Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
From AZ Capitol Times:
By Jeremy Duda - email@example.com
Published: December 6, 2011 at 7:47 am
A major overhaul of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s congressional map would eliminate Maricopa County’s centerpiece district and drastically shift the lines in rural Arizona.
Republican Commissioner Richard Stertz said his proposal would more closely follow public comments and the constitutional criteria for redistricting. He said the changes unveiled Monday would end the packing of Republicans in some districts and make others more competitive, including the sprawling rural 1st Congressional District.
“We’re paying attention to the comments that were given to us,” Stertz said after the meeting. “If we do not pay attention to all of that work, then why bother going out to the … 31 cities and why bother going out and collecting all this data unless we’re going to be actually reading and implementing it and reacting to it?”
But the proposal also eliminated the 9th Congressional District, a proposed Tempe and central Phoenix-based district designed to effectively be a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans. In its place, Stertz drew a Tempe and Mesa-based district that stretches north through the northeast Valley, along with another Phoenix-centric district that runs from the central part of the city up through Anthem and New River.
The Stertz plan reshapes the two rural districts, moving Flagstaff into the 4th Congressional District, also known as the river district, and adding northern Pinal County into 1st Congressional District. The western half of Cochise County, which the IRC’s draft map included in the eastern Tucson district, would also be added to the 1st Congressional District.
Stertz said his goal was to improve compactness and contiguity while following major transportation corridors such as Interstates 17 and 19.
He also said he believed his proposal improved competitiveness, a topic that led to frequent clashes with his Democratic colleagues and independent Chairwoman Colleen Mathis in prior meetings. But in talking up the competitive nature of his maps, Stertz focused primarily on pulling Republicans out of “hyper-packed” districts that he said were created to keep Democrats in other districts in order to make them more competitive.
For example, Stertz slightly increased Democrats’ share in the 4th Congressional District, which is the most GOP-friendly district on the map. He also slightly increased Republicans’ strength in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts, two of the most competitive districts in the draft map.
“It’s important that we be fair to everyone in the state … and not arbitrarily pick and choose where the competitive districts are going to fall out,” Stertz said during the meeting.
Commissioner Jose Herrera, however, said he was concerned that Stertz effectively redrew most of the congressional draft map and said the changes had no basis in the reams of public comment the IRC collected during a 30-day round of hearings on the maps. Herrera, who frequently argues with Stertz during IRC meetings, contrasted the suggestions with changes proposed by Democratic Commissioner Linda McNulty, which Herrera said were based on identifiable public criticisms.
“You look at the changes that Commissioner Stertz proposed and you can’t track them,” Herrera said. “I’m a little concerned. This is a brand new map. I recommend Commissioner Stertz go back to the drawing board and track all those changes.”
Stertz threw Cochise County under the bus too. His plan is to split our county's population center OUT of Cochise County and into CD2 leaving the rest in CD1 so that there are 3 border districts (because that is what the people want.---yes, but YUMA wanted to be that 3rd district and Stertz' map didn't do that) Instead and inspite of the out cry by ALL the citizens of Cochise County he split the county. His map is now closely aligned to what the original Repub produced map looked like. There is now no population center big enough to draw the CD1 Rep into our area so Cochise County and the border will NOT, or should I say STILL NOT be represented in Congress.---and also gives CD2 no major port of entry along the border.... not exactly smart!
Linda McNulty in her suggestions did not redraw the whole map. Her suggestions were carefully thought out and showed her suggestions if CochiseCounty was kept whole in moving lines to make that happen i a few districts. Therefore we will be supporting McNulty's map--which Mathis is also in favor of--today.
I also have to agree with Herrera--Stertz just redid the CD maps in his image and threw all the districts under the bus. WTH???
Are we now ready to repeal Prop 106 in its entirety??
Looking at the big picture, I really want a map that does not pack all the Republicans in one or two districts so that we end up with 5 Democrats and 4 possible Republicans in Congress as McNulty's map does. Stertz's map takes Scottsdale out of Schweikert's district which does not make us happy but I will deal with that so long as the map does not dilute the Republican vote as the McNulty map does. I know better maps than these two can be drawn but I have no faith it will happen.
Should have been clearer--we are supporting McNultys map for CD2.
I agree--I have no faith in these people or the process at all. Prop 106 was supposed to make it more "fair" instead there are more back door deals than there ever was with the legislature. I think it should all be turned over to the TEA party-- :-))
I must say that I agree with putting Flagstaff into CD-4--the river district.
I agreed with McNulty's map to keep Cochise county whole in CD2---that lasted a day..... the others are trying to carve up SV/FtHuachuca which is where our population base is. They have no clue of what they are doing or what it will effect, how the communities work together on their local "issues". They keep pooh , poohing the "communities of interest" (which they won't define) when that is the most important aspect of redistricting--complying with Fed'l requirements is a given but they dont know the areas and they don't have a clue.
I'll be glad when it is over. AT this point I think we are all going to be unhappy--except for all the new guaranteed democrat districts.