Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Waxman-Berman Machines -- The Dark Side

National Journal article

Latinos Broke up the Waxman-Berman machine.

What brought down the Waxman-Berman machine?

Was it Brad Sherman, because he bested the time-tested Democrat after his nearly thirty-years in Congress?

Yes, but there is more to the story.

Why did Sherman have an edge in the newly-drawn 30th Congressional District?

60% of the new district resided within Sherman's previous district.

Yet even deeper than that, the constituency which Sherman received in 2002 following the legislative redistricting all but assured that Sherman would receive a substantial Latino district instead of a more Jewish representation.

Sherman was not pleased, according to some reports. He resented the fact that Michael Berman had drawn out the more Jewish-leaning constituency for his brother Howard.

Ten years later, Brad Sherman would be thanking Michael again and again, although the gratitude would be a Pyrrhic victory for him.

The representation along the Westside-Valley region has changed dramatically in the past decade. Less Jewish, more Latino voters are changing the demographics, a shift which Democratic machine politicians Henry Waxman and Howard Berman were apparently not prepared for.

The shifting population, plus the explosion in public media, along with a diminished connection and respect for local issues at the expense of the nation spotlight, all but assured that the two machine pols would have a harder go in 2012.

Berman lost, and Waxman won barely.

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