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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Arizona  (Read 25050 times)
Torie
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« Reply #375 on: October 09, 2011, 02:47:56 pm »
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Bottom line, Republicans just aren't going to get as many safe seats as they like, not with any makeup of the commission. As it stands, there are only 2 D+ PVI districts on the map, which is hardly a Democratic gerrymander. No party owns the congressional seats, so it's a bit ridiculous for the governor to claim the map is "thievery". Sometimes you just have to get over it, that's what Democrats in many states have to do.

They don't have to get over it when they have the power to boot the commission.

Meaning the members or the whole thing? I don't think a proposition to overturn fair redistricting will be overturned. It just won't. Maybe if they played it more safe and only had a proposition to overturn the current map. I don't even know how that would work though.

There seems to be some chatter that the legislature can remove the members by legislation. Yes, I know, it seems odd. As I say, the whole thing is a cf. Really, the courts should just draw the map at this point, but that isn't in the cards either I don't think, unless somehow the Commission can be made totally dysfunctional.
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« Reply #376 on: October 09, 2011, 02:52:10 pm »
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Bottom line, Republicans just aren't going to get as many safe seats as they like, not with any makeup of the commission. As it stands, there are only 2 D+ PVI districts on the map, which is hardly a Democratic gerrymander. No party owns the congressional seats, so it's a bit ridiculous for the governor to claim the map is "thievery". Sometimes you just have to get over it, that's what Democrats in many states have to do.

They don't have to get over it when they have the power to boot the commission.

Meaning the members or the whole thing? I don't think a proposition to overturn fair redistricting will be overturned. It just won't. Maybe if they played it more safe and only had a proposition to overturn the current map. I don't even know how that would work though.

There seems to be some chatter that the legislature can remove the members by legislation. Yes, I know, it seems odd. As I say, the whole thing is a cf. Really, the courts should just draw the map at this point, but that isn't in the cards either I don't think, unless somehow the Commission can be made totally dysfunctional.

A two-third majority can remove the commissioners, but that can only be seriously used against Mathis. If either of the Democrats is removed the Democratic legislative leaders can just reappoint them ad nasuem. And no replacement for Mathis can be appointed without the consent of the Democrats. So the map will either be:

1. Drawn by this commission
2. Drawn By the State Supreme Court
3. Drawn by the 9th Circuit

Both 2. and 3. might well just impose the commission map as an interim solution if the issue looks like a partisan temper tantrum, in which case the legislature might try a mid-decade redraw and end up in court again.

They could go to referendum, but I am not sure there will be much stomach among low-info voters for it.
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« Reply #377 on: October 09, 2011, 02:58:33 pm »
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Thanks Dan for that most lucid and helpful analysis.

I doubt a court would just use the Commission map over which the whole contretemps ensured with all sorts of procedural irregularities, assuming that they have time to draw a new map, which presumably they should, since it should not take long, particularly with a record before them that they can use. In any event, this might lead to another referendum with some new structure for map drawing, sold under the auspices that so far, no map has been drawn at all but an interim court drawn one, and we need to do better. Just a wild guess.
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« Reply #378 on: October 09, 2011, 03:11:31 pm »
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It's just kind of dumb how the parties get to choose who draws the map. The process needs to be taken out of their hands. Let amateurs do it. Even if the Republicans try to find some sort of ulterior motive in the California map, it just isn't there when one looks at the big picture. Almost everything can be explained due to different constraints. Hell even that LGB-Westminster district can be explained from a race/income basis, if not partisanship. And the commission wasn't even supposed to take partisanship into account. If you are talking about the Drier district, Highland was probably excluded to cut down on the city splits, unless Rialto was also split. The Coachella Valley district just didn't make sense if it had to go pick up Perris or Moreno Valley. It did make sense for an assembly map, and exactly that was drawn. I could go on and on.

