The Daily Agenda: Redistricting already?
A board that reflects its residents ... Careful with that flaming TP ... And he looks pretty good for 90.
After the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission drew new congressional and legislative boundaries late last year, counties and cities across Arizona are now charged with updating their political boundaries by July 1.
And in Maricopa County, which has seen massive population growth in the past decade, the changes could be significant.
Much like in Arizona as a whole, voters in Maricopa County are roughly evenly split: about a third are Republican, a third are Democrat and a third are independent. But the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is 80% Republican.
All of the proposed maps that county supervisors are considering are slightly more friendly to Democrats, and at least two have real potential to turn the county board of supervisors from a 4-1 Republican controlled body to a 3-2 Democratic controlled body in a wave year for Democrats.
That kind of political shift could have a huge impact on how the fourth-most populous county in the U.S. runs. Supervisors oversee all sorts of government functions, from funding jails, appointing key positions, passing budgets, combatting COVID-19 and overseeing elections. Who serves on the board matters.
However, unlike at the state level, redistricting in Maricopa County falls to the politicians. That means supervisors — particularly Jack Sellers and Bill Gates — will be voting on maps that could draw them out of a job, a prospect that’s hard to fathom. Other counties have set up independent commissions1, loosely modeled after the IRC, to draft their boundaries, though it’s not required by law.
Simply making the maps more politically competitive isn’t enough, according to Steve Gallardo, the only Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Gallardo notes that people of color make up roughly 45% of the population in Maricopa County, yet he’s the only elected person of color on the board2. As the Latino voting age population continues to increase, he argued that the county has a responsibility to create another majority-minority district or at least an “opportunity district.”
Gallardo’s District 5 is the only majority-minority district, and roughly 65% of voters there are people of color, he said. That’s far too much, he said, noting that Latino legends like Mary Rose Wilcox and Ed Pastor won previous iterations of his district with far fewer Latinos. By “packing” that many Latinos into one district, it dilutes the minority voting population elsewhere.
“Maricopa County should have at least two people of color or at least the opportunity — at least the opportunity — to have two people of color representing them,” Gallardo said.
None of the five draft maps achieve that, he said, largely because the county went about drafting its maps “backwards.” Instead of starting with a blank slate and a “grid map” that carves the county up into squares that are then adjusted, as the IRC is required to do, supervisors started with their current districts then tweaked the boundaries to adjust for population growth.
Speaking of sign drama: Supporters of one candidate for Peoria City Council are complaining that the city’s confusing guidance to campaigns about when they can put up their signs is “fishy” and they argue the city council purposely sent out misleading data to give one candidate a leg up in the sign wars, the Republic’s Taylor Seely reports.
“The incredulity with which some now approach elections is leaving little, if any, room for error without accusations of improper behavior, reflecting how widespread election integrity controversies at the state and national level trickle into local, nonpartisan politics,” Seely writes.
Just stick your head in the sand: None of the Republicans running for governor of Arizona would answer the Republic’s questions about if they’re watching the Jan. 6 committee hearings, though it seems safe to say that they are not watching, as all three have spouted some form of the Big Lie.
So much for a nation of immigrants: During his brief tour of the Arizona-Mexico border yesterday, former Vice President Mike Pence outlined a vision in which permanent residents and U.S. citizens would no longer be allowed to petition to request legal immigration status for their families. That would “shut the door on any talk of creating a path to legal status for the approximately 11 million people estimated to be in this country illegally,” Howie Fischer and Danyelle Khmara write in the Arizona Daily Star.
Just don’t replace her with an election denier: Longtime Yuma County Recorder Robyn Parquette announced she will resign from her position next month to take a new opportunity with the county — and that it has nothing to do with “2,000 Mules.”
Yuma County AZ @yumacountyazRecorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette pursuing new opportunity w Yuma County will resign effective 07/18/22. https://t.co/ey2LlcK8da
Shocking: Police and prosecutors are treating former Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan, who engaged in an hourslong armed standoff with police while drunk at his Tempe home in January, much nicer than other people who pull guns on the police, ABC15’s Melissa Blasius found by reviewing similar cases. Ryan was charged with a Class 6 felony, the lowest level of felony, which carries the possibility of two years in prison. Others who engaged in armed standoffs with cops were charged with Class 2 felonies, which can carry a 10-year sentence.
