Monthly Archives: October 2018

Republican ballot advantage is +9.4% — or 114,512 ballots

Data Orbital, a data analytics and survey research firm, released the following announcement:

With only 6 days remaining until Election Day, over 1.2 million ballots have already been cast in Arizona. Shattering past midterm election turnout figures for the state, these early ballot returns reveal major trends that will continue to play out through Election Day.

The major takeaways for current ballot returns are:

Republican ballot advantage far ahead of 2016: On this same day in 2016 – a Presidential election year – 1,228,936 ballots had been returned, with the Republican Ballot Advantage being +6.4% percentage points, with a margin of 79,180 ballots. With a larger ballot advantage of +9.4% this cycle and a margin of 114,512 ballots, the statewide ballot advantage is likely to see only minor shifts, barring any unprecedented Democratic return numbers in the final week.

Democratic voters holding their ballots longer than 2016: Democratic voters are holding onto their ballots longer than in 2016, averaging 12.44 days compared to 11.36 days in 2016, but shorter than their 13.26 day average in 2014. Meanwhile, Republican voters aren’t holding onto their ballots as long, sitting at an average of 11.76 days compared with 11.97 days in 2016 and 13.48 in 2014.
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Shaped to Bore, Confuse, and Mislead– What Arizonans Need to Know About The “What’s On My Ballot?” Booklet

Did you find that the proposition descriptions in the official booklet put you to sleep?  Made you doubt your ability to grasp the ins-and-outs of economic and technical analysis?  Gave you a knee-jerk reaction to support the proposition without giving it a second’s thought?  Guess what?  That’s what they were designed to do.

The descriptive language of the official, “What’s On My Ballot?” 2018 General Election Booklet, may be a bit officially dull, sometimes a bit too technical to grasp, but it took a lot of effort to write it that way.  The ballot titles and summaries have been finely crafted to be devoid of context, history, and critical analysis.  They mislead Arizonans into voting against their own interests.   Arizonans will fail to protect their health and the environment and will vote to enrich out-of-state energy corporations, outside private interests, and their individual in-state allies.

To find accurate facts about the Ballot propositions, voters should turn to the Guide jointly put out by the Arizona Advocacy Network and the League of Women Voters of Arizona at http://azballotguide.com/ This Guide gives you an accurate description of the ballot measure, its background, provisions, impact on Arizonans, summarizes arguments for and against, and most importantly lists the organizations that support and oppose the ballot measure.

The presentation of Proposition 126 is a glaring example of how the official ballot proposition guide misrepresents the proposition and misleads the voters.

Proposition 126, The Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act:

To read the official ballot guide, you would think that Arizonans are unprotected from taxes that hurt the poor and elderly (categories which I mostly fall under), and that ordinary concerned citizens have organized to bring this proposition to the ballot to protect themselves.

But Arizona already requires that the imposition of a new tax must be passed with a 2/3 majority vote.  You wouldn’t know that from the official guide.

Arizona is already taxing some businesses which could be called services to raise money for our roads, public schools, police, fire, and emergency services.  Those taxes would not be renewed if Prop 126 is passed and we would lose that major funding source for our public institutions.  It would take another amendment to the Arizona Constitution to restore that funding.  But that fact is not clear in the official guide. See Approval of Prop. 126 will Cut Education and Road Funding.

You wouldn’t get to know from reading the official guide that the major funders of the proposition are the Realtors Issue Mobilization Fund and the National Association of Realtors, (who, by the way, created and funded the seemingly local Citizens for Fair Tax Policy), and the so-called National Federation of Independent Businesses – a group which purports to represent the interests of small businesses, but actually promotes the interests of large corporations, has received a lot of funding in its many efforts from the Koch brothers, and counts  Republican Congressman Paul Gosar among its members.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 127 (vote yes)

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on the Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative, Prop. 127. Prop. 127, Arizona’s renewable energy initiative, comes down to just 4 words:

One day Arizona will be powered by the sun.

We enjoy such abundant natural light that we seem destined to throw a harness around the sun and use it to pull the greater share of our state economy.

But that day is not here. Not yet.

For now we are moving in the direction of the sun with new knowledge and new technology.

Crusaders for clean power have put on this year’s ballot a proposal to massively accelerate Arizona’s ascension to virtually 100-percent clean energy. But there are reasons to doubt it.

Because there is an entrenched carbon monopoly and special interest “dark money” from APS, its parent company Pinnacle West, and the “Kochtopus” organizations which have bought GOP candidates and captured the Arizona Corporation Commission.

What would Proposition 127 do?

Utilities are now under Arizona Corporation Commission mandate to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Proposition 127 would bump up those requirements to 50 percent by 2030, an increase the utilities say would greatly increase costs that would then be passed on to ratepayers.

Note: California law already requires at least 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from noncarbon-producing sources by 2030. California took a giant step this past May, by becoming the first state to require all new homes to be fitted for solar power. California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes. The Clean Energy For A Healthy Arizona initiative is not nearly as ambitious.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 305

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on Prop. 305, the citizens referendum on the “vouchers on steroids” bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Ducey, but then blocked by the activism of the citizens of this state. Prop. 305 won’t solve Arizona’s school voucher debate. Here’s what it will do:

Looks are deceiving when it comes to Proposition 305.

But you don’t have to be confused.

The measure amounts to asking voters if Arizona should expand a program that allows parents to take public funding intended to educate their children in K-12 public schools and use it for private school tuition or other educational options.

What does a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote mean?

In 2017, lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey approved expanding the voucher program to any K-12 student.

The expansion was put on hold because a public-school advocacy group used an option in the state Constitution to require a public vote before it could go into effect.

The group, Save Our Schools, gathered enough signatures to refer the matter to the voters.

A “no” vote on Prop. 305 represents a rejection of this expansion, maintaining the limited voucher program. A “yes” vote allows the expansion to become law.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 126

The Arizona Republic today recommends a “no” vote on Prop. 126. If you hate taxes, Prop. 126 is a no-brainer, right? Well, not exactly:

The appeal of Proposition 126 is that it would prohibit imposing a sales tax on services in Arizona.

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So, Prop. 126 is a no-brainer then? Far from it.

Why? Because in shielding services from being taxed, the Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act.

It may mean, for instance, a hike in marginal income-tax rates. Or a higher sales tax on goods.

Why nix an important revenue source?

Talk of new revenue took on greater urgency this year following the #RedforEd movement that prompted Gov. Doug Ducey to pledge a 20-percent raise in teacher pay and more money for schools over the next few years. Even with an improved economy, it’s uncertain whether there will be sufficient tax revenue to pay for it all.

The issue gains more relevance now that an education-funding initiative involving raising income taxes on the rich has been knocked off the Nov. 6 ballot.

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