Basically what I am saying is that it was much, much more preferable to this arrangement where I do believe the commissioners had a motive of trying to create a Phoenix Dem district, even if it meant the Tucson district became more of a swing district.
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« Reply #379 on: October 09, 2011, 04:05:54 pm »
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A two-third majority can remove the commissioners, but that can only be seriously used against Mathis. If either of the Democrats is removed the Democratic legislative leaders can just reappoint them ad nasuem. And no replacement for Mathis can be appointed without the consent of the Democrats. So the map will either be:

1. Drawn by this commission
2. Drawn By the State Supreme Court
3. Drawn by the 9th Circuit

Both 2. and 3. might well just impose the commission map as an interim solution if the issue looks like a partisan temper tantrum, in which case the legislature might try a mid-decade redraw and end up in court again.

They could go to referendum, but I am not sure there will be much stomach among low-info voters for it.

They ought to boot the Republican commissioners as well for stupidity, in not including 2006 election results in their 'baseline' standard.
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« Reply #380 on: October 09, 2011, 05:38:57 pm »


A two-third majority can remove the commissioners, but that can only be seriously used against Mathis. If either of the Democrats is removed the Democratic legislative leaders can just reappoint them ad nasuem. And no replacement for Mathis can be appointed without the consent of the Democrats. So the map will either be:

1. Drawn by this commission
2. Drawn By the State Supreme Court
3. Drawn by the 9th Circuit

Both 2. and 3. might well just impose the commission map as an interim solution if the issue looks like a partisan temper tantrum, in which case the legislature might try a mid-decade redraw and end up in court again.

They could go to referendum, but I am not sure there will be much stomach among low-info voters for it.

They ought to boot the Republican commissioners as well for stupidity, in not including 2006 election results in their 'baseline' standard.

I don't know that they needed to use 2006. I do think they overweighted the 2010 data to the Rs by including all statewide races that year. If they would have picked a subset such as the three closest races, it would be a better measure of overall partisan leanings.
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« Reply #381 on: October 09, 2011, 05:48:30 pm »

It's just kind of dumb how the parties get to choose who draws the map. The process needs to be taken out of their hands. Let amateurs do it. ...

Basically what I am saying is that it was much, much more preferable to this arrangement where I do believe the commissioners had a motive of trying to create a Phoenix Dem district, even if it meant the Tucson district became more of a swing district.

California's Commission has 5 Dems, 5 Reps and 4 Indies, and requires at least 3 votes from each bloc for passage. (It passed 12-2 with both nays being Republicans, by the way, so it got the bare minimum of minority consent.) Similarly, you could make the final passage in Arizona require four votes.

That would help. Of course the Pubbies on the CA commission were pathetic too, but I really can't get too angry over that map, and a lot of CD's are close enough, that I kind of like the incentive it offers to Pubbies to stop being way out there in never-never land.  In a word, I fantasize it might strengthen a bit my little microscopic wing of the party. But hey, here on this forum, my wing is close to half the party! No doubt, that is in part due to my inspired "leadership." Tongue
It would be a lot better to let ordinary decent citizens draw the maps, rather than trying to form panels of impartial experts chosen based on their partiality.


I think there's a combination of ideas here that could work.

I suggest that the process allow the commissioners to have a partisan intent, but tie them to maps submitted by outsiders. Then force them to select a map based on criteria developed by neither the commission nor the mapmakers. Finally require a supermajority of commissioners to override the criteria and select a map other than the one with the best fit to the criteria.
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« Reply #382 on: October 09, 2011, 06:02:49 pm »
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a map based on criteria developed by neither the commission nor the mapmakers.

And therein lies the rub. You are on the right track though. The trick is to create incentives for compromise. One approach is that if both sides cannot agree, they each submit a map to a third party, on whom they have agreed upon in advance (and if they cannot agree the Supreme Court picks such party), which third party would be charged with picking one map or the other which bests follows a set of listed criteria, carefully defined and prioritized, maybe with almost a point system, and if competitiveness is in there, as a lower ranking criteria, not be be touched unless it can be done without much of a point loss otherwise.  Competitiveness too would be carefully defined, and maybe also agreed upon in advance where they is otherwise room to argue, and if cannot be agreed upon, set at trial in advance based on expert testimony and all.

