Category Archives: Counties

In response to public opposition, Secretary of State Michele Reagan now says she will not comply with Trump’s fraudulent ‘voter fraud’ commission

Last Friday, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan was an all too compliant foot soldier for Donald Trump’s plan for voter suppression. She agreed to turn over “publicly available” voter information data to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission.

Then came the firestorm of public opposition and the recognition that other secretaries of state were not so blindly willing to turn over their voter registration rolls to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission.

As of Saturday morning, more than half of all US states – 29 at last count – had refused to comply with the commission’s requests, saying they are unnecessary and violated privacy, according to statements from election officials and media reports. 29 States Refuse To Give Data To Voter Fraud Panel.

As a result, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has done an about-face and on Monday said the state will not provide extensive voter registration information to Trump’s fraudulent “voter fraud” commission. Arizona to oppose handing over voter information to Trump commission:

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan said Monday she is rejecting the Trump administration’s request for extensive voter information, saying it isn’t in the state’s best interest. [Or anyone else’s.]

Her decision, announced late Monday as the July 4 holiday neared, comes after nearly a thousand people had complained by email to her office about the possibility the state would hand over voter data to a commission looking into allegations of voter fraud.

It’s also a reversal from her position last week.

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Why no state budget? Governor Ducey’s university bonding plan

This was supposed to be the week that the Arizona legislature passed a budget and then declared sine die. Didn’t happen.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required), the holdup is Governor Doug Ducey’s university bonding proposal, the one he mentioned in his State of The State Address back in January but has still not fleshed out the details at this late date. Ducey’s bonding plan for universities has more questions than details:

Gov. Doug Ducey’s university bonding proposal is a vast unknown for Arizona lawmakers.

He doesn’t offer any long-term growth projections or specifics on how the state’s three universities will spend the $1 billion that the plan is supposed to generate. There is also no mention of oversight from the Governor’s Office or from the plan’s backers.

Lawmakers do understand the broad strokes of the universities’ wish list if they get the money: new buildings, research programs and repairs.

But the plan almost certainly will generate much more than needed to pay off a $1 billion loan over the course of its 30-year life, a fact acknowledged by both backers and foes, and that’s something lawmakers question.

Lawmakers are also hearing from cities and counties, which look to lose millions of dollars under the plan. Ken Strobeck, president of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said the plan is opaque by design, and he’s done his own analysis that shows the universities will gain more than $1 billion.

“These are not uninformed people,” Strobeck said. “I think they knew exactly what they were doing.”

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More troubles in the Secretary of State’s office

Earlier this week Arizona’s queen of voter suppression, Secretary of State Michele Reagan, was once again in trouble for  poor management of her office. More stumbles at Arizona Secretary of State’s Office:

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office has hit some rough spots as it tries to put into practice all of the changes wrought by the campaign-finance overhaul it steered through the Legislature last year.

The office started the new year by notifying political-action committees that their registration was canceled. A few days later, it sent committee officers a memo walking that back.

Then came the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, where frustrated candidates said they couldn’t navigate the new website to report their contributions and expenditures by a Jan. 15 deadline. Some candidates reported the website wouldn’t accept their attempts to enter campaign expenses.

“It’s frustrating,” said former state Rep. Chris Ackerley, a Tucson Republican. “It seems like we’re in a twilight-zone thing.”

He was heading up to the Secretary of State’s Office for guidance on how to complete his report and not run afoul of the new law.

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Governor Ducey fails the Jerry Maguire test: ‘Show me the money!’

Governor Ducey delivered his State of the State address this week. It was full of platitudes and lofty goals about public education, but woefully short on any substance and specifics. Lynda Lyon covered the address here, They can have their own opinions, but not their own facts, and our colleague David Safier covered the address at Tucson Weekly’s The Range. Ducey ‘Next Step’ Watch: Day 237—Talk Is Cheap Edition. Ducey’s Funding-Lite, Destructive Education Proposals.

ShowMeTheMoneyDemocrats, education advocates, and editorial boards applauded the governor’s “modest” education proposals (the media is redefining “largely symbolic” as “modest” to put a positive spin on what in actuality is a middle-finger from the governor).

