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Last Post 08 Jul 2020 01:50 PM by  Yolanda Fox
R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
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Yolanda Fox
Basic Member
Posts:158 Basic Member

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31 Mar 2020 09:31 AM
    Honorable Robert M. Brutinel, Chief Justice, Chair
    Commission on Appellate Court
    Appointments, Petitioner
    1501 West Washington Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

    Pursuant to Arizona Supreme Court Rule 28, the Commissions on Appellate Court Appointments (“Commission”) requests this Court to amend the Procedures for Nominations for the Independent Redistricting Commission.

    Filed March 31, 2020

    Would adopt on a permanent basis amendments to S. Ct. Rules 128-134 governing the procedures for nominations for appointment to the Independent Redistricting Commission

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, consistent with Rule 28(h)(2) of the Arizona Rules of the Supreme Court, this matter shall be opened for public comment as to whether these amendments should be adopted permanently, with comments due July 1, 2020.
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    01 Jun 2020 12:18 PM
    David J. Bodney (006065)
    bodneyd@ballardspahr.com
    Ian O. Bucon (034543)
    buconi@ballardspahr.com
    Ballard Spahr LLP
    1 East Washington Street, Suite 2300
    Phoenix, AZ 85004-2555
    Telephone: 602.798.5400
    Facsimile: 602.798.5595

    Comment attached.
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    22 Jun 2020 07:41 AM
    Pinny Sheoran, Citizen US, Resident State of Arizona, Maricopa County. Registered to Vote
    9975 E Sutton Drive
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    Email: pinny.sheoran@gmail.com
    Phone: 480-540-4934

    Comment Re: R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

    Comment included
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    29 Jun 2020 03:38 PM
    League of Women Voters of Arizona,
    1934 East Camelback Road #120
    Box 277
    Phoenix Arizona 85016

    Bonnie Saunders, Interim President

    Pinny Sheoran, State Advocacy Chair
    9975 E Sutton Drive, Scottsdale AZ 85260

    Telephone: 480-540-4934 email:LWVAZadvocacy@gmail.com


    Comments attached.
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    29 Jun 2020 03:43 PM
    Betty Bengtson
    1280 East Paseo Pavon
    Tucson, AZ 8518
    520-219-3507
    bettybengtson@gmail.com


    Comments re: R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION


    Comments attached.
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    29 Jun 2020 03:47 PM
    Carol Maas
    24729 S. Golfview Dr
    Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
    camaas@aol.com
    H 480-895-4821 or 480-861-3754 C
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    29 Jun 2020 03:59 PM
    Richard Stafford
    1936 E Harvard Dr
    Tempe, AZ 85283

    Telephone: 480-820-0227
    Email: richards2k5@msn.com
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    30 Jun 2020 08:06 AM
    To:
    Clerk of the Supreme Court
    1501 West Washington Street, Room 402
    Phoenix, Arizona 85007

    From:
    Dee Maitland
    Arizona Citizen
    Phone: 520-229-8505
    Email: deemaitland@earthlink.net

    Re: Arizona Supreme Court No. R-20-0035 Petition to Amend the Procedures for Nominations for the Independent Redistricting Commission

    I am strongly opposed to the rule changes proposed that would remove transparency from the process for selecting commissioners to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). At this point I have no faith that Commission on Appellate Court Appointments (CACA) is capable of impartial review and selection of candidates for the IRC due to its current political imbalance. The Arizona Constitution, Article 6, § 36(A) mandates:

    “the governor, the senate and the state bar shall endeavor to see that the
    commission reflects the diversity of Arizona’s population.”

    Current CACA membership includes 9 Republicans, 4 Independents and no Democrats. State voting records have the state almost equally divided between the three political categories: Republican 34.7%; Independents 33.1%; and Democrats 31.3%. Republicans should not hold 69% of current appointments. Further there are two independents whose independence could be challenged. Ciscomani is married to an advisor of the governor. Contorelli is married to the daughter of Republican Steve Pierce. Transparency is crucial to assure one party and its “independent” sympathizers do not dominate CACA and thus the IRC selection process.

    The process worked in 2010 and should work again this time. Attempts to change it look like partisan corruption. Please leave well enough alone.

    Sincerely,

    Dee Maitland
    5452 W. Winding Desert Drive
    Marana, AZ 85658
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    30 Jun 2020 12:54 PM
    Kendra Alvarez, State Director - All On The Line
    91 E 14th Street, Tucson, AZ 85701
    520-314-0660
    alvarez@redistrictingaction.org

    This comment is submitted to record the opposition of All On The Line-Arizona to the permanent rule changes affecting the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, which are proposed in the above-referenced petition. This matter is particularly pressing as the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments prepares to nominate candidates to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

    All On The Line-Arizona is dedicated to restoring fairness to our democracy and ensuring that everyone has an equal say in our government. Our work is driven by Arizonans who are invested in increasing transparency and public engagement in the redistricting process and working against the polarization and dysfunction of our political system.

