Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Impeachment Twist: Call for Special Session Hits Snag

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:35 PM

It's past 1 p.m., so it's clear that the call for a special session to impeach Independent Redistricting Commission chairwoman Colleen Mathis has been delayed.

Our source at the Capitol tells us there's confusion among Republicans as to which way to go at this point. Gov. Jan Brewer—or, more specifically, her staff, since Brewer herself isn't even in the state—is said to be pushing for the removal of not only Mathis, but also the Democrats on the IRC. Why go after the Democrats as well? Because if the Democrats remain on the IRC, it will still have a quorum and can move forward with public meetings on the current maps, which bring those maps ever closer to being approved.

But some Republican lawmakers are less enthusiastic about wiping out the Democratic appointees as well because they're worried about how it will look. (As if this kangaroo court doesn't look bad enough already.)

So: Lots of closed-door meetings and arm-twisting going on. (We would not be the first pundits to point out the irony of GOP leaders huddling behind closed doors to determine a path of action over alleged violations of the Open Meeting law.)

Another wrinkle: Steve Muratore, via the Cap Times' Yellow Sheet, has demands from state Sen. Frank Antenori:

...Antenori told our reporter he has the votes needed to kill any attempt to remove commissioners if the special session call doesn’t include language allowing for the referral of a measure to the February presidential preference primary ballot to either amend or repeal the IRC — something he said Brewer is unwilling to do. “I’m not going to let this freaking governor push me around. This is pure, stupid, stubborn Jan Brewer,” he said. Antenori placed the blame for Brewer’s position on the GOP congressional delegation and FAIR Trust, and said they prefer dismantling the IRC via removal and sending the maps to a three-judge panel because they believe they can persuade them to draw favorable lines. After a flurry of phone calls last night and this morning, Antenori said he now has the backing of four other caucus members and expects to peel another two or three off from leadership before the closed caucus ends: “If I go into this caucus room at 12:30, this thing goes down. I’m not playing around…. This is the line in the sand. We’re referring it to the ballot, whether we’re amending (prop 106), scrapping it, fixing it. I don’t care. It cannot stand as is.”

That's vintage Frank. He told us last week that he had some heartburn over the whole idea of removing Mathis.

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