Filner recall backer wants legislature radically changed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Filner recall backer wants legislature radically changed

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Rancho Santa Fe man who is opening up his wallet as a major supporter of the recall against Mayor Bob Filner is also sponsoring a statewide initiative to reform the legislature.

It would divide the existing 40 senate and 80 assembly districts into 100 "neighborhood districts." That's why Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox is financially supporting the rapidly growing grassroots recall movement against embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

The 58-year-old multi-millionaire is also proposing a statewide initiative to radically remake the legislature that he promises would give voters a stronger voice and would have less influence for the special interests.

Under Cox's plan, lawmakers represent 5,000 to 10,000 people thus putting more legislators in smaller districts.

The father of four daughters says the current system has generated lawmakers who spend most of their time trying to raise cash and getting favors from labor and business leaders.

Veteran political consultant John Hoy supports Cox's initiative because it's modeled after a very successful one in New Hampshire.

The so-called "Neighborhood Legislature Reform Act" would save California about $180 million a year in legislative costs.

John Cox says he's backing the proposal not for his health but for the good of the golden state.

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