Friday, November 25, 2011

Debunking the "Forced" Primary Myth

The biggest common myth being thrown around during the AIRC (Arizona INDEPENDENT Redistricting Commission) drama is that the AIRC has (willfully) forced first term Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ 3rd) and Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ 5th) into a primary battle in 2012.  This is the meme that the Arizona Republican Party, their “tea party” movement adherents and the Arizona Republic would like you to believe.  This dovetails nicely with the meme that the AIRC is being unfair to Republicans by (in the draft redistricting maps) only creating 4 “safe” districts for Republicans, the exact same number of “safe” districts they currently hold.

The problem with this myth that the AIRC is forcing two Republican congressmen to face off in a primary is twofold:

1.            In the eyes of the AIRC, by mandate of the voters, the Arizona 3rd and 5th Congressional districts ceased to exist as they are currently mapped the day the volunteer members of the AIRC took their positions.  In point of fact, the members are specifically forbidden to consider where a potential candidate lives.

2.            The United States Constitution provides no requirement that a person running for a particular congressional district has to reside in that district.  This means that a candidate for congress chooses which congressional district they want to run in, even they don’t live in that district.

Neither Congressman Quayle nor Congressman Scweikert is required to run against the other in a primary in any reformulated district.  They just both (at least publicly) desire to run in a district that includes north Scottsdale, a very affluent area.  Currently, only Congressman Schweikert currently represents all of Scottsdale as part of the Arizona 5th Congressional District, including all of north Scottsdale.  Both candidates (as all incumbents, I would presume) want a “safe” district to run in.  Under the draft district map approved by the AIRC, all of the 3rd CD and parts of the 5th CD, including Scottsdale, would become the new 6th CD.

The “new” 6th CD would become a fortress for Republicans and that is why both Congressman Quayle and Congressman Schweikert want to run in that district, as formulated under the AIRC draft map.  To give you an idea of how “safe” this proposed new district will be, just look at the current 3rd CD.  Even though Congressman Quayle’s Democratic opponent, John Hullburd, ran to the right of Mr. Quayle, Mr. Hullburd still lost.  Add in the very Republican northern areas of the current 5th CD and no Democrat will be able to win the district, which is a shame, because I live in the current 3rd CD and what is drafted to be the new 6th CD.

Neither Congressman Quayle nor Congressman Schweikert wants to run on substance.  In fact, neither of them actually want to “run” an election campaign as they would both rather be assured a victory, preferably an easy one.  They just want to run in separate “safe” districts and are more than happy to demonize the AIRC for not “giving” them what they want.  Too bad only bloggers, such as myself, are pointing out the myth that the AIRC is somehow “forcing” Congressman Quayle and Congressman Schweikert to run against each other in a primary.

1 comment:

  1. Back in the day we had newspapers and television news, with reporters and news announcers. Remember that? The republicans found that to be a problem. They had a problem getting elected when newspapers and TV exposed their lies and their cheats. Now we rely on bloggers. Keep up the good work PJ.


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