Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Right now, counties determine their own boundaries for supervisor districts. Seemingly, that's been working so far, but this is the golden age of Arizona Legislature micromanagement, so why not set up another committee? Even better, why not set up committees that likely benefit Republicans well into the future?
State Sen. Lori Klein, late of the controversy over a bigoted letter that she read on the Senate floor, has proposed a strike-everything amendment to HB2289, one that is scheduled for committee consideration at Thursday's meeting of Senate Finance.
It concerns the redistricting of county supervisorial districts.
Her proposed measure would set up an "independent redistricting committee" in counties with five supervisorial districts.
Currently Maricopa, Pima, Cochise, Coconino, and Yuma counties each have five supervisor districts. Because of the population counts of the 2010 Census, Mohave, Pinal, and Yavapai counties will have to go to a five-district plan.
The "independent" committee would be made up of the current supervisors (either five or three, as appropriate) plus *six* members appointed by legislative Republicans and the Governor.
Specifically, the Speaker and majority leader of the House would each get to appoint one person, as would the President and majority leader of the Senate. In addition, the governor would get to appoint two members of each county's "independent" redistricting commission.
Those folks, the legislative leadership and the governor, are all Republicans, who can be reasonably be expected to appoint fellow Republicans. And there is nothing in the proposal to require that the commissions be partisanly balanced or even non-partisan.
Based on this model, the redistricting committee for Pima County would like be made up of eight Republicans and three Democrats. At least we get a little more evidence to prove that from Republican legislators, "limited government" means "limited to us".