In response to failed legislative candidate Wendy Rogers' letter, "Move was constitutional," I ask your readers to consider the facts about independent redistricting.
In 2000, Arizonans voted to take the power of redistricting out of the hands of politicians and created an independent redistricting commission (IRC).
Republicans like Rogers argue that the IRC gerrymandered the maps, but they misunderstand the term. Gerrymandering is a practice that manipulates geographic boundaries to establish a political advantage for a particular party or candidate. Specifically, extremists in the Legislature have attacked the proposed competitive Congressional District 9, which would encompass parts of Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix.
In such a competitive district, where numbers of Republican, Democrat and independent voters are balanced, candidates will be forced to listen to the interests of the larger community, not just one political party. The constitutional criterion of competitiveness is, in fact, the opposite of gerrymandering.
Rogers is correct that the Constitution does allow the governor and Legislature to intervene in the redistricting process.
However, this serious step is to be taken only for "substantial neglect of duty" and "gross misconduct in office." Neither Brewer nor the Republican senators who voted for (Colleen Coyle) Mathis' removal have provided any such evidence. The bipartisan authors of the 2000 voter-approved law creating the commission have publicly stated that the "gross misconduct" grounds for removal were written for egregious misdeeds like bribe taking and influence peddling -not the partisan displeasure of our governor and the Legislature.