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Redistricting Plan Draws Republican Fire

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger´s proposal to assign the task of re-drawing political district lines to a panel of retired judges is getting opposition from within his own party.

The plan is especially troubling to some Republican House members, who fear that recasting congressional districts in Democrat-leaning California could cost the G-O-P seats. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the House 232-201. But the G-O-P majority hardly seems safe to Republicans who remember that Democrats ruled the House by a lopsided 256-178 margin before Republicans retook control in 1994.

Schwarzenegger´s top Washington ally, Republican Congressman David Dreier, has told the governor he´d prefer waiting until after the 2010 Census for regularly scheduled congressional redistricting.

But Schwarzenegger wants an independent panel to redraw congressional and state legislative lines as soon as possible to create more competitive districts. It´s part of his overall goal to shake up how California is governed.