Recent emails from the Arizona Republican Party are sounding the alarm that the current process is skewed towards the Democrats and that the AZGOP anticipates going to court to try and undo the new maps.
“The courts are where this fight is going to play out, and all signs are pointing to a costly legal battle.” writes the AZGOP in an email soliciting contributions for the party’s legal expenses.
The alarm-bell ringing by AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward comes as those within Ward’s office are increasingly critical of the mapmaking process, and accusations are flying before the final maps are approved, as part of what observers say is an effort to place blame for the outcome on others.
“The Republican Party will point fingers at Doug Ducey or Steve Gaynor in an effort to avoid any responsibility. Gaynor or Ducey or others will point fingers at the Redistricting Commissioners to avoid responsibility. But the fact is this was a team effort and everyone will deserve some of the blame or credit depending on the final maps.” one observer told the ADI.
One Northern Arizona activist who has been very involved in the redistricting process was critical of the AZGOP’s fundraising effort in particular. “It is like all of that money they raised claiming it would help the audit, when it wasn’t for the audit, it was just to pay the party’s bills. The State GOP and Kelli Ward already spent money raised for legal expenses, but they spent it to PREVENT an audit of Ward’s own election. So now that the grassroots’ money has been spent to keep Ward in office, she’s using redistricting as her next excuse to squeeze more money out of good people who don’t know any better.”
Others were less critical of the Party’s email fundraising. “They will use any hot button issue to raise money. Border security, the audit, new maps, Biden’s spending bills, whatever is in the news, they’ll act like they are involved in an effort to shake money loose from the donors. It isn’t really truthful on their part but its also standard operating procedure for most email fundraising. It is up to the donors to do their homework and decide where to send their money.” said one Valley consultant.
Whatever the reaction to the fundraising effort is, most agreed that the maps are still considerably better for the Democrats than anticipated, and that as they stand, would represent a failure by the GOP side, given that they held all of the cards available to effect the process.
“Ten years ago the Democrats used their advantages to draw maps that were great for Democrats. Ten years before that the Republicans did the same. There is no reason for these maps to lean Democrat in 2022 unless Arizona Republicans completely blow it.” said the consultant.