What can one say when state Rep. John Kavanagh comes off as the adult in what plays as a school yard spat? Kavanagh, just last week proposed making "passive resistance" the most serious crime in Arizona just shy of a felony.
Carl Seel, notorious for his birther bills, along with David Burnell Smith (who was kicked out of the legislature for campaign finance violations during his 2004 primary election campaign) railed on the Independent Redistricting Commission and chairwoman Colleen Mathis.
Smith opened the discussion wondering incredulously if Kavanagh had received an audit report on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. Smith said that the additional funding should NOT be provided unless the the AIRC can prove where all of the money has gone.
NONE of these elected representatives of the people of Arizona seemed to have a clue that all money spent by any state agency is traceable and reports are EASILY available from the ADOA (Department of Administration) accounting system. And NONE of them referenced AT ALL that AIRC executive director Ray Bladine had provided a full accounting, seperate and specifically on request of House Speaker Andy Tobin.
The two actual adults in the floor debate, Reps. Tom Chabin (D-Flagstaff) and Minority Leader Chad Campbell made valiant efforts to bring the discussion back to rationality.
Nevertheless, Smith and Seel as well as Doris Goodale (R-Kingman) and Chester Crandell (R-LD5, Eastern Arizona) took the opportunity to rant for the benefit of their egos and for tea party voters. Kavanagh then made it clear that if the supplemental appropriation (now set for $700,000) is not provided, the AIRC will go to court and win in a "quick slam dunk."
For a wrap up of this situation, the Arizona Capitol Times' Evan Wyloge reported:
The Arizona House of Representatives today gave preliminary approval to a plan that would give the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission $700,000 to get through the rest of the fiscal year, after a series of costly court battles drained the commission’s $3.5 million in yearly operating money.
Though far less than the $1.1 million the AIRC requested, the $700,000 supplemental appropriation can still avert a lawsuit – if both legislative chambers approve it and Gov. Jan Brewer signs it by Wednesday.
The IRC has said for weeks that it is prepared to sue to force the Legislature to give it the money. Executive Director Ray Bladine said that the lawsuit would likely be filed if the funding isn’t approved by Wednesday.Bladine told the Arizona Eagletarian that the Commission would certainly need $863K to provide for operations through the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2012). But if the $700K is actually provided this week, he would keep the leash on his legal beagles and not file the lawsuit at this time.
On another significant issue before the Arizona Legislature, Gov. Brewer's Spoils System bill apparently advanced another step today. Jeremy Duda reports on it here.