Attorney General Tom Horne has announced his office has opened an investigation into the Independent Redistricting Commission in response to an investigation by Arizona Capitol Times and its sister publication, Yellow Sheet Report, that uncovered possible violations of the state’s open meeting and procurement laws.Read More »
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Several years ago I attended a government commission meeting where an appointed chairman openly rejected an assistant attorney general’s recommendation to convene an executive session.
“No, I don’t think we need an executive session to talk about this,” the chairman said, to the best of my recollection.
It’s not that every — or even most — public bodies are eager to shut their doors to the public. It’s that confidence is inspired in government when the doors remain open when the real decision-making process begins.
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.
Brewer's office isn't the only one to receive a landslide of complaints of the IRC's recent hiring of Strategic Telemetry or Mathis, whose vote was critical in securing the services of the firm.Read More »
At today’s meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Chairwoman Colleen Mathis admitted that her initial application omitted information about work her husband had done for a former Democratic lawmaker’s campaign.Read More »
Republicans remain on high alert after the IRC last week hired a Democrat firm as a mapping consultant, but they are still lacking actionable intelligence that would warrant an attempt to remove IRC Chair Colleen Mathis.Read More »
In regards to the article, “Commissioners eye free mapping software, say it could be used differently than creators intended” Arizona Capitol Times, May 8, we offer the following to address concerns noted by some of the members of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission.Read More »
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.
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.
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.