Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Redistricting -- transparency, prison populations and more

Rather than Casa Grande, Thursday's meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will take place at the Fiesta Resort and Conference Center in Tempe at 2:30pm and may last into the evening.

The agenda includes a briefing and discussion on ways to deal with prison populations, as well as taking up the notion of the five commissioners having to disclose who is contacting them to lobby about map drawing issues.


Last Saturday, the New York Times ran a story rehashing the controversy surrounding the AIRC. The only bit of new information, which was also news to the members and staff of the AIRC at that time, is that Horne intends to "file a motion" to compel cooperation by AIRC commissioners Mathis, McNulty and Herrera.  Today, Arizona Capitol Times writer Evan Wyloge reported that Horne intends to file a special action in superior court this week for that purpose.

To get a judge to order the AIRC commissioners to cooperate, Horne would have to demonstrate the reasonableness of the investigation and that they are refusing to cooperate.  AIRC counsel can argue, and probably will, both that the commissioners are subject to legislative privilege and that Horne has a conflict of interest in the matter.

There can be little doubt that this will again inflame hardcore GOP and tea party interests. Perhaps this exercise will help those groups understand what actually constitutes a conflict of interest.  While the AIRC is meeting on Thursday, Horne is apparently scheduled to speak to LD8 Republicans at Scottsdale's Civic Center Library. The meeting begins at 6:30pm.


Over the weekend, LD26's own Proud Terri posted the NYTimes story on facebook along with the following comment:
Please don't stay complacent on this issue- our State is being handed over to Obama on a silver platter in the hands of the progressive. Keep fighting this battle - it's not over yet.
Another wingnut GOP lawmaker, Brenda Barton added her two cents worth:
The best we can hope for is that the Constitutionality of the IRC is successfully challenged ... 
Fellow blogger Craig McDermott reflected on Proud and Barton.  Barton responded:
Just some friendly notes to your blog re: my FB comments...

I invite you to read the *entire* state Constitution, especially those portions written at the time of statehood.

Just because an initiative has been entered into the Constitution by a popular vote does not mean that the said provision has been found Constitutional by the Courts.

Consider Clean Elections; approved by popular vote and parts of it now held Un-Constitutional by the Supreme Court. As of this time, Arizona's IRC has not been challenged on constitutional grounds and, there is no ruling by the higher courts.
Folks, them's fightin words.  To her credit, Barton asks her minions to attend AIRC meetings and be polite.  However, she does encourage them to be loud.  On Friday, the tea partiers were loud.

Wes Harris, tea partier who has testified at several AIRC meetings, posted the following to Proud's facebook page regarding the NYTimes story :
Sorry but open meeting rules prohibit them answering any questions from the public. The best we can hope is that they will agree to put something we raise on the agenda for discussion as they did on Saturday adding the Libertarian suggestion of how to deal with the prison population. They have not seen fit to add my suggestions regarding a similar problem with Universities. We just have to keep raising the same questions until they do address them or we  have a record that they have refused to do so by 'stone walling'.
Harris' does not yet make the connection that issues he has raised in his comments lack grounding in any related matter of law.  Jim March, the Libertarian activist to whom he refers, actually made sense with his comments on prison populations.  Harris, as I've pointed out previously, ignores the realities of how college students, though potentially temporary residents in an area, participate in local commerce and cultural activities of communities like Tucson, Tempe and Flagstaff.

Given what we already know (as well as the significance of what we do not yet know, including how much money is involved), Barton's statement could be either wishful thinking or disclosure of plans in the works by UNfair Trust.


  1. Thanks for keeping us up to date about the IRC and Tea Party and Republican opposition to the whole thing. I can't make Friday's meeting but will be at the Tucson meeting.

  2. @Pete, Friday's meeting is (likely) in Tucson. Thursday has been changed to Tempe.