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Political Buzz – November 21st, 2011


Governor Brewer and Senate President Russell Pearce are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to stay the reinstatement of Colleen Mathis as the Chair of the Independent Redistricting Commission.

In paperwork filed with the state Supreme Court, attorneys for the Governor and Senate President argue that since the Court only issued an order and did not explain its reasoning nobody knows how the decision was flawed. Brewer and Pearce say that infringes on their constitutionally granted ability to remove a member of the IRC.

When the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated Mathis, the Vice Chief Justice wrote that an opinion explaining the ruling would come in “due time.” He did not, however, indicate an exact timetable.

Arizona Arizona Supreme Court Colleen Mathis Independent Redistricting Commission Jan Brewer,


Arizona Senate Minority Leader David Schapira of Tempe announced on his Website today that he is exploring a run for Congress.

Schapira made the announcement in a three-minute video in which he outlines what he considers to be the top issues -- children hurt by educational cuts, struggling middle class, "Congress completely out of touch".

"What I've learned is Arizonans don't want elected officials who focus on an extreme agenda," Schapira says in the video "We need jobs, not partisan bickering. Arizonans want leaders who represent the values of our community and have a vision for the future."

Because the state's congressional districts haven't been finalized for the next decade, it is uncertain exactly where Schapira would run. But like other potential candidates, his exploration is based on a hunch that there will be a Democratic-leaning or at the least a competitive district drawn where he lives.

Arizona Congressional Districts David Schapira,


Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission is scheduled to resume its work next week, for the first time since the commission's chairwoman was removed from her position.

Last week the Arizona Superior Court overturned Colleen Mathis' removal as chair of the commission. The court said Gov. Jan Brewer's decision earlier this month to remove Mathis, with the Arizona Senate's approval, was inappropriate. The court sided with commission attorneys, who argued Brewer did not have cause to remove Mathis.

Since the ruling, Brewer has said she will consider her other options, which could include attempting again to remove Mathis, after first writing a more detailed justification letter.

In a statement, Mathis said this weekend she looks forward to continuing the commission work.

"I am hopeful that we can complete our mission before Christmas so that there is sufficient opportunity for the Department of Justice to approve the maps in time for state and county officials to complete their duties before the 2012 primary and general elections," Mathis said in the statement.

The commission will resume its work reviewing public comments gathered during a month of meetings on the draft Congressional and Legislative maps. After that, it may make changes to the draft maps, or not, before finalizing and submitting them to the Justice Department for review.

The four partisan members of the commission were not precluded from working while the courts took up the challenge to Mathis' removal. However, the rest of the commission is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, meaning the politically-independent chairperson generally serves as a tie-breaking vote.

Brewer redistricting,

About Political Buzz

News, commentary, analysis from the AZPM political team: Christopher Conover, Andrea Kelly, Michael Chihak.