Secretary of State Michele Reagan ignores the law, puts Green Party on the ballot

Oh Bob, Bob, Bob . . . your “Hillary hatred” blinds you, you can’t see the forest for the trees. Green Party Success in Arizona!

Screenshot from 2016-02-11 12:39:46In 2015, our Tea-Publican legislature passed and Governor Ducey signed HB 2407 (.pdf),  which declares it the policy of the Arizona legislature that the “strict compliance” standard apply in referendums and recalls, effectively instructing the courts that the court-created “substantial compliance” doctrine for minor errors in complying with Arizona election laws is no longer permitted. A.R.S.§19-101.o1 (referendums) and A.R.S. §19-201.01 (recalls).

It is an open question whether the “strict compliance” standard now applies to all Arizona election laws as the declared policy of the Arizona legislature.

Election law attorney Tom Ryan recently sued Secretary of State Michele Reagan under the “strict compliance” standard for her mishandling of the Special Election for Prop. 123. Complaint filed to delay Special Election over Secretary of State’s failure to ‘strictly comply’ with election laws. Ryan was unsuccessful in that lawsuit, on other grounds.

The post you delight in mocking, Bob, Green Party Fail in Arizona made the factual and legal basis clear:

Green Party fails to meet deadline for naming presidential electors:

The secretary of state’s office said Tuesday the party had not met the June 1 deadline for nominating electors for the Nov. 8 election. Those are the people who will come to the Capitol following the election to cast the state’s 11 electoral votes for the Green Party candidate were that person to get the most votes here.

The party holds its national convention in August in Houston. Jill Stein, who won the Arizona primary in March, is the presumptive nominee.

But all that is irrelevant under state law. Instead, it requires whoever chairs each recognized party to choose 11 electors no later than 90 days ahead of the primary election.

That deadline passed at 5 p.m. June 1. And while the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties all managed to submit a slate, the Green Party was conspicuous by its absence.

[T]he failure effectively means there is no chance for Arizona to cast its electoral votes for the Green  Party nominee, even if that person outpolls Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

* * *

A spokesman for Secretary of State Michele Reagan said there is no legal way to waive the deadline, with the only option now for the Green Party to seek a court order.

Only what you cheer in your post, Bob, is exactly what has transpired. The Secretary of State has now waived strict compliance with the law, which she has no statutory authority to do by executive fiat, to settle this case with the Green Party and thus avoid the Court entering a final judgment enforcing the law. I find it odd that anyone would cheer the Secretary of State’s cavalier lawless behavior. Greens win spot on presidential ballot:

Arizona law requires whoever chairs each recognized party to choose its 11 electors no later than 90 days ahead of the primary.

That deadline was 5 p.m. June 1.

Green Party Chairman Angel Torres said no one from Reagan’s office notified party officials of that deadline.

But Matt Roberts, spokesman for Reagan’s office, said the law is clear. And he said said that even if party officials had a good excuse, there is no legal way to waive the deadline.

That left the party with only one option: Seek a court order.

That’s precisely what it did, filing suit in federal court against Reagan.

Roberts said his boss opted, in essence, not to fight the lawsuit. Instead, she directed the attorney general’s office, which represents her office, to agree to an order giving the Green Party ballot access despite missing the deadline.

So why would the Secretary of State waive strict compliance with the law by executive fiat? Not because the law is unfair to the Green Party — the party has always known or should have known what the rules are and to comply with the law — but because Tea-Publicans in Arizona have a history of using the Green Party in Arizona in a pathetic attempt to siphon votes away from Democratic candidates.

Remember the Arizona GOP’s “Green Scheme” in 2010? Republican voter fraud “Green scheme”:

[T]he Arizona Democratic Party is alleging possible voter fraud in what it called a scheme to undermine its candidates by recruiting “sham” Green Party hopefuls. Arizona Democratic Party alleges voter fraud:

In a complaint filed late Monday, the party seeks an investigation by federal, state and county law-enforcement officials.

The complaint names Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix; Steve May, a Republican candidate for the Legislature; and a House Republican staffer [John Mills] as complicit in an effort to register at least a half-dozen people as Green Party members so they could run as write-in candidates in last week’s primary election.

* * *

The newly minted Green candidates have been disavowed by the Arizona Green Party and are running in races in which Democrats are believed to be competitive.

People have such short memories. Secretary of State Michele Reagan is playing partisan politics in waiving the rules by executive fiat. She is making it possible for “Hillary Haters” to vote for a fringe Green Party candidate to siphon away votes from the Democratic candidate, no matter how small their numbers might be. The Secretary of State has no statutory authority to waive the rules by executive fiat.

