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Sometimes it's convenient to have a law degree when your retirement involves an active involvement in pushing conservative ballot measures. Former state legislator Kevin Mannix was behind 1994's Measure 11, which instituted mandatory minimum sentences for a whole bunch of crimes, and 1996's Measure 40, which contained a bunch of proposed laws for "victim's rights" and ended up being overturned by the state supreme court because it would require too many constitutional amendments.

This year he put out a petition for a new measure that would put legislative redistricting in the hands of a body of retired judges selected by the supreme court. Currently, districts are redrawn based on population—and a whole bunch of compromise between state agencies—every 10 years.

Now it looks like he doesn't have enough signatures to get the petition approved, so Mannix is suing the Secretary of State's office, claiming that its rules for signature validation are too strict.

We've gone fishin' for a copy of the docket filing. Meanwhile, mull this over: why is taking the decisions about redistricting away from the legislators that the districts elect a "conservative" idea? It sounded pretty common-sense to me (aside from possibly giving the supreme court too much power), but then I looked at the top sponsors of the initiative: Nike CEO Phil Knight, the Associated Oregon Industries, the Oregon Restaurant Association... in other words, people who weren't happy with the Democratic victory on Measures 66 and 67. Revenge? A quest for more Republican districts (good luck with that in the Portland area)? We have calls out to some people who have considered changes to the redistricting process in the past. Stay tuned!