Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Redistricting -- Vox Populi, at least for the last week

Vox populi, the voice of the people. 

A critically important aspect of the Independent Redistricting process in Arizona is public input. 

So that readers can find out what the people have been saying this week, the Arizona Eagletarian submitted a public records request to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission today.  Pursuant to that request, AIRC staff sent me a PDF file with 106 pages of written comments/digital input received by the Commission from July 8 through today.  The file included all public input received by the Commission in the last week.

A few pages include miscellaneous information (i.e. a commercial message about web hosting, and a request by a business reporter in Northern Arizona for an interview with any of the Commissioners). 

Roughly 30 pages are from people ranting against AIRC Chair Colleen Mathis and selection of Strategic Telemetry to be mapping consultant.  About a half dozen of those are nearly identical, presenting a list of points with twisted logic claiming Mathis has a conflict of interest.  They cite Sonoran Alliance and The Cholla Jumps as the source.  The Cholla Jumps is written by James Kelley, GOP chair LD-29. His June 30 post says, "I see lawsuits and legislative action in the commission’s future." 

I wonder what Kelley sees now, since Brewer has expressed reluctance to interfere in the process.  No doubt Kelley got state Rep. Terri Proud's attention.  Ms. Proud yesterday called for a special session to put a ballot measure up asking voters to restore the legislature's authority to gerrymander the state.  However, GOP House Speaker Andy Tobin said he doesn't think the public has an interest in going back to the old system.

Despite the 30 or so pages of criticism, more than 60 letters were from citizens supporting the work of the AIRC.

Note that the last letter is from a middle school student.  He seems to have a significantly better grasp of the concepts of civics and American government than those from people critical of the Commission.

The sample presented above is a fair representation of the rest of the letters.

My understanding is that all or most of the letters were sent both to the AIRC and to Governor Brewer. 

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