That way each sides takes some risk if they cannot agree (and they can agree upon anything perhaps), and the more aggressive they get with the final map they submit, the more risk they run the other side's map will be picked. And some things that might upset the apple cart later, are set at the beginning, at a time perhaps where the impact of it all is not so well known, so there may be less of a temptation for gamesmanship, because nobody is sure how big the candy bar is that early on.

What do you think?
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« Reply #383 on: October 10, 2011, 04:39:21 am »
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They have been pushing the nuke button with just as much fervor as the Pubbies. It is as if both sides are actually really enjoying this cafeteria food fight. Maybe everyone is on PCP.
Maybe everyone has decided that the other side is not capable of compromise and adult discussion.
Maybe everyone is right.
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« Reply #384 on: October 10, 2011, 06:13:17 am »

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a map based on criteria developed by neither the commission nor the mapmakers.

And therein lies the rub. You are on the right track though. The trick is to create incentives for compromise. One approach is that if both sides cannot agree, they each submit a map to a third party, on whom they have agreed upon in advance (and if they cannot agree the Supreme Court picks such party), which third party would be charged with picking one map or the other which bests follows a set of listed criteria, carefully defined and prioritized, maybe with almost a point system, and if competitiveness is in there, as a lower ranking criteria, not be be touched unless it can be done without much of a point loss otherwise.  Competitiveness too would be carefully defined, and maybe also agreed upon in advance where they is otherwise room to argue, and if cannot be agreed upon, set at trial in advance based on expert testimony and all.

That way each sides takes some risk if they cannot agree (and they can agree upon anything perhaps), and the more aggressive they get with the final map they submit, the more risk they run the other side's map will be picked. And some things that might upset the apple cart later, are set at the beginning, at a time perhaps where the impact of it all is not so well known, so there may be less of a temptation for gamesmanship, because nobody is sure how big the candy bar is that early on.

What do you think?

Here are two possibilities for the criteria that puts them in the hands of neither the commission nor the mapmakers. One welds them into the constitution with all the details for implementation. That may prove to inflexible as one goes forward into future decades. A second approach is to provide the outline of criteria in the constitution with delegation of the details to the legislature. Many political scientists who have studied redistricting think there should be some role for the legislature, and enacting the detailed implementation of the criteria by statute would provide some future flexibility.
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« Reply #385 on: October 10, 2011, 06:33:38 am »
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The basic problem is that the most meaningful criteria (community of interest stuff, including the VRA issues) tend to be hard to quantify exactly, and thus open to abuse if one party has de facto control over the process - or even if both parties agree on bipartisan gerrying. Indeed, a certain degree of bipartisan gerrying - nothing like the last Illinois map, of course - is implied in the principle.
You can draw up quantifiable rules about splitting counties and compact shapes and stuff - even about competitive districts - but you have no guarantee that the end results will actually make sense on the ground.

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« Reply #386 on: October 10, 2011, 07:17:00 am »

The basic problem is that the most meaningful criteria (community of interest stuff, including the VRA issues) tend to be hard to quantify exactly, and thus open to abuse if one party has de facto control over the process - or even if both parties agree on bipartisan gerrying. Indeed, a certain degree of bipartisan gerrying - nothing like the last Illinois map, of course - is implied in the principle.
You can draw up quantifiable rules about splitting counties and compact shapes and stuff - even about competitive districts - but you have no guarantee that the end results will actually make sense on the ground.

