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GOP staffer claims IRC gerrymandered maps; Dems promise complaint (access required)

A Republican legislative attorney claimed today that the state’s redistricting commission gerrymandered its maps to benefit certain Democratic incumbents and harm GOP politicians.

Democratic leadership from both chambers of the Legislature promised to file a complaint that the testimony to the committee represents a violation of the prohibition against state employees being involved in partisan political or election-related activity.

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Brewer lofts ‘nuclear’ option, setting off redistricting turmoil (access required)

Republicans are nearly unanimous in their belief that something must be done about the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. As legislators prepare for a possible special session, however, they are divided on the next step.

Gov. Jan Brewer invoked the so-called nuclear option on Oct. 27 when she sent a letter to the IRC’s five members demanding explanations for handful of alleged improprieties. Under the Arizona Constitution, the letter is the first step Brewer must take to remove a commissioner, which requires the governor and two-thirds of the Senate.

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Seel suggests mapping firm retaliated for his bills (access required)

Rep. Carl Seel suggested that the Independent Redistricting Commission’s mapping consultants may have put him in a less Republican district in retaliation for his legislative record.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting, Seel, R-Phoenix, questioned why Strategic Telemetry – which has ties to Democratic candidates and causes, including President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign – put him a new district that eliminated much of his conservative support.

Questioned after he made his public comments, Seel told the Arizona Capitol Times that he is not accusing Strategic Telemetry or the IRC of gerrymandering him into a less favorable district – and he had no proof that such a conspiracy took place.

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9th District Democrats (access required)

There are already a handful of Democrats eying the 9th Congressional District. Several Republican names are in the rumor mill as well, but no one yet is sure whether U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle will run in the district.

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Dems’ prized piece (access required)

New 9th Congressional District offers unprecedented opportunity

Sometimes a coin flip can be the opportunity of a lifetime.

The proposed 9th Congressional District was designed to be as competitive as possible, but a 50-50 split means a lot more to Democrats than Republicans.

The district, which encompasses Tempe, central Phoenix and Ahwatukee Foothills, is the break Valley Democrats have been waiting for.

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