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Excellent analysis!

As a resident of one of those heavily and weirdly gerrymandered districts, I whole heartedly agree with your analysis. Throw the Bums Out!!

The Dem Party's response is absolutely typical of what I've seen on the blogs and comments.

Republicans argue that the IRC violated the Constitution. Dems respond with, "Why are you so afraid of competitive districts?"

In fact, that's typical of how liberals respond in general when a constitutional issue arises. For example, a conservative might argue that Obamacare is unconstitutional. The liberal response is, "Why do you want people to go without health care?"

Mathis had one political contribution last year - to the person now chairing the Democratic Party. Kudos to Gov. Brewer for putting an end to this farce.

When I first saw the Congressional maps, my thoughts were the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) can't come to any other conclusion but to have maps that will result in at least a 6-3 Republican advantage. My unstated caveat was "If the commission follows the law (i.e. the six criterion)." As always, the devil is in the details. When you look at the details it is more than obvious the IRC failed to comply with three of the six criterion. They complied with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and population and have bent over backwards to create "competitive" districts. But while doing the bending they have broken the law by disregarding compactness and contiguousness, communities of interest, and respect for geographic and government boundaries. Creating "competitive" districts (which is the only conditional criterion) becomes problematic right from the get-go once you comply with the VRA. The VRA--by definition and by law--creates a non-competitive district--or two or three. Which thereby makes it impossible to create competitive districts elsewhere because the numbers don't work. Unless of course you break the law by disregarding communities of interest, compactness and contiguousness, and respect for geography and government boundaries. (The IRC continues the devil's work creating the Legislative districts.) Hence the problem the IRC has, which I stated months ago: The IRC cannot create maps that will do anything but give Republicans an at least 6-3 Congressional advantage. Unless, of course you break the law, which this IRC has done. But there are more problems with this IRC than the "final" product--the maps. It is quite apparent this IRC has violated open meeting laws and the state's procurement code, to name two. Throw the bums out! Or better yet, throw three of them in jail.

I agree that there are likely several serious violations here, but it seems like "substantial neglect of duty" and "gross misconduct" are an awfully high threshold to meet. Governor Brewer and the legislative leadership will need a bit more than ignoring open meeting laws and 'they put too much weight into competitiveness' to get over that high standard.

Ryan is partly right, and while open meeting laws are frequently violated in small ways, the IRC has such exceptional power that even a small abuse of that power means a great deal. No matter what they do, it's going to be "substantial."


The real agenda and the real law violation here has not even been pointed out. It is also the easiest to prove. The real agenda was to strip incumbency from as many Republicans as possible. Since the law explicitly requires the commission to ignore incumbency, a clear criminal violation has occurred. How can this be proved? First, do a statistical test. What is the probability that incumbency address was ignored? It should come in close to 50%. In fact, it will come in closer to zero. Then find out the group that programmed those lines and question them under oath. The complexity of this contrivance means that multiple people were involved in the detailed calculations necessary to produce such a result as what happened.

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