Ballot time in Arizona


By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

…and elsewhere, as well, but since I live in AZ and my ballot covers AZ, that means this post will focus on AZ (or at least my little part of it).

There are races here in Maricopa County and elsewhere in the state that are important and interesting, but this post only covers those that are on my ballot.

President –

This one is easy –

Hillary Clinton is easily one of the two or three most qualified people to ever run for president.

Donald Trump is a buffoon (which is a word I use to describe someone when I don’t want to use the more colorful part of my vocabulary).

And I thought this even before Trump’s recently unearthed admission of a seduction technique that can best be described as “rape”.


US Senate seat representing AZ –

Ann Kirkpatrick is nowhere near liberal enough to suit me, but she genuinely works to represent her constituents.

In addition to supporting Donald Trump until it was no longer “cool” to do so, John McCain has never met a war he didn’t monger.

Another easy choice.


US Congressional seat, representing CD9 –

Skipping this race.

There are two Republicans in this race.  Be it in this race or ones where an R is running and is uncontested, I will be skipping the race.  Even in Arizona there are Republicans who are decent human beings and are (or were) honorable public servants.

They can no longer get through primaries here.


LD24 seats in the Arizona Legislature –

They face no challengers, but Sen. Katie Hobbs, Rep. Lela Alston, and Rep. Ken Clark do a great job representing the people of LD24 and merit an expression of our support and thanks.


Arizona Corporation Commission –

This is Arizona’s utility regulator, and when the CEO of the largest regulated utility endorses three of the candidates, vote for the other two, and only the other two.

Those are Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin.


Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, District 1 –

Skipping this race.


Maricopa County Assessor –

Skipping this race.


Maricopa County Attorney –

Diego Rodriguez.

County Attorney isn’t just a “staff” job, where the person holding the position must have a particular skill set (the lawyer stuff), but must have integrity,

Bill Montgomery is the incumbent.  Ask him on which side of the bars we can find Sean Pearce.


Maricopa County Recorder –

Adrian Fontes.

A county recorder doesn’t do much that directly impacts voters, except for RUN ELECTIONS.

The current recorder, Helen Purcell, has held the post for decades (literally!).

It has been decades since an election here went of without a hitch.

It seems that in every cycle, something new goes wrong, but there is one constant – she always blames someone else for the problems.

The height of her chutzpah in this regard may have been when she blamed incredibly long voting lines during the presidential primary on voters actually, you know, “voting”.


Maricopa County School Superintendent –

Michelle Robertson.

There are two candidates on the ballot.

Both are teachers.

One hates public education and Common Core (in short, he’s Diane Douglas with a Y chromosome…and she is unfit to be state superintendent of public instruction).

The other one is Michelle Robertson.

She’s highly intelligent, highly educated, and student-focused, and will make a great leader and advocate for Maricopa County schools.


Maricopa County Sheriff –

Paul Penzone, in another easy choice.

The incumbent, Joe Arpaio, a nationally-renowned nativist and publicity junkie, is facing criminal charges over the way he operates the agency.

Penzone is a decorated career public servant.  Arpaio has been reduced to bald-faced lies.

It should be a walkover for Penzone, but it won’t be – too many of Arpaio’s supporters know he is a hater, but he hates the same way that they do.


Maricopa County Treasurer –

Joe Downs.

Like Robertson above, he’s smart and knows his stuff.

Unlike his opponent, he doesn’t believe in using public resources to campaign for public office.


Justice of the Peace, Arcadia Biltmore –

Skipping this race.


Constable, Arcadia Biltmore –

Carolyn Lane.  She’s unopposed, but she works her a** off and deserves an expression of thanks and support.


CAWCD (Central Arizona Water Conservation District, aka the governing board of the Central Arizona Project) –

For this race, voters can select five candidates.  However, there are three outstanding ones – Alexandra Arboleda, Ben Graff, and Jim Holway.  Voting for only those three will increase the likelihood of them winning seats.


Maricopa County Community College District governing board, At-Large seat –

Linda Thor.


Scottsdale Unified School District ballot questions –

Yes” on both.

Just because the legislature hates public education and refuses to adequately fund it, doesn’t mean we have go along with them.


Mayor of Scottsdale –

Bob Littlefield.

Bob is a die-hard Republican, and when he’s mayor, we will disagree on pretty much everything that Democrats and Republicans disagree on.

But he genuinely cares about the city.

On the other hand, Jim Lane (the incumbent) and his accomplices on the City Council seem to mostly care about money from developers, holders of liquor licenses, and others that come before the council.

I may not agree with Littlefield on much, and reserve the right to not vote for him in a future election, but for this one, he meets the basic criteria necessary for all elected officials should meet (but most in AZ fail to meet) –

He gives a damn about the district/city that he is running to represent.


