Arizona Ballot Measure Guide 2006 for All Propositions

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With an astonishing number of measures on the ballot this election, going to the polls is going to be almost like being a legislator. You are going to need a lobbyist in your pocket to keep everything straight. I’ve compiled some information on each of the ballot questions for you in case you want to do some due diligence. If, on the other hand, you just want to be told what box to check, I’ve made it very clear with the use of visual aids what way you should go on each issue. I’m even giving you a printable, one-page cheat sheet to take to the polls. Download prop_vote_guide.pdf

I’ve crawled through the guts of the legalese, spoken to legislators to get the skinny on the referendums, and researched who is putting up the lucre for each initiative petition, so you don’t have to. Cast an informed vote, and tell all your friends, family, co-workers, acquaintences, one-night-stands, and sundry strangers how to cast an informed vote, too.

KAET has done a series of discussion about each of the Propositions, which I highly recommend.

No_6
PROP 100: BAILABLE OFFENSES

Referendum Objective: This proposition would
amend the Arizona Constitution to prohibit bail for any person who is
charged with a serious felony offense (as determined by the
Legislature) if the person charged entered or remained in the United
States illegally and the court finds proof that the person committed
the crime is evident or the presumption that the person committed the
crime is great.
Sponsor: Legislature 
Full Text: HCR 2028
Editorial: Part of the package of anti-immigrant ballot bashing intended to rally the base to the polls, not to make good policy. It makes no substantive change to the law; no one would be made ineligible for bail who was not already ineligible. This insipid referendum changes our Constitution purely to score a rhetorical political point.

No_2
PROP 101: LOCAL PROPERTY TAX LEVIES

Referendum Objective: The Arizona Constitution limits the amount of
primary property tax that a county, city, town or community college
district may levy.  Each taxing entity’s limit was established in 1980,
and that limit has increased by two per cent each year, plus any new
construction. This proposition would amend the Arizona Constitution to remove unused taxing
capacity and reset each taxing entity’s limit to the actual tax levy
limit of that county, city, town or community college district in
2005.  Beginning in 2007, the new levy limit would increase by two per
cent per year, plus any new construction.
Sponsor:
Legislature
Full Text: HCR 2056
Editorial: An illegitimate legislative grab for power over local taxing authorities. Punishes localities which have not used the full extent of their taxing authority and could unduly limit the taxing authority of fast growing regions. Substitutes mindless flat formulas for the judgment of our local elected officials. Bad policy, bad politics, bad for Arizona.

No_3
PROP 102: STANDING IN CIVIL ACTIONS

Referendum Objective: This proposition would prohibit a person who
wins a civil lawsuit from receiving punitive damages if the person is
an alien who entered the United States in violation of federal
immigration law.

Sponsor:
Legislature
Full Text:
SCR 1001
Editorial:
If you believe that the fear of not being eligible for punative damages will act as a deterent to illegal immigration, you might be an idiot – and you’ll probably vote for this mean-spirited referendum. The real motivation of our legislature in putting this abomination on the ballot is to immunize from justice those who seek to willfully and maliciously prey upon the weak and marginal in our society, and to rally their moronic, mouth-breathing base.

No_4
PROP 103: ENGLISH AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Referendum Objective: This proposition would replace the existing
provision of the Constitution of Arizona with a new provision
establishing English as the official language of this state.  Any
person performing an official act of the state or a local government
would be required to preserve, protect and enhance the role of English
as the official language.
Sponsor:
Legislature
Full Text:
HCR 2036
Editorial:
¿Como se dices "Xenophobe" en Espanol? Seriously, English is the most syncretic, viral, and fastest growing language on the planet. Does it really need legal protection: like French? Is the GOP going to try to establish an official English next? "No gerundizing your verbs to create an adjective in official English, children." Fucking morons. Language is an organic and iterative cultural tool of human communities and a natural human proclivity, it is not subject to, nor will it be controlled by legislative fiats. The problem with electing a parliament of magical-thinking religionistas is that they think they can control the real world by wishing things were so and then writing them down in the form of legislation and voting on them. Classic delusional behavior; don’t buy into it.

