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Horne disqualified from investigating IRC (access required)

Attorney General Tom Horne will no longer be able to pursue an open meeting law investigation into members of the Independent Redistricting Commission, as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled the attorney general is saddled with an existing conflict of interest.

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Brewer lofts ‘nuclear’ option, setting off redistricting turmoil (access required)

Republicans are nearly unanimous in their belief that something must be done about the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. As legislators prepare for a possible special session, however, they are divided on the next step.

Gov. Jan Brewer invoked the so-called nuclear option on Oct. 27 when she sent a letter to the IRC’s five members demanding explanations for handful of alleged improprieties. Under the Arizona Constitution, the letter is the first step Brewer must take to remove a commissioner, which requires the governor and two-thirds of the Senate.

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… Or go to the ballot in February

Rather than pursue removal of the redistricting commissioners, many senators seem keener on asking voters to revamp the redistricting process – potentially through a proposition on the Feb. 28 presidential preference primary ballot.

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Seel suggests mapping firm retaliated for his bills (access required)

Rep. Carl Seel suggested that the Independent Redistricting Commission’s mapping consultants may have put him in a less Republican district in retaliation for his legislative record.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Redistricting, Seel, R-Phoenix, questioned why Strategic Telemetry – which has ties to Democratic candidates and causes, including President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign – put him a new district that eliminated much of his conservative support.

Questioned after he made his public comments, Seel told the Arizona Capitol Times that he is not accusing Strategic Telemetry or the IRC of gerrymandering him into a less favorable district – and he had no proof that such a conspiracy took place.

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GOP hopes may be pinned on DOJ

While the Dems boycotted and the GOP lawmakers rallied behind the Prop 106 provision and voter sentiment, Republican Senate attorney Greg Jernigan wondered aloud to our reporter whether the District of Justice – the only redistricting force that has yet to step up – would be willing to force a change of district lines.

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Dems’ prized piece (access required)

New 9th Congressional District offers unprecedented opportunity

Sometimes a coin flip can be the opportunity of a lifetime.

The proposed 9th Congressional District was designed to be as competitive as possible, but a 50-50 split means a lot more to Democrats than Republicans.

The district, which encompasses Tempe, central Phoenix and Ahwatukee Foothills, is the break Valley Democrats have been waiting for.

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