Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 6, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

Alternate Redistricting Maps


  • Not satisfied with the new political boundaries drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission, House Speaker Andy Tobin has drawn his own congressional and legislative district maps that he wants voters to have an opportunity to approve. Speaker Tobin will speak about his alternative to the IRC maps.
Guests:
  • Andy Tobin - Arizona House Speaker
Category: Government   |   Keywords: government, redistricting, commission, Tobin,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: After months of public testimony, crunching numbers, and redrawing lines, the independent redistricting commission adopted final maps of Arizona's congressional and state legislative district boundaries. They're the maps that will be used for this year's general election, unless house speaker Andy Tobin gets his way. He drafted his own maps and he wants voters to choose those maps over the district lines drawn by the IRC. We'll talk with speaker Tobin in a moment, but first, here's what two analysts to say about the maps right here on "Arizona Horizon." What about the department of justice how would they look at something like this?

Steve Muratore: I think they will have a very significant problem with it. The IRC took extensive public testimony especially from minority individuals and coalitions, and obviously Andy Tobin didn't do that.

Bob Robb: I doubt legislators are going to go along with this. I think they've reconciled themselves and are making their decisions about how to run the IRC maps. If were to play out, the state would have the option of bypassing the department of justice and asking for preclearance of the maps after they've been approved by a three-judge D.C. circuit panel. And if you have a vote of public approval, it has been adopted by the voters. I'm not sure that -- and it satisfies the voting rights act requirements, I'm not sure that judges would decide to say to the voters they don't know how best to balance the considerations that go into drawing these maps.

Ted Simons: And here now to talk about his redistricting maps is house speaker Andy Tobin, a Republican from Paulden in Yavapai county. Why did you draw new maps?

Andy Tobin: Let's be clear. There is no map even submitted to this day. We're here on a Monday, there's no map that's been submitted to the department of justice right now even to be approved. So I'm getting anxious, because as everyone in Arizona should be getting, we've got -- we have an -- we haven't even gotten the strategy or the summary of what they did for the minority-majority districts. Usually you don't put maps together unless have you a strategy that has legal tenant to it. That's not even available. We're nervous we may not have maps at all.

Ted Simons: You're saying the IRC maps, the final adopted maps aren't final, aren't adopted, aren’t ready to go?

Andy Tobin: They haven't submitted anything yet. So what are we to do? We're supposed to continue to wait, the question is, is this a waiting game, are they trying to wait out any possibility for the legislature to act at all? 10 years ago when this happened, Jim Pederson had put money into the pot, said let's change the way we do things. I'm all right with that. Let the voters decide. So they talked about let's have open transparency, they said let's have some cooperation along the way, they talked about what else can we do? Let's get politics out of the way, make sure it's fair, make sure everybody is involved. There's no rural representation, I would submit to you there's no independent representation. You have an independent redistricting commission chair woman who is selected who voted 100% of the time. That's like me voting with Republicans. 100% of the time selecting president Barack Obama's strategic telemetry -- that's their consultant, hiring the democrats' attorney, but the nine Republicans. So you have to start thinking, is this an independent person? So if you go back since this initiative was only passed by about this much, 50.28% without any opposition that really came out in that election, what the voters really not -- would they not be offended by what's going on with the maps we have now?

Ted Simons: You asked would they not be offended. How would they not be offended by having a map drawn by one guy?

Andy Tobin: Let's put them up against the wall. At least I'm admitting it. We had the independent redistricting commission who spent money fighting open meeting law. Obviously I'm a leader of the Republican caucus at the state house. Of course I'm a partisan. But I took a 50,000 foot level and I will challenge you, I guess you'll see some maps soon.

Ted Simons: We've got them right there.

Andy Tobin: The maps I drew from this 50,000-foot level still upset some Republicans, but it's fair. It protects the minority-majority districts, it does it better. It actually makes more competitive districts.

Ted Simons: But that's coming from you who drew the map.

Andy Tobin: It absolutely is.

Ted Simons: Whereas the commission had untold numbers of meetings, untold numbers of public comments, thousands upon thousands of public comment, certainly consulted with minority voters and minority leaders, look the at how the department of justice meet certain requirements, we don't know what you considered how you considered or who you considered --

Andy Tobin: That's true. But you don't know who they considered. Who was there on the Monday morning surprise when the independent redistricting commission left the day and showed up Monday morning with maps with a doughnut hole in the center? Who was there at that table? I share with you at my table, I was very honest. I had a staffer, I gave them instructions. One of the instructions was, is there a way to protect rural Arizona? Nobody represents rural Arizona on this commission. It's extremely hurt by these maps. So let's give the voters a chance. They've never really seen one against the other.

