Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission voted 3-2 to contract for Democratic counsel with Osborne Maledon whose team will be headed up by former state Solicitor General Mary O'Grady; and for Republican counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP, lead by former chief counsel to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Joe Kanefield.
The commissioners discussed the candidates for about an hour in executive session yesterday and for another hour or so after reconvening late this afternoon. When the public session resumed, Chairwoman Mathis asked for a motion to approve hiring the two firms eventually chosen. However, Freeman quickly objected. Stertz offered an amended motion to hire Gammage and Burnham, Lisa Hauser's firm as well as Michael Mandell for Democratic counsel. The amended motion failed 2-3, with Freeman and Stertz the only aye votes The original motion then passed with Freeman and Stertz the only nay votes.
I was not terribly surprised by Russell Pearce appointee Stertz wanting the hyper-partisan Lisa Hauser. However, the other Republican, Scott Freeman did surprise me. All three of the Republican counsel candidates were highly qualified, but the only one with serious partisan baggage was Lisa Hauser. And as I mentioned in this morning's post (about yesterday's interviews), Hauser was the only candidate that spoke disparagingly of any of the other candidates.
Hauser was also the only lawyer interviewed that offered advice on how to justify a diminished role for the competitiveness criteria when drawing the new Congressional and legislative district maps.
The only other noteworthy tidbit from the evening's meeting is that a couple of individuals drove up from Tucson to attend the meeting this evening. One of those people was Lynne St. Angelo, who offered public comments during Tuesday's meeting in Tucson. Her comments that day established her as a constituent for her Community of Interest, Oro Valley, an affluent suburb of Tucson. Ms. St. Angelo's Linked in profile lists her as a Political Organization Professional. She and another person drove away from this evening's meeting in an SUV with a bumper sticker that proclaimed the owner's support of SB1070.