By Aaron Blevins, 8/30/2012
Congresswoman plans to challenge requirement
Why did the congresswoman cross the road? To get inside her new district lines.
As a result of federal redistricting, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) may need to move her Los Angeles office across Wilshire Boulevard to keep her L.A. headquarters inside her district boundaries.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission finalized its new Congressional boundaries on Aug. 15, and Bass’ new northernmost district line is on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard, just across the street from her current office.
“I’m certainly going to appeal that,” she said, adding that she must get re-elected first. “I think it is a complete and utter waste of taxpayer money. …I don’t want to see taxpayer money wasted in that manner.”
As a member of Congress, Bass was not involved in the commission’s decision to alter her district lines. She said it would be “silly” to be forced to spend thousands of federal tax dollars to move her office.
“I was watching and certainly hoping they were going to move it up,” Bass added.
She said she is not sure when the office would need to move, but assumed it would be after she is sworn in, if she is re-elected. Bass estimated that it would cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to move, and the new office would need technology adjustments to accommodate her staff.
She said that, if re-elected, she will appeal internally to the Committee on House Administration and to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a conservative.
“He doesn’t want to waste taxpayer dollars,” Bass said.
The current office on Highland Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard is a “perfect location” in the middle of the district that gets a lot of foot traffic, she said. Bass said it could be even more expensive to move elsewhere, and landlords must be willing to allow a two-year lease.
“I’m hopeful all will go well,” she added,
Bass, though, has unexpected challenger for the 37th Congressional District, as there was a separate filing process and deadline for write-in candidates. She had been listed as unopposed, but will now face off against Republican Morgan Osborne.
“I’m not over-confident,” Bass said. “I’m taking absolutely nothing for granted.”