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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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How to buy the benefit of the doubt, for nothing

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.

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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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