    Twenty years ago, Arizona voters chose an independent redistricting commission to help prevent gerrymandering and secure fair maps. Since that time, Arizonans have remained deeply engaged in the redistricting process. Countless Arizonans have shown up for public hearings, submitted draft maps, or applied to serve on this critical commission throughout the last two redistricting cycles.

    An open and transparent application process is fundamental to achieving a robust and fair redistricting process and to upholding public confidence in redistricting -- criteria that the redistricting commissioners themselves are required to uphold upon their appointment. As the Rules being amended specifically point out, public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process is a central goal of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments’ nomination process. But the proposed changes to those same rules work against that stated goal.

    Most concerningly, the ability of individuals and organizations to submit private comments on these applicants opens the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments to undue influence. Allowing private comments also undermines public trust in the process. There must be transparent input on the individuals who will shape the next ten years of Arizona history. The rule change even goes so far as to allow the identity of the individual or entity submitting a comment to be confidential, leaving the Arizona public unaware of who is influencing the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments regarding these applicants.

    Additionally, the petition includes language that decreases the number of commissioners required to conduct official business and decreases the number of commissioners required to enter executive session, shielding their deliberations from the public. These are particularly alarming changes as the Commission undertakes the process of nominating IRC commissioners with a currently incomplete Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. Shrinking the number of commissioners required for decision-making on this already incomplete, partially vacant commission is anti-democratic and politicizes a commission that should be dedicated to independence and fairness.

    We oppose efforts to decrease transparency in Arizona’s redistricting process. These steps to curb transparency are deeply troubling and undermine the key principles of a public-driven and independent redistricting process. We ask the Court not to permanently adopt this rule change, but rather to protect the public’s trust by maintaining an independent, transparent, and fair process for applying to serve on the Independent Redistricting Commission.
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

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    30 Jun 2020 01:01 PM
    Ronnie Maestas-Condos
    Az Leg Dist 14 Candidate
    8300 E Quail Call Ln
    Hereford, Az 85615
    Email: BecuzShePersisted@gmail.com

    Re: Comments on R-20-0035 Petition to Amend procedures for nominations for the
    Independent Redistricting Commission


    To Whom It May Concern;

    I am writing to strongly request that the court reconsider putting forth the proposed amendments for the nomination process of the Independent Redistricting Commission. In reading the amendments, and the process by how these amendments came about, a shadow of suspicion has been cast, a very dark shadow. The petitioner has failed to demonstrate the need for these changes or how they would improve the process of nominations. Rather what seems to be happening again is the party in power are playing politics and trying again to control and influence an already established fair process. If legitimate amendments or changes are to be made it should be conducted in a true democratic process involving the parties that created the Commission in the first place and any other relevant entities, and done in a fair and timely fashion. These times of high political division place an extra burden on our democratic institutions and processes to be transparent and accountable. There is still opportunity to demonstrate your allegiance to these principles by withdrawing the proposed amendments to the nomination process.

    Thank you for your consideration of my comments I hope they are truly weighed.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ronnie Maestas-Condos
    sherri franzen
    New Member
    Posts:5 New Member

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    01 Jul 2020 03:09 PM
    01 Jul 2020 11:17 AM

    James Barton
    Subject: RE: R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

    Pursuant to Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 28(e), Arizona Advocacy Fund, Mi Familia Vota, Living United for Change in Arizona and Chispa Arizona, which are an Arizona non-profit corporations devoted to defending and deepening Arizona’s commitment to democracy and promoting the values of Arizona’s working families, submit the following comments on the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments’ (“CACA”) April 2, 2020 revised emergency petition to amend Rules 128 through 134 of the Arizona Rules of Supreme Court. Specifically, and for the reasons set forth in the attached document, the above named parties request that the emergency amendment to Rule 131, formerly Rule 132, be rescinded.

    Commenter’s Name: James E. Barton II obo Arizona Advocacy Fund, Mi Familia Vota, Living United for Change in Arizona and Chispa Arizona
    Committee Name, Arizona Advocacy Fund, Mi Familia Vota, Living United for Change in Arizona and Chispa Arizona
    Mailing Address 2239 West Baseline Road, Tempe Arizona 85283
    Phone Number 480.580.6120
    E-mail Address jamesbarton2@gmail.com
    If you are an attorney: Bar Number AZ 023888
    Attachments
    sherri franzen
    New Member
    Posts:5 New Member

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    01 Jul 2020 03:54 PM
    30 Jun 2020 04:22 PM

    Joan Knipe

    Subject: RE: R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
    From:

    Joan Knipe

    511 E Pasaro Dr.
    Phoenix, AZ 85085-72558
    Telephone: 480-215-1311
    Knipet@hotmail.com


    My comments are attached.