The unanswered question was “how does he intend to pay for it?Our View: Ducey gave a good speech, but where’s the money? In other words, the governor faced a Jerry Maguire test: “Show me the money!

The answer came with the governor’s proposed budget on Friday: largely symbolic increases in education funding and moving pots of money around (robbing Peter to pay Paul), based upon the governor’s office unrealistic revenue assumptions (Ducey is a true believer in the false religion of faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics), and no new taxes for additional sources of revenue. Governor Ducey failed the Jerry Maguire test.

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Arizona’s authoritarian Tea-Publicans are coming for your constitutional rights

The Arizona Constitution clearly spells out that Arizona citizens are the ultimate lawmakers:

Arizona Constitution, Article 4 Part 1 Section 1 – Legislative authority; initiative and referendum

1. Legislative authority; initiative and referendum

Section 1. (1) Senate; house of representatives; reservation of power to people. The legislative authority of the state shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and a house of representatives, but the people reserve the power to propose laws and amendments to the constitution and to enact or reject such laws and amendments at the polls, independently of the legislature; and they also reserve, for use at their own option, the power to approve or reject at the polls any act, or item, section, or part of any act, of the legislature.

But our authoritarian Tea-Publican state legislators and governor, and their masters in the Chamber of Commerce organizations and the “Kocktopus” network,  are planning an assault on the constitutional right of Arizonans to enact their own laws unfettered by legislative interference. Lawmakers plan assault on voters’ right to make laws:

A series of measures being proposed would change everything from signature threshold to imposing new requirements on the ability to use paid circulators. But the biggest would ask voters to repeal the measure they approved in 1998, theVoter Protection Act, which specifically bars lawmakers from tinkering with what the public approves at the ballot.

imussol001p1That’s not to say there won’t be other issues consuming lawmakers’ time when the session begins Monday. Those issues range from how to divide up the more than $9 billion in revenues to who gets tax cuts, especially because Gov. Doug Ducey vowed during his 2014 campaign to propose a tax cut every year he is in office. And he told Capitol Media Services he remains committed to that.

The big issue, obviously, is school funding. But don’t underestimate the political fighting that will occur over initiatives and who gets to write – and repeal – state laws.

It was voters who approved not only higher taxes on tobacco but also limits on where people can smoke. And it was voters who required funding of early childhood education programs, allowed the medical use of marijuana and approved the state’s first-ever minimum wage.

But it was the more recent 58-42 percent approval of Proposition 206 – the law that hikes the minimum immediately to $10, takes it to $12 by 2020 and mandates paid time off – that has angered members of the business community. They want new registration requirements on those who collect signatures for money, as well as make it easier to challenge those signatures.

There also are moves to require a certain percentage of signatures on ballot propositions to come from the state’s 13 rural counties.

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AP: long lines (again) in Phoenix for early voting

It seems that Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has not fully complied with the recent settlement agreement entered into with the Democratic Party over long voting lines in Maricopa County. Democrats settle lawsuit over long lines at polling locations in Maricopa County.

The AP is reporting, More long lines in Phoenix as people vote early:

Phoenix-area voters hoping to avoid long lines on Election Day by casting early ballots ended up waiting anyway Wednesday.

Dozens of voters who crammed inside an office building in Glendale that was serving as a polling site reported waiting for more than two hours.

“We were in there like sardines,” said Vannessa Bonilla, 26, of Phoenix, a Republican who voted for the first time.

VotingLineVoters endured waits of more than five hours in the March primary. The county cut polling locations to just 60 from about 200 in the 2012 primary.

The wait prompted a civil rights group to file a lawsuit against Maricopa County. The county settled it by agreeing to implement a plan to avoid polling place wait time.

Deborah Eastman, 64, of Glendale, a registered Republican who voted Wednesday for Democrat Hillary Clinton, had hoped to make it to Clinton’s Phoenix rally. But after waiting 2 ½ hours, the substitute teacher didn’t think she would.

“I figured she’d rather have me vote for her than show up at the rally,” Eastman said.

The long wait time was largely due to limited staff and equipment to handle the unexpectedly large crowd. Voters have to fill out a slip before getting their ballot printed out. There was only one computer, one printer and a couple of workers assigned to the site.

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