Fair-minded Arizonans have reason to feel strangely encouraged by recent outrages perpetrated by the state’s sledge hammer-handed Republican Party. Surely the time is near for a tipping point, a point when the outrageous and embarrassing actions of a GOP-dominated state government come to bear on future elections.
The latest outrage occurred this week when Gov. Jan Brewer ousted the chairwoman of the independent committee in charge of reshaping the state’s political boundaries. Brewer removed Colleen Coyle Mathis for “gross misconduct” with authorization from the GOP-dominated Senate and its 21-6 party-line vote. Not only that, but Brewer sic-ed Attorney General Tom Horne to investigate committee “violations” of the state’s Open Meeting Law. Horne is not a disinterested party. He too is Republican.
Brewer’s actions, while constitutional, are nothing more than cheap politics. Her party wants to maintain a stranglehold on how the state is run. The GOP cynically fears fair redistricting will cripple its ability to rule. The party may get its way if Mathis does not prevail in court.
Even the conservative Arizona Republic took a well-aimed punch at Brewer and the Legislature in an editorial this morning. Under the headline, “GOP Tramples Redistricting,” the paper said correctly, the action “ran roughshod over the public” and further noted, “In a crowning affront to the public, Gov. Brewer is out of town on a book signing tour this week and had Secretary of State Ken Bennett issue the call for a special session” of the Senate.
Add this latest disgusting development with the controversial immigration legislation, SB 1070, and Senate President Russell Pearce’s attempt to support a dummy Hispanic candidate to help his cause in a recall election, you have to wonder this. Is the tipping point at hand? When will state government more closely reflect Arizona’s voter registration: 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat and 1/3 Independent?
If there is a better chance than the 2012 elections to unseat these engorged villains, then when? Is it not time to tear away the claws of radical right-wing politics in this state and restore a sense of democracy and fairness, and even decency, to these very arid lands?