Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday Redistricting Hearing

Thursday, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission held a public hearing at South Mountain Community College.  Prior to the meeting, there were rumors that tea party types planned a big turnout for the meeting.  While there were a number of them there, they were mostly well-behaved.

Perhaps the facts that 24th Street and Baseline (the location of SMCC) isn't exactly home turf for them (too many folks with skin darker than a golfer's tan) and the unobtrusive but unsubtle presence of a number of police officers and other visible security personnel contributed to their desire to avoid significant confrontations or disruptions of the meeting.  They applauded their own speakers and hooted and hollered a couple of times at pro-competitive districts speakers, but other than that, the chair of the meeting only had to issue one warning to the audience about the police presence.

The next hearing in Maricopa County will be Monday at 6 p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center.  The complete list of upcoming hearings is here.

Steve at The Arizona Eagletarian has a full write-up of the meeting here, but here are a few pics -

A pre-meeting shot of the crowd.  Estimates were that as many as 200 people attended.

Dave Wells of Tempe, a political science professor from ASU

State Senators John McComish (R) and Leah Landrum Taylor (D) speaking before the meeting.  Both addressed the Commission to support the protection of "communities of interest" (aka - their own districts)

Randall Holmes of Tempe addressing the Commission in support of competitive districts

Kelly Townsend of Gilbert, a Republican PC and tea party type, calling for the resignation of AIRC chair Colleen Mathis.  She was poised and polished...except for the fact that the commissioner she was calling out was not Mathis, it was Linda McNulty.  Oops.  Townsend had a game plan to follow, and follow it she did.  Even if it had nothing to do with reality.  Still, she did better than another tea party type who took the mike to criticize the selection of Strategic Telemetry as the mapping consultant.  That one didn't obviously didn't write the words she was reading - she couldn't pronounce "telemetry."  Oops2.

Some tea party types greeted arrivals in the hallway outside the meeting room.  The guy in the red, white, and blue shirt is actually wearing a copy of the Declaration of Independence.  I don't think he understands the irony of displaying that document while working against the independence of the Independent Redistricting Commission.

The crowd...

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