From Zack Taylor:
My Dear Friends
As you know from earlier emails, I am deeply concerned about the integrity
of the redistricting process. I attended and spoke at the Redistricting Committee
Meeting at Sierra Vista August 4, 2011, representing myself as a resident from
Santa Cruz County.
Basically, I said that the apparent admission by a member of the board that they had
done something wrong in either the open meeting observances or by contract
irregularities had to be resolved immediately and urged them to cooperate fully
with the Attorney General of Arizona's inquiry. Late today I saw where the
committee chairman said the committee would cooperate with AG Horne. (Since
it was in the Red Star I will believe it when I see it in print from AG Horne.)
Also, attached is a report concerning what is apparently at the heart of the controversy concerning who, how , why, Strategic Telemetry was contracted to do the work of actually drawing the redistricting maps and the basis of concern. The additional allegation that a significant portion of the meeting face time of the committee has been in executive session and not in open session and certain decisions that should have been in public were not made in public may frame a second problem. The rub about the choice of the committee for a contract firm and the process for the cost to the state exceeds 10 million dollars and for the contracting to have been performed outside of the rules has to be resolved, one way or the other, before Arizonans can have faith in the new process brought to be by Constitutional Amendment. Gaining a large contract by misrepresenting the facts in my mind is unacceptable. Violating the Public Trust is also unacceptable. If they will lie about one thing they will lie about another and we should support their removal, and prosecution if necessary, from the process if the allegations prove to be true. I have no problem with starting from scratch with a new committee if necessary. Arizona voted for this form of redistricting because they had lost faith in the previous method, this new process has to be above board and we as Arizonans must insist on it in the strongest terms.
I have a gut feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I recommend that you consider following this situation as it unfolds.
Some members of the AIRC (including Commissioner McNulty) publicly justified their decisions to give Strategic Telemetry's bid an artificially high ranking by stating that Strategic Telemetry's proposal to leverage "social media" was a strong asset and a deciding factor (See AZ Capitol Times, 6/29/11; RedistrictingOnline.org, 7/1/11). Please note and compare the following facts as of the time of this hearing: Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
• The AIRC has a Facebook fan page, apparently created this year.
• The fan page has 153 fans.
• The fan page includes events and is otherwise minimal.
• The AIRC has a Twitter account that follows 37 other accounts and has 28 followers. The account has no listings and 21 tweets.
• The AIRC's Web site includes video of public hearings, PDFs of some documents, a mailing list subscription form, and other basic content.
• Strategic Telemetry has a Facebook fan page, apparently created around June 2010.
• The fan page has 36 fans.
• Its wall consists of a small number of plain-text posts (the most recent dated December 21, 2010) and a photo gallery showing a press photo and a small number of post-election turnout analysis maps from 2010 primary elections.
• There is no interaction with customers or other stakeholders on its wall.
• There are no discussions, events, or custom elements on the fan page.
• Strategic Telemetry has a Twitter account that follows 36 other accounts and has 15 followers. The account has one listing and no tweets.
• Strategic Telemetry has no presence on YouTube.
• Strategic Telemetry's presence on LinkedIn is minimal.
• Strategic Telemetry's Web site consists of static text-only content that indicates the use of a basic content management system, with no user interaction.
Competing bidder NAVTEQ
• NAVTEQ has a Facebook fan page, apparently created around April 2010.
• The fan page has 1,765 fans.
• There are several direct interactions with customers on its wall.
• There are several customized tabs, a discussion board with apparent privacy settings, and links to survey applications that solicit corrections from the community at large.
• There are videos and links demonstrating NAVTEQ's presence on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
• NAVTEQ's LinkedIn presence has been customized to include numerous interactive features, including job postings, a product page, news listings, a graph of its stock price, and recent tweets.
• NAVTEQ has posted 35 videos to YouTube.
• NAVTEQ's Twitter account follows 1,944 other accounts and has 3,471 followers. The account has 233 listings and 2,741 tweets.
• NAVTEQ's Web site includes rich, dynamic content with user interaction for multiple audiences, including nationwide traffic maps for end users, a developer community, and a mechanism to report map changes.
Given all this, one wonders at the following statements made in Strategic Telemetry's bid and valued so highly by some AIRC Commissioners.
The point is not that NAVTEQ would be a better choice than Strategic Telemetry. The point is that the Commissioners had an opportunity to compare two bidders' very, very different online presences -- one robust and one minimal -- and should have observed that Strategic Telemetry's minimal online presence is in conflict with its claims and promises mentioned above, which were cited as a strong factor in the decision to rank Strategic Telemetry so highly.