Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Redistricting -- Auditor General, Special Audit Report released

On the first business day of September 2012, Tuesday the 4th, by the way, Arizona Auditor General Debra K. Davenport issued her final report on the audit she was ordered by the GOP supermajority on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and GOP leadership of both chambers to conduct.

The full audit report is 38 pages long, with a two page highlights (or executive summary) document also posted.

The purpose, as state at the beginning of the full report:
The Auditor General is appointed by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, a bipartisan committee composed of five senators and five representatives. Her mission is to provide independent and impartial information and specific recommendations to improve the operations of state and local government entities. To this end, she provides financial audits and accounting services to the State and political subdivisions, investigates possible misuse of public monies, and conducts performance audits of school districts, state agencies, and the programs they administer.
The Auditor General's conclusion (from the highlights):

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (Commission) is established by the State Constitution to create congressional and legislative districts every 10 years. This special audit focused on all paid and accrued expenditures the Commission incurred during fiscal years 2011 and 2012, including a description of and the purpose for professional and outside services, travel, other operating expenses, capital equipment, and noncapital equipment. The Office of the Auditor General does not make any recommendations in this report. (emphasis mine)

In other words, after several thorough examinations (not only by the Auditor General), NOBODY found ANY impropriety in the administration of the financial affairs of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission as conducted from when members were sworn in (February 2011) until the end of the period examined by the auditors.

Hence, all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Republican members of the Arizona House and Senate was NOTHING but a dog and pony show. I expect that any shenanigans those Republican members had hoped to have stirring up controversy before the 2012 general election have gone up in smoke. Smoke coming out of their ears, no doubt.

Congratulations are in order for AIRC staff, especially executive director Ray Bladine and deputy executive director Kristina Gomez, as well as the five members of the commission, especially Colleen Coyle Mathis.

Of course, this is still not the end of the process. Several lawsuits are still in the works and must wind their way up through appeals as far as the non-prevailing side dares to take them. There may be additional news on that front later this week.

As always, I will keep you posted as I learn more.

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