Arizona Public Media
AZPM on Facebook AZPM on Twitter AZPM on YouTube AZPM on Google+ AZPM on Instagram

Political Buzz


The Arizona Republic reported this weekend that State Sen. Ron Gould, a Republican from Lake Havasu City, is considering running for Congress in what will likely be the new district 4.

If the districts don't change, Gould could end up in a primary race with Paul Babeu, Republican Sheriff of Pinal County. It's worth noting that neither of the men have formally filed an exploratory committee, according to online Internal Revenue Service records. Once a person is officially a candidate for office, their financial accounting is done through the Federal Election Commission. While considering a run, potential candidates must create an exploratory committee through the IRS.

Keep in mind the puzzle of redistricting is not yet fully put together. The draft maps are still the subject of public hearings throughout the state, and need final approval from the U.S. Justice Department. Then there's the other issue of contention about whether the mapping process has been fair and legal, which is also still playing out.


Independence for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is being threatened from all sides.

Republicans are complaining -- and taking legal action. Democrats are complaining -- and hanging on to the reasoning from legal action they took years ago, resulting in 2009 case law that helped define the commission's role and activities.

Today -- Monday, Oct. 31 -- is the deadline that Republican Gov. Jan Brewer set for the commissioners to submit in writing responses to her inquiries about the commission's actions. Failure to do so is tantamount to an admission of wrongdoing, the governor said.

Whatever happened to the Fifth Amendment?

Brewer's demand is that the commission explain how it didn't violate the state's open meeting law and how it didn't violate the state constitution in the draft maps it drew up.

Attorney General Tom "this is not a partisan inquiry" Horne, a Republican, on Friday was bounced from investigating the commission by a Superior Court judge who said Horne has a conflict of interest because he once represented the commission on open meetings issues. He quickly turned the matter over to the Republican Maricopa County attorney.

Has anyone connected to this bothered looking at the state open meeting law? It exempts the legislative body in political caucus and conference committee and allows an open-to-interpretation exemption in other instances.

That applies to the Legislature, of course, and work in the Legislature often occurs privately, with the results made public upon floor debate and votes. Just look at this year's budget negotiations for an example.

What's the point? you ask. In 2009, the Arizona Supreme Court in a ruling regarding the Independent Redistricting Commission opined that the commission is doing legislative work and therefore acts as a legislative body, subject to the state's provisions for the Legislature.

It needs further legal exploration, but that would seem an appropriate starting point for determining if what some are saying the commission did is a violation of the open meeting law.

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Arizona Legislature Arizona Supreme Court Attorney General Tom Horne,


The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is leading an online attack aimed at Republican Senate Candidate Jeff Flake. The DSCC is complaining that Flake’s campaign has received tens of thousands of dollars from oil companies.

An Arizona Public Media review of Flake’s donations from PACs this year finds otherwise. In the three reports that Flake’s campaign has filed he has a $5000 donation from Devon Energy which is an oil and gas company based in Oklahoma. He also has two donations from Southwest Gas which is a supplier of natural gas. The AZPM review did not look at individual donations so it is possible Flake received donations from oil company executives. He did, however, receive numerous donations from mining companies.

To see Flake’s full campaign finance report from the last quarter go to AZPM’s special report on campaign finance.


A committee of the U.S. House of Representatives appears to be stalling on a bill that would name a meeting room in the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington, D.C. after Gabe Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, who worked for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was one of six killed in the Jan. 8 shooting as she met with constituents. He's the only congressional staffer to be killed in the line of duty.

Giffords' office and several others support the bill to name a room after him to honor his service, but it's stalled in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, according to an article in The Hill newspaper.

The resolution to rename the room was introduced July 20, and according to a news release Giffords' congressional office issued the same day, Zimmerman was one of GIffords' first staff members.



The poll conducted by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center shows a dead heat for the Republican Presidential nomination in Arizona between Mitt Romney and Herman Cain. Each garnered the support of 20% of those questioned. Congressman Ron Paul received 9% of the support, Texas Governor Rick Perry collected 7%, and Congresswoman Michelle Bachman was backed by 6% of respondents.

In questions pitting Republican front-runners Romney and Cain head to head against President Obama, Arizona voters are leaning towards the current Chief Executive. According to the poll, Obama is favored by 45% compared to Romney’s 40% and Cain’s 38%.

The poll was conducted over 11 days earlier this month and has a 4.1% margin of error.


Arguing whether a sticker that says 'I voted," or, "I voted early" is a preferable use of money is for another time and place. But take note that city residents did not receive said sticker with their mail-in-ballots this year.

In past county or state elections, ballots have arrived with stickers in the same package that included the ballot and instructions for how to properly vote by mail. Tucson mailboxes are, however, receiving campaign-related materials urging voters to select, or avoid, certain city candidates. TV ads have started appearing for Tucson candidates, too.

Voters have about two weeks to make choices for city council and mayor, and some school board elections or budget override questions. Ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. Nov. 8 to count in these local elections.

Tucson ballot budget,

About Political Buzz

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