The story stems from tea party Gov Jan Brewer issuing formal threat letters to the commission. Those letters can be found here (to AIRC chair Mathis) and here (to each of the five commissioners).
This is beyond a travesty.
The will of the voters of Arizona is at risk and the tea party and the GOP are fighting desperately to prevent fair and competitive districts from being implemented in our state.
It is way past time to Rise UP!
I've now received responses from the AIRC and from House and Senate Democratic Leadership
Below is a statement from Ray Bladine, executive director of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, regarding letters received today from the governor:
“Today, Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission received two letters from the governor’s office.
“The first letter provided comments on the draft congressional map. The commissioners will consider the comments, just as they will any input the governor may submit regarding the draft legislative map.
“The second letter made serious allegations against all five commissioners. The commission’s legal counsel will respond to those allegations. Hopefully, that will resolve the matter, because continuing down this precarious path could end up sticking the taxpayers with substantial legal expenses.
“The commission has worked hard to incorporate all six constitutional criteria and certainly is interested in improving upon the draft maps. That’s why it is holding three weeks of public hearings around the state – to find out how Arizonans think the maps can be refined.
“The commission will continue to move toward adopting final congressional- and legislative-district maps that can, and will, be approved by the federal Justice Department. This will be done in full view of the public, as was intended by the citizens who in 2000 passed Proposition 106 to create Arizona’s independent redistricting process.”
Stuart J. Robinson
Public Information Officer
Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Arizona State Legislature
1700 W Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Senator David Schapira, D-17, Senate Minority Leader
Chad , D-14, House Minority Leader Campbell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2011
Statements from Senate Minority Leader David Schapira
and House Minority Leader
Response to Governor Brewer’s letter to IRC members
Phoenix - Senate Minority Leader David Schapira and House Minority Leader Chad Campbell released the following statements today in response to Governor Jan Brewer’s allegations of misconduct on the part of ’s Independent Redistricting Commission. Arizona
Senate Minority Leader David Schapira:
“This is another instance in the ongoing and orchestrated campaign by Republicans to threaten and intimidate the Independent Redistricting Commission and undermine the will of
voters,” said Schapira. Arizona
“The Attorney General, the Republican Legislature and now the Governor are abusing their public offices for partisan gain. The voters told them to butt out, but they won’t take no for an answer.”
House Minority Leader
Chad : Campbell
"Like all Arizonans I am sick of the partisan politics and gridlock hurting our state, and now Republicans have begun to launch attacks on voters by trying to sabotage an independent redistricting process with their partisan politics. The entire point of having an independent redistricting commission is to keep politicians' hands out of a fair process for voters in
. But today, and just about weekly, we have seen Republicans sticking their hands where they don't belong," said Arizona . Campbell
Arizona voters don't need to be told what to do by politicians - it should be the other way around - and it is time for fair, competitive districts so we can move forward with a government that works for the people and brings jobs and a stronger economy to ." Arizona
Here's a response from a concerned Arizona voter who happens to also be a blogger (me):
I have to wonder if Governor Brewer has properly calculated the potential citizen/voter response to her unprecedented threats. In light of the national mood these days, does she really believe blatantly thumbing her nose at the will of Arizona voters would go without political response?
Does Brewer REALLY want the Arizona Centennial celebration overshadowed by increasing political turmoil?
What kind of political reaction does she anticipate and is she underestimating the resolve of voters who have endured 10 years under a political district map that has produced a legislative GOP supermajority?
I hesitate to speculate with any specificity on what will happen. But there WILL be some form of organized political response. Is she willing to play chicken at this crucial moment in Arizona's civic journey?