This is yet another example of abuse of power by the Secretary of State that the plaintiffs suing for an injunction to obtain Department of Justice oversight of Arizona elections should add to their complaint. Courts should approve Arizona election plans, group says:

A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit already suing over Arizona’s troubled presidential primary says the state’s top election officials should be required to have court-approved plans in place for how they’re going to manage the upcoming primary and general elections.

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a motion [last] Thursday for a preliminary injunction calling for election administration plans to be submitted by the secretary of state and Maricopa County officials.

In its lawsuit over the March primary, the group argues that countless Arizona voters were disenfranchised by the cutting of polling places to just 60 from about 200 in the 2012 presidential primary. The cut in polling places was one of the causes of lines that exceeded five hours in some locations.

“The relief we seek from the court can help ensure that all voters are able to participate in Maricopa’s electoral process free from unnecessary burdens and barriers,” Kristen Clarke, the group’s president and executive director, said in a statement.

Of course, none of this even crossed the minds of “Bernie or Bust” and “Hillary Haters,” did it?

A few of you are happy to piss away  your vote in a fit of pique or self-righteousness on a fringe Green Party candidate, all the while enabling Tea-Publicans and betraying the very “revolution” that you claim to support.

I recommend that you read the opinion by Kevin Baker, Let’s Grow Up, Liberals (excerpt):

I voted for Senator Sanders in the New York primary in April, because I agree with him on most of the issues. I have never regretted a vote more. You can tell a lot about a candidate only in defeat, unfortunately, and what defeat says about Bernie isn’t pretty. Mr. Sanders has led an admirable life of social activism, and his record of public service is impeccable. But it is impossible for me to imagine that he possesses the temperament or the talents required to be a successful president.

I sympathize with those who believe that Hillary Clinton represents a tired, compromised, laggingly conservative wing of the Democratic Party leadership. They have a point. But she is the nominee and, as Mr. Sanders now concurs, the only alternative to an unspeakable alternative.

Fortunately, most Sanders supporters agree. The old saying that “Republicans fall in line, Democrats need to fall in love” with their presidential candidates was never really true, and it seems less so than ever this year. Polling shows that 85 percent of Sanders supporters are willing to vote for Mrs. Clinton in November, a faster coalescing around the survivor of a fervent primary fight than her “PUMAs” exhibited in 2008. Most of the remainder will likely come around over the next four months[.]

Yet there is a lingering problem here, one that goes beyond simply finding the intellectual honesty to admit that Hillary isn’t Trump.

With Bernie out of the battle, what remains is the left’s odd, outmoded doctrine of purity, of revolutionary posturing. This is a philosophy alien to the long legacy of pragmatic American liberalism. Its perpetuation speaks directly to the reasons today’s liberals seem to have such difficulty holding and wielding power in this country. “The worse, the better,” went the Leninist saw. There is no reforming the rotten old system. Best to “let the empire burn,” and have the fires purify the new society.

True believers will not be dissuaded from this worldview, even if history tells us that almost no violent revolution in a major country has ever brought about a better, freer society without intervening years (and more like decades) of dictatorship and slaughter.

* * *

Change — lasting, democratic change, which is the only kind worth fighting for — is hard, slow, often exasperating. And yet the theatrics of revolution seem to mesmerize the left, over and over again. The concept, all too similar to the religious fundamentalist’s obsession with the end times, is that cataclysm will bring redemption. There is inherent in this a deep indifference to the historical recognition that one thing proceeds from another, reaction following action, and that when we start down an unknown trail we cannot be sure where we will end up.

* * *

The corrosive effects of a political philosophy devoted to waiting for the revolution can be heard in the oddly passive demands of those speeches by Mr. Sanders that lay out always what he wants, but not how we can get it. It is reflected in the left’s distraction over presidential elections while failing to build democracy on a state or local level. Voter turnout in the 2014 midterm elections — another in what has become a long line of off-year, Democratic electoral disasters — dropped to its lowest level since 1942, when much of the country was preoccupied with driving the Axis powers back to hell.

A better concession speech than Mr. Sanders’s was Barry Goldwater’s address to his own, angry supporters, at the 1960 Republican convention in Chicago, who were convinced that the party’s nominee, Richard Nixon, had sold out to the liberal platform demands of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

“This country is too important for anyone’s feelings,” Goldwater thundered at his delegates. “This country, and its majesty, is too great for any man, be he conservative or liberal, to stay home and not work just because he doesn’t agree. Let’s grow up, conservatives. We want to take this party back, and I think some day we can. Let’s go to work.”

