Tag Archives: jungle primary

Didn’t see that coming, but it’s not surprising

dark money
Photo illustrating Laurie Roberts’ column. Dark, so dark!

While I was at the office this afternoon a friend dm’d me on Facebook with the news that the “Open and Honest Coalition”, the campaign spearheading two separate initiatives involving reining in dark money (good!) and changing the election system to one where a “jungle” primary would produce two, and only two, candidates for every spot in the general election (bad!), was suspending its paid signature-gathering operations due to funding drying up.

A possible explanation, per Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic, follows:

The dark money initiative and open primary initiative aren’t dead yet, supporters insist, but if not, they’re clinging to life by a thread. Continue reading

They want it to be a jungle out there for voters

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com


The year is new and, of course, the Top Two, AKA Jungle Primary people are very busy peddling their harebrained idea to gullible pundits. The latest to take the bait is Arizona Republic‘s Linda Valdez, who is arguably the most liberal member of the paper’s editorial board.

Quoth Linda:

First, you get rid of partisan primaries.

The system is a relic. These days, people who register to vote with no party affiliation make up the largest group of voters in the state. They can vote in partisan primaries, but few independents engage in elections devised to serve the political parties they have already rejected.

Partisan primaries are ruled by a few die-hard voters who represent the fringes of each party. Because most districts are not competitive, the primary candidates those extremists pick usually win in November. No moderates need apply.

In 2012, there was a ballot initiative to create a non-partisan, open primary system. It looked popular, but it failed after a “dark money” campaign raised doubts in voters’ minds.

“You learn a lot from failure,” says former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, who championed the measure.

He made a checklist of what to do differently. He’s ready to try again to pass an open primary initiative.

Continue reading

Sham Cesar Chavez candidate demonstrates the importance of partisans

The candidate named Cesar Chavez, running in the Congressional primary in AZ CD7, has been revealed to be a guy formerly named Scott Fistler who was a Republican until recently and had sought other offices in the past as a member of that party.

After petitioning a state superior court last November and paying $319, Fistler now legally shares the name of the celebrated labor movement icon, Cesar Chavez. Earlier this year, Chavez (formerly Fistler) became a Democrat, and – before Ed Pastor announced his retirement from Congress – filed to run in the heavily Hispanic 7th Congressional District.

In his petition for a name change, Fistler wrote that he had “experienced many hardships because of my name.”

It’s unclear at this point whether this guy is a lone wolf or someone who was recruited to act as a spoiler – a la Olivia Cortes in the 2011 Russell Pearce recall. Either way, he’s a sham candidate and such candidacies are an affront to democracy and the community and (even more reprehensibly) often exploitive of highly vulnerable people, even if the candidates (or whoever puts them up to it) follow the letter of the law to qualify for the ballot. Chavez (nee Fistler) managed to get the maximum number of signatures and the state Dem party is exploring what options they have, if any, to remove him from the ballot. Continue reading