This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he intends to open a satellite attorney general's office in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to fight the Trump administration.
- The results from California's latest cap-and-trade auction are in, and revenue from the sale of pollution credits was weak.
- A bill that would set up a state-funded legal aid system for immigrants will be amended by its author to allow those with criminal records to apply for assistance.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday noted the deep unpopularity of members of Congress as he pushed for redistricting reform across the nation.
“Here are some of the things that are more popular than Congress: hemorrhoids, Nickelback, traffic jams, root canals, colonoscopies, herpes. Even herpes, they couldn’t beat herpes in the polls,” Schwarzenegger says in a video posted on attn: , a video sharing site aimed at millennials.
The former governor, who championed redistricting reform in California, said the politicians keep getting reelected because in most of the nation, they draw their district boundaries.
“Gerrymandering has created an absurd reality where politicians now pick their voters instead of the voters picking their politicians,” he said, pointing to California.
In the state, there were 265 congressional elections between 2002 and 2010, before the drawing of district boundaries was handed over to an independent commission. In that time, only one district saw a change in its representative’s political party, Schwarzenegger said.
In 2012, the first election after the lines were drawn by the independent commission, four districts changed party hands. Fourteen incumbents either chose not to run or lost reelection.
“We’ve proven that gerrymandering can be permanently terminated,” he said, before a clip plays of him in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
Redistricting reform is a pet cause of the former governor, and one of the focuses of his institute at USC.