(Update) House Tea-Publicans vote to restrict your constitutional right to make laws

The unrelenting assault on your constitutional rights by the Chamber of Commerce organizations and their lickspittle lackeys in our lawless Tea-Publican legislature continues unabated.

Howard Fischer reports that Tea-Publican lawmakers agreed Wednesday to ask voters to throw another hurdle in the path of their ability to write their own laws. Number of signatures needed for petitions may change:

HCR 2029 would leave in place the existing number of signatures required to put a measure on the ballot. That is based on a percentage of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election.

But it would add the additional burden of having to obtain signatures in each of the state’s 30 legislative districts — and in proportion to the number of gubernatorial votes in each district.

Using the 2014 election results, it takes 150,642 valid signatures on petitions to propose a statutory change, equivalent to 10 percent of those who turned out. Constitutional changes require 15 percent — 225,963 signatures — to get on the ballot.

Rep. Ken Clark, D-Phoenix, said extending that across the state has implications.

For example, Clark said if the change were approved, anyone wanting a constitutional change would need to gather 3,750 signatures in his Phoenix district based on the number of residents who voted for governor in 2014.

But in the district of Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, which runs from Yuma to the western suburbs of Phoenix, circulators would need the signatures of 6,856.

And in the East Valley district of House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, it would take 8,308 signatures.

That, he said, is unfair. Clark said that having to gather more signatures in one district than another based on voter turnout — districts that are supposed to have roughly equal population — gives the residents of that district an effective veto power to keep something from getting on the ballot.

Rep. Mitzi Epstein, D-Tempe, said this would be a great tool for those who want to kill an initiative in its infancy, before it actually makes it to the ballot.

“All an interloper, somebody from out of state, would ever have to do to stop a good initiative, is pour a ton of money into one, small legislative district,” she said, denying the needed margin in just that one legislative district. “And now the initiative is dead.”

Shooter was unperturbed by letting a single legislative district — perhaps his — kill a measure that might be popular in the other 29 districts.

“If that’s the case, I’m a happy boy,” he quipped.

The 33-23 vote sends the measure to the Senate. But even if it is approved there, it still requires voter ratification in 2018.

So here is what Arizona citizens should do: vote against this ballot measure if it makes it to the ballot, and then vote out of office everyone who voted for this bill — every one.

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2 Responses to (Update) House Tea-Publicans vote to restrict your constitutional right to make laws

  1. Also, since each initiative would need a percentage of each legislative district, you would have to have a version for each of the 30 legislative districts. In addition, some districts cross county lines– so I would think you would need a Cochise version, a Pima version, a Graham version and a Greenlee version of each bill for LD14. This and the multiple other bills to suppress the voice of the people are obvious attempts to squelch the will of the people. In a Dem Party video, I said, “No one outside of the walls of the House of Representatives thinks the Legislature should be able to tinker with or eliminate the Citizens Initiative Process.” Email in support of the Citizens Initiative and referendum processes has been overwhelming. Keep it up! These bills have gone to the Senate or were concurrent, so will go to Ducey.

  2. I think it would be a good idea to extend this to the legislature as well.

    Every bill must get at least one vote from a sitting legislator in each of Arizona’s thirty districts; any one district’s legislators can block passage of a bill if they all three vote no.

    I mean, if the majority criterion that has traditionally been used no longer applies, and we’re chucking out one-person, one-vote in violation of the U.S. Constitution, let’s go all the way with it.