That's why I noted a role for the legislature. Academic commentary on the process considers that body to have the best ability to judge what makes sense on the ground. It's just that one wants to avoid giving the legislature the power to draw the lines, since that's where the self-preservation instinct (partisan or individual) shows up most clearly.
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« Reply #387 on: October 10, 2011, 10:26:52 am »
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Why don't you draw up an outline of the criteria Muon2, and then Lewis and I can take pot shots at it, and list all the ways that it can be gamed? Smiley  I still like the idea that if there is deadlock, each side submits their map, and some independent third party picks the one that best comports with the law, based on expert testimony and the like where necessary. I was trying to get as close to the idea as possible, that one side cuts, and the other picks, which can't be implemented here, so I was struggling to come up with the next best thing, that I could think of.
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« Reply #388 on: October 10, 2011, 10:42:58 am »
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Why don't you draw up an outline of the criteria Muon2, and then Lewis and I can take pot shots at it, and list all the ways that it can be gamed? Smiley  I still like the idea that if there is deadlock, each side submits their map, and some independent third party picks the one that best comports with the law, based on expert testimony and the like where necessary.
The problem is that both sides will, first, pick an expert they hope is more sympathetic to them than the other side, and then find inside info on the other side's map, and then just submit a map that's not clearly worse than the other side's.

This is (in practice. Nominally it's a committee with one independent to break ties) how they draw lines in New Joisey.
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« Reply #389 on: October 10, 2011, 10:51:10 am »
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Why don't you draw up an outline of the criteria Muon2, and then Lewis and I can take pot shots at it, and list all the ways that it can be gamed? Smiley  I still like the idea that if there is deadlock, each side submits their map, and some independent third party picks the one that best comports with the law, based on expert testimony and the like where necessary.
The problem is that both sides will, first, pick an expert they hope is more sympathetic to them than the other side, and then find inside info on the other side's map, and then just submit a map that's not clearly worse than the other side's.

This is (in practice. Nominally it's a committee with one independent to break ties) how they draw lines in New Joisey.

Each side peeking at the other side's map doesn't bother me much (that will probably more or less come out in negotiation anyway). Each side's experts are just paid whores of course. That is how we litigate. The third party who finally decides if the parties cannot cut a deal needs to be carefully chosen of course.

The trick is to create an incentive for the parties to cut a deal, because otherwise they run real risks, and hopefully what is at stake as to what is really in play where the third party could go either way, is not too great. So the parties have an incentive to cut a deal the cuts through all of this, protects some incumbents, or whatever they want to do, because the map the third party picks will have none of that in it. It's carrots and sticks all the way, at every step, is the idea.
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« Reply #390 on: October 10, 2011, 06:44:24 pm »
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It would be a lot better to let ordinary decent citizens draw the maps, rather than trying to form panels of impartial experts chosen based on their partiality.


I think there's a combination of ideas here that could work.

I suggest that the process allow the commissioners to have a partisan intent, but tie them to maps submitted by outsiders. Then force them to select a map based on criteria developed by neither the commission nor the mapmakers. Finally require a supermajority of commissioners to override the criteria and select a map other than the one with the best fit to the criteria.


The ordinary decent citizens would be a representative panel drawn from the voter rolls (perhaps 1 per 2000 persons) on a geographically stratified basis.

The following is based on Ohio:

A county apportionment area (CAA) is one or more contiguous counties with a population approximately equivalent to an integer number of representatives.

The maximum relative deviation would be 0.07 * sqrt(N), where N is the N number of representatives.  This would rule out Allen, Wood, and Columbiana counties, but could permit some multi-county single member districts to be created.   The intent is to prevent systematic overrepresentation or underrepresentation of larger counties, simply because any error can be evenly distributed.   If a county was entitled to 9.5 representatives, it could theoretically have 10 districts within the 5% safe harbor, but this would require total disregard of city and town boundaries.  The above limit is intended to avoid this situation.

Anyone could submit a plan that would provide CAA for the entire State with a total of 99 representatives.

A plan would be scored in the following manner: (1) 1 point per CAA; (2) An additional point for a single-county CAA; and (3) An additional point for a single district CAA.  (eg Wayne and Richland counties would be worth 3 points).

The highest ranking plan and those with 90% of the points would be presented to the panel of voters, who would rank the plans based on their immediate effect on them.  For example, the Summit County voters might rank plans based on whether they would pair Summit and Medina; Summit and Stark; or Summit and Portage, but would rank plans as equal that had no immediate effect (eg pairing Montgomery with Greene or Preble).

