The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has approved a final congressional map that creates four Republican-leaning districts, two Democratic-leaning districts and three competitive districts.

The vote divided the commission along party lines, as many of its votes have this year, with the two Democratic commissioners and the independent chairwoman voting for the map and the two Republicans voting against it.

The vote was made late this afternoon after making small adjustments to a map prepared by the Chairwoman Colleen Mathis for the panel’s Dec. 16 meeting.

Before the vote, Mathis explained that she felt the commission had made significant improvements to its draft congressional map, which was adopted in early October.

“I think this is a good map,” she said.

Her satisfaction was echoed by the commission’s two Democrats, who also each took a moment to summarize their thoughts on the map.

Democratic Commissioner Linda McNulty said the tally of four safe Republican districts, two safe Democratic districts and three toss-up districts, reflects the character – as well as the voter registration split – of Arizona.

“I do feel like this is a compromise-map,” McNulty said.

José Herrera, the panel’s other Democrat, also applauded the commission, in particular for the creation of a competitive congressional 9th Congressional District that includes central Phoenix and Tempe.

Since the commission began its work in March, the two Democrats have been strident about the need for as many competitive districts as possible. Mathis has also talked about the need for competitiveness, though not as often as her Democratic colleagues.

Though they were over and again outnumbered on the issue of competitiveness, the commission’s two Republicans tried to fight off efforts to focus on competitiveness throughout the process.

Commissioners Scott Freeman and Richard Stertz have repeatedly argued that, by seeking to make more competitive districts in the state, the commission was violating the state Constitution, which states that competitiveness should considered only if it is not a detriment to other constitutional requirements.

In particular, the Republican commissioners said favoring competitiveness resulted in splitting “communities of interest” that should have been kept together to comply with the constitutional criteria. In other instances, they argued that focusing on creating competitive districts meant communities with no natural ties were grouped together.

They also said the plan, in some areas, did not respect municipal and other natural boundaries and did not create compact districts, both of which are required by the Constitution.

Both Freeman and Stertz said they were highly dissatisfied with the congressional map and believe it does not meet the constitutional requirements.

“It saddens me,” Freeman said. “There was no compromise or negotiation. This was a results-oriented process.”

Gov. Jan Brewer and Senate Republicans used claims that the draft maps were unconstitutional as the basis to remove Mathis from the commission last month for “substantial neglect of duty and gross misconduct.” Despite removal by Brewer – done with the support of more than two-thirds of the GOP-led Senate – the Arizona Supreme Court reversed the move, saying the constitutional threshold for removal was not met.

The congressional map will next be submitted to minority-rights experts the commission has contracted with to ensure proper adherence to federal minority-protection laws, as well as to county election officials who may want very minor adjustments around the edges of districts, to line up with county election precincts. That process will likely take several days, and could result in some very minor adjustments. If the analysis determines that changes need to be made, the commission will have to again ratify the map.

After the analysis is complete, the commission’s attorneys will have to prepare an exhaustive report to accompany the maps as they are submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for federal approval. Preparing the submission is expected to take a couple weeks.

IRC attorney Mary O’Grady said she hopes to have the final Justice Department submission ready sometime in January. - Arizona Capitol Times

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Anyone who sat through any of the RC meetings knows that the two Republicans were simply window dressing... little gnats that kept swarming around annoying the three democrats.  Four right leaning protected districts?  We'll see - but don't count on it. Not one person on either side who attended these meetings had any doubt about the plan... Soros and the Obama Justice Dept had already sent word: turn AZ blue at all costs.  I can hear the chuckling and dancing and gleeful chatter now.

What they did to the Legislative districts were downright criminal and I expect to see small rural communities added to large tribal dominated districts, carve outs for Democrats, minorities favored in more districts than the law requires.  If they carve out 11 minority districts, there can never be fewer than 11 minority districts.  Ever!  Too bad our Governor let them run rough shod over her on the Mathis issue, democrat leftist extraordinaire!

All I can say is that I hope this energizes our members to get even!!!

If the two Dems and Mathis (also a Dem at heart) approve the map, you know it's Democrat leaning! We all know that Strategic Tolemetry knew how the Independents actually voted and included them in the mix even though they were not supposed to!

They passed the legislative map at 9:16 pm.  Freeman and Sturtz basically said they OK'd the maps because Herrera was heading and 'threatening' (quietly) to make the maps even worse. 

One of the safe GOP districts has Representative David Schwiekert running against Representative Ben Quayle.  One of the will win, the other will no longer be in congress.  Very clever

indeed.  I wonder if the Justice Department will approve this map.

Yes they will with great vigor!  Look for McNulty, Mathis and José Herrera to receive nice appointments to some high paying jobs when this is over.

Has anyone ever heard of Freeman and Stertz, the two Republicans, before they were appointed to this commission?   Me neither!

 

First, let's understand the Justice Dept.  Under Holder, the Civil Rights Div where the Voting Rights Act is, the DOJ has become radical militant attorneys.  They have one goal and that is to disenfranchise whites on every front.  The Black Panther case is the tip of the iceberg.

Second, the so-called protected Republican districts have only a slight majority and these are districts that are trending left in many cases.  Within 2 election cycles, these so called "protected Republican" districts may well exist no longer.

As an activist who regularly attended these meetings, it would not have mattered who sat in the Republican chairs.  Three Dems, 4 leftist attorneys and Obama's strategic community organizer posing as a mapping company against two Republicans is not good odds for fair mapping.

We can kiss our conservative state goodbye or work hard for our candidates.  And if anyone knows a Soros type conservative with billions to burn like Soros is in states all over America, produce a name.

Take it to court.  I watched and attended a couple of meetings also.  Strategic Telemetry - web site through July 1 was 'campaign, micro targeting' it changed July 3 to 'mapping consultant'.  BHO's campaign micro-targeting company.  

Of more concern should be the fact that Strategic Telemetry is in possession of all of AZ's voting info for the last 4 elections and are now able to microtarget every democrat or left leaning independent voter in the state.  There is nothing in the Constitution that states this information cannot be used by the mapping co to influence the outcome of any or all future elections, or that they cannot take the information with them. or in the case of ST, the mapping software the State purchased to do this job. 

 

I watched as they discussed a small "clean up" corner with 6 voters.  They knew how each of the voters had voted-they did not say "registered" they said "voted" --and even joked that the 6 voters had voted 7 times......  Are our votes now recorded??  Blood shot from my eyes when I heard that statement.

 

We can all be furious over this but the real question is: where does our Gov and our legislators stand on this now that it is finished????  I would like to see comments from every one of them because our Red state is now purple at the least and what are they going to do as our elected officials???  Lead, follow or fall to the way side?

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