Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Redistricting -- weekend scuttlebutt

As of Friday, the day after the three Republicans and two Democrats on the Arizona Supreme Court handed Gov. Jan Brewer a stinging rebuke by reinstating Colleen Mathis to the Independent Redistricting Commission, rumors circulated that a special session of the legislature would be called for Monday or Tuesday. Do they get one free mulligan?

Ever the brash one, state Sen. Frank Antenori (R-Tucson) appeared on talk radio (the Jon Justice Show) Friday morning. He apparently declared that Brewer was re-doing the ouster letter that day and would call a session on Monday. Others doubt the veracity of that claim for two reasons. First, when Antenori makes wild claims like that, he's often (usually?) wrong. Second, since we are now into Thanksgiving week, it's likely there are senators already traveling for the holiday.

Another wrench to throw into that machine, we may not have an explanation of the basis for the Court ruling until sometime in January. We should also note that the Arizona Republic's Sunday editorial admonished the Supreme Court:

The Arizona Supreme Court: The justices need to expedite their opinion so we can understand the basis for it. The current speculation, without knowing the reasoning or the vote count, will only become more divisive and damaging if it drags on.
Of course the Republic in an ever present quest to protect its revenue base, again blames the court for something of which elected Republicans rightfully own responsibility. 

Nevertheless, would Brewer risk political embarrassment from a second rebuke on the same scheme to subvert the independence of the AIRC?  

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I also have it on good authority that AIRC Chair Colleen Mathis may not have any purple dresses at this time but don't be surprised if she went shopping for one over the weekend. From the Arizona Republic's Political Insider:

A style makeover for Mathis? ... As he was testing the limits of the governor's authority to remove redistricting commissioners, acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Andrew Hurwitz threw out some far-fetched scenarios. What if, for example, a commissioner showed up in a purple dress that clashed with the governor's style preferences? What if she didn't like a commissioner's haircut? Could she remove the commissioner?
Theoretically, yes, said Lisa Hauser, Gov. Jan Brewer's attorney. That's because the Constitution makes the governor's judgment on the grounds for removal paramount. The governor gets to decide what is "gross misconduct" or "substantial neglect of duty."
So, what are the odds of Mathis, newly reinstated by the court to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, showing up at the next IRC meeting in a purple dress? With a new haircut? Maybe a wig will be in order.
No word yet on hair style changes that Mathis might be considering. 

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Speaking of mulligans, the League of Women Voters of Arizona this afternoon called on the governor and legislature, if they make any further attempt to influence the mapping process, to keep from using taxpayer funds to do so. (click to enlarge):



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