Dems of East Anchorage call for punishment of Alaska Redistricting Board

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Democrat activists in Anchorage, including one who is a candidate for Anchorage Assembly, are challenging the Alaska Redistricting Board’s maps again, just as they did earlier this year, when they convinced the Alaska Supreme Court to send the Eagle River political boundary map back to the redistricting board for a do-over.

They’re so upset with the new map that they have asked the court to hold the Alaska Redistricting Board in contempt of court.

The three — candidate for Assembly George Martinez, Democrat activist Yarrow Silvers, and Alaska Democratic Party 2020 national delegate Felisa Wilson — say the new map is still gerrymandered. What the three want is for one more Democratic seat in Anchorage, although the new map already gave the Democrats more power in Anchorage. For the three Democrats and their backers in the Alaska Democratic Party, it’s all or nothing.

The three activists filed a challenge with Anchorage Superior Court on Monday. Judge Thomas Matthews, who had rejected the first Eagle River political boundary map, which had a portion of Muldoon included, is considering the legality of the new map. Is it contiguous? Is it compact? And, importantly for the Democrats, does it give Democrats more power in the Alaska Senate and does it weaken Eagle River’s increasing power as a community? Eagle River has been growing, while Anchorage has been shrinking and the Democrats are interested in minimizing the Eagle River political strength.

“Despite clear direction from the Alaska Supreme Court and the Alaska Superior Court, and repeated objections from East Anchorage Plaintiffs, the public, and even members of the Board itself, the Board corrected only one of the two senate pairings that resulted in the unconstitutional Senate District K. As a result, the Board preserved, and in many ways exacerbated, the unconstitutional political gerrymander rejected by this Court. So long as the objectives behind the Board’s unconstitutional intent remain uncorrected, so too does the constitutional violations arising from them. The Board does not shed this Court’s findings of unlawful intent on remand. Thus, on remand, the Board’s intent to split Eagle River districts to increase the representation of the majority political party remains, and the only way to correct the dilutive consequences of this unlawful intent is to cure it. Approval of the Board’s evasive actions not only sanctions the Board’s unconstitutional conduct, it erodes public trust in the independence and integrity of the redistricting process, and in the protections afforded by the Alaska Constitution,” the three asserted in their statement to the court.

There is no compromising with the three, who have two of the Alaska Redistricting Board members on their side. The legal delay created by their repeated challenges could impact the upcoming elections; June 1 is the last day for people to sign up for the Aug. 16 primary. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews is the first stop for the redrawn maps; whatever he decides will then go to the Alaska Supreme Court for appeal. All that needs to be done in the next 43 days to meet the already published election calendar.

The Supreme Court upheld all of the other district lines drawn by the Redistricting Board. There had been several challenges, but the court only decided that the Eagle River Senate lines, as originally drawn, were problematic.

Now, the three complainants are calling for punishment of the Alaska Redistricting Board for contempt of court.

The filing from the three Democrats states, “The majority members of the Board blatantly and willfully evaded the remand order to perpetrate their unlawful objective. These Board members ignored the Court’s clear directive to correct the unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and instead orchestrated a pretextual hearing process that undermined the legitimacy and independence of the redistricting process. While East Anchorage Plaintiffs respect the “Herculean task” undertaken by the Board, respect for that effort does not shield the Board from the consequences of its direct and willful refusal to follow the constitutionally-mandated redistricting process. In Alaska, courts have “inherent power” to punish a party for contempt, “whether direct or indirect,” where “necessary to preserve the dignity, decorum and efficiency of the court.” Here, the Board’s conduct not only threatens “the dignity, decorum, and efficiency of the court”, it impugns the dignity of our electoral system and the public’s trust in that system. The Board’s knowing failure to comply with this Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law is contemptuous, justifying any and all court action necessary to bring the Board into compliance with the order…”

7 COMMENTS

  1. Just save time and give them all the districts. They’re gonna sue until they have it all, and Anchorage voters can’t be bothered to care anyway.

    Wonder how long it will take for Anchorage to pass SF/Portland for worst crap hole on the west coast?

  2. Mr. Martinez displaying how he would govern while sitting on the Assembly…

    How long would you sit in your seat if elected to the Assembly Mr. Martinez? Two years then try for the AK Legislature? Why does it feel like Mr. Martinez is another liberal Carpetbagger trying to re-make our great state into a liberal utopia?

  3. Is los anchorage still butting up on the lower end of residents to justify a district while other more conservative areas are jam packed to the limit thus making los anchorage over represented and these other areas under represented? If so they should throw the whole map out and start over again to get rid of the gerrymander. These extremists want/need to fix the maps to be elected.

  4. Approximately two percent of “Alaskan” land is in the private sector from which familial wealth may be attempted by the state’s temporary residents. The communists have as their only means of sustenance thievery from the working populace. The status quo is fearful of the temporary residents bucking the status quo. No building of the state is allowed unless it’s directed by stupid foreign conglomerates WEF who direct our neighbor, no longer ally, Canada. Alaska is not allowed by foreign communist puppets to excercise our own guaranteed plenary powers forever.

  5. Somebody: get behind the concept of full statehood with attendant Constitutional
    right to EQUAL representation; ok? Not just marxists for a change. Pendulum? Swing!

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