An inauspicious start to the Secretary of State race


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

On the very same day that the current Secretary of State certified the referendum ("citizens veto") of HB 2305 — the Voter Suppression Act — to the ballot in 2014, the co-author of that bill, Sen. Michele Reagan announced her candicacy for Secretary of State. Awesome! Sen.
Reagan enters race for secretary of state post

State Sen. Michele Reagan formally entered the race for Arizona
secretary of state on Tuesday, touting her experience in business and
election matters. [Such as drafting voter suppression bills.]

* * *

She noted her experience this year as chairman of the Elections Committee.

That background, she said, makes her well-suited to be secretary of
state, a job that includes overseeing elections and managing business

We note your experience as chairman of the Elections Committee as well — you are the face of voter suppression in Arizona. You also refuse to consider any bills that would bring transparency and disclosures to campaign finance laws to end the practice of "dark money" contributions from anonymous sources. You are a terrible candidate for Secretary of State.

Sen. Reagan will face a GOP primary against self-funded millionaire Wil Cardon, who lost a bid for U.S. Senate last year, and Rep. Justin Pierce, who is running Clean Elections because Wil Cardon accused him of a conflict of interest with his father Gary Pierce serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission. So much nepotism and sense of entitlement among rich kids.

Laurie Roberts at the Arizona Republic today raises a concern that I share about what Sen. Reagan may do with her Elections Committee come January. Voters
slap Legislature over election law (but will they be slapped back?)

This would be the first referendum to make the ballot since 1998, when voters overturned a pair of laws designed to gut the 1996 medical marijuana voter initiative.

I say “would be”, because legislators have plenty of time to scuttle the referendum should they wish to try it.

Several election law attorneys have told me that the Legislature could come back in its 2014 session and render the referendum moot. They reason that though HB 2305 is now on hold until voters can decide whether it should go into effect, there is nothing to stop the Legislature from repealing it and replacing it with a new bill which would then presumably require a new referendum drive to stop it.

“I guess in that context, the only constraint on the Legislature would be the fact that they’ve just had their butts handed to them by the electorate, for whatever utility that is worth,” Goldwater Institute attorney Clint Bolick told me recently.

In other words, the only thing stopping our leaders from thwarting the referendum – a right given to us in the state constitution — would be shame.

Since they have none, I’m guessing this isn’t over.

Tuesday was also an inauspicious start for the Democrats as well. Current Senate Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor, who is an exploratory candidate for Secretary of State, was ousted from her leadership position on Tuesday by her Senate colleagues. Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor ousted as minority leader:

Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor of Phoenix, the state’s highest-ranking Democrat, was ousted as Senate minority leader. She will be replaced by Sen. Anna Tovar of Tolleson.
Landrum Taylor, who is running for secretary of state next year, appeared stunned by developments and said she was furious with the decision.

“They said I could not possibly run for state office and serve as the leader in the Legislature,” she said, adding that prior male leaders have done just that numerous times. “It’s disgusting and degrading.”

Landrum Taylor also alluded to possible racial motivations, saying some had alleged that she represents too small a percentage of Arizona voters. Landrum Taylor is the state’s only African-American state lawmaker. Tovar is a Latina.

The Arizona Legislature’s 13 Democratic senators had scheduled a caucus meeting to replace Assistant Minority Leader Linda Lopez of Tucson. Lopez had previously announced she was voluntarily stepping down from leadership to deal with new job responsibilities.
Tovar, the minority whip, was expected to move up into that spot but declined the nomination.

Sen. Steve Gallardo of Phoenix then nominated Tovar to be minority leader, replacing Landrum Taylor.

Tovar won the position by an 8-5 vote. Landrum Taylor and four of her supporters walked out of the meeting.

Sen. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma, was then voted in as assistant minority leader, and Gallardo became the new minority whip.

Landrum Taylor said she may push for a revote, noting that members of the community are calling for the same.

“The community is outraged,” she said.

I suspect this has everything to do with people choosing sides in the Phoenix City Council race between Rev. Warren Stewart and Kate Gallego this year. Race part of debate in Phoenix's District 8 election. I am so damn tired of Phoenix always effin' things up.

The only declared Democratic candidate for Secretary of State is classic overachiever Chris Campos from Cochise County, who runs for everything. Rumor has it that former state Attorney General Terry Goddard is considering running. Somebody who can run a credible statewide campaign had better step up soon.