PHOENIX – Yesterday the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments sought to deny discovery requests related to their highly controversial and likely unconstitutional selection of a registered lobbyist and a pro-Trump activist as Independent finalists for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). The Arizona Constitution bars registered, paid lobbyists from IRC service.
The objections were filed in response to requests for discovery related to the complaint filed last month by Democratic Legislative Leaders Rep. Charlene Fernandez and Sen. David Bradley, contesting the eligibility and inclusion of Trump rally host Robert Wilson and EPCOR lobbyist Thomas Loquvam on the list of Independents eligible for IRC appointment.
In one of yesterday’s objections, AG Brnovich went so far as to take issue with the Democratic leaders’ statement that “Thomas Loquvam was employed by EPCOR USA, Inc.”, contending that the terms “employed” and “paid” are “vague and ambiguous.” In his own IRC application, Mr. Loquvam indicated that he is, indeed, employed by EPCOR and that his paid position compelled him to register as a lobbyist.
Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini issued the following statement:
“If the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is confident that their selections of Mr. Loquvam and Mr. Wilson are constitutional, proper, and uphold the integrity of the Arizona IRC, then the lengths to which they are going to conceal their decision-making process from public scrutiny is, frankly, baffling.
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments was created to serve as an apolitical advisor, tasked with ensuring that IRC candidates, as well as appellate court appointees, are entrusted to only the most qualified and capable individuals in Arizona. We have watched with great disappointment as this Governor has warped this vital process.
Since taking office, Governor Ducey has flouted the constitution by appointing a Commission on Appellate Court Appointments that no longer represents the ethnic and political diversity of Arizona’s population. He has stripped it of those Commissioners who are above rubber-stamping his preferred candidates. Rather than serving the people of Arizona by making careful, balanced decisions about the merit of potential judges for our highest courts and commissioners for our voter-protected IRC, the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments has been wielded by the Governor as a partisan political instrument.
The Arizona Democratic Party applauds Representative Fernandez and Senator Bradley for standing up for the integrity of our democratic institutions, and challenging these outrageous selections.”