Friday, April 28, 2017

AZ Independent Redistricting Commission votes to end its work for this decade

This afternoon, following news that the Leach plaintiffs will decline to appeal the summary judgment Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman granted the Independent Redistricting Commission in March, the five commissioners voted unanimously to end the work of this decade's Congressional and legislative redistricting.

In his ruling, Brodman had granted the AIRC attorney fees in the approximate amount of $18,000. That generally is not done when there appears to be a reasonable basis for the litigation in the first place. The Arizona Eagletarian has consistently indicated, since the suit was first filed five years ago, that it was frivolous and a fool hardy waste of taxpayer funds. Of course, the AIRC had to defend itself and its work, but the expenditure of state general funds would have been spared if the plaintiffs hadn't proceeded with the complaint. The offer to forgo the appeal reportedly was contingent on AIRC voting to decline enforcement of that $18k judgment.

Two members of the plaintiff group, are elected state lawmakers, both of whom also serve on appropriations committees: Vendon (Vince) Leach and (House Approps chairman) Don Shooter. Those two knew all along that they were causing taxpayer funds to be spent for a lost cause, but I'm confident neither of them will take responsibility for such a foolish endeavor.

This final resolution of the Leach case means there are no more legal challenges pending against either the maps or the commission as a whole or individual members. Therefore, there is no longer a need to keep a commission office open. Staff will box up all documents and send them to State Archives for posterity.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission to meet April 28

Late this evening, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission issued notice (1) that on April 28 (Friday) at 1:30pm MST, it will meet.

On March 13, in Maricopa County Superior Court, the AIRC won summary judgment in Leach v AIRC, which challenged Congressional district maps claiming that proper procedures were not followed when developing that map.

Appeal of the summary judgment seemed unlikely at that time. If there is no appeal, the work of this current commission will be finished and new commissioners will be selected in 2021.

However, the agenda for Friday's meeting suggests state Rep. Vendon Leach (R-Saddlebrook) and his fellow plaintiffs may have found funding (Koch brothers?) for continued litigation -- forcing the state general fund to continue funding the AIRC and its defense of the current Congressional districts (which include three districts that either political party could have a realistic chance to win in each election).

What possibly -- outside of forcing complete annihilation of the will of Arizona voters -- could plaintiff/appellants expect to accomplish with such an appeal? Ultimately, it seems the target is elimination of any and all competitive Arizona districts in the US House of Representatives.

I will update this post with any additional information that may come my way.


The primary issue to be addressed on Friday appears to be this item:

Legal briefing, discussion and possible action relating to pending litigation in Leach v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. CV 2012-007344. The Commission may vote to go into executive session, which will not be open to the public, for the purpose of obtaining legal advice and providing directions to counsel. (A.R.S. §38-431.03(A) (3) and (4)). (Estimated Time 30 minutes)


(1) The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is announcing a meeting.
April 28, 2017
4000 N. Central Avenue Suite #1150
Phoenix, AZ 85012
1:30 PM
This meeting will NOT be streamed online (No live meeting)
Agenda Info