago was meant for LongBeach Looser

clprevatt
clprevatt

You really ar an idiot. Anyway, for the record, I last voted in Orange County in Santa Ana in the 2006 Primary election.

Long Beach Loser
Long Beach Loser

Thanks Guys,

Just because my only REAL connection with OC is that's who employees me and provides life saving FREE medical care to me, doesn't mean I don't support Loretta, Beth,Lorri and Miguel (OK, scratch that last one).

Matt Cunningham and Dan Chmieliwinski have assured me there is a place for a guy who lives in Long beach, hasn't voted in OC in ten years and is subsidized by public employee unions, while blogging on Government time (They'll never catch me!).

So screw off TAXPAYERS of OC, This is the time for GAY DEMOCRATS FROM LA to show you how it's done! Please just don't ask me about Laura Richardson or Daved Velasquez!!

tiredoftheliberalmedia
tiredoftheliberalmedia

Thats right, R. Scott Moxley.    Sanchez and her buddies getting caught has got to be the fault of the evil republicans.   I guess they set her up.

Haven't you heard.  Dana Rohrabacher was the second gunman on the grassy knoll

909Jeff
909Jeff

Dont look know moxley but your Liberal is Showing!  

Even El Tiempo de Los Angeles got this one right... 

From the Los Angeles Times. "Kudos are due to ProPublica for ferreting out the story of the unseemly and dishonest Democratic politicking. It's an important part of the record and will hold lessons for improving the process 10 years down the road. But again, it's hardly surprising; it's more surprising that Republicans apparently didn't get their acts together well enough to compete on their own terms."

mitch young
mitch young

Democrats/Liberals/ethnoactivists get caught misrepresenting themselves and they kill the messenger.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Gavin is or should be capped out at Lt gov... His Socialist agenda and prior affairs should make him to toxic to put on a ticket for Governor or senator.  but we elected Jerry brown again 30 years after he failed to perform the first time.

clprevatt
clprevatt

Pedroza, This story is about the redistricting process that was controlled by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. That has nothing to do with the OC Supervisor Districts. I know you have ADD but try to stay on the topic at hand.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

You Loretta-bashers are SO hilarious. We've exposed her more than most any paper, and yet when we bash your side, you paint us as Loretta apologists. HILARIOUS...now, go back to Van Tran haha.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

The Los Angeles Times wouldn't know what was happening in Orange County if you handed them a map and pictures of Fashion Island, the coast, and Old Saddleback

tiredoftheliberalmedia
tiredoftheliberalmedia

Not sure what a Van Tran is.Blaming a crime on someone other than the one who committed it is not bashing, its spin doctoring.The republicans do PLENTY of stupid and illegal stuff on their own.  You don't need to dump any extra on in order to cover for democrats who got caught.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I will defend you on that... yes you have and I appreciate it!  

But I think once again Moxley is putting his Bulldog mouth in front of his puppy dog ass.  ProPublica also posted a follow up answering peoples questions to their story.  Moxley had a shot to ask a question?  

http://www.propublica.org/arti... 

The reporters quoted one Republican who claimed that GOP interests were "essentially non-entities in the redistricting process" and continued on with their story as if that absurd lie was the truth 

How do you know that's a lie?  Just because you said it was doesn't make it so! Or do you live by the "How do you tell a republic is lying? His mouth is moving" axiom?

Its evident that the Dems got caught with their hands in the cookie jar... Own it! No one said it was illegal.  They just did it better than the republicans, but dont insult my intelligence by pulling the Wizard of Oz move "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"! 

909Jeff
909Jeff

HA! Under any normal circumstances you're right... Except When I need to cite them to argue with Moxley! 

Man Gustavo, you have been wearing the superman cape for your staff today!  

Dan Chmielewski
Dan Chmielewski

Actually, in Action Comics #900, Superman renounced his US citizenship so does this mean he hates America?  And since his alter ego is a reporter, he's probably guilty of liberal media bias.  The DC launched the new 52 and rebooted Superman to make him 22 again. 

Jonathan
Jonathan

Hey! That would make Superman an illegal immigrant! 

Jor El? My El!
Jor El? My El!

Superman had one of the "special talent" visas that go to opera singers and ballplayers.  They left it out of the comic books because they didn't want to piss off Republicans.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Cool, now we know you're a racist dipshit! Also? Last I checked, natives of Krypton weren't even humans—you know, since only people born on Earth are...

tiredoftheliberalmedia
tiredoftheliberalmedia

Careful, 909Jeff,   Superman is an employed white male with a good relationship with the media and police.  Mentioning him will get you tagged as a Tea Bagger...

Gustavo has to champion the paper since only someone getting paid to do so would.

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