Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beating Back the Coup: No Time For Rejoicing

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court beat back an attempted coup of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission by Governor Janice Brewer, the Arizona Senate Republicans as well as Republican Congressmen Ben Quayle and David Schweikert.  As much as we who want competitive legislative and congressional districts wish to rejoice in this victory, we can’t.  The forces against us are well and secretly funded (FAIR Trust comes to mind) not to mention very motivated to preserve the status quo.  They have also gained an important ally: The Arizona Republic.

Those who want a permanent conservative Republican majority (and preferably a super-majority) in the Arizona Legislature and only conservative Republicans in Congress will go to any length to subvert the will of the voters.  As we saw before the Supreme Court reinstated AIRC Chairwoman Colleen Mathis, the conservative forces in this state were trying to pervert the process of choosing her possible replacement.  We also have statements by Republican legislators calling for a referendum to be put on the ballot in time for the Republican primary, where only registered Republicans can vote, that would put the redistricting process back into the grimy hands of the Republican dominated legislature.  Plus, we have the rumblings coming from Governor Brewer’s office that she may attempt to remove Chairwoman Mathis again this week.

The biggest threat to the conservative Republican stranglehold on Arizona is competitive districts.  That is why they are being subversive, devious and totally willing to fuck over the Arizona voters.  They will meet behind closed doors and plot their strategies all the while publicly condemning closed door meetings.  They will post photos of two people walking into a building in Tucson and falsely claim it is the Chairwoman of the AIRC and her “Democratic activist” husband (who by the way is a registered Republican) going to meet Democratic Congressman Ra├║lGrijalva.  And yes, they will try to use the political process once more to remove Chairwoman Mathis and possibly even the two Democratic commissioners.

We cannot sit back and allow them to stage another coup.  We cannot sit back and allow them to continue to pervert and corrupt the redistricting process approved by the voters.  We must marshal our words and our actions to protect the AIRC.  I for one am working on a voter initiative to strengthen the AIRC by removing the Governor and the Arizona Senate completely from the redistricting equation.  Each body has been given the opportunity to work with the will of the voters and have failed miserably.  They have shown the voters were right in creating the AIRC but were misguided in allowing the legislature even a small part of the process.

No, we must stand strong.   We must ignore the false pleadings of the conservative Arizona Republic Editorial Board for a “cooling off period”.  We must make sure that “tea party” conservatives are not the only ones seen or heard at the upcoming meetings of the AIRC.  We must make sure that Governor Brewer, the Arizona Senate Republicans and both Congressman Quayle and Congressman Schweikert are held accountable for their conspiracy to subvert the will of the voters.  We must remain vigilant.  We must remain steadfast.  And we must remain ready to do what we legally can to preserve the AIRC and its mission.

For if we do not, the past few years will have seemed paradise compared to what will come under permanent conservative Republican rule in Arizona.


  1. Right on the mark !
    Leonard Clark

  2. Yes, the struggle is only beginning. The right wing will never back down, and they cannot be reasoned with. They never sleep, and they never, ever stay home during an election. They must be defeated. If not by us, then by who? If not now, then when?

  3. Democracy is a constant struggle.


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