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Secretary of State: Lobbying statutes don’t apply to IRC, but they should (access required)

The Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday dismissed a complaint alleging that the state’s redistricting commission was being illegally lobbied by a group with ties to Republican politicians.

The state’s elections officials threw the complaint out because they said Arizona’s lobbying laws don’t apply to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. But in their dismissal letter, those same elections officials said they believe the laws should be changed so they do apply.

And that could happen as early as next year, said Amy Bjelland, the Secretary of State’s election director.

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It would have been a hell of a story

Republicans who have turned attacking the IRC into sport were left with egg on their faces yesterday, when a conspiracy theory led some of the most dedicated IRC assailants to claim the commission was about to hire a liberal firm founded by former Clinton deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes.

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Flagstaff leaders seeking split from tribes in redistricting (access required)

During the last redistricting cycle, Flagstaff narrowly avoided being split into two legislative districts. But in order to keep the city whole, it was coupled with the expansive, Native American-dominated Legislative District 2, a district so heavily Democratic that not one Republican ran for the Legislature there in 2010, an otherwise GOP-wave year.

Now leaders in Flagstaff say they want to be part of a more competitive district, which can only be accomplished by severing ties with their Native American neighbors to the north and east.

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Things that make you go hmmmm…

Dept of Administration records shed some light on the working relationship between the IRC and the State Procurement Office, which cut its ties with the redistricting panel just before the IRC selected its mapping consultant in June.

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