By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
A lawsuit filed by top Democratic legislative leaders challenging nominations for the Independent Redistrict Commission has no merit and should be thrown out, attorneys for the panel that crafted the nominations said Wednesday.
Assistant Attorney General Michael Catlett said there’s no legal basis for the complaint by House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez and David Bradley, her Senate counterpart, that two people on the list are not legally qualified to be considered for the lone “independent” slot on the five-member redistricting panel.
Catlett does not dispute that one of them, Coconino County Robert Wilson, hosted a campaign event for President Trump in the parking lot of his Flagstaff gun store.
He also said Wilson has occasionally hosted “`meet and greets” for Republican candidates at his business. And, as political independents are entitled to do, Catlett said Wilson did vote in the Republican primary.
But Catlett said the fact remains that Wilson has been a registered independent since 2005. He said that more than meeting the terms of the Proposition 106, the 2000 voter-approved constitutional amendment creating the commission that draws the lines for legislative and congressional districts, which requires someone to be independent for just three years.