The old switcheroo.
Just when it seemed like the once-a-decade redistricting process was headed toward its conclusion, a truism in Arizona politics was reaffirmed Friday: Expect the unexpected.
For months, Republicans have railed against the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, saying its members created maps based on a predetermined outcome that gives more influence to Democrats. Nonetheless, the redistricting commission adopted a final set of maps and has been preparing them for U.S. Justice Department approval.
The embers of the Republicans’ spite still glowed, but the war had mostly turned cold – so it seemed.
No one knew that Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin had been drawing his own redistricting plan behind closed doors. And just as few would have predicted that Tobin would suddenly unveil his maps Friday and announce his intention to send Arizona voters to the ballot for an $8.3 million special … Read More »
After a turbulent remapping process, politicos evaluate new landscape
After nearly 18 hours of marathon meetings over two days, the five volunteers tasked with redrawing Arizona’s political boundaries cast their votes on a new legislative map and marked the end of one of the most tumultuous political battles the state has ever seen.
The fight surrounding the Independent Redistricting Commission and its work included allegations of bid-rigging, conspiracy and back-room shenanigans, and ultimately led the governor and the Senate to take the unprecedented step of removing the commission’s chairwoman — only to see the Arizona Supreme Court reverse the move days later.
The conclusion of the redistricting process, shortly after 9 p.m. on Dec. 20, marks the beginning of another type of political fight, however, as candidates can now pull the trigger on campaign plans for 2012.
After holding their collective breaths over the … Read More »
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is considering a handful of changes to its legislative map, including proposals that would add another competitive district.
At just about every meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, at least one of several attorneys representing a group called FAIR Trust sits among the audience.
They take notes, make public recommendations to the commission and occasionally talk privately with commissioners.
FAIR Trust’s attorneys say they want to help the commission adhere to the legal requirements that govern the high-stakes, once-in-a-decade political remapping process, and the group’s name suggests it is interested in fairness.
But what FAIR Trust’s attorneys refuse to say is that they’re actually representing a group of incumbent Republicans from Arizona’s congressional delegation and the state Legislature.
The legal arguments FAIR Trust makes aren’t presented to the redistricting commission as serving the interests of those politicians, but the recommendations they’ve made would create safe districts for the four Republican members of Congress who will seek re-election in 2012: U.S. Reps. … Read More »
The Independent Redistricting Commission begins its work following release of the 2010 census count for Arizona. Under the census, the state gets one more congressional district, for a total of nine.
(Evan Wyloge at 19:45)
– From Arizona Week
Placing the “I” word in front of Redistricting Commission doesn’t mean it’s really independent.
And the five commissioners — Democrats Linda McNulty and José Herrera, Republicans Richard Stertz and Scott Freeman and independent chairwoman Colleen Mathis — who soon will begin redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional district boundaries, are about to find out that politics, like desert sand in the summer winds, infiltrates everything, no matter what adjective modifies their group.
Politics, of course, is mobilization and persuasion, the handshakes, backslaps and wagging fingers in the opponent’s face. But the seeds of politics are in the unlikeliest of places: on a piece of paper. For it is the mission of the IRC, written in the Arizona Constitution, to satisfy six standards of electoral theory, and two of them are on a collision course: “communities of interest” and “competitive districts.”
Already, Hispanic activists … Read More »