Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Redistricting -- The Social Network -- UPDATED

With the movie The Social Network playing as I write this, here are a couple of reflections on the blood sport we've gotten into with Arizona's redistricting this year.

The Arizona Republic reports:

Ire at the IRC . . . Senate Republicans held two conference calls late last week to discuss what to do about the Independent Redistricting Commission. The GOP is none too happy with the commission's early work, from its choice of a consultant that has worked for numerous Dem clients to its long closed-door executive sessions.


Most of the ire is focused on Chairwoman Colleen Coyle Mathis. Republicans think she's a Democrat in independent clothing. So lawmakers such as Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, want to see her gone, something Mathis has dismissed.

Antenori, who is eyeing a congressional run that will hinge in part on where new district lines are drawn, would prefer to see the chairwoman removed or maybe to put the whole question of an independent commission back before voters.

After Friday's calls, it doesn't appear there's support for that, Antenori's strong objections notwithstanding. But he's not giving up.

"We're building an indictment and a dossier," the senator said.
If his "indictment" bears ANY resemblance to the copy and paste complaint letters (the Arizona Capitol Times/Yellow Sheet reported hundreds of them had been sent to the governor, but I found that only 30 had been sent to the IRC itself), that will make him look even more foolish than he already does.  A "dossier?"  Isn't that something from a 1960s James Bond movie? 

In other developments, early this evening, state Rep. Terri Proud (R-LD26, who Wednesday publicly called for a special legislative session to figure out ways to eliminate the IRC) started a facebook page for IRC Watchdog Group. I was the fourth person to "Like" it.  I posted a couple of comments to clarify points on that page.  She and I exchanged a few cordial private messages.  I sent her a friend request.  She went offline for a few hours.  When she returned later, she accepted the friend request.

However, not long afterward, I found that I was no longer a fan of the IRC Watchdog Group and no longer a friend of Terri Proud.  I'm disappointed.

And comments I made on Proud's group are gone, as is at least one comment I posted to a note she had made on her personal facebook page about the AIRC.  I asked her about some of this.  She said she didn't want to do the bickering back and forth publicly.  On her personal page, that's completely reasonable.  On a group page supposedly dedicated to being a watchdog for redistricting in Arizona, not so reasonable.

Certainly, the comments some of her friends (maybe her friends, maybe just political allies) had made on the AIRC facebook page last Monday -- accusing the Commission of being corrupt -- were most inappropriate and unproductive.  I hope that she and whoever she gets to assist her in moderating that facebook group does a good job of setting ground rules for discussion while allowing for dissent and disagreement.

If it is to succeed in being anything other than a place for fearmongering and complaining about the AIRC, and preventing anyone from answering such charges, I'm pretty sure it will backfire on her pretty quickly.  Or maybe Frank Antenori is looking for what people post there to be a part of his "dossier."  

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UPDATE:
Apparently, state Rep. Proud (Terri) solved her moderator problem by making it so nobody can post any comments to anything she posts on her "IRC watchdog group" page.  So, since she appears to not be interested in allowing any discussion on the topic, perhaps the page name would more accurately be "IRC false allegations group."

One of the posts on her group has the text of Christian Palmer's article calling it the "FULL report on the Arizona Capitol Times findings of what is WRONG with the IRC."  I doubt that even Palmer would dare call his story a "full report" on anything. 

One of the comments Proud deleted made the specific accusation that republican documents (related to the decision to hire Strategic Telemetry) were shredded. This of course, sounds outlandish on its face. This afternoon, I asked Bladine what documents were or may have been shredded.  He told me that all documents related to the decision, from each of the five commissioners, that were turned over to him were kept and safeguarded.  Because of confidentiality of executive session discussions, he could not get more specific.  

Anyway, deleting my comments pointing out problems with Palmer's story (which Proud did) tells us she wants to make sure her fans only get her side of the story.  Even Shirl Lamonna (of Smart Girl Politics and Arizona Tea Party) would have to agree that's contrary to sound and informed decision making.

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