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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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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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Western Arizonans push for ‘river district’ in Congress (access required)

Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission has shifted gears, now collecting public input from elected officials and everyday residents about what they want to see when the state’s political maps get wiped clean and recast.

While the commissioners have heard a variety of suggestions, one recommendation has so far come across more coherently than any other: The perceived need for a squarely conservative congressional district extending along the Colorado River from Mexico to Utah.

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Learning how to redraw districts

A couple weeks ago Arizona’s redistricting commission shifted gears in a significant way. They’ve begun the part of the process where they are asking members of the public to come to meetings and tell the commission what sort of districts they want.

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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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IRC Facebook page becomes point of confusion (access required)

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission found itself in a Facebook fracas for several days this week, as an account bearing the commission's name, but run by a local blogger, turned into a forum for opinions, and ginned up accusations from some that the IRC was using it for political purposes.

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Critics say partisan fights take new shape in ‘independent’ redistricting

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.

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