Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cantelme took Judge Wake's bait; #Machiavellian Democracy

In the April 29 judgment entered by the three-judge panel in Harris v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Judge Neil Wake dissented from the majority opinion and wrote up a doozy of a political harangue. It was obvious that Judges Clifton and Silver made thorough legal arguments justifying the ruling. Wake, who had seemed during the trial to be asking highly partisan questions, wrote up an opinion that was light on the legal justification and heavy on partisan politics.

Lead attorney for Harris and his gang, David Cantelme, took the bait. Last week, Cantelme filed notice of appeal to the Supreme Court.
Notice is given that plaintiffs Wesley W. Harris, LaMont E. Andrews, Cynthia L. Biggs [Senate President Andy Biggshot's wife], Lynne F. Breyer, Beth K. Hallgren, Lina Hatch, Terry L. Hill, Joyce M. Hill, Paula J. Linker, Karen M. MacKean, and Sherese L. Steffens appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States from the final judgment entered in this action on April 29, 2014. This appeal is taken pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1253 and 28 U.S.C. § 2101(b).
I don't know how long Cantelme has before he is required to file his briefs, but I will certainly keep you posted. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get Cantelme to disclose who is funding this appeal?

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There's been plenty of gnashing of teeth today over the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby contraception and the Harris (not the same Harris as in the AIRC redistricting case) ruling attacking unions. By the way, Hobby Lobby, while claiming religious freedom as the basis to deny benefits to female employees, has been outed as having major investments in its retirement funds in companies that produce contraceptive and abortion related drugs and medical devices.

By the way, the message from most corporate media outlets is doom for Liberal causes. But that's not how I see it. First, Forbes and Mother Jones are, today, running stories shining light on Hobby Lobby and its contradictory religious beliefs and practices. This begins to approach the original thinking of the Founders behind the First Amendment's freedom of the press clause.

#MachiavellianDemocracy is the concept of holding the ruling elite accountable to the people. We're a long way from Lincoln's declaration that "government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

However, in Arizona, there is widespread acknowledgment, except obviously by the two themselves and those whose power depends on them, that (as Robert Robb puts it),

Meanwhile, current Republican officeholders – Attorney General Tom Horne and Superintendent John Huppenthal – are in free fall.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Well, to be fair, it's not necessarily obvious to everybody. But even to many people outside of political junkies in Arizona, it seems to be a plainly apparent fact.

The question must be asked, WHY are they in free fall? Besides the obvious, because they've done dumb and corrupt things, that is. Thence, why does anyone in Arizona actually KNOW that Horne and Huppenthal have been doing stupid stuff?

In Huppenthal's case, there's no question that Blog for Arizona regular blogger Bob Lord, following his curiosity and his persistent inquiry, figured it out and reported it. The other Blog for Arizona regulars (and veterans, like David Safier at Tucson Weekly) piled on.

I dare anyone to make and back up a claim that corporate media (well, except maybe the Phoenix New Times) would or could have broken that story.

In Tom Horne's case, we've known from the start of his term at the beginning of 2011 that Horne was dirty. Corporate media, in deference to Republicans in Arizona, didn't hammer Horne as much as they could and perhaps should have even based solely on his campaign shenanigans from 2010.

But once former Horne staffer Sarah Beattie realized the extent of the corruption in which she found herself, she found the right advocate in Tom Ryan.

Ryan packaged the situation quite nicely in a way that Horne has found it extremely difficult, no matter how accomplished he is at slipping out of tight spots, to get out of this one.

My point: egalitarian media has been crucial to getting the word out. And getting that word out, Republican oppression in Arizona is in decline.

In a facebook discussion today, an old friend was among many expressing the concern that so many voters seem to not care about the political situation these days. Here's what I said in reply,

In general, throughout history, "the people" have had significant tolerance of bullshit done by the ruling elite.
However, when oppression becomes obvious, that tolerance goes out the window.
#MachiavellianDemocracy is about holding ruling elites accountable to the people. We've seen glimpses and glimmers of it over the last year here in Arizona. Granted the right-wing populist movement co-opted by the Koch's has proven to be less than efficacious, but they do respond to what they perceive as oppression.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, goes beyond just voting. It also includes pointing out, with confidence, what and how these latest moves by the right-wing SCOTUS is oppression.
It might be easy to think there is no chance for genuine relief from this oppression. That's the message corporate media ALWAYS sets forth. Corporate media doesn't reflect what really is going on.
American history, from inception through today, is FILLED with progressive change. WE must see to it that this progression continues.

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