Burn blunts, not TP: A man suspected of sparking the ongoing Pipeline Fire in northern Arizona by lighting his toilet paper on fire while camping faces several criminal charges, the Arizona Daily Sun’s Abigail Kessler reports, including a charge for having a marijuana pipe on him, which is legal in Arizona.
If you don’t keep stats, you don’t have to cook them: Several police agencies around the Valley didn’t report their crime statistics to the FBI this year as the bureau switched to a new and improved crime stat tracking system, Axios’ Jeremy Duda reports.
“The Glendale, Phoenix and Tempe police departments, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Public Safety were part of a trend that resulted in a data gap that will make it harder to analyze crime trends and fact-check politicians’ claims about crime,” Duda writes.
Don’t get back to work: Three Starbucks employees who the National Labor Review Board argued were wrongfully fired for unionizing lost their case in federal court and will not get their jobs back, the Republic’s Perry Vandell writes. The ruling comes as a steady drip of the coffee chain’s employees seek to unionize, including in Arizona.
Trust your eyes, not the police report: Green Valley News’ Dan Shearer followed up on the scuffle between U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters and a liberal protester earlier this month, tracking down the police report and writing that much of what’s alleged in the police report and witness testimony doesn’t match up with the video of the incident.
No bueno indeed: Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords spoke with NPR about surviving her own mass shooting in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting.
“Too much guns. Too much violence. Too much violence. Too much violence. Tiny. Kids. Kids. Kids. No bueno,” the former congresswoman, who still struggles with her speech from the shooting, said.
Poor Rodney: Former President Donald Trump endorsed former prosecutor Abraham Hamadeh for the GOP nomination for Arizona attorney general. Trump called the candidate “tough and smart” and praised his positions on the 2020 election (which Hamadeh has said he wants overturned) and the border.
Why not just have whole secret courts?: The Arizona Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the practice of keeping jurors’ names secret during a trial is neither unconstitutional or illegal. The case came out of Cochise County publisher David Morgan and freelance reporter Terri Jo Neff’s joint lawsuit challenging the practice in a murder trial, Kyra Haas reports for the Arizona Capitol Times.
Just hang tight: As the U.S. State Department, her team and family members plead with Russia to return Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner to the U.S. after she was arrested abroad with marijuana vape cartridges, Russia is once again extending her detention, this time until at least July 2, CNN reports.
Side gig update: Rachel wrote a freelance piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education that dives deeper into the whole Mirabella vs. Shady Park conflict, including why a retirement community would be on a college campus in the first place (it’s part of a broader higher ed trend, and colleges benefit financially).
Side gigs are exhausting. Please pay us $80 now so we don’t have to work them anymore. Next week, we raise the price to $100 per year, so buy now!
Gov. Doug Ducey signed another bill related to breast implant surgeries into law. House Bill 2635 from Democratic Rep. Amish Shah builds upon the breast implant legislation that Republican Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita passed last year that required doctors to inform women of the potential dangers of implants.
Shah’s legislation would extend those kinds of warnings to breast implant surgery for reconstructive purposes, rather than just cosmetic. Shah told his fellow lawmakers that the original legislation left out the same kinds of protections for breast cancer survivors, and his bill aims to fill that gap, with Ugenti-Rita’s blessing.
Yesterday was Joe Arpaio’s birthday3, and he wants you to come to his birthday party this weekend — for a price.
The self-described “legendary lawman” will be celebrating his status as a new nonagenarian on Saturday in Fountain Hills, where he is running for mayor after a string of political defeats.
The event will feature “fellow Italian singer-comedian Al Raitano” the invite notes. Tickets start at just $50 for general admission or $400 for the “ultimate Sheriff Joe fan experience,” which includes sitting at Arpaio’s table and a “swag bag” with an autographed copy of his book, an autographed pair of pink underwear and an autographed photo.
Pima County, for example, set up an independent committee of five people picked by the five supervisors. However, their rules didn’t technically require the committee members to live in Pima County, and Cochise County resident and former lawmaker Frank Antenori was among those chosen to redraw the county’s political lines.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this piece incorrectly stated Gallardo is the only Latino on the board. Republican Supervisor Tom Galvin is also Latino, though he was appointed to the board, not elected, and will stand for election this year.
As Arpaio frequently notes, June 14 is also former President Donald Trump’s birthday.