Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jan Brewer should be ashamed -- but of course she isn't

Arizona's accidental governor outdid herself yesterday. It seems that Ms. "I'm a high school graduate and proud of it" Brewer is threatening to call the state legislature into special session in order to attempt to impeach the bipartisan independent redistricting commission that has just completed its duties and presented its findings. The commission is composed of two Republicans, two Democrats and one independent.

In a state with 1.13 million registered Republicans, 1.01 million registered independents and 1.0 million registered Democrats, it seems that the commission has been just a little bit too nice to the Democrats. Arizona currently has five Republican representatives and three Democrats in the U.S. Congress, as well as two GOP senators. Under the new plan, four GOP and two Democratic districts will remain safe, while three will be competitive. In addition, in the State Senate only 17 of the current 22 GOP seats can be relied upon to remain in Republican hands. Quelle horreur!

Brewer is claiming that she's only threatening impeachment in the interest of fairness, yet claims that competitiveness was given too much emphasis in the commission's deliberations and findings. Seriously. You can't make this shit up. According to our beloved governor, this amounts to "neglect of duty and gross misconduct,” the requirements for impeachment here.

She is actually arguing in a two-page letter outlining her reasoning for impeachment that the commission “has not satisfied its constitutional duty requiring it to conduct this vital electoral activity in an honest, independent and impartial fashion that upholds public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process.” In other words, everyone in Arizona knows that the only fair thing to do is to give the Republicans control of every seat in the state legislature, as well as the U.S. Congress. In the eyes of Republicans, fairness means Republicans win while collusion and criminality combined are required for Democratic wins.

If this blatant power grab succeeds, then every other state which has adopted independent redistricting commissions in efforts to end gerrymandering better look out -- I guarantee that every state with a GOP governor and state legislature will try this if it works here.

State Senate President Russell Pearce's (Criminal-Mesa) recall election is next Tuesday. If Brewer continues this farce, perhaps we can follow the lead of Wisconsin and go for our own gubernatorial recall as well.

UPDATE: Well, she fucking did it. Today she called the legislature into special session and fired the independent chairperson of the redistricting commission, Colleen Mathis. Republicans control 22 of the 30 seats in the Senate, while needing only 20 to uphold the removal and neutralize the commission's work. In a statement released late this afternoon, Brewer said "The Arizona Constitution provides that the Governor has direct oversight of the Independent Redistricting Commission, as well as the ability to remove any member due to 'substantial neglect of duty' or 'gross misconduct in office.'" In Arizona, anything even vaguely helpful to Democrats is seen as substantial neglect or gross misconduct.

I'm not sure I've ever seen anything, Wisconsin and Ohio included, that shows more contempt for the electorate than our accidental governor's blatant power grab. We've gotta get rid of this idiotic, uneducated, hyperpartisan bitch.

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