Attorney General Tom Horne: Stonewalling Will Not Be Tolerated

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2011
CONTACT: Doug Nick

HORNE RESPONDS TO REDISTRICTERING COMMISSIONER’S STATEMENT OF NONCOOPERATION; SAYS STONEWALLING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED 

PHOENIX (Thursday, August 4, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne today responded to a statement by Redistricting Commissioner Jose Herrera, who stated in public that he would not cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation and that he would not answer questions from the Attorney General’s Office.

Horne stated: “It is not my job to become involved with political disputes regarding the commission’s decisions. It is my job to determine whether the law has been broken. Serious allegations have been made about possible violations of the law concerning open meetings law and procurement. If there have been no violations, we will indicate that, which will remove the cloud currently over the commission, and greatly benefit the commission in its work. If we find, on the other hand, that there are violations, it is my duty to pursue them. The public expects this of the Attorney General’s Office. The public also expects, in view of the importance of the commission’s work, that my investigation will proceed quickly, and that delaying tactics will not be tolerated.”

“I have no preconceptions as to whether or not the law has been broken, but stonewalling on the part of any commissioner will not work. It did not work in the Watergate scandal and it will not work here. My office will be relentless in pursuing the facts, and no commissioner will succeed in attempting to hide relevant facts.”

The Attorney General’s Office has been attempting to pursue this investigation in a cooperative manner, but will also pursue the investigation using other tools, as appropriate, including A.R.S. §38-431.06 which states, relevant to alleged violations of the open meeting law:

A.R.S. §38-431.06

B. “… the Attorney General… may;

1. Issue written investigative demands to any person.

2. Administer an oath or affirmation to any person…

C. The written investigative demand shall:…

4. Specify a place for taking the testimony… “

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Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Update

Here is the latest news on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

Last night the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission met in Glendale to discuss the latest machinations to redraw the multitude of new voter districts as mandated by the Constitution.

During that meeting, the commission went into an open legal briefing to discuss how the commission should handle a recently-launched investigation by Arizona Attorney General, Tom Horne.

Horne has taken an interest in the commission’s proceedings after public outrage occurred when and how the commission chose a Democrat-friendly mapping firm to redraw Arizona’s district lines. At question is how the commission arrived at its decision during executive session meetings and what information was used. For several weeks, citizen activists have sought information about the commission’s proceedings behind closed doors and how Strategic Telemetry was chosen without any public input. Public records requests have also revealed that some of the information has gone missing.

Yesterday, Arizona Capitol Times covered the meeting with primary coverage dedicated to the commission’s response to AG Horne’s investigation.

CapTimes  reporter, Christian Palmer writes the following:

Democratic Commissioner Jose Herrera said he had no intention of answering questions from the Attorney General’s Office, which he accused of waging a partisan investigation on the public dime that unfairly targets unpaid commission members.

“It shouldn’t be this way, where we have politicians trying to intimidate us,” said Herrera, who urged at the IRC meeting that fellow commission members resist Horne’s investigation.

and later in the article,

During the meeting today, Kanefield informed the commission that Horne’s office is legally entitled and entrusted with investigating potential violations of open meeting laws, and as such has already been given written transcripts of the commission’s executive sessions.

Written transcripts, he said, could be used to pursue an investigation into possible violations of open meetings laws, while it remained uncertain whether the documents could serve a parallel purpose of pursuing an investigation of possible procurement violations.

That revelation prompted Herrera to declare that the Attorney General’s Office “should respect that we have legislative immunity” and that the prospect of involving partisan politicians in commission dealings was “sad.”

“I hope you protect us. That’s what you’re paid for,” Herrera said, speaking to IRC attorneys.

During the open legal briefing, the commissioner’s attorneys informed commission members that Arizona law extends commission members “legislative privilege” protecting them from being forced to disclose information used in any decision making process during executive sessions.

However, in an earlier Arizona legal case, Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission v. Fields, the court ruled that the commission could protect information related to the actual process of crafting the district boundaries. The commission’s attorneys did not answer the question of whether the commission’s recent administrative actions – of actually choosing the firm Strategic Telemetry – would be protected under legislative privilege rather than under normal administrative actions and thus, under Arizona’s Open Meeting law.

At the hearing, both Democratic commission members, Jose Herrera and Linda McNulty appeared defensive and concerned about the AG’s investigation while both Republicans on the commission, Scott Freeman and Richard Stertz were willing to cooperate with the AG’s office.

The next meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will take place on Friday, August 5th at 6 PM at the Burton Barr Central Library in the Pulliam Auditorium.

