Is it me or do the Republicans in Arizona care more about staying in a super majority in the state legislature than they do about governing for all? I know, it is kind of silly question, but one still needs to ask it.
My friend over at The Arizona Eagletarian has been reporting on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee and their attempts to fulfill the mandate of the Arizona voters. The voters of Arizona approved a constitutional amendment that took redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and placed in the hands of an “independent” commission. The voters’ goal was that this commission would create competitive legislative and congressional districts that protected neither Democrats nor Republicans.
But the UC/TF and “tea party” movement members of the Republican Party appear to see the AIRC as a threat to the newly won Republican super majority, if not the majority they have enjoyed for over 40 years. They have focused their attacks onto the chairwoman who is the only independent on the commission. They claim that because her husband worked as a consultant for Democrats (forgetting that he had also worked for Republicans), that she was really a secret Democrat.
They have also raised issue with the fact that the commission chose a mapping consultant that has worked with Democratic and liberal groups, most notably the Obama 2008 campaign. Never mind that the Republicans on the commission rated the chosen consultant the highest, even if they didn’t vote for it.
The UC/TF and “tea party” is also making efforts to call a special session of the legislature to remove the chairperson for being a secret Democrat and also to place on the 2012 ballot an effort to return redistricting to the legislature. Add to this that UC/TF Republican state Attorney General Tom Horne has launched an “investigation” into the actions of the AIRC. All of this of course is to discredit the AIRC in the eyes of public.
All of this is bullshit of course. Their true intention is not to make the AIRC “fair” and “transparent”. No, their true intention is to eliminate the AIRC and turn redistricting back over to the legislature in order to preserve the Republican majority and super majority. Their greatest fear is that if the AIRC creates truly competitive districts that meet the standards of the Voting Rights Act that Democrats will gain control of the legislature and reverse the damage done to the state by decades of UC/TF Republican rule.
Their fear is not without basis and that’s why they are working so hard to preserve their super majority against the will of the voters.