It was a dark and stormy night... okay, not really.
But it was already dark and there I was, coming out of the grocery store this evening. Looking over my shoulder, I spy Matthew Benson with my little eye. Benson, chief spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, this afternoon was likely right in the middle of his boss' latest potential political blunder. Barely three hours earlier, I learned that Brewer had thrown a monkee wrench into the machine that is the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
Unwilling to let this pleasant surprise slip away without seizing the opportunity, I asked him if the governor had the votes lined up. "For what," he asked. For what she threatened to do to the redistricting commissioners, I replied. He said he did not know.
Brewer failed to calculate the ramifications, in terms of public opinion, for her interfering with the voter mandated commission, I told him, as well as that she will face at least as much ire from Arizonans as the AIRC has from the tea partiers.
Benson told me the governor was giving the commissioners the opportunity to explain themselves. I told him, as I had Sen. Biggshot last Friday, that was BULLSHIT. Only this time, the sound came out of my mouth. He said she had the constitutional authority to ask the commissioners to answer for themselves. I replied that the legislature has the constitutional authority to make comments on the draft maps also, but that's not really what the committee is about. Both are nothing more and nothing less than efforts by GOP elected officials to bully and intimidate citizen volunteers who took on an immense project because Arizona voters want it done that way.
I also told him I believe that Brewer is playing a political game of chicken.
This is not Jan Brewer's first political gaffe. Arizona's current governor was subject to a recall effort in 2010. That effort produced 37,500 signatures on petitions.
Citizen volunteers/activists DID succeed in subjecting Russell Pearce to a recall election. The results of THAT election will be known in two weeks.
With an infrastructure of volunteers already active, and if Brewer galvanizes public opinion against her by making a gigantic political blunder like derailing INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING, it's very easy to predict who could be the next target for direct democracy in Arizona.