Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nefarious shenanigans in redistricting process

Found a link to a funny article from the Yuma Sun in BC Arizona Water News this week and just had to share.  If you're from Arizona and follow the news you have probably heard about the big fight going on in the state over the decennial redistricting process that is currently going on.  I won't go into the details here, it's too convoluted and at times sordid.

Let's just say that folks from both political parties have their gripes about the way the process has been going, but the ones who identify with an elephant have been griping the most - probably because they have the most to lose and since they hold most of the power now, they actually have some ammo to derail the process.

But the alarm bells being rung by State Senator Don Shooter from Yuma are a new form of attack on the process that I confess I never saw coming.  His premise is that because the new district boundaries that include the Yuma area - along the Colorado River where this is lots of farmland and high priority rights to water from the river (higher priority than CAP rights) - divide the area and those districts stretch all the way to Phoenix and Tucson, there must be plans afoot by those city folk to rustle up some water rights.  Well maybe not plans afoot, but the idea is that if someone were to concoct a plan it would be easier to implement if there was no one representing the interests of those folks out in Yuma in our state legislature.

Have to admit it makes for a nice story.  Seems pretty far-fetched though, right.  Yeah, probably.  The only way the cities are going to wrest that water from the farmers out in Yuma, though, is by buying up the rights and getting approval from Reclamation to transfer that water.  That certainly seems more do-able if you have the state legislature and our congressional delegation on board.  But really if they are intent on doing that, how much difference will one local representative make?  If those water rights could be taken away by legislative fiat I think it there would have been more action along those lines already.  The water rights, if and when they are transferred to cities, will be purchased in a heavily negotiated transaction that the people giving up their rights will fully support.  And they're not gonna let some state senator stand in the way of that deal.

And if you take a look at the maps, his claim about those Yuma districts being controlled by people from Maricopa and Pima Counties is a bit overdone as well.  The districts that cover Yuma do stretch towards the big cities, but only touch the outskirts, so the population should be pretty well balanced between urban and rural.  Sounds to me like just another shady attempt to derail the process.

No comments: