The race to fill the open congressional seat in Arizona’s sprawling 1st Congressional District has become an expensive one, with nearly all of the money coming from elsewhere.
Democratic former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has raised more than $1.3 million since launching her campaign to regain the seat she lost in 2010.
And Republican Jonathan Paton has collected $543,000.
But a closer inspection of their campaign finance reports reveals that only a small slice of their swollen war chests has come from within the district those candidates hope to represent.
Of the campaigns’ itemized contributions, which track those greater than $200, only 1 percent of Paton’s contributions — and only 10 percent of Kirkpatrick’s — comes from inside the expansive rural district.
The low median income in CD1, particularly among the Native American communities that comprise a quarter of the district’s population — and the fact … 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 »
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 »