Scottsdale City Council –

Guy Phillips.

He’s a tea party type, and one I wouldn’t vote for under most circumstances.

However, Lane and his handlers keep running negative campaigns against him, so he gets my vote – much as I don’t like his ideology, anybody that Jim Lane dislikes can’t be all bad.


Proposition 490 (Scottsdale-specific ballot question) –

It appears to be a harmless cleanup of language in the city charter, but, while I am not familiar with all of the people who submitted an argument, the ones that I am familiar with have never supported a “good government” measure that doesn’t directly benefit them.

Oh, and Jim Lane also endorsed this one.



Back of the ballot:


Judges – AZ Supreme Court, AZ Court of Appeals and Maricopa County Superior Court –

Voting to retain all listed, except for Jo Lynn Gentry.

The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review does a good job of examining their own, and I am going with that.

Next cycle, I may not – Governor Doug Ducey and the majority in the Arizona Legislature are doing their level best to co-opt/corrupt the judicial branch, and they may make enough inroads toward that goal that next time, the Commission may not merit trust.

For now, however, they do.


Arizona ballot questions –

Proposition 205

Passage of this one would legalize the possession of marijuana for recreational use.

This one is controversial, in that many of the people and corporations that profit from the status quo oppose it.  And have expended thousands (OK, millions) of dollars to defeat it.

Given that the vast majority of Arizonans understand that marijuana is not the “great evil” and opponents that profit from pharmaceuticals that are less effective than marijuana or the police state apparatus that has been constructed to wage the “War on Drugs”, well, they’ve had to resort to misleading and false signs, TV spots, and more.

I am voting Yes.


Proposition 206 –

Passing this one would raise the state’s minimum wage, in increments, to $12/hour by 2020.  It would also result in employees being able to accrue paid sick leave.



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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. I went out & found the list of judges appointed by Jan Brewer. I voted NOT to retain any appointed by her. Retain the rest of them. Just my opinion.

  2. I had to vote “no” on Prop 206. Small businesses don’t have the deep pockets of a McDonald’s, for example. Small business needs a sliding scale.

  3. Hi there, thanks for this post. Very insightful.

    Just curious, what did you mean by:

    “US Congressional seat, representing CD9 –
    Skipping this race.
    There are two Republicans in this race.”

    On my ballot the two US Congress candidates for CD9 are Giles (R) and Sinema (D). Am I missing something here? Is Sinema considered a Republican in your book, or did you mean a different district or race? I just want some clarification.

    Thank you!

    • Hi again! In the context of your previous posts, yes, I do see that you imply Sinema is (R), right? Anyway, if you include just a quick explanation within this post, it could be helpful for readers. Thanks!

    • Apologies. While I have written ab0ut this in the past, it’s been a while; I should have clarified.

      In short, while she may be nominally a D, she votes like an R in a swing district (voting with the Ds on meaningless measures, but voting with the Rs on stuff that counts). She gives the Rs “bipartisan” cover on some of their most reprehensible measures.

      In short, I will never* vote for her again.

      * = Unless she becomes an actual public servant.

  4. In most cases I agreed with you and voted accordingly. I’m voting today by mail. Thanks for your insight and info.

    • Copied and pasted from a reply to a similar comment:

      Apologies. While I have written ab0ut this in the past, it’s been a while; I should have clarified.

      In short, while she may be nominally a D, she votes like an R in a swing district (voting with the Ds on meaningless measures, but voting with the Rs on stuff that counts). She gives the Rs “bipartisan” cover on some of their most reprehensible measures.

      In short, I will never* vote for her again.

      * = Unless she becomes an actual public servant.

  5. Thank you for your what I would call ridiculous blog if it weren’t so helpful. To vote your suggestions would be to take out my brain and step on it. I mean to live in a world you would create means not having one.

  6. Ann kirpatrick? Pleeese, liberal lap dog hack who walked out on town hall meetings. Like your gal hillary, name one MEASURABLE accomplishment they have done.. at least trump makes payroll

    In all fairness, obviviously a liberal but you had some solid takes on the scottsdale race and propositions.

  7. Thank you, thank you!! This is just what I was looking for and incredibly helpful! I’m now able to fill out my ballot with thoughtfulness due to your research! Great job.

  8. With respect to Judge Jo Lynn Gentry, it is my understanding that the Commission completed its Judicial Performance Review process well before the judge ruled against those who wanted to prevent Prop 205 from appearing on the ballot. There was no retribution whatsoever. Kudos to the judge, but we do need to take the Commission’s recommendation and vote no on her. And vote “Yes” on Prop 205!

