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IRC should hold itself to same standards as mapping firm

In the high-stakes job to redraw Arizona’s political districts, much has been debated about the idea of “transparency.”

The Independent Redistricting Commission, apparently concerned about the public perception of its decision to hire a mapping firm with historic ties to Democratic causes, recently established a rule intended to allay fears of partisanship driving the mapping process.

But what about the commission itself? Shouldn’t its members be held to the same standard? 

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IRC split on cooperating with AG investigation (access required)

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission could stumble into another partisan divide, but this time it involves whether members will cooperate with Attorney General Tom Horne’s investigation into whether the commission violated open meeting and procurement laws when it hired a mapping consultant in June.

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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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Redistricting panel weighs disclosure requirements (access required)

The word “transparency” gets tossed around a lot these days. Activists demand it and politicians promise it. As Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission prepares to redraw the lines that will define the state’s congressional and legislative districts, exactly what level of transparency the commission will achieve remains unclear.

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