The events of the past week by Gov. Brewer and the Repubs in the Senate in removing the Chairperson Colleen Mathis was political travesty of the most primitive kind. It jeopardizes the entire "independence" of the process. The very reason that Prop. 106 authorizing the Commission was passed by the voters in 2000 in the first place was to prevent elected politicians from mucking around with redistricting. Recent editorials statewide have been extremely critical. Local LTEs have been equally potent; see David Fitzsimmons article today Nov.5, really a classic analysis. This maneuver is a classic replay of the old adage: "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". There is a mandatory need to replace all the Repub Senators next year; I think that the one-third of the voters who are independents who are watching this circus will hold the key for that.
I attended the IRC meeting in Marana last evening. By a huge majority, the speakers said their piece about the maps and then launched into devastating criticisms of this obvious political hatch job. The one Commissioner in attendance, Richard Stertz, had to listen to one after another of the speakers. He is a Republican member and likely supportive of Mathis' ouster, but he really got an earful. Brian Clymer, Sen. Paula Aboud, and Cheryl Cage were among the speakers, all offering intense criticism of the ouster.
Now is the time to flood the governor's office with phone calls (1-800-253-0883), the newspapers and alternative media with LTEs, and your friends and lists to fire up opposition to the situation. The best outcome would be two-fold: Sen. Russell Pierce is voted out of office; and the State Supreme Court announces that Brewer and the Repubs overstepped their authority (not to speak of the trumped up charges) and restores Ms. Mathis to the chairmanship. You can also submit your statement to the IRC at www.azredistricting.org.
Rick Graap. Chair, Clean Elections IOT