At a briefing with reporters Friday morning, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) responded to the unfolding redistricting war in Arizona by suggesting that residents attempt to impeach Gov. Jan Brewer (R).
Jan Brewer is now at the center of a major redistricting fight.
(Cliff Owen – AP)
“I think Arizonans should consider impeaching Jan Brewer,” Israel said today, adding that he knew the situation well because he has family in the state.
Brewer and the Republican-controlled Senate impeached the head of the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission on Tuesday in response to a map they felt favored Democrats. Colleen Coyle Mathis, a registered independent, is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn her ouster.
Congressional Republicans in the state, fearing their seats were in danger, pushed for the controversial move.
“We will push every button, we will use every strategy, we will appeal to any fair court to redress this trampling of a fair and independent process,” Israel declared. “Instead of impeaching the highly regarded, truly independent leader of that body, that Republicans and Democrats agreed upon, Gov. Brewer ought to think about impeaching herself.”
Israel also knocked Brewer for being in New York, “trying to sell her book” when the vote took place.
Democrats are now threatening recall elections against four moderate Republican state senators who helped their party get the two-thirds majority needed to oust the map-maker.
“The people of Arizona knew what they were doing when they specifically entrusted in the Governor and State Senate an oversight role for redistricting,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said in response. “The over-the-top reaction from Democrats in recent days says all you need to know about how close they came to ignoring the Constitution and hijacking congressional districts in this state for the next decade.”
Israel also said he was “very confident” that Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) would run for reelection despite meager fundraising. Asked about Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s decision to side with Republicans on Ohio redistricting, Israel said only “Dennis is Dennis.”
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