The Yellow Sheet Report (subcription required) reports on this exchange between AIRC commisioners and FAIR Trust lawyer, David Cantelme at last Friday’s hearing.IRC Dems spar with ‘elephants in the room’ - Arizona Capitol Times:
FAIR Trust attorney David Cantelme took fire from IRC Dems during his testimony at [Friday’s] meeting. Herrera interrupted Cantelme and objected to the fact that Cantelme has never publicly disclosed to the commission exactly who he represents, instead saying only that he is speaking on behalf of FAIR Trust. (The group includes representatives from the GOP congressional delegation and Republican legislative leaders, YS, 6/24.) The statement drew an unexpectedly terse exchange between commissioners and Cantelme, who told Herrera, “We’re not going to play this game. We’re not lobbying anyone. This has been settled by the Secretary of State’s office.”
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McNulty joined the fray, telling Cantelme that other people who address the commission do so to represent “real people with real concerns,” and that she views his testimony and advice with a heavy dose of skepticism because he won’t disclose his backers.
Cantelme responded that his testimony for the day was meant to raise concerns about the “serious defects” that exist in a commission map that splits Pinal County into four districts, and that his frequent appearances before the panel are to inject logic into the equation and not to act on behalf of anybody. “There is no hidden agenda,” he said.
The claim didn’t assuage McNulty, who retorted that Cantelme could be “picking and choosing arguments to advance the interests of whoever you represent. The weight of your testimony is very thin because of that.” Later, McNulty told him that she has listened patiently to all of his comments, but that “the time has come [for] some of the elephants in the room” to be addressed.
The attorney made a final request for civility, only to be reminded by Herrera that his expectations were low and understandable: “Tell me who you are and who you represent, that’s all.”
As for Mr. Cantelme’s concern about splitting Pinal County into four districts, there is a perfectly reasonable explanantion for doing so: the AIRC is trying to mitigate the effects of prison-based gerrymandering of districts for Section 5 compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
It was comments made by lawyers for FAIR Trust and GOP Legislative staffer John Mills that alerted people to their scheme to create “phantom” majority-minority districts based upon prison populations which would undermine Voting Rights Act districts and benefit the GOP. No hidden agenda my ass.
FAIR Trust has demanded transparency from the AIRC while maintaining a veil of secrecy as to the clients FAIR Trust represents. What are they hiding? Who is behind the curtain? Transparency for all.No tags for this post.