Transparency Foundation launches investigation into manipulation of California’s 2022 Redistricting Maps

The nonpartisan Transparency Foundation says it has found probable cause that California’s redistricting process was “corrupted and manipulated” by special interests and agents of incumbent politicians — resulting in unfair district boundaries that dilute the voice of important communities of interest.

After a comprehensive review of the 2022 maps drawn by California’s so-called independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and a review of complaints from community groups and whistleblower testimony, the Transparency Foundation has found probable cause that special interests, political parties and politicians were able to unduly manipulate the drawing of district lines for US Congress and the state legislature.

The Transparency Foundation announced it has now opened a full investigation to document specific actors and methods used to manipulate the Commission’s work and based on the findings of that investigation it will outline specific reforms to improve transparency and integrity for the next round of redistricting.

“California voters deserve a truly independent redistricting process, but unfortunately they were deprived of that in 2022 by special interests and political operatives who infiltrated and corrupted the process,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of the Transparency Foundation.

“We need voters choosing politicians, not politicians choosing voters,” continues DeMaio.

DeMaio noted a number of preliminary findings prompted the decision to launch a full-scale investigation into the state’s redistricting process and players.

“We have complaints from community groups and we have reviewed the public hearing record and can clearly see a breakdown between what legitimate and well-established community groups asked the commission to do and the use of dubious front groups to contaminate the public input process and manipulate the final maps,” claims DeMaio.

California’s redistricting process, in which district lines are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census, is intended to be carried out by an independent commission that is fair and impartial — according to the law.

However, several whistleblowers have stepped forward to indicate that the process for selecting members of the commission and the drawing of lines was corrupted and manipulated by outside special interests, raising significant concerns about the fairness of the state’s electoral boundaries. Notably, these whistleblower accounts indicate that special interests manipulated public comments weighing in on district boundaries.

For example, two of the “Republican” commissioners selected by state officials had questionable political involvement — including donations to Planned Parenthood and support for Black Lives Matters.

“The best evidence of the failure of the redistricting process is the simple and irrefutable fact that the 2022 redistricting lines split long-standing and well-recognized communities of interest across the state in favor of gerrymandered districts to benefit incumbent politicians,” DeMaio said.

“California’s liberal media failed the public by not raising red flags during the process,” DeMaio explains. “Since the liberal media did not do its job then, we will do the job now and make our findings public,” DeMaio said.

The Transparency Foundation’s investigation into the State Redistricting Commission comes a year after a recent controversy in the City of Los Angeles where recordings emerged of city politicians making racist comments in a closed-door meeting on how they intended to manipulate the drawing of district lines. Several recent bills to improve the integrity of the redistricting process in local jurisdictions were recently vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Anyone with information pertaining to potential manipulation of the redistricting process should contact the Transparency Foundation at (619) 272-6225 or info@thetransparencyfoundation.org.

About The Transparency Foundation
The Transparency Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to making public institutions more transparent and accountable to the people they serve.

The Foundation sponsors investigatory research projects on a range of issues related to public finance and government performance, including how government manages its finances, whether government funds are being used for intended and legitimate purposes, what tangible outcomes are produced from government programs, what is the true cost of a program, how does a program compare to benchmarks, and how government can improve its overall transparency, accountability and performance.

The findings from our investigatory research projects are be released to the public and any potential violations of the law are referred to the appropriate government agency of jurisdiction.