In running for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives, Townsend used Clean Elections funding but successfully wormed her way out of a required public debate with other candidates in legislative district 16 in Gilbert. Her deft maneuvering to avoid demonstrating just how incoherent she can be enabled her to win election.
It's no wonder really, as the Republican voter registration advantage in the East Valley district is overwhelming. (Republicans have 40.0 percent, Independents 37.0 percent, Democrats 22.3 percent, with the rest Libertarian, Green or Americans Elect party registered voters)
It's difficult for me to believe she is able to construct a coherent argument or even make a clear statement when speaking. However, a tea potter from way back, she obviously can read from a script (probably furnished by Constantin Querard). Nevertheless Townsend has succeeded in making it clear she is not a fan of independent redistricting.
So, it came as no surprise when I learned Thursday that, during floor debate on the supplemental appropriation bill for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, she made an outrageous and clearly false claim. Townsend states her purpose as being to call attention to the IRC's history of "misappropriations of funds." She goes on,
I would also like to mention that they had to hire a second mapping consultant to teach the first mapping consultant on how to be mapping consultant...It's blatantly obvious that Townsend, when she's not reading from a script during this debate, puts words together that only loosely relate to the situation she is trying to describe. The bottom line, however, is that her claim about hiring a second mapping consultant, etc. is a bald-faced lie. That's beyond the first brazen misrepresentation (about misappropriation of funds).
On September 4, 2012, Debra K. Davenport, Auditor General for the State of Arizona, issued her final report on a full examination of the financial records of the AIRC.
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 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)Also from the Arizona Eagletarian on September 5, 2012:
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.Had Townsend continued to ramble on, another member of the House may have rightfully called a Point of Order to put an end to her fabricated nonsense. But since she kept it to roughly two minutes, she got away with it. As a matter of rule, members of the House are not allowed to even suggest a colleague is misrepresenting the truth, or otherwise disparage each other.
Thankfully, this was all recorded.
Tragically, without massive increases in the number of Democratic voters in LD16, the only way Townsend will be ousted is if GOP activists call her on her bullshit enough and put up a credible candidate to beat her in a primary election.
In the meantime, this information can and should be used to fire up those voters. We will need them in order to win statewide offices up for election in 2014.