Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, May 14, 2012

Redistricting and CD9 Dem primary update

Since we last met...

Well, seriously, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is still working on responses to the two lawsuits recently filed by the loyal opposition (to INDEPENDENT redistricting). The first deadline for response is May 21, so briefs in response should be filed in both federal and state court next week.

AIRC exec director Ray Bladine tells me that the legislature approved a Fiscal Year 2013 (begins July 1, 2012) appropriation of $1.45 million and that those funds will be available before the end of the current fiscal year. That should take the pressure off of the Commission for the short term. However, with the two new lawsuits, the Open Meeting matter still pending in the Arizona Court of Appeals, the probability is very high that the GOP supermajority in the legislature will file yet another suit to completely challenge the right of the voters to have established the AIRC in the first place. I have to figure even the FY 2013 money will be used up quickly.

AIRC staff will meet with state auditors again this week. Bladine says the auditors have told him they want to issue their report on the AIRC on or shortly after July 1.

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It became blatantly obvious to me last week, that there must be a reason why Cherny's campaign has been focused on throwing mud instead of defining their candidate.

Perhaps having me take about ten days off from writing about the Congressional District 9 Democratic primary will give Andrei Cherny the opportunity to refocus his campaign on telling voters why they should bother considering a vote for him, instead of continuing to whine about perceived attacks from his opponents.

All three Democratic contenders appeared last Tuesday at the LD26 (Tempe) Democrats meeting to make a pitch for support. David Schapira and Kyrsten Sinema were (and are) able to demonstrate successful political office experience. Both have served in the Arizona Legislature and have worked hard to pass important legislation working in a hostile (to Democrats) environment.

Cherny, on the other hand, lost a California legislative race ten years ago, lost (but put up a good showing) in the race for State Treasurer (here in Arizona) in 2010 and beat Rodney Glassman out for chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party in January 2011. Rodney Glassman was hardly a solid competitor but Cherny and his supporters had to bend some rules to get him even considered. So, there are issues yet to be explored with that situation. Not the least of which is that he abandoned ship, so to speak, without having prepared the state party organization to field enough strong candidates to run for seats in the Arizona House and Senate. Leaving Republicans to win by default only prolongs the outrageous tide of right-wing and ALEC-related public policy that we've experienced for the last two years at the State Capitol.

The bottom line, in my view, for Cherny in this race is for him to show that he can do more than complain about people criticizing him on Twitter. Can Cherny make a case for himself?

During the LD26 meeting last Tuesday, Cherny was met with some not so friendly questioning. One of those people asking him difficult questions works as a public defender. So, I figure she pretty well knows how to cut through BS. Then I also asked Cherny about his political accomplishments. He had a difficult time coming up with any.

I mention this because late last week, Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post wrote about how we know very little about the grown up Mitt Romney.


But a key reason is that people know so little about the grown-up Mitt Romney. And that, in good measure, is Romney's fault.
First, his primary campaign was predicated not on touting himself or the details of his business and government accomplishments. Instead, it was built on dropping bombs on a series of hapless GOP foes.
His strategy for the general election is pretty much the same: attack. Now, it is to attack the president for every real and perceived weakness in the American economy. Romney wants to talk about joblessness, underwater mortgages, foreclosures. He wants to talk about himself solely as a successful businessman.
Romney has several reasons for not wanting to dwell on his full narrative. They include a natural reticence, concerns about the salability of Mormonism, a desire to keep the focus on Barack Obama, and a fear that to talk about his life would be to dwell on his personal wealth and family connections. (emphasis added)

I am NOT suggesting Andrei Cherny is anything like Mitt Romney. In contrast, I AM saying Cherny's campaign has started out like Romney's. But Sinema and Schapira are NOT hapless foes.

Cherny best start treating the voters of CD-9 like they've got more sense than to fall for his "look over there (and not at me)..." strategy. This race may not be won by the candidate with the most cash.

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By the way, tomorrow, May 15, Progressive Democrats of America (Phoenix chapter) will meet at the Spaghetti Factory on North Central Ave at 6:30pm. On the agenda, consideration of whether to endorse either Kyrsten Sinema or David Schapira in the CD9 primary. PDA says Cherny did not seek its endorsement.

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