  9. Thank you for your help, I voted the opposite on almost all of your votes, with a couple of exceptions. You have a very negative attitude and anyone that would vote for Hillary and her husband Bill with no moral compass leading our country loses my respect. Though I am not a Trump fan, having a little girl, I refuse to vote for someone that protects a known rapist and demeans the women that Bill Clinton groped and raped.

  10. Thank you so much for this list!!!! Can you please review/rethink your point on Jo Lyn Gentry, I think it is quite likely the deep Republican ink stain in AZ politics may have _already_ tainted the Judicial Performance Review for this judge (ahead of your own predictions). She took a meaningful stand, and if she took one she may have taken others we know little about. As many of your other votes indicate, this “negative rating” may in-fact be positive signs that she will buck the trend and use common sense in applying the law, not partisan politics nor beliefs. Can you please review that one for all the voters, like my and my friends, who are looking at your excellent site as a guide for our ballots in Arizona.
    Thanks so much for your time and effort in putting this page together. You DA MAN!!! 🙂

  11. I appreciate you taking the time to post your votes and agree with some but others not so much. I don’t think people realize the huge impact prop 206 would have on small businesses and trying to find quality work for the minimum wage being $8.05. People think they’re worth more than they actually are and have problems getting to work on time, showing up in decent clothes, and being reliable. This passing will be more small businesses shut down and more unemployment.

    • People still have choices as to who they wish to employ. Finding and keeping a quality and loyal employee (at $10) far outweighs the costs of hiring over and over again and training. Raising to $10 is still not a livable wage. BUT, it may open the door to higher quality employee candidates. But I feel it is the business owner’s choices, interviewing skills, and setting 90 day expectations immediately upon hire. If you don’t want a “loser”, don’t hire one. Much can be acertained from a quality interview, by setting firm, written expectations (even on appearance, late policy among other things you name). And a good employee helps to raise revenue, not deplete it.

  12. Thanks for your help! It’s my first G.E. since moving back to AZ, and I really appreciate your input on some of the downballot stuff. Plus, I like your choices on the more well-known races, too!

  13. Thank you! Your picks were the same as mine. But there were a few that I was not knowledgeable about so I went with you on all of them. Except Arpaio. Only because of his protection of animals. Again, thank you very much. Jane G.

    • As for Arpaio and the animal protection issue, Paul Penzone has also stated he will protect animals and improve Animal Care and Control.

    • His protection of animals is hardly any reason to keep him in office. He has cost taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars because he thinks he is above the law. What makes you think Penzone will not inforce animal cruelty. Joe Arpaio has out lived his usefulness by more than 10 years.

    • Animals? How about his record protecting HUMANS? The reason the citizens of Maricopa County have had to pay out approximately $150 million is due to the fact that several humans have died, wrongfully it turns out, while in his custody.

  14. Thanks for helping me audit my decision-making. My positions and votes are virtually the opposite of yours.

    • Haha! Me too. I used this blog as a guide of who NOT to vote for. When you start out by saying “Clinton is easily one of the most qualified people to ever run for president…” you lose all credibility. Yikes. The woman should be in jail. The fact that she isn’t is mind boggling, but mostly scary. And the fact that people aren’t outraged at her behavior is scary. I do agree that Trump is a bafoon, definitely not my choice, but at this point anything to keep Hillary out is most important.

  15. Thanks for the heads up on the C AP water board candidates! Happy I ran across this website! Bookmarked …

  16. Jo Ann Gentry… I read that she was being “punished” for her ruling to allow the marijuana initiative on the ballot. Are you sure that this committee of judges is fair?

  17. You and I see a lot eye to eye. It was amazing that each category we had the same thoughts, like not voting for unchallenged Republicans. Corrupt Sheriff Joe should be put out to pasture along with McCain. Years ago I could have seen voting for him, but since his run with Palin, it’s been all down hill. His obstruction of the Silupreme Court is the final straw.

  18. Thank you so very much for your recommendations! I was thankful that we agreed on all the candidates I’d already marked my ballot for. (Sorry for the dangling preposition.) Anyway, I’ve been searching for info on the candidates for the CAWCD. I read the blog for one of the three individuals you’d recommended and voted for him. Now I’ve voted for the other two.

    P.S. I enjoyed your sense of humor a great deal!

  19. Thanks for your recommendations for the water conservation district, we are voting dem up and down the ballot, but weren’t familiar with the candidates for this, so it was good to get suggestions from someone who clearly thinks like we do

  20. Thanks for making this easy for me! I voted AGAINST everyone you mentioned other than the 2 propositions

  21. Arizona Sen. John McCain, “patriot,” promises that if the Republicans keep their Senate majority, there won’t be any Supreme Court confirmations for President Hillary Clinton.
    I can’t think of a better reason to put this old horse out to pasture.

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