A referendum drive aimed at killing California's newly drawn congressional districts appears to be on the ropes.
Nearly two weeks after the campaign was cleared to begin collecting signatures, no fundraising groups or donors have been reported to the secretary of state, records show.
Carlos Rodriguez, a Republican political strategist who announced the referendum drive last month, has not returned calls by The Bee this week to check on reports that it is dormant.
GOP strategist Rob Stutzman said today that he has asked to be kept apprised of the campaign's progress, but added, "I'm not aware of any signatures being gathered."
To place the state's newly drawn congressional districts before voters next June, the referendum must collect 504,760 voter signatures by Nov. 14.
Congressional and legislative districts were drawn for the first time this year by a 14-member citizens commission created by voter passage of Proposition 11 in 2008. The Legislature previously oversaw redistricting.
Incumbent GOP politicians reportedly disagree among themselves on whether to fight the congressional maps.
Rodriguez, in announcing the referendum drive, said the new congressional districts unnecessarily fragment many communities of interest and may violate federal laws designed to protect the voting clout of minority groups.
Stutzman said the commission-drawn districts are better for Republican candidates than likely would have occurred if the Democratic-controlled Legislature had drawn boundaries.
Political analysts have said that some GOP congressional incumbents will fare better, some worse, under the new redistricting plan.
"Overall, this map gives competitive opportunities for Republicans that they haven't had in years," Stutzman said.
A successful referendum potentially could improve GOP prospects in parts of the state, but "all things being equal, there's opportunity in this plan -- and at some point, it just needs to be seen as that and embraced for that," Stutzman said.