Campaign 2010

Sep 25, 2013

Andy Tobin Wants to Undermine Will of Arizona Voters – All For His Political Ambitions

As he angles for higher political office, House Speaker Andy Tobin has a big problem: independent voters in northeastern Arizona will reject his extreme agenda. So Speaker Tobin is trying to get around the voters’ will and create a district that is more friendly.

In 2000, the people of Arizona spoke in a ballot initiative – making it clear that they want an independent commission to draw the lines of the state’s Congressional districts – not partisan politicians like Speaker Tobin who are just trying to climb the political ladder. Now Speaker Tobin believes the voters’ law should be thrown out and power concentrated among career politicians. This week, Speaker Tobin said he envisions a special legislative session this fall to recraft the districts – and observers around Arizona noted that Tobin would be the primary beneficiary.

“House Speaker Andy Tobin is abusing his current public office to undo voters’ decisions and advance his political career, and he freely admits it,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Speaker Tobin’s behavior is the definition of cynical and self-serving, and it is the last thing we need more of in Washington.”

BACKGROUND:

House Speaker Andy Tobin Working with Republican Leaders to Obtain Back Authority to Redraw 2012 Redistricting Lines. “Bested 5-4 in last year’s congressional races, Republican legislative leaders want a federal court to immediately give them the power to draw the lines for 2014. In new court filings Friday, attorneys for lawmakers point out the U.S. Constitution gives the Legislature the authority to decide the ‘times, places and manner’ of congressional elections. They contend that overrides the 2000 decision by voters to give that power, along with drawing legislative boundaries, to the five-member Independent Redistricting Commission. With candidates now starting to explore congressional races — including current state House Speaker Andy Tobin — the lawyers want a three-judge panel to bar use of the lines the commission adopted for the 2012 race. That’s the one where Democrats took five of the state’s nine congressional seats.” [Arizona Daily Sun, 9/24/13]

Tobin Would Have “Sway in Drawing New Lines” If Court Returned Redistricting Power to Legislature. “Tobin said Monday he envisions a special legislative session this fall to recraft the districts if the court sides with challengers. He said the lawsuit has nothing to do with the outcome of the 2012 races using the lines the commission drew following the 2010 census. Tobin said he always has opposed the idea of the non-elected commission crafting boundaries, but was not in the Legislature in 2002 or in a position to contest what happened then. […] Tobin also said his interest is unrelated to the fact he does not live in the congressional district where he wants to run, the one currently represented by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. Federal law does not require candidates to live in their own districts, though not being a resident can be a political disadvantage. But the House speaker, who would have some sway in drawing new lines if that power were returned to the Legislature, said he was objecting to the commission’s work in 2011, long before he was weighing federal office.” [Arizona Daily Sun, 9/24/13]

House Speaker Tobin “Among Those Who Stand to Benefit” if Federal Court Gives Legislature Authority to Draw New Maps. “Among those who stand to benefit from the Legislature’s argument: House Speaker Tobin, who is eyeing a run in Congressional District 1. He doesn’t live in the sprawling district, but with a few slight adjustments, he could easily be drawn into the district, which currently runs very close to his Paulden residence.” [The Arizona Republic, 9/24/13]


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