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Thursday, 06 October 2011 20:13

Democrats Charge AZGOP Coordinated Attack on IRC

  Andrei Cherny, AZ Democratic Party Chairman
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Statement on AZGOP coordinated attack on independent redistricting commission

Andrei Cherny, Arizona Democratic Party chairman, released the following statement in response to Gov. Brewer and the AZGOP's coordinated attack today on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission:

“Arizona currently has four safe GOP districts, two safe Democratic districts and two competitive districts. Earlier this week, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission produced a draft map that features four safe GOP districts, two safe Democratic districts and three competitive districts. Based on this change, the citizen commission members are now being attacked by Governor Brewer in an over-the-top statement with overheated and ugly accusations. Several other Republican leaders, including U.S. Sens. McCain and Kyl, U.S. Rep. Quayle and state House Speaker Tobin, released similar attacks today in a blatantly coordinated assault. The truth is, districts that are close to 50/50 can give independents -- fast becoming our state's biggest voting block -- a voice. We should have even more competitive districts than this commission has thus far provided.

"Governor Brewer's partisan statement today cited political analyst Stuart Rothenberg and The Washington Post to say that Democrats had a chance at winning four or five seats. That means competition. Is Governor Brewer against competition? It sure looks like she is. Proposition 106 says the independent commission is charged to 'oversee the mapping of fair and competitive congressional and legislative districts.' If Democrats 'have the chance' to win in these three toss-up districts while Republicans are assured of victory in four, that is too little competition, not too much. What this is about is a small group of political insiders who have grown accustomed to using gerrymandering to keep a stranglehold of power in a closely divided state.

"The only reason 50/50 districts are a threat to Republican electoral prospects is because of the extreme, out-of-touch agenda that Arizona Republican leaders have been pursuing. Gov. Brewer should spend less time on bullying and more on job creation, and substitute real leadership for these partisan attacks. It is beneath the dignity of the governorship and not in keeping with the best interests of the state.”