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission to Meet Tonight in Glendale

By Conservative Citizen Activists

Glendale Redistricting Hearing, August 3 (this Wed) 6:00pm
City of Glendale Council Chambers
5850 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale AZ 85301

(1) Demand the Commission FIRE Strategic Telemetry & RESTART the interviews of LEAST 7 MAPPING CONSULTANTS –preferably AZ Companies

(2) Commission Corruption and Unethical Conduct

· Destroying documents
· Bid Rigging
· Vote Trading
· State Procurement Office refused to take part in the contracting of ST
· Partisan-mapper no prior experience/twice as expensive/campaign advisor for Pres. Obama and other clients MoveOn.org, SEIU, AFL-CIO and other far-left groups
· Closed Meetings -over 37 hours of Executive Sessions/No Minutes
· Independent became Chair and failed to disclose pertinent information in 3 parts of her IRC application

(3) Explaining how you want your district boundaries to be drawn (Why did you select your city?)

AZ IRC Corruption Investigations:

AZ State Majority Leader Andy Briggs demanded 7-15-11 that ALL documentation be forwarded to him ASAP
Attorney General Horne investigating the improprieties of the IRC
Two Tucson state legislators calling for removal of Strategic Telemetry:

(1)Senator Antenori said on the radio this weekend: They asked him what he wanted to happen and he said to go back and start OVER with the mapping companies. NOT these 4 but BACK TO THE FIRST SEVEN. (Does this mean the selection of the four may not have been proper ? Perfect scores were given to ST…. They are PERFECT ?) Properly score the seven companies
(2) State Rep Terri Proud is calling for the repeal of Prop. 106.

Western Free Press: Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission — Public Comment Session — July 21, 2011

At South Mountain Community College, July 21, 2011, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission sought public comment. The following unedited video was recorded at that session.

This video is just part 1 of 11 unedited videos. Western Free Press has covered the Independent Redistricting Commission’s actions from the beginning.

Western Free Press is dedicated to generating public dialogue on Arizona’s most important issues and figures. 

Independent Redistricting Commission Snubs Mohave County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2011
CONTACT:  Mike Philipsen

(STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX) – The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission hasn’t even had its first public hearing, and already the Commission is creating controversy over the way the hearings are handled. Sen. Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City discovered today the Commission may send only one of its five members to the sole IRC hearing in Mohave County. Previous meetings in Phoenix and Tucson have been attended by all five members.

“I guess the rules are different outside of Maricopa and Pima counties. In the IRC’s mind, the full Commission doesn’t need to hear the concerns of Mohave County residents. One member is just fine. That’s an insult,” says Sen. Gould.

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26 at 6 p.m. at Bullhead City Council Chambers.

“You’ll have people coming from all over the county to Bullhead City for this meeting. These people care about the process. It’s a real slap in their faces,” says Sen. Gould.

The IRC is also now the target of a probe by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, over accusations of violations of open meeting laws and procurement laws.

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Arizona GOP Chairman Morrissey Applauds AG Horne Investigation into IRC Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2011
CONTACT: Thayer Verschoor

Phoenix, AZ – Chairman Tom Morrissey speaks on the investigation into the IRC by the Attorney General Phoenix – “I applaud the action taken today by Attorney General Horne to investigate the actions of the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) for their outlandish action to award a contract to Strategic Telemetry for mapping consultant services. The unprecedented action by the IRC flies in the face of our state laws on many counts.

History clearly demonstrates the undeniable fact that this company is neither independent nor non-partisan. Since this process will determine the electoral lines for the next ten years, the voters of this state MUST be assured that the redistricting process is fair and balanced. In addition, there are two other firms that submitted proposals to provide the expertise for the mapping services – including the company that provided that service ten years ago with no missteps and an Arizona company with a wide-ranging expertise in Arizona communities of interest. The price tag for the proposals from these two companies, COMBINED was about the same as the proposal inappropriately approved by the IRC. Arizona taxpayers expect – no, DEMAND, better judgment from this commission.

If the Independent Redistricting Commission cannot take the first step in this process in a legal and ethical manner, Arizonans across the political spectrum will have no faith in the final redistricting plan. Republicans, Independents, Democrats and Libertarians deserve better, and I strongly support the actions of the Attorney General to protect all the citizens of our great state.”

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Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Authorizes Probe into Independent Redistricting Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2011
CONTACT: Amy Rezzonico

PHOENIX (Thursday, July 21, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne has authorized his office to conduct an initial investigation of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission based on reports that raise questions about the Commission’s compliance with Arizona’s Open Meeting Law and procurement laws when it recently entered into a contract with Strategic Telemetry to provide mapping consultant services.

“I need to emphasize very clearly that this is an initial investigation that will attempt to determine if any violations actually occurred,” Horne said. “I am concerned about reports that have raised questions about some of the procedural actions taken by the commission, and I am committed to finding out whether those concerns warrant any further investigation. If this initial investigation finds that laws have been violated, we will proceed accordingly.”

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