Friday, November 04, 2011

UPDATE: AZ Independent Redistricting attacked

Pearce, Brewer & TeaParty legislature drunk with power and out-of-control.

UPDATE, Thu. Nov 17: The Arizona Supreme Court today restored Mathis as Chair of the AIRC and declared her impeachment by Brewer and the Senate was unconstitutional. Also, Senate President Russell Pearce was recalled by voters on Nov 8 and is now out of office.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- My statements on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission crisis (Nov 4 & Nov 1):

Representative Daniel Patterson (Tucson): Book hawker Brewer in NYC and the Arizona TeaParty Legislature, drunk with power, earned wide criticism this week due to their illegal power grab and attack against independent redistricting. This is a historic abuse of power without parallel in modern American history.

This week, Republicans turned the Arizona state Legislature into a kangaroo court. Their supermajority illegally removed the independent chair of an independent commission. In their rush to judgment, they did not follow a proper constitutional process, unfairly denying the chairwoman sufficient time to defend herself.

TeaParty politicians know the only way they can stay in power in a closely divided state is to break the law and drag the reputation of an honorable independent citizen volunteer through the mud.

This baseless, unfair vote to impeach a volunteer citizen commissioner was the culmination of nearly a year of bullying and interference. Every honest person in the state agrees that this is not about ‘substantial neglect of duty’ or ‘gross misconduct in office.’ It was about protecting the careers of Republican congressmen like Ben Quayle. These GOP congressmen conspired with the governor to strong-arm state lawmakers to ‘blow up’ this independent commission.

This breathtaking abuse of power came at the expense of good government and fair elections. It trampled over the Constitution and mocked the will of the voters.

Over a decade ago, those voters took redistricting out of the hands of self-interested politicians. But Tuesday, politicians yanked it right back. Overthrowing a voter-driven process is the ultimate partisan overreach.

Republicans control nearly every statewide office, and they hold a a supermajority in the Legislature. But all that power still isn’t enough: They won’t stop until they own the next 10 years of Arizona elections. But the stench from this attack on independent redistricting will trail them into next year's elections where every Arizonan will know what they did to silence the voices of Arizona's growing ranks of independents.

The people of Arizona want competitive districts and fair elections. Arizonans are angry and fighting back against these abuses from reckless Brewer and her mad TeaParty Legislature. (Nov. 4)

(Nov. 1) "This special session is the height of hypocrisy," said Representative Daniel Patterson of Tucson. "It's the partisan incumbent politicians like Brewer, Bennett, Pearce and Tobin pushing for this session who are guilty of all the things they accuse the Independent Redistricting Commission of: no transparency, abuse of power and back room deals designed to keep the public, even other Legislators, in the dark."

Much more on-going coverage of AIRC and AZ politics @RepPatterson & Rep. Daniel R. Patterson page

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