When Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission came up with a new map, Republicans were apoplectic. GOP officials wanted the post-Census congressional district lines to be drawn in Republicans’ favor, and when the tripartisan panel, created by voters, came up with more balanced lines, the party went into attack mode.
This week, that attack included impeachment proceedings against the commission’s independent chair, Colleen Coyle Mathis, ousted by Gov. Jan Brewer and state Senate Republicans. And on what grounds did GOP officials impeach this official? Republicans cited “gross misconduct” as a justification.
Alan Colmes talked to Brewer yesterday on his radio show, asking the far-right governor to explain the rationale for impeachment. The discussion didn’t go well.
COLMES: What did Colleen do that was inappropriate, Colleen Mathis?
BREWER: Well she acted, uh, inappropriately. Well it was very, pretty much obvious that she in communications, and doing things, uh, not in the public, and the people of Arizona deserve that —
COLMES: You mean she was doing things secretly? Like what?
BREWER: They just simply need to operate in a lawful and open fashion….
COLMES: I’m trying to understand what she did. What are you accusing her of having done?
BREWER: Well she wasn’t operating in the proper manner.
The audio of the exchange really needs to be heard to be fully appreciated; the partial transcript doesn’t capture just how incoherent the Republican governor really was.
And given the circumstances, this matters. Brewer, as part of an unprecedented power grab, just led an impeachment crusade against an independent government official who’s done nothing wrong. The governor agreed to do this interview to explain the rationale for her decision, and then couldn’t explain the rationale for her decision.
The problem, of course, is that Brewer couldn’t admit the truth out loud: the redistricting commission didn’t rig the game to favor Republicans, so Republicans are retaliating against the redistricting commission.
On a related note, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) argued yesterday, “I think Arizonans should consider impeaching Jan Brewer.”
He has a point. If anyone’s guilty of “gross misconduct” in the Grand Canyon State, it would appear to be its governor.