Arizona's Republican Governor, Jan Brewer, and her accomplices in the Republican caucus of the state senate have dropped all pretense of respect for the will of the voters.
After spending the days leading up to Tuesday's special session wrangling enough votes to pull this off (strangely, doing so behind closed doors, something they accused the chair of the AIRC doing so they could rationalize removing her from the AIRC), Brewer called the legislature into a special session to remove Independent Colleen Mathis from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC).
Shortly thereafter, the Senate Republicans held a political necktie party and voted to remove Mathis from the AIRC.
Needless to say (but I'm still going to say it :) ), this is going to end up in court, starting with the Arizona Supreme Court, but probably moving to the federal judiciary before long.
Interestingly, and I'm not sure how it will affect deliberations, but with the Chief Justice's recusal from the case (because of her part in screening the applicants for the AIRC), that leaves Vice-Chief Justice David Hurwitz to preside over the case. The interesting part is that Hurwitz has been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Barack Obama.
That leaves Hurwitz open to pressure from Arizona's US Senators, Jon Kyl and John McCain, who can block his nomination from even reaching the floor of the Senate if the Arizona Supreme Court doesn't rule the way that they prefer.
And the Republican members of Arizona's Congressional delegation are among those who are most upset by the independence of the redistricting commission and put a lot of pressure on Brewer to do something to intimidate the AIRC.
Many Democrats and Independents (and even a few Republicans, the ones who realize how Tuesday contemptible act by Jan and her clan could come back to bite them in the ass next year at the polls, or next week in Russell Pearce's case, are outraged.
From State Sen. David Schapira (D-Tempe), the Senate Democratic leader, via Bloomberg (written by Amanda Crawford) -
“There is no basis for this removal other than pure partisan politics,” said Senate Minority Leader David Schapira of Tempe. There were no findings of fact proving misconduct, Schapira and other Democrats said.From Andrei Cherny, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party (same source as above) -
“Governor Brewer’s power grab is a clear abuse of the powers of her office,” Andrei Cherny, chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, said in a statement.From Sara Presler, mayor of Flagstaff, via the Arizona Daily Sun -
"This is nuts. The governor went to New York to sell her book and the state is 'Home Alone.'"Just as predictably, the Republicans are gloating.
From the Facebook page of Sen. Ron Gould (R-The Confederacy Will Rise Again!) (Check out Rep. Doris Goodale's comments) -
Rep. Jack Harper is, of course, being his usual self. From his Twitter feed (I don't even need to add the snark here; there is nothing that I can write that can top the ridiculousness that is our Jack) -
Possibly the most interesting comment came from Sen. Al Melvin. It isn't related directly to the AIRC or the Republicans' scheme to blow up the process because there are too many competitive districts, but since it highlights their hypocrisy AND it was posted during or near the time of the Senate's floor vote -
The fun/frustrating part was watching KAET's Horizon tonight with Schapira and Sen. Steve Pierce. Pierce kept talking about the testimony before the Republican
What Pierce didn't say, in fact couldn't say, is that their "indictment" of Mathis, as spurious as it is, was based on *sworn* testimony, the same way as real indictments in real courts.
Because it wasn't.
Go to the lege's video archive page and watch any (or all) of the meetings.
It was mostly an unsworn and unsubstantiated echo chamber (and the Rs bullied any members of the public who dared to go off script).
Also, contrast the Republican high-speed railroad that is aimed at Mathis (and also the Democratic members of the AIRC, but mostly at Mathis) with the painstaking regard for the "proprieties" in the ethics investigation of Republican Sen. Scott Bungaard over his violent assault on his then-girlfriend by the side of a Phoenix freeway..
With Mathis, they have is unsubstantiated allegations supported only by unsworn testimony, yet they scrambled to politically lynch her this week (perhaps worried that they'll be losing Senate President Russell Pearce's vote after next week's recall election?).
With Bundgaard, there are police reports, eye witness accounts, and even court decisions.
All sworn. All documented.
They can claim that they aren't motivated by partisanship, but their own behavior gives lie to their denials.
And it flies directly in the face of the voters' will, expressed when they created the independent redistricting process.