(Danny Johnston / Associated…)
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) suggested that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer should be impeached for her role in ousting the independent official at the helm of the state’s redistricting commission.
"I think the people of Arizona should consider impeaching Jan Brewer for what she did," Israel told reporters on Friday at a meeting to discuss the 2012 landscape for House candidates.
Brewer and Republicans in the state Senate created a stir this week when they voted to remove Colleen Coyle Mathis from her post as head of the commission. The commission had approved a draft congressional district map that Republicans argued made several GOP-held districts more competitive and Democratic incumbents safer. Brewer accused Mathis of "gross misconduct." Mathis denied the charge.
Israel said Democrats "will push every button, we will use every strategy we will appeal to any fair court to redress this trampling of a fair and independent process."
Overall, Israel described the net effect of new congressional maps and shuffling of seats caused by redistricting a "worst-case scenario – a wash." He said he did not see states creating a significant number of new districts favoring Republicans.
Israel said he was upbeat about the Democrats chances of picking up the 25 seats needed to regain control of the House next year. Polls show Democrats appear to have gained ground with independents and seniors since the party was thrown out of power in a wave election a year ago.
The DCCC will be launching radio ads in 25 targeted districts next week, as House members return home for a recess. The list of targeted members includes California Reps. Dan Lungren, Jeff Denham, Elton Gallegly and Mary Bono Mack; Illinois Reps. Tim Johnson and Bobby Schilling; and Florida Reps. Dan Webster, Vern Buchanan and David Rivera.
Democrats are poised to paint the GOP House agenda as extreme and use the anti-incumbent fervor against them. Israel said he was advising Democratic challengers to run as "problem solvers."
"You run like a mayor you can win. If you run as an ideologue in this environment, if you run as an incumbent in this environment, it’s going to be a challenge. And they have more incumbents than we have," he said.