How do you make someone want something REALLY bad? Perhaps by telling them they can never have it?
That's part of the reason Michael Liburdi and David Cantelme have stirred up a fuss among concerned citizens following the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission over the last month or so. Cantelme VOWED to me that I would NEVER find out who organized and funded his UNfair Trust. Isn't that reason enough to keep digging and poking until his overlords submit themselves to the disinfectant Justice Brandeis cited so long ago? (Thanks to AIRC Commissioner Rick Stertz for the Brandeis quote)
Now, here's something you (Arizona Eagletarian readers) cannot have, at least until Saturday evening, maybe Sunday afternoon -- me writing any more about Friday's hearing in Phoenix or Saturday's hearing in Tucson. While I will feel terribly torn from my passion of putting the spotlight on the AIRC goings on, I will also be enjoying the company of family. My granddaughter turned 1 year old this week. Saturday afternoon, we celebrate!
Rest assured, however, there is much more to come about the AIRC, about the hearings and about things taking place outside of official meetings.
See you back here soon!
At last night's hearing, a tea partier told Roman Ulman (a small business owner and member of the Alliance of Retired Americans), "sir, your right-rear tire will be flat tonight." Ulman said the guy was big, had very curly blond hair and was wearing a red shirt. The guy was sitting with Kelly Townsend (the crazy lady who had testified right before me at the South Mountain CC hearing). "My right-rear tire is [now] flat and has a screw driven into the tire," Ulman said.
Ulman indicated he would be filing a report with the Phoenix police and with the AIRC. Not that the AIRC could do anything about it, but this should be a part of the record of events related to the overall redistricting process.
The incident also underscores two important points, namely that redistricting is very much a serious process with dramatic ramifications on elections; and that tea partiers -- even though some are well-meaning and sincere -- do have among them people who are easily stirred to violence.
In his remarks after the close of public testimony, Commissioner Scott Freeman reflected on the need for civility and that it is very important nobody be silenced by intimidation from anyone.
Commissioner Herrera again, at the end of the hearing, cited his priority to ensure as many competitive districts as possible results from their work -- without compromising the other required criteria.
Steven Ochoa, national redistricting coordinator for MALDEF, testified. Afterward, I heard Ochoa asking Herrera for clarification of his remarks. Herrera assured him that he would keep the Voting Rights Act as the top priority. There has actually been no indication by any Commission member or staff person that the Voting Rights Act would be ignored or in anyway subjugated by any other criteria.
I hope you can make it to the Tucson hearing starting in a half hour.
More to come later.