    Kind Regards,
    Joan Knipe
    Attachments
    sherri franzen
    New Member
    Posts:5 New Member

    --
    02 Jul 2020 04:31 PM
    30 Jun 2020 08:01 PM

    Sarah Congdon
    2750 E. Camino a los Vientos, Tucson, AZ 85718
    520-615-6422
    sarahcleech@hotmail.com

    Subject: RE: R-20-0035 PETITION TO AMEND THE PROCEDURES FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION

    The Honorable Robert M. Brutinel has proposed amendments to the Procedures for Nominations for the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) which raise alarms for voters concerned about maintaining the integrity and transparency of the nomination and appointment process, and preserving the bipartisan and independent nature of the IRC.

    In 2000, Arizona voters made it clear they could no longer trust the redistricting process - as then controlled by the State Legislature - to be fair and impartial, and to reflect the growing diversity of Arizona’s electorate. The people spoke, and Proposition 106 was approved by an overwhelming margin, 56.1% in favor to 43.9% opposed. I voted in favor, and was overjoyed when Proposition 106 passed.

    By creating the Independent Redistricting Commission, the voters of Arizona intended to protect their right to choose their own representatives, and end the practice of party insiders and legislators of drawing legislative boundaries, effectively selecting their own voters. In addition to creating the IRC, voters approved changes to the State Constitution which specified how candidates for the IRC would be nominated and appointed, entrusting those important processes to the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments (CACA), which by law should be politically and geographically balanced to represent all of Arizona.

    Judge Brutinel now proposes to eliminate some of the transparency voters have a right to expect in the nomination process. Under his proposed amendments, applicants could put some information in a new and undefined “confidential” section in their applications; any third party submitting information about a candidate could deem that information “confidential” - including the third party’s identity; and members of CACA could get around public records laws by placing personal notes and procedural emails into a confidential category.

    In each case, voters would potentially be deprived of the chance to learn vital information about candidates’ qualifications, background, weaknesses, potential conflicts of interest and relationship to commenting third parties. Hiding any of this information would undermine public trust in both the nomination of candidates for the IRC, and in the redistricting process itself. Because the composition of CACA has over the last six years become less and less diverse, so that it no longer complies with the constitutional requirement for geographic and political diversity, the Commission’s work in choosing candidates for the IRC may no longer be impartial and politically balanced.

    Instead of making the nomination process more secretive, CACA should make every effort to keep the public informed through a completely open and transparent process. I believe the proposed amendments to Rule 132 should be rejected, and that the original language in Rule 132 (2010) should be retained.

    One other matter raises a red flag for me. In Rule 131.a. Judge Brutinel proposes to replace the words “provide public notice” with “widely publicize.” He calls this a non-substantive change mirroring rule 5.c. of the Uniform Rules of Procedure for Commissions on Appellate and Trial Court Appointments. But that Rule 5.c. (unlike the proposed changes in Arizona Supreme Court R-20-0035) specifies:

    “Each Commission shall widely publicize vacancies by issuing press releases, posting notices online, and/or emailing vacancy notices to interested parties and groups. When feasible, such notices shall be given thirty (30) days or more before the deadline for applications. The notice of vacancy shall state that a Commission may, at its discretion, use the applications filed for the vacancy that is the subject of the announcement to nominate candidates for any additional vacancy or vacancies known to the Commission before the screening for the announced vacancy is held.”
    (Arizona Supreme Court No. R-16-0043, Page 6 of 11)

    There is no such specific language in the proposed rule change. Without it, “widely publicize” could mean anything, whereas there is a long tradition of the meaning of “public notice.” Either the original language in Rule 131.a. should be retained, or the proposed rule change should specify the means of widely publicizing vacancies and notices that applications are being accepted.

    I am deeply concerned that Judge Brutinel’s proposed rules changes for nominations for the IRC set a dangerous precedent of limiting transparency and opening the deliberations of CACA and other governmental commissions to improper influence and partisan bias. We cannot afford to start down that road. Societies come apart when people believe they can no longer trust one another or their leaders to act in good faith for the benefit of all.

    I urge you to refuse permanent adoption of the proposed changes in Arizona Supreme Court No. R-20-0035 Petition to Amend the Procedures for Nominations for the Independent Redistricting Commission.

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Congdon
    Attachments
    Yolanda Fox
    Basic Member
    Posts:158 Basic Member

    --
    08 Jul 2020 01:50 PM
    Honorable Robert Brutinel, Chief Justice, Chair
    Commission on Appellate Court
    Appointments, Petitioner
    1501 West Washington Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

    Final Reply
    Attachments
    Topic is locked