With remote teleconferencing set up at AWC facilities in San Luis and Parker AZ, only a few more people testified, including the mayor of San Luis. Apparently, no members of the public even showed up in Parker.
The most significant take away from today's hearing is that Arizonans in southwest Arizona do not feel any affinity with Tucson and want to be represented in Congress by someone attuned to the concerns of people along the Colorado River. Even embattled Quartzite mayor Ed Foster, who has dramatic problems providing proper representation in his own jurisdiction, took time to appear in Yuma to complain about Congressman Raul Grijalva.
AIRC chair Colleen Mathis was in attendance in San Luis. Again handling gavel duties today, Vice-chair Herrera appeared in person at AWC in Yuma along with Commissioners Rick Sturtz and Linda McNulty.
For another day, at least as much controversy occurred outside and on the internet as at the hearings. State Sen. Ron Gould took a swipe at the Commission. Apparently, Gould:
has learned that only one member of the Commission will be attending a public information and input meeting in Bullhead City next Tuesday.
In a Thursday news release, Gould said it [sic] called it a slap in the face that only one Commission member would travel to Mohave County when all five have been attending other meetings in Phoenix and Tucson.
How did Gould "learn" that only one commissioner would attend? Or did he just assume? And how did he decide what it would mean IF only one commissioner ends up making it to the hearing on July 26 in Bullhead City?
When the Arizona Eagletarian asked the AIRC how many commissioners would attend each meeting, in light of Gould's concerns, Public Information Officer Stuart Robinson provided this insight:
Might Gould's press release be just another shot in the dark, hoping to find fault so Arizona voters would consider returning lawful authority for redistricting back to state lawmakers?"The first round of public hearings conducted by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission comprises 15 sessions around the state over 17 days.
"The five commissioners are volunteers who have day jobs, so it is unrealistic to expect all of them to be at every hearing. While at least one commissioner will be at each hearing, last-minute scheduling considerations make it hard to say in advance exactly which commissioners, or how many, will be at any particular session. It is important to note, however, that all testimony is transcribed and weighted equally, regardless of how many commissioners hear it in person.
"Areas that do not host a public hearing in the first round may have the opportunity to do so in subsequent rounds later this year.
"Finally, the public hearings, which began Thursday, July 23, at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, are different from commission meetings that were held earlier in the year."
How gullible do they think Arizona citizens are?
Boy is THAT a loaded question.
From the Desk of Terri Proud:[this was copied and pasted, so the misspelled words and emphasis are hers]
Dear Friends of Arizona,
The 2012 election will be the most crucial election. Not only for America but for Arizona too. We will be voting on a new President, U.S. Senate, Congressperson, and the State Legislators (House and Senate). Arizona is faced with redistricting and how the lines are drawn will determine the course of Arizona for the next 10 years.
It is no secret that Strategic Telemetry works with Democratic organizations to inlcude: SEIU, Labor Unions, Progressive Majority, and Obama for America to name a few.
If Obama can do the damage that he has done to this country in the little time he has been in office, image what they can do to Arizona in 10 years.
Redistricting will determine the course of our lives, our businesses, and our future. Please help save Arizona from Washington D.C.
We have until August 12th for leadersip to call a Special Session- We can't do this without you!
Without going into detail on claims of corruption Proud makes later in the email and on the webpage containing the message above, it's blatantly obvious that neither she nor any other of the accusers are doing any kind of legitimate investigation or research before making the claims.
If Ron Gould had contacted the AIRC, they would have told him what they ended up telling me. It really does not take a rocket scientist to ask the right questions. And I am NOT a rocket scientist.
If nobody took people like Gould or Proud seriously, there would be no need to key in on any of this. But given the kind of chatter we've seen on social media websites, and given she has been taken seriously by Arizona Illustrated, SOMEBODY needs to get the word out that Proud is neither telling the whole story, nor frankly, telling the truth.
When an apparently credible news program legitimizes the outrageous claims of a person like Proud, how can everyday Arizonans tell the difference?
In a written exchange with me (on the subject of providing evidence for what she claims), Proud says:
I don't need to do anything..much less prove myself to you. If YOU did your work instead on telling people to give it to you maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion... everyone else has it - go demand it from them. I wasn't the first one to "publish" it.Apparently, she doesn't realize that MY work is asking her to back up her claims and reporting to you on what she provides in response. But I digress.
What is it that Proud Terri wants "leadersip" [sic] to accomplish by calling a special legislative session?
She is already on record as calling for the repeal of Prop 106. She knows it would take convincing the people of Arizona to approve another amendment to the Arizona Constitution.
Does it take much of an imagination to figure out that she believes she could get enough money raised from or through Tea Party activists or groups to convince the people of Arizona that "SEIU/Labor Unions/Progressive Majority/Obama for America is conspiring (or already has conspired) with sinister forces (okay, they ARE the sinister forces) to "hijack" the redistricting process to allow... well, you get the idea.
I will not even repeat Frank Antenori's provocative use of a "Lori Klein analogy" last week.
But I also do not think THIS scenario (Proud trying to ignite the Tea Party with rage to stop the redistricting process now underway) is an exaggeration or at all over the top.
Because I have been watching the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission this year from the very start, I can say with confidence that the litany of Proud Terri's claims of corruption are absurd on their face.
The only newspaper in Arizona with a reputation for doing in-depth reporting necessary to root out the underlying story -- on political issues -- is the Phoenix New Times.
There are other political reporters in Arizona besides those who work or have worked for the Phoenix New Times. Those reporters often have good insight, but can only write and publish what they can get paid to write and publish.
For roughly 20 minutes, once a week, a few of them sit with Ted Simons, Channel 8's host of Horizon. Beyond that, on occasion, Simons will interview one of them for a special, or hot topic. But still, Horizon is, at most, a half hour program. That is not enough time to cover any topic in depth or even close to comprehensively.
The Arizona Republic, Phoenix Business Journal, Arizona Guardian and Arizona Capitol Times have dedicated staff writers and reporters; Capitol Media Services' Howie Fischer is an Arizona based private version of the Associated Press; and the actual Associated Press has some dedicated staff who cover Arizona politics and the state Capitol.
NONE of those reporters is afforded the time and resources necessary to do the kind of in-depth reporting that can educate Arizonans enough to counter the superficial distraction and deception coming incessantly from people like Terri Proud, Frank Antenori, Andy Biggs or some of their compadres. And that is sad.
While writing and researching this blog post, I learned that the Arizona Capitol Times:
Simply put, we are the nexus between state government and the public. And we are focused on our niche; if it doesn’t impact politics in Arizona, we don’t cover it.Beyond sad, given how reporter Christian Palmer has blurred the line between reporting and opinion/commentary on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission recently, that's VERY disturbing.
Our coverage influences policy, defines important issues and connects the various communities that make up state government.
It's disturbing because while they probably only intended to appeal to lobbying interests in Arizona, which outside of Public Notices is the Capitol Times largest market, they are being used by Tea Party groups and others like them (Smart Girl Politics) who need something to latch onto for legitimacy.