John Cox, a Republican running for governor, has a radical plan to shake up politics in California. He’s explaining it to everybody who will listen.
Running on the slogan “Clean Out the Barn,” a pastoral-themed variation of President Donald Trump’s “Drain the Swamp,” Cox is the brain behind a proposed statewide initiative to dramatically reshape the Democratic-dominated state Legislature.
The idea, which he hopes to put on the November 2018 ballot, would create thousands of new elected officials by subdividing each Assembly and Senate district into 100 districts….
“First of all, this is not going to happen,” argues Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School and president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. “When it comes to anything on the ballot, the default (position of voters) is ‘no,’ and you have to move them to a ‘yes.’ There will be an enormous amount of political pressure and money behind a ‘no’ campaign from the establishment and familiar faces.”
That said, Levinson added that it is a “little nutty” the state only has 120 lawmakers for nearly 40 million residents. “We have shown that we are willing to make some changes,” including how districts are redrawn and the top-two primary, under which the two-highest votegetters regardless of party advance to the fall. “But this is a major change.”