Wheels within wheels: Jesse Kelly and the Redistricting Commission

by David Safier

If you've been following the attempts by Adams and Pearce to strongarm the appointments of their allies as members to the Redistricting Commission, you know how serious this issue is. The commission will decide how districts are drawn, which can either create more competitive districts or carve out a huge majority of Republican-heavy districts and a few that are Democratic locks.

Here's a new wrinkle, courtesy of Jim Nintzel in a post on the Weekly's Range. It looks like Christopher Gleason, who wasn't included among the nominees and is at the center of the uproar created by Adams and Pearce, is deeply involved in Republican politicking.

Gleason was connected with the nastiest parts of the campaign against Giffords.

[Gleason] was also a member of the Conservatives for Congress Committee, which ran a number of below-the-belt hits against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in an unsuccessful effort to boost Jesse Kelly earlier this year.

Wait, there's more. Nintzel writes that "multiple sources" are saying Gleason is helping set up "a new non-profit with the working title of Tucson 360." And Tucson 360 plans to hire Jesse Kelly as an executive director.

Kelly can still taste the victory he just missed, and Nintzel says Kelly might announce his intention to run against Giffords again, as early as January. An exec position at Tucson 360 would give Kelly a megaphone to help him stay in the public eye.

The first question is, should someone as deeply involved in the bowels of Republican politics as Gleason be one of five people deciding how to draw districts? And the second question is, is it any wonder Adams and Pearce want to keep him in the running?

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