In a wide-ranging Time
magazine interview, the billionaire mayor said he wants to address the redistricting process because the rise in sharply partisan districts helped create the government shutdown.
“It all comes from gerrymandering,” Bloomberg said to Time. “That pulls people away from the center.”
Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, many states drew new district lines for congressional seats that made them favorable to Republican candidates.
Most state lawmakers hold that responsibility in a process that usually occurs about once a decade. Since more states in recent years have had Republican governors, many have signed off on redrawn lines that would benefit their own party.
Washington’s shutdown that began Oct. 1 and the potential debt ceiling crisis, Bloomberg says, are the outcomes of new district lines.
In the interview, Bloomberg suggested he’d lobby for election law reforms similar to those implemented in California.
Golden State voters stripped their lawmakers in 2010 of their authority to craft district lines for state and congressional offices. Instead, members of a new nonpartisan Citizens Redistricting Commission drew the latest California lines in 2011.
Bloomberg, previously a Republican and now an Independent, says there’s no limit on his budget after he leaves office. Former Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson oversees Bloomberg’s political spending without an annual budget.
“What will it take?” Bloomberg says he asks people who seek his involvement in political causes.
Other topics covered in the interview include his other projects such as ways to curb obesity, and his effort to drive stricter gun control measures.