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What we’re not IRC-ing: Map-drawing panel spends half its time meeting behind closed doors (access required)

Prior to voting to award a lucrative contract to a mapping consultant on June 29, the Independent Redistricting Commission had spent as much time in closed door executive meetings as it had before the public.

And public records held by the commission itself, as well as statements made by commissioners, indicate the IRC may have violated Arizona’s open meeting laws designed to maintain a level of transparency in government affairs – that is, if the state Constitution doesn’t grant the agency unfettered contracting authority.

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Two remain for IRC executive director post (access required)

During a closed-door executive session last week, Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission selected the final two candidates vying to serve as the agency’s executive director.

The commission interviewed five candidates, selected from among several dozen more, for several hours during the private April 14 meeting, then chose two of the five for additional interviews April 20 – this time in public.

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Critics say partisan fights take new shape in ‘independent’ redistricting

Placing the “I” word in front of Redistricting Commission doesn’t mean it’s really independent.

Now that the commission is fully constituted, they'll soon begin redrawing the state's legislative and congressional lines. At stake is the state's political landscape for the next ten years. And while most everyone agrees on the gravity of task, disagreements abound on just how "independent" the panel can be.

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IRC budget based on experience and guesswork (access required)

The last statement James Huntwork made as a member of the first Independent Redistricting Commission in his last meeting in June 2009 was that the next IRC would need “a lot of money.”

How much money the newly seated IRC will need is a mystery.

But the thinking of those involved with the first one is that the legal disputes, which consumed so much money last time, will be fewer this time.

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