Ted Simons: Did you consult with minority interests?

Andy Tobin: I had meetings with the minority long before the IRC started having meetings with the minority. And got their inputs from there, sure.

Ted Simons: You did consult with mionority--

Andy Tobin: Yes, I did. Not on these particular maps, but on their needs. They had come to us back in May and June, us the majority, to help them formulate maps to protect the minority districts. And I still kept --

Ted Simons: did you consult with fellow lawmakers on --

Andy Tobin: I did not -- I will say to you I did not consult with fellow Republicans because I didn't want them implicated as saying, did you redraw this because of your address. Did you redraw this because of yours. So I did it myself, because I'd rather take the punches from everyone and just say here's an alternative. Is this not something that we should at least consider?

Ted Simons: Did you take input from democrats?

Andy Tobin: No, I did not not.

Ted Simons: Why not?

Andy Tobin: Because they already own the IRC. There's three democrats running the independent redistricting commission. So I said here's your map, here's my map. Let's see, whose is better, because you always talk about competitiveness. My maps are more competitive. The law talks about compactness and communities of interest. So you can see by the maps you were showing, what they've got, they have Pinal county now as going to represent congressionally, they're going to have San tan all the way to Yuma, Lake Havasu, kingman. Does that -- is that really what the voters want?

Ted Simons: I think there were 200 and some-odd proposed maps when all was said and done. And now we've got yours, which I guess would technically be 225. But why would voters scrap an independent commission, flawed as it might be, but certainly went through the process that voters set up, and if we didn't find that information about the independent chairman, or chair woman, maybe you worked the process, maybe -- but why would voters take all of that, shove it aside, and say speaker Tobin, we want you?

Andy Tobin: I will say -- share this with you -- the only map that's being presented to the voters to really vote on is the map that I've just proposed.

Ted Simons: That's a special election in --.

Andy Tobin: It's a special election in may or June, wherever we can get it to the voters. That's the only real choice they have. Someone who is sitting in rural Arizona, your maps from the IRC have hurt you. Someone silting who is an independent anywhere, you don't have an independence in this process. The maps that we have driven better take care of the minority and majority interests. The district maps they drew, Ted, for the independent redistricting commission, are using a faulty percentage for the minority members.

Ted Simons: I hear what --

Andy Tobin: That were failed 10 years ago.

Ted Simons: We've heard those criticisms before. Will but isn't what you're doing, what the IRC was voted in -- was approved by voters to prevent from happening?

Andy Tobin: That's what I'm saying. The question the voters have to say, did what the IRC do, did they do that independently, did they follow the spirit of what we tried to accomplish? Did they do that or not? And I think when you start going down that list of things that they have done, no one can realistically say that they drew these maps in a competitive and nonpartisan way.

Ted Simons: Is there a way to go through the legal process as opposed to a special election that would cost some 8 million dollars?

Andy Tobin: We’ve been told it’s about 8 million dollars. I blame that on the independent redistricting commission. They brought us to this point. And we could likely get those funds from the clean elections commission from overcharges and fees and stuff. But I do blame it on them. We wouldn't be here if they had done their job.

Ted Simons: Last question, why not let the independent commission process work? See what happens?

Andy Tobin: I'm with you. But I just told you, and you didn't know, that the maps haven't even been submitted.

Ted Simons: But they will eventually be submitted.

Andy Tobin: when? At what point in time? They've had this process, they've over spent $400,000 in legal fees they want to say is because the chair woman was removed. But in reality, they have an investigation -- we're talking about open meeting rule violations that even Jim Pederson said to the capitol times, of course they were supposed to obey open meeting law. You have to decide, was this process stolen from the voters or was it not? If you believe it wasn't, you're not going to looks at my map. If you believe it was, you'll want an alternative, whatever that might be.

Ted Simons: Didn't the courts look at the question and decide --

Andy Tobin: Yes, there's been appealed.

Ted Simons: All right. It will be interesting to see what happens. It's good to have you on.

Andy Tobin: It's great to see you again. Thanks, Ted, very much.


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