Goldwater backed up his words by campaigning hard in support of Nixon — and not incidentally, building a foundation for the right-wing around the country. Four years later, he would use it to gain the nomination himself, and by 1980, Ronald Reagan had taken not only the party but the country for conservatism.

If Bernie Sanders and his followers want to do their best for the things that he — and most Clinton supporters — care about most, they will take Goldwater’s words to heart, instead of opting for suicide by Trump. Let’s grow up, liberals, and take our party and our country back.

16 responses to “Secretary of State Michele Reagan ignores the law, puts Green Party on the ballot

  1. Three Sonorans

    You know who else “‘ignore the law”? Illegal immigrant? Respond to this or I will write about this.

    • AZ BlueMeanie

      Hmmm, are they an elected official violating the duty of their office? Off topic.

  2. I hear echoes from Florida “A Vote for Gore is a Vote for Bush.” After the SCOTUS anointing, I thought that the contested election and a strong showing by Nader would moderate Bush–wrong, very wrong: war, deregulation, economic disaster. Regardless of how well the third parties do, their moderating influence on policy will be negligible. In Arizona, which appears to be a contested state, I will hands down vote for Hillary. In solid red Alabama, I could go Green. Nothing to lose since Stein and Hillary will be swamped by Trump. And I would feel oh so very good. But for me, in a purple state, a vote for anyone but Clinton is a vote for Trump. So my choice is clear. As a Bernie supporter (not former, but continuing), I go with Clinton and the ideals of the Democratic Platform, absolutely not by those of Trump and his platform.

  3. BlueMeanie, Blue Meanie, BlueMeanie, here you had the perfect chance to write a crisp, self-depracating, humor post about eating crow that readers would have enjoyed, and you opted instead for a 10,000 word legal argument that nobody will read. Ugh. And you hung a curve ball so high over the plate that even Kavanagh could smack it out of the park. Double ugh.

    BlueMeanie, BlueMeanie, BlueMeanie…

    • AZ BlueMeanie

      Clearly you are wrong because even our troll Captain*Arizona read far enough to get to the end of the post. And John Kavanagh voted for the law at issue, so relying on him makes for strange bedfellows. I do election law, so I take this stuff seriously.

      • Sen. John Kavanagh

        Had I filed my re-election petitions a day late, I doubt AZ Blue Meanie would be stepping up to help get me on the ballot anyway and not because stepping up would interject transparency into his posts by revealing who he or she is.

  4. captain*arizona

    I would be pissing my vote away if I voted for war criminal hillary. nice to see kavenaugh concerned about voter suppression I doubt it will last vey long. hillary tied in latest poll with trump probably because voters find some of her supporters as crappy as she is.

  5. Sen. John Kavanagh

    So much for concern over voter supression.

  6. For Sure Not Tom

    Hey, a question.

    Is Michele Reagan trying to help Trump, or down-ballot AZ GOTeaP’ers?

    Because she maybe helping Trump in Arizona, but Clinton is going to win the rest of the country. No matter what the media says in their effort to drive ratings, it’s not a race.

    What Reagan may be be doing, inadvertently, is bringing out disgruntled Sanders supporters, along with Stein supporters, who would have stayed home.

    And in spite of a few random Bernie-bros who claim they’ll vote for Trump in protest, the majority of Sanders supporters are going to vote for Dems down-ballot.

    By putting Dr. Stein on the ballot, Michele Reagan may have just shot the GOTeaP in the foot.

    Wow, I’m so happy right now.

    • I doubt that was lost on Reagan. So who the hell knows what her motive was. She may have just decided that discretion was the better part of valor on this one.

  7. For Sure Not Tom

    Ah, AZ Blue, you had me then you lost me.

    Michele Reagan is clearly trying to draw votes from Clinton because the GOTeaP in Arizona is nervous about Trump, and especially his shadow on the down-ticket races.

    I was planning on voting for Stein because she, like Sanders, more closely represents my values. People howled that it was the same as voting for Trump, even though that’s not true.

    Voting your conscience is not the same as voting for Trump. That’s insulting.

    Now, however, a vote for Stein is really truly actually a vote for Trump, thanks to Michele Reagan.

    You had me with the lawless Tea Party shenanigans and implications. Can we prosecute her? Impeach? Sue?

    Those are the questions we need answered. Well done AZBlue!

    But then you went and started in on the lecturing of the Sanders Faithful.

    You’re a great commentator on Arizona and national politics, your posts are usually invaluable.

    But can’t we Sanders supporters just mourn quietly by ourselves for awhile?