AZSOS Michele Reagan to Clean Elections Commission: “Do as I do, not as I say”

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

…In her case, what she says is all about transparent and honest elections; what she *does* is most assuredly not about about transparent and honest elections.

Oh yeah – as Arizona’s Secretary of State, she is the state’s chief elections officer.

 

Then-Senator Reagan in 2011, speaking in Scottsdale against the redistricting process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl, dated 21 August 2015 –

The turf war between the Arizona Secretary of State and the Clean Elections Commission is continuing, but on a slower timetable and with softer, yet stern, rhetoric.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Michele Reagan told the five commissioners to “tread lightly” as they consider a rule that could force disclosure of so-called “dark-money” contributors.

“I believe you have noble intentions,” Reagan said. “You want to be able to rein in groups if they corrupt our election system.”

But, she continued, the way the commission is trying to do that would set a precedent that she called “extremely troubling.”

Now, when Secretary Reagan was “Senator Reagan” and only a candidate for AZSOS, she talked a good game (OK, it was an “alright” game, and then only if you didn’t listen too closely…but I digress).

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl, dated 31 October 2014 –

Reagan, as chairman of the Senate Elections Committee, sponsored a bill this year that would have required disclosure of the “identifiable contributors” who are the original source of money for an independent-expenditure committee. This would have cut through the layers of intermediary groups that have merely passed along campaign cash to the committee. Senate Bill 1403 also would have required all political ads, signs, brochures and other materials to list the top three contributors.

The bill passed her committee on a unanimous vote, then never surfaced again.

That last part, the “never surfaced again” part, was a distinct pattern for Reagan during her time in the state senate – not only did 2014’s SB1403 “mysteriously” die in committee, so did a slew of her election “reform” bills in 2013.

Her “reforms” were almost all about voter suppression and while Reagan’s bills died, the voter suppression clauses were folded into the now-infamous HB2305.

She wasn’t listed as one of the sponsors of the bill (plausible deniability?), but she was one the conference committee members that help to turn a previously (relatively) innocuous bill into a true nugget of ugly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That bill was passed and signed into law by then-Governor Jan Brewer.

It was then subject to a petition effort to refer it to the 2014 ballot to be overturned (or upheld) by the voters.

The petition drive was successful, more or less.

Enough signatures were gathered to freeze implementation of the measure and refer it to the ballot.

The lege, still having a few active brain cells under their tin foil tricorner hats and realizing that having on the ballot something that would serve to highlight GOP voter suppression efforts would be very bad (for them, anyway), promptly repealed HB2305 during the early days of the 2014 session, rendering the petition drive/ballot referral moot.

 

Reagan’s conflict with the Citizens Clean Election Commission seems to rise from the fact that they aren’t willing to be paper tigers, unwilling to do anything to upset the dark money-fueled gravy train that so many at the state capitol so enthusiastically ride.

Maybe if, instead of just talking a good game, Reagan was interested in doing her job conscientiously and honorably, it wouldn’t be necessary for the CCEC to intervene.

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