Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to shake up Congressional races nationwide by redrawing political districts that are now reliably Republican or Democrat — and he’s pledging to match donations to his anti-gerrymandering campaign.
The Republican, who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, said members of Congress are re-elected despite being less popular than “Herpes, colonoscopies, and cockroaches.” He blames districts that have been designed to favor one or the other of the major parties.
“Washington doesn’t work — at least not for us,” Schwarzenegger began.
The former governor said Congress fails year after year “to pass immigration reform, infrastructure investment, an actual energy policy, any measures to reduce our debt, or really anything at all.”
“That’s no accident — our politicians have literally divided us, drawing map lines so that they can pick the voters they want to represent, instead of letting the voters pick them. It’s called gerrymandering, and it has broken our political system,” Schwarzenegger wrote.
Schwarzenegger argued that in his time as governor, from 2003-11, state government faced gridlock because legislators drew their own districts. In 2008, Schwarzenegger’s administration teamed with a coalition of government groups like Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and AARP that. And they succeeded.
“That year California voters chose to take the power of drawing district lines away from the politicians and gave it to an independent commission,” Schwarzenegger noted. “It is now time to take independent redistricting reform nationwide. It’s complicated, but we are here to show you that it is not impossible.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that independent commissions like the one Schwarzenegger’s administration formed in California are constitutional.
“It’s a three-pronged attack — we will fight gerrymandering with grassroots initiatives, we will fight it by lobbying in state capitols, and we will fight it in the courts. Together, we will win. Let’s not forget: people hold the ultimate power,” he wrote.
“You can take the first step, by joining this campaign today. In time we’ll have other steps for you to help — nationally and state-by-state. By the way,” he added, “I’m not just asking you to join me and send money. This is so important to me, I will be matching your donations.”
You can read Schwarzenegger’s post in its entirety here.
Source: The Wrap