Okay, I'm back at my computer after enjoying some lovely family time and posting pics on facebook. Now, where was I?
Oh, yes, last night at the Burton Barr Library in Central Phoenix, one hearing took place. This afternoon in Tucson, another.
Fellow blogger Craig McDermott, who writes Random Musings, had a pretty reasonable write up of the Phoenix hearing.
The Tucson Weekly and KVOA apparently captured the salient points from today's hearing.
Other than what Craig reported, the most significant aspect of the Phoenix hearing is the violence threatened (and allegedly carried out) by tea partiers last night.
As Republican AIRC Commissioner Scott Freeman mentioned last night, nobody should be trying to silence anyone at any of these meetings. As patriotic as tea partiers claim to be, intimidation by threats or by actual violence is neither noble nor honorable. I realize not all tea partiers resort to violence. But those who do not should forcefully denounce such tactics and call out their own who commit violent acts for political purposes.
If the tea party message cannot survive without resorting to violence, perhaps that message should not survive.
On July 30th, at the Public Outreach Hearing in Pinetop, Adolfo Echeveste testified. Echeveste served as the second executive director of the first AIRC in 2001. His remarks last week were incredibly poignant and shed light on how the process was carried out ten years ago. They also put important perspective on the controversy that tea partiers, UNfair Trust backed lawmakers and attorneys, and a handful of hyperpartisan GOP activists have been trying to foment over the last month.
Now, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has initiated an investigation. He denies partisan motivation in doing so. But he only agreed to investigate after GOP lawmakers badgered him long enough. Again, Craig McDermott makes an excellent point in contrasting Horne's action and inaction on various partisan goings on since he took office.
Despite evidence that the 2001 redistricting was blatantly manipulated by GOP operatives Lisa Hauser and (so-called) Independent Steve Lynn, as cited by Echeveste in the video, there was no such plea for fairness from conservatives ten years ago. Yet they are crying bloody murder today. Notwithstanding their protestations, the controversy today is nothing more than the desperate cry of right-wing bullies.