Perata Tweaks Retired Judges, Redistricting

Pity the retired judge. A few weeks ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said voters shot down his redistricting initiative because they just don’t want former jurists drawing political boundaries. Today state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata basically agreed (before taking colorful shots at Southern California immigration foes and “sucky” prisons).

“Women say, ‘Great, how many retired women judges are there? Damn few,’” the Oakland Democrat said at a Capitol press gaggle. Minorities complain, too, that the ranks of retirees are way too white, Perata said. “Why not go to a pool of retired academicians or burned-out reporters?” he suggested half-jokingly.

All of which led up to Perata’s point that even if the Senate passes a redistricting-reform bill before session ends this month, it’s not going before voters until 2008 at the earliest, retired judges or no retired judges.

The always quotable Perata offered a few other notable quips:

“Our prisons suck,” he said, “but I’m not blaming Arnold Schwarzenegger for that.” The prison and parole systems have been failing for years, so don’t expect any instant reforms to emerge from the Legislature’s special session starting next week, Perata added.

Do expect a bill improving benefits for workers’ comp claimants to hit the governor’s desk in a matter of weeks, the Democratic leader said. Applicant attorneys and their clients complain that two-year old reforms have further hurt those injured on the job. But businesses like the reduced insurance rates, and it’s hard to see the governor signing any bill in an election year that would anger his biggest supporters.

And finally, the quote you’ll see in newspapers everywhere Friday morning: Perata referred to vocal opponents of illegal immigration as “all those crackers down in Southern California.”

Cheryl Miller

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One Response to “Perata Tweaks Retired Judges, Redistricting”

  1. Legal Says:

    Race will always be an issue it seems

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