Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, November 18, 2011

Redistricting -- Heroes and goats

I shouldn't be amazed at the brazenness of either the hard core GOP politicians, activists, propagandists like the sonoran alliance or whoever else has been feeding the trolls who post comments attacking the INDEPENDENT Redistricting Commission in their crusade to subvert the process.

I shouldn't, and I'm not. Over the last year, the effort has been apparent from the time the Appellate Courts Commission on Appointments began deliberation on prospective redistricting commissioners.

The first overreaction came when people aligned with the Center for Arizona Policy manufactured an outrage among its followers falsely claiming the reason an applicant was left off of the short list of qualified candidates was because he professed his Christian belief. That was immediately shown to be false, but they never let up. Then there was the flap over the possibility that Paul Bender, one of those evil leftists, could become chairman of the AIRC.

EVERY single thing that the GOP activists could sink their teeth into, they have.

So, it should be no surprise to anyone that they refuse to accept the ruling of the Arizona Supreme Court.

Not only have they launched blatant lies on sonoran alliance already, but they are making veiled threats on national political news websites such as The Hill. After its story on the Arizona Supreme Court Ruling, "Joan" declared: "This matter is NOT over. Just watch quietly!"

We already know enough about this prolonged campaign to subvert the process to know that something will happen.

They have exhausted legal remedies, at least for the moment. At minimum, we can expect they will hammer Brewer's office with ever more vitriolic demands to stop the AIRC from carrying out its Constitutional mandate.

But we also have to recognize that it will be done with increasing levels of Orwellian logic, and juxtaposition.  In other words, we must expect them to use language that sounds like they are wanting the will of the people to be carried out while doing everything possible to keep it from actually happening.

Brewer's own words betray this particular strategy:

Only after much deliberation did I act to remove the Chairwoman of the Independent Redistricting Commission. In doing so, I wielded a constitutional authority specifically granted by the voters of this state for cases in which the Governor - in his/her judgment - found that an IRC member had committed gross misconduct or acted with substantial neglect of duty. With today's decision, the Court has substituted its judgment and authority for that which the voters specifically assigned to the Governor.

While the language in Prop 106, on the surface, sounds like what Brewer wants to claim as constitutional authority granted by voters, she FAILED to adhere to the specific limitation of the language approved by voters. The voters did NOT give license to any governor to act on a whim. And by her statement, she disrespected both the voters AND the judicial branch. It is ALWAYS the purview of the courts to clarify any ambiguities that any party seeks to exploit beyond that intended by the authors of any given law.

But the escalated propaganda war has already begun. Janice Brewer must either back off or the voters of Arizona will rise up with one loud voice just as they did in Mesa ten days ago.

There is no reasonable course of action that calls for any level of violence or lashing out in an uncontrolled manner.

If Janice Brewer fails to moderate her own hubris, the voters of Arizona will rise up and moderate it for her.

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By the way, I have grown recently to have great admiration for former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Zlaket. His written pleadings and oral argument in the special action brought to restore Colleen Mathis were powerful and persuasive. He cut through the bullshit in this situation more quickly and precisely than anyone else. And apparently, he's been able to do that before. I highly recommend reading this interview, it's only eight pages.


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