The top statewide plan would be determined using Condorcet methods.  There might be recursion where the rankings of the voters in each CAA of the top statewide plan would be evaluated to see if they concurred with the statewide plan.

CAA's with a single representative would become districts.

All other CAA's would be handled separately and independently.

A township apportionment area (TAA) is one or more contiguous townships (in a CAA) with a population approximately equivalent to an integer number of representatives.  Note, most large municipalities and many smaller ones in Ohio are also townships.

A TAA that includes parts of two counties is said to span the two counties.  No more than one TAA may span any pair of counties (this applies even if the counties are not contiguous).  This spanning rule replaces the current rule on county splits.   A county with 1.4 representatives could be placed in two (or more) districts going into adjacent counties (but not the same ones), rather than being restricted to one district wholly within the county, and the remnant in one other multi-county district. 

An excessively split county is split between more TAAs than the ideal representation of the county, rounded to the nearest integer and one (1) added.  A county with a population equivalent to less than 0.5 representatives is excessively split if it it split between two districts.  A county entitled to 1.6 representatives could be split among 3 districts, while one entitled to 1.4 could be split among 2 districts, without being excessively split.

Enclave townships (such as Bratenahl, Upper Arlington, and Norwood) would be treated as part of the containing township (Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati) for purposes of creating TAA, unless they had sufficient population to form a separate TAA,  So if Cuyahoga County were a CAA, one TAA would include all of Cleveland plus some adjacent cities or townships.

Individuals could submit plans for a CAA comprised of TAAs.  All plans that proposed the most number of TAAs, and the fewest number of excessive county splits, would be submitted to the panel of voters from the affected counties, who would rank them based on their effect on themselves.

TAAs with more than one representative would be divided into Neighborhood Apportionment Areas (Neighborhoods would replace wards, and would be defined in advance of the census). Only one NAA could span a pair of counties or township/cities.  No neighborhoods could be split.

Qualifying plans would create the most NAAs and create the fewest city/township splits (in general, larger cities would be placed in as few districts as possible), while smaller townships and cities would be treated as if they were neighborhoods and not split.

NAAs with more than one representative (these could be extremely rare) would be divided based on proposals for splitting individual neighborhoods.  Only voters in those neighborhoods would vote on the actual split.
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« Reply #391 on: October 11, 2011, 12:06:34 pm »
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Legislative maps are out. Not quite as egregious.

They did split the white liberal population of Tucson in half and connected both to suburbs in order to grab an extra district. They also organized the Tempe area to give the Democrats a shot at 3 districts rather than the 1 they have now, with Democrats favored in 2 of them.

Overall Democrats are capped at 13 seats.
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« Reply #392 on: October 11, 2011, 12:31:47 pm »
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Legislative maps are out. Not quite as egregious.

They did split the white liberal population of Tucson in half and connected both to suburbs in order to grab an extra district.
How do you do that? Sure the district grabbed isn't one of the Hispanic districts? (Previous map was two Hispanic districts, one White Democratic district, one White Republican district. Unless I totally misremember. And the Hispanic shares were, IIRC, not so very high... so maybe they figured now that they absolutely need 51.0% VAP and can't do that anymore. Hence my idea of what might conceivably be what's happened here.)
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« Reply #393 on: October 11, 2011, 01:39:38 pm »
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Legislative maps are out. Not quite as egregious.

They did split the white liberal population of Tucson in half and connected both to suburbs in order to grab an extra district.
How do you do that? Sure the district grabbed isn't one of the Hispanic districts? (Previous map was two Hispanic districts, one White Democratic district, one White Republican district. Unless I totally misremember. And the Hispanic shares were, IIRC, not so very high... so maybe they figured now that they absolutely need 51.0% VAP and can't do that anymore. Hence my idea of what might conceivably be what's happened here.)


http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fwww.azredistricting.org%2Fmaps%2Fpubmaps%2F100911%2FLeg-Merge_as_of_100911.kmz&hl=en&sll=34.168218,-111.930907&sspn=12.693328,26.784668&vpsrc=0&t=h&z=7


1 Hispanic district in Tucson
1 Hispanic district stretching to Yuma (although this one has a lot of Republicans in it).
1 Hispanic district stretching to Nogales
2 districts with Tucson white liberals and slightly Republican areas like Catalina Foothills.

