Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, September 30, 2013

Redistricting update

Just days after The Hubris... er, Honorable Andy Tobin went on record declaring his attitude toward the voters of Arizona, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission had to send a letter to all attorneys now under contract saying that they must cease all work.
I regret to inform you that at the present time we do not have a sufficient appropriation to pay for additional legal services. Please stop all work as of September 30, 2013. If you continue to work on items in your approved contract agreement, you will be assuming the risk that in the future the Legislature will provide an appropriation to fund additional legal services. [...]
Arizona law is clear that a state employee cannot authorize payments for which there is not an appropriation. (A.R.S. §1-254)
By the way, on the subject of Andy Tobin's hubris, it's SO nice to know that the Capitol Times/Yellow Sheet Report(ers) read the Arizona Eagletarian. Of course, when I get insight from them, I tell you that is where I got it (provide the citation).

Nevertheless, after reading on this website that Tobin's intent in the lawsuit seeking to have the AIRC declared unconstitutional could only be to get the issue considered by the Supreme Court (the US Supreme Court that is), they called my source, Loyola law Prof. Justin Leavitt. Of course, I'm thankful that they validated exactly what I posted last week.

I'm still waiting for the Arizona Republic to publish numbers on how much money the legislature has wasted (spent) on litigation challenging the Will of the People of Arizona on redistricting in this cycle (since 2010).

In the meantime, since the state constitution demands the legislature fund the AIRC, including when it must defend its work in court, one might wonder how this particular conundrum might blow up on Tobin, Senate Pres. Andy Biggs and their Appropriations chairs (Sen. Don "shoot 'em up" Shooter and Rep. John Kavanagh).

Since John reads this blog, maybe he'll comment.


  1. They will be funded but the preference is to see if they can be given more latitude to spend their other funds to avoid the inconvenience of a special session. In addition, they are burning through their money fast and there is concern that we have so little oversight.
    State Rep. John Kavanagh

  2. Seriously, John? You don't know WHY they are "burning through their money fast?"
    1) The Arizona Legislature SUED them.
    2) Tea Party Republicans led by Wes Harris SUED them.
    3) A different bunch of Tea Party Republicans, including Shooter and the wife of Andy Biggs SUED them.
    4) One of the Republican Commissioners wanted to stay on as a defendant in the Leach case (see item 3); that commissioner's counsel submitted invoice(s) for a whole lot more time, money and scope of service than he had been authorized by the commission.

    The suit in item 1 (above) is a SLAM DUNK loss for your side and you guys KNOW it. How is it that you do NOT have oversight on THAT? I can already tell you what to expect Tobin and Biggs to do when the decision comes down on from the three-judge panel in US District Court. Can you say, "Hello Justices Scalia and Thomas. Would you please help us overturn the will of the People of Arizona?"

  3. I am not denying the existence of the extra expense and they will be funded. However, when spending is high, oversight is required. In this case, oversight is tricky because the funders are at odds with the "fundees." However, our constitutional mandate to provide adequate funds is not a blank check and we still have some budgetary responsibilities.

  4. Oversight's not so tricky. Has the AIRC not been forthcoming with answers to whatever questions you, JLBC or Biggs has posed to them?

    I'd love for you to expound on how the constitutional mandate is "not a blank check" and exactly how your budgetary responsibilities (oversight) is NOT a conflict of interest.

  5. To answer your questions:
    1. They have not been.
    2. The mandate is to fund adequately not unquestionably.
    3. It is a constitutionally imposed conflict of interest. If the drafters of the redistricting constitutional amendment wanted to avoid a conflict of interest, they could have authorized the courts to appropriate the funds but they did not.

    1. 1) I don't believe you on your claim regarding AIRC being forthcoming. Your own auditors examined their records in exquisite detail. That examination ended up being an enormous waste of taxpayer money.
      2) That's just rationalization for you getting to mess with the AIRC. Again, if you don't like the amount of money they have to spend, get your partisan interests to withdraw the lawsuits. Otherwise, your claims are nothing but bluster.
      3) Point taken.

    2. I will score 1 out of 3 with a partisan like you as a stunning victory.

    3. LOL. Perhaps therein lies the problem. The framework that you view these interactions as a contest to be won rather than an exchange of ideas from which both could possibly gain. Don't worry, I won't set my expectations too high but do appreciate that you read the blog anyway.

    4. By the way, John, how forthcoming have YOU been with the public about disclosing amount of taxpayer funds the legislature has spent fighting INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING?