Like a summer monsoon that barely whispers a warning before unleashing a downpour, the fight over the solidly Democratic, though culturally diverse, Legislative District 30 has erupted in recent weeks.
Fierce back-and-forth attacks between Democratic Sen. Robert Meza and his challenger, longtime Hispanic-community activist Raquel Téran, both Phoenix residents, have become a weekly occurrence and range from petty to severe.
Meza claims Téran has been illegally coordinating with unions, the Democratic Party and outside political groups, and even says one of her volunteers raised Meza’s sexuality while canvassing, which Meza said is completely inappropriate. Meza is openly gay.
Meanwhile Téran says Meza has harassed her volunteers. One Democratic activist, who doesn’t live in LD30 and who said she is not connected to Téran but prefers her in the race, has requested a probe into whether Meza has been illegally pocketing campaign cash over … Read More »
While the first round of campaign finance reports paints a limited picture of the closely watched primary race between former Sen. Russell Pearce and his Republican challenger, one thing is clear: Newcomer Bob Worsley is getting the hometown support, while the former Senate president is left wanting.
An inspection of contributions made to each from within the Southeast Valley district shows Worsley besting Pearce by a margin of 25-to-one. When all contributions are counted, Worsley holds a six-to-one margin.
Worsley has received $16,890 in individual and political committee contributions since announcing his candidacy in March of this year. Of the $16,655 that can be traced to the contributors’ address, $7,495, or about 45 percent, comes from inside LD25, while $9,160, or about 55 percent, comes from outside LD25, mostly from Gilbert, Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Meanwhile, Pearce received $2,585 in contributions between February and … Read More »
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 »
Though Jerry Lewis was cautious about saying exactly how important the Mormon church was to his campaign, the political newcomer’s upset win over Senate President Russell Pearce largely relied on a quiet, grassroots effort among Mesa’s faithful.
As the final results of the Nov. 8 recall election became clear, Tyler Montague, an integral campaign insider for Lewis, revealed how vital early support was among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Yes. I can finally say it. From the beginning, we went to stake presidents and bishops to get their support,” Montague said of high-ranking Mormon members.
“I heard someone call it the ‘Mormon Fall,’ and I think that totally fits,” he said, comparing the recall election to the mass protests in North Africa and the Middle East known as the “Arab Spring.”
Their approach: Offer a simple choice to the … Read More »
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 »
It was a Saturday gathering that started with a sizzling race for chairmanship of the Arizona Republican Party, climaxed with a bare majority for the winner, then ended with the smiles and sounds of unity.
But now comes the hard part: the charting of the future of a party apparatus that boasts of electoral victories, but falls short in fundraising.
And with Tom Morrissey — late entrant in the race for the chairmanship, former U.S. marshal, Tea Party activist — now in charge of the state party, questions abound as to whether Republicans can overcome the growing can’t-be-too-far-right mood that mocks moderates and scares off big-money contributors.
A Tea Party chairman might encourage the continuation of diverting campaign money around the party structure and cause moderate Republicans to be boxed out of the party campaign machine in favor of more rigid Tea Party … Read More »