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Schwarzenegger endorses reform measures to ‘terminate gerrymandering’

Author: Ernest Luning - September 7, 2018 - Updated: September 7, 2018

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, endorses redistricting reform efforts including Colorado’s Amendment Y and Z in a video posted to Twitter on Sept. 7, 2018. (via Twitter)

Hasta la vista, gerrymandering.

Arnold Schwarzenegger threw his support behind Colorado ballot amendments Y and Z Friday, noting that all of Colorado’s living governors are backing the measures to change how the state draws political boundaries.

“We’re going to terminate gerrymandering together by fighting for campaigns in four states,” said the actor and former California governor in a video posted to Twitter, urging followers to donate to the campaign online.

One lucky donor, Schwarzenegger added in his familiar Austrian growl, will win a trip to Budapest to spend the day on the set of the sixth film in the Terminator franchise, launched in 1984 with Schwarzenegger in the titular role.

Fair Maps Colorado, the organization behind the ballot measures, welcomed Schwarzenegger’s help.

“Amendments Y&Z will create more fair and competitive political districts, and they will deliver an ‘hasta la vista, baby!’ to the potential of political gerrymandering in Colorado,” said Kent Thiry, CEO of DaVita and a co-chair of the campaign, which has broad support across Colorado’s political spectrum.

“We’re pleased that the governor has signed on to help us pass these reforms to take the power in redistricting away from lobbyists and political insiders and put it into in the hands of independent commissions.”

Amendment Y would establish a commission to draw political lines for congressional districts, and Amendment Z would do the same for legislative districts. Both give unaffiliated voters — they’re the plurality in Colorado — equal footing with Democrats and Republicans in the process while restricting commission members who might have a conflict from taking part.

The General Assembly referred the measures to the ballot in unanimous votes in May.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.