Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Redistricting -- the latest? UPDATED 4:30pm MST

Arizona state lawmakers are still waiting on word from the governor on a call for special session to take action against INDEPENDENT redistricting.

As of 3:50pm one Democratic member of the Arizona House told me he now hears that Senate GOP leadership has the votes to remove Colleen Mathis from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. However, that still falls into the category of scuttlebutt. Members and staff from both parties have been sitting around their offices at the Capitol twiddling their thumbs all day (figuratively speaking, of course, there's plenty of other work for staff to do).

Other scuttlebutt has it that since Jan Brewer is out of state, promoting her book, the Arizona Constitution requires any special session call to come from the acting governor. That would be Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who also happens to be the state's top election official. Reports had surfaced earlier that GOP legislative leaders had been meeting with Bennett trying to negotiate wording for a call that he would be willing to approve.

However, given that a major aspect of Bennett's job is to uphold voting and election integrity, it's no wonder he would be skittish about what Jan and Russell are trying to accomplish. In spite of the fact that Bennett is also a Republican.

Speculation has also been going around about what action the AIRC authorized legal counsel to take when they met last evening. The commission voted in public session to authorize counsel to proceed on what they discussed in executive session. One possibility is to seek injunctive relief. To what extent, or in what venue they would be able to seek a stay from a court on potential legislative action is something we may not find out until after a special session actually takes place.

Further, the Arizona Capitol Times reports this afternoon that pursuant to his letter yesterday, DOJ has today requested additional information from state Sen. Steve Gallardo. I have a call into Gallardo and will update as I learn more.

Two people just texted to me that they expect the Senate to convene momentarily to oust Mathis.

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The senate memorial containing the legislature's recommendations to the AIRC for starting the process over again can be found online.

The word had gone out for members of the each house to be on the floor ready to go at 4pm but there's still no call that's been announced or posted. 17 members of the public are currently in the senate gallery waiting to observe the proceedings.

All indications are that the senate has the necessary votes to remove Mathis.

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