For the past several months the focus has been on the Arizona redistricting process. We held two seminars to assist individuals in creating their own redistricting maps for the legislative and Congressional districts. These when completed could be submitted to the AzRedistricting.com site for possible inclusion to the 5 member Commission which will decide the new lines. Their decision in turn goes to the U.S. Dept. of Justice for approval. One new Congressional district needs to be created (the 9th) which makes for an interesting and challenging exercise. We will work with Ken Clark, who is co-chair of the Arizona Competitive Districts Coalition directing the citizen input, and follow his advice regarding how we can monitor and/or help insure that the best maps are considered. Stay tuned.
A second effort is a lawsuit filed to eliminate the ballot measure SR 1025 which will otherwise appear next year and, if passed, would essentially kill the Clean Elections we now have in effect in Arizona and the city of Tucson. If the suit is not successful, then there will have to be a major effort to either offer an alternative or defeat SR 1025. You can access http://www.azadvocacy.org/ for further information.
Yet a third item is that the U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding the legality of the matching funds as defined in the Arizona Clean Elections law. This came about by a lawsuit filed to challenge that provision. Given the makeup of the court, it is assumed that they will find matching funds illegal and therefore a substitute proposal to circumvent that problem is already on the back burner. Access the above site for updates.
Finally, the Fair Elections Now bill has once again been submitted by Sen. Durbin at the federal level. Passage of this bill would mitigate markedly the impact of the river of money going into the pockets of the politicians and distorting the democratic process. Passage, of course, would be very difficult in that those in power like it the way it is, even if a Congressperson has to raise $1.000 a day for 2 years and a Senator $4,000 daily for 6. The estimate is that 1/3 or their time is spent on fund-raising; what a way to run a democracy.......crazy.
Rick Graap, chair, Tucson PDA Clean Elections IOT