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I am not so certain the districts are part of the "Manner" how elections are held. No question that the IRC is not part of the legislature.

Greg, You wrote, "After all, I'd like to see a little more media defense of our indefensible process."

In other words, "I don't have enough material for blogging so I wish the AZ Republic would write an article defending the redistricting process so I can write a 500 word blog."

Greg: Your mouth to God's ear. I believe the IRC, at least as it pertains to Congressional districts, violates the U.S. Constitution. I don't think the IRC process for Legislative districts violates the Constitutional mandate, although I oppose the IRC for many other reasons which have been discussed here at length. This is serious business, and it shouldn't be left to only five people with personal agendas, with one so-called "independent" chair controlling the process. As it has been said: It's easier to bribe one (or five) than it is to bribe 90. The IRC is just another example of too much direct democracy injecting itself into a republic form of gevernment. When that occurs--and it occurs a lot in Arizona--bad things happen. In particular, there is no accountability.

RonJ, You don't have to bribe 90, only 45. Actually, less than that, one will do fine. You give one powerful legislator lots of money, and this legislator spreads the money to his 44 followers to support their election and they thank him/her by voting "aye" on all his/her favorite bills. Since the circle of influence is stronger than this, the legislator holding the money only needs to give the money to less than half of those followers.

westsider: your scenario is a bit of a stretch. It harks back to the days of Burton Barr who, as House Majority Leader, would receive tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and other sources for his own use and to spread "the money to his 44 followers" to support his agenda. Granted, we are now discussing a bribe, which would be, one would assume, even more covert than Barr's bucks. However, beyond the bribe scenario, the issue of accountability trumps that. The five members of the IRC are not accountable to anyone (based on the most recent Supreme Court ruling). The 90 legislators are held accountable at least every two years. The IRC has proven to be a travesty of our republican (little "r") form of government.

90 legislators can be held accountable more often than every two years. Ask Quelland, David Burnell Smith, and Russell Pearce. Oh, and Bundgaard. When Brewer and the Senate tries to hold the IRC accountable, the AZ court ruled against them.

Regarding the "bribe" scenario above, tell us again what was in it for Barr? "Tens of thousands, spread among 44 followers" is a pittance. If that's all it takes to make a bribe...we're in worse trouble than I thought.

The people of Arizona voted for the IRC in the past and will probably vote to keep it if the question was put on a ballot. The IRC shouldn't be abolished, it should be changed. Increase the number of Democrats and Republicans on the commission and they can vote for their respective "co-chairs." The co-chairs, with the lone Independent, must be unanimous on a map before it goes before the full panel. This way there is some compromise between the parties and the people of Arizona gets their wish: the Lege will keep its grimy hands off of redistricting.

Really? You think I'm the "media establishment?" You're off your rocker if you do. But then again, you're off your rocker if you think Andy Tobin's maps are the least bit legitimate.

Well Greg, your argument sounds a lot like one that had been made by David Cantelme, he of UNfair Trust infamy. If you (or he) think that argument will fly in federal court, then put up or, well, sit on it.

Nah, we aren't into bribes and corruption in this state...

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/05/18/20110518fb-reimbursement0518.html

You don't need to spread much wealth to too many. First, most legislators are in safe districts and never even face a competitor (the race is won in the primary). Doesn't take a lot of $ to win that one. Second, Republicans can be diveded into 3 groups: LDS, Bible believers and rural conservatives. There is key voice for each of these groups. Only this person needs to under your wing to infuence the system. Learn to do power analysis, SoS, and you will learn how it works.

Greg -

"When we boil it down, the congressional maps were drawn by one person at home over a weekend--just like the founders intended."

"Just like the founders intended"?

Really? Do you have any reasonably verifiable evidence that the founders (I'm presuming that you mean the Founding Fathers) wanted a system where those in office could rig the system to all but guarantee their lifetime employment?

Right on, Craig!

I have never seen anyone try to guarantee lifetime employment at a salary of $24k a year.

Westsider is omitting a key R group, country club, pro-business working entrepreneurs that move and shake and invite the rest to sit on their tailcoats.

SOS - thanks for the pick up. Also forget this tip when doing power analysis - check who does pillow tak with whom?

SoS, that group has actually more of a burr in the side of many of the conservative Rs - they were the ones who wrote a letter last year asking the legislature not to vote for legislation that would have turned hospital staff into ICE agents.

Here is a solution to the whole IRC debacle:

Have computers draft up the maps using population data and jurisdictional lines.

That would be entirely legal and a hell of a lot less cheaper in terms of direct government costs and indirect political costs. An example draft of a proposal for Texas on Constitution.org:

http://constitution.org/reform/us/tx/redistrict/cnpr_proposal.htm

I'm afraid it will not fly because both the Republicans and Democrats are entrenched in their desires of having safe seats.

Nah, no corruption in AZ ---

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/02/21/20120221fiesta-bowl-junker-football-legacy.html

About 'no corruption' in AZ --

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/02/22/20120222fiesta-bowl-ex-official-wisneski-enter-guilty-plea.html

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