Friday, March 15, 2013

Alaska Redistricting Board Chooses To Not Hire An Executive Director [UPDATED]

I've sent an email to the Chair of the Board asking for some explanation of their decision.  If you read my post yesterday on the benefit of the open meetings law, you'd know that I'm astounded by the decision, but I'll give the Chair 24 hours to respond and explain things that might not have been obvious, before I give my reaction.

[UPDATE 9:00pm:  Here's a link to the Anchorage Daily News article on the decision.]


  1. What was the process to not proceed to a hire? Was there a motion, a second,and a recorded vote? Or just 'home cooking'?

    I think the timing of 'realizing' that there was a case before the Supreme Court that apparently justifies not hiring now, after conducting the process, is interesting to say the least. Cert was granted in the Shelby County Alabama VRA case on November 9, 2012.

    "The thought was if we have to wait till July, what's the person going to do?" Brodie said.

    Why did this thought not occur earlier? Who had the palm/forehead moment that 'rescued' the board 'just in time'?

    What do you think?

  2. I have listened in online from LA. But my understanding is that the decision was not made publicly. This is a very good point. The deliberations on the candidates could be done in Executive Session. But the decision to not hire anyone should have been done in public and voted in public.

    I'm holding off on further comment until the Board Chair has had time to respond to the questions I emailed him.

    1. I have some other thoughts, will be checking back later. I looked up "home cooking" here. Not exactly the usage I'm familiar with, but I got a chuckle and learned something.

  3. Following this story in your blog and in the Anchorage Daily News, from London.

    I'm not naïve about politics -- redistricting lines have often been used to achieve party rather than community interests. It's also true that current methods used in empaneling redistricting boards works to serve political parties rather the electorate.

    So what if they tamper with the lines, then, or who gets hired to work for them. Given the results in the last election in Alaska, with a supermajority for Republicans in both houses, it seems it worked as designed.

    The trouble is, how can that result serve the broader interest of public debate, and more importantly, the trust required in a system grounded in consent of the governed?

    Good luck on finding out what really happened, Steve; but that's only the beginning of working out the problem of a system that is broken, as seen by this voter.


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