Average GOP performance here is 47.2 in both of them; currently the Tucson white liberal population is packed into 1 district.


Phoenix is mostly fine.

4 Hispanic districts
1 white liberal district in Phoenix (currently GOP held)
1 lean GOP swing district in South Phoenix/Chandler
1 white liberal district in Tempe/Mesa


At most the Democrats get these 12 and the 1 in the North. 17 districts are safe GOP.
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« Reply #394 on: October 11, 2011, 01:50:53 pm »
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The Flagstaff/Sedona/Holbrook/Payson thingy is safe GOP? I find that hard to believe.
Also, the color scheme is ridiculous. That district is a quite similar shade to its neighbor in Northeast Maricopa... and not too dissimilar from the Navajo/Apache district.
I notice the old Hispanic-influence district in rural Pinal (which fell to the GOP in 2010) has been bifurcated, and I guess both parts lean GOP quite clearly. Though I'm not entirely sure about the eastern one.
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« Reply #395 on: October 11, 2011, 02:12:24 pm »
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Flagstaff - District 6? Yea, 55.5% Republican, or 1% more than the state as a whole.

It's the weakest of the Republican 17, I suppose. But GOP registration is +9 there.

Districts 8 and 11 are likely safe GOP too, at 56/57% per their scale.
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« Reply #396 on: October 11, 2011, 03:47:57 pm »
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The Flagstaff/Sedona/Holbrook/Payson thingy is safe GOP? I find that hard to believe.

You're forgetting the Snowflake/Taylor/Show Low part of that district, which is uber Mormon and uber GOP. Might go Dem if there are tensions between the Mormon Republicans in Show Low etc. and the non-Mormon Republicans elsewhere, but otherwise probably not (e.g., Mormon Dem v. non-Mormon GOP, or Dem v. Mormon GOP following divisive GOP primary).
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« Reply #397 on: October 12, 2011, 09:39:43 am »
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The Flagstaff/Sedona/Holbrook/Payson thingy is safe GOP? I find that hard to believe.

You're forgetting the Snowflake/Taylor/Show Low part of that district, which is uber Mormon and uber GOP.
Counted that under "Holbrook". Tongue (Winslow is a much more marginally Republican town, with a Native minority presence, but it rightly got put in the Dine district.)
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« Reply #398 on: October 27, 2011, 07:51:04 am »
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http://www.rollcall.com/news/arizona_governor_jan_brewer_starts_impeachment_against_redistricting_panel-209840-1.html

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has taken the first step today in what had been previously called “the nuclear option” in seeking a more Republican-friendly redistricting map.

The GOP governor began the impeachment process for removing members from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission by submitting a letter outlining her grievances to commission Chairwoman Colleen Mathis.
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« Reply #399 on: October 27, 2011, 08:17:44 am »
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http://www.rollcall.com/news/arizona_governor_jan_brewer_starts_impeachment_against_redistricting_panel-209840-1.html

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has taken the first step today in what had been previously called “the nuclear option” in seeking a more Republican-friendly redistricting map.

The GOP governor began the impeachment process for removing members from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission by submitting a letter outlining her grievances to commission Chairwoman Colleen Mathis.

Colleen Mathis is the only one likely to be removed.

She concealed the evidence of her (extreme) partisanship before her appointment (as an alleged Independent).

She has been the leader of consistent efforts to hire only Democrats for staff (and consultants) , have secret (illegal) meetings, and destroy records.

She has violated the explicit instructions for redistricting in the ballot measure creating the commission (espresso pundit has a nice summary).  http://www.espressopundit.com/, see Open and Shut case.

Her illegal activities may well get her indicted (and hopefully some jail time).

« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 08:20:10 am by CARLHAYDEN »Logged

Registered in Arizona for Fantasy election purposes.
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