Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Arizona Primary reflections; Redistricting

Brief update on last night's post of the SCOTUS appeal brief filed by the Harris plaintiffs. The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has 30 days to respond to the brief, aka the Jurisdictional Statement, unless the AIRC requests an extension which would make it 60 days. After the AIRC files its reply brief, the plaintiffs then have 14 days, as I currently understand it, to respond to that, which would then be the final item filed by the parties in this lawsuit.


As to last night's election results, my first order of business is to congratulate and rejoice in some key victories for the good guys. In Tempe, visionary community leaders Lauren Kuby and David Schapira garnered enough votes -- in the 7-way primary for three seats -- to win outright. In other words, the next step is swearing in rather than appearing on the November ballot for a run off. The winner of the remaining seat will be determined in November.

Tempe voters also amended the city charter to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Ken Clark also won his LD24 House Democratic primary and will head to the general election along with incumbent Lela Alston to face off against Republican Lei Lani Cortez. LD24 leans strongly Democratic. Clark handily defeated former firefighter Richard Bauer.

Clark's victory demonstrates the concept that organized people present a formidable foe against organized money, illustrated below.

Alas, not all key races turned out as well as they should have. Right now it looks like Catherine Miranda, clearly a tool for Arizona Public Service and Dominionist Cathi Herrod, defeated Aaron Marquez. Marquez would not be nearly as encumbered by obligation to special interests as Miranda.

Too close to call, the LD29 senate primary between Martin Quezada and Lydia Hernandez appears headed for an automatic recount as they are now separated by only 36 votes.

Another ray of sunshine, sort of, comes from the fact that each of the Republican candidates this year who voted in favor of the Medicaid restoration bill in 2013 staved off more conservative (Tea Party) candidates they faced yesterday. I say "sort of" because one of them is state Rep. Jeff Dial (running this year for senate in LD18). Dial is pretty close to the top of the list when it comes to being bought off by lobbyists.

Bottom line is that we've made some progress, but there's still plenty that needs to be done to rid Arizona of the influence of Big (and Dark) Money.

Also in the category of EVERY VOTE COUNTS, right now Republican primaries in LD15 and LD28 are extremely close. In LD15, Rep. Heather Carter won re-election to the House convincingly (no Democratic candidates ran in that district, so the primary decides who will serve in the 52nd Legislature) but fellow incumbent John Allen holds a 9-vote lead over birther David Burnell Smith.

In LD28, former Paradise Valley Councilwoman Mary Hamway holds a mere 7-vote lead over Shawna Bolick (wife of Goldwater Institute lawyer Clint Bolick). Bolick is a strong advocate for undermining public education (she characterizes it as "parental choice").

All of these races have and will impact the tone and flavor at the legislature in 2015. Some other key races will not be decided until after the November election.

More to come in the next few days as we learn how the primary will officially shake out. Hopefully, the shakedown dance between lobbyists and lawmakers will not be the dominant theme in 2015.

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