Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Redistricting -- Legislative Map ok'd by Feds UPDATED 10:50pm MST 4-26-12

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission received notice today from Assistant (federal) Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, civil rights division chief that he has precleared the new legislative district maps.
The Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the specified change. However, we note that Section 5 expressly provides that the failure of the Attorney General to object does not bar subsequent litigation to enjoin the enforcement of the change.  
Of course, the disclaimer is standard language. We already know that David Cantelme, representing UNfair Trust, has signaled the possibility that the group which represents Arizona's incumbent GOP Congressional delegation and GOP legislative leadership will initiate a challenge to one or the other or both maps developed by the AIRC.

Nevertheless, both (Congressional and legislative district) maps are now official until or unless a court of competent jurisdiction declares otherwise.

This should also clear the way for Secretary of State Ken Bennett as well as the Citizens Clean Election Commission to use the new legislative district lines for all purposes related to the 2012 election. One such change -- to the online donation system, E-Qual -- should soon allow registered voters to make $5 Clean Elections qualifying contributions to legislative candidates for the new districts.

UPDATED 10:50pm MST 4-26-12

One has to hand it to Andy Tobin. His contempt for the will of the voters of Arizona is dramatically obvious and he's apparently never tried to hide it. However, it is also just as dramatically easy to read his true intentions.

In a written statement quoted by the Arizona Capitol Times' Yellow Sheet Report TODAY, Tobin telegraphed once again the basis for a lawsuit he would like to initiate to challenge the newly precleared legislative district maps.
"The IRC and the Obama Administration also owe the Hispanic Community an explanation and an apology. They should openly announce why they saw it necessary to shamelessly mute the voices of Arizona’s Hispanic voters."
Tobin in a written statement about the DOJ approval of the IRC legislative map.
Yellow Sheet Report, 4/26/12
For close to a year now, we have been privy to the strategy UNfair Trust has tried to implement to ensure another decade of GOP supermajority in the Arizona Legislature. David Cantelme, of course, flew off the handle at me in July at the AIRC first round public hearing in Mesa claiming I wanted to deprive Arizona's Hispanic voters their proper voice in development of public policy. He apparently has been talking about the strategy, which amounts to packing as many Hispanic voters into as few districts as possible since last Spring.

The idea, of course, is that Hispanics vote more often for Democratic candidates than they do for Republicans.

Tobin must be tremendously disappointed that Richard Miranda is no longer in the House. Miranda (formerly D-LD13) testified before the AIRC on multiple occasions asking that Voting Rights Districts include at least 70 percent Hispanic Voting Age Population.

Conservative pundits, including the Arizona Republic's Bob Robb, have declared that the reason the AIRC could not establish more districts with competitive balance between Democratic and Republican registered voters was due to Voting Rights Act considerations. They say that after ensuring minority voting strength in the Voting Rights Act districts, too few Democratic voters remain to make the rest of the districts competitive. That makes the other districts overwhelmingly Republican. Whether that's how it plays out or not is yet to be seen.  

Both Richard Miranda and David Cantelme testified before the AIRC on September 23, 2011. The official transcript of that meeting is here. Miranda presented a set of proposed (recommended) maps that showed as much as 71 percent HVAP (Hispanic Voting Age Population). Miranda pretty much implied, if not explicitly stated that he believed keeping that voting strength was necessary (his testimony and that of Cantelme saying he supported Miranda's proposal are found on pages 4 - 30 in the linked transcript) to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

How in God's name do these people actually think ANYONE will believe either Tobin or Cantelme are actually concerned about Arizona's Hispanic population having a significant voice in public policy development in the state legislature?

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