Yes_8
PROP 104: MUNICIPAL DEBT

Referendum Objective: This proposition would allow political subdivisions of the state (cities, towns, school districts, and counties) to finance with debt the acquisition and development of land for the purposes of public safety, law enforcement, fire and emergency service facilities, streets and transportation facilities. Currently, only the purposes of open space preserves, parks, playgrounds and recreational
facilities are allowed.
Sponsor: Legislature
Full Text: HCR 2001
Editorial: It seems like a good idea to give local governments more flexibility in financing transportation and public safety projects. There doesn’t seem to be any agenda in play except increasing the options of local governments to meet the needs of constituents.

No
PROP 105: STATE TRUST LANDS

Referendum Objective: HCR 2045 proposes amendments to Arizona’s constitution relating to state trust land management.
Sponsor: Legislature
Full Text: HCR 2045
Editorial: The GOP majority is using this referendum as a means of muddying the waters on the state trust lands citizen’s initiative, Prop 106. Prop 105 puts much less land in trust and requires the legislature to separately approve every single parcel to be protected: fat chance, that. For real state trust land reform, vote for Prop 106.

Yes
PROP 106: CONSERVING ARIZONA’S FUTURE

Initiative Objective: To amend the Constitution of Arizona is to
permit the state of Arizona to manage state trust land in ways that
promote well-planned growth, conservation, and sound stewardship,
addressing issues that were not of concern at the time of statehood.
Sponsor: Conserving Arizona’s Future
The Money: This initiative backed with almost $700K from a broad coalition of both conservationist, educational, and real estate interests who see their long-term interests being served by the measure. Contributors include the National and Arizona Education Associations ($250K), the Nature Conservancy ($100K), the Sonoran Institute ($45K), and an assortment of developers, including Diamond Ventures ($10K) and Vestar Development ($10K). Anything that bring that coalition together gets my vote.
Website: http://www.conservingarizonasfuture.com
Full Text: Complete Initiative.pdf (pdf)
Editorial: The real deal. Accept no substitutes.

No_5
PROP 107: PROTECT MARRIAGE ARIZONA

Initiative Objective: "This proposed amendment to the Arizona
Constitution preserves “marriage” as only consisting of the union of
one man and one woman, and prohibits creating or recognizing any legal
status for unmarried persons that is similar to that of marriage."
Sponsor: Protect Marriage Arizona
The Money: This measure is supported by a group of right wing idelogues, think tanks, and purported ‘Christian’ groups and churches. Major donors include the Center for Arizona Policy ($70K), United Families International ($50K), and Christian Family Care Agency ($20K).
Status: Pending Verification of Signatures
Website: http://www.protectmarriageaz.com
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website
Editorial: A misguided attack on civil unions and non-marital partner benefits under the guise of an anti-homosexual bit of hate-mongering. Beyond insipid, and probably contrary to the federal constitution (for now).

Yes_1
PROP 200: AZ VOTER REWARD ACT

Initiative Objective: This proposed law would establish a voter
reward random drawing every two years with a first prize of one million
dollars or more for the purpose of increasing voter participation.
Voters who cast ballots in primary and general elections would be
eligible to win.  The money would come from the Arizona Lottery and
private donations.
Sponsor: Arizonans for Voting Rewards (Dr. Mark Osterloh, Chairman)
The Money:
This initiative is financed primarily by Dr. Mark Osterloh ($40K). Dr. Osterloh better hope he’s the first lucky voter.
Website: ?
Full Text: At AZ Secretary of State’s website.
Editorial: There are those who say that a reward for voting ‘cheapens democracy’. Well, sorry to tell you, but with the pay to play election financing system, democracy may not be cheap one, but she’s certainly already a whore. Luckily, we in Arizona have Clean Elections (if you can keep them), so while we’ve put the old tart on the dole, she’s still not getting a lot of true love.

            There are two ways to get anyone to do anything: carrot and sticks. If we aren’t going to use the stick and make voting mandatory, as they do in many democracies more robust than our own, we need to try a carrot to focus people’s minds. I don’t care why people decide to vote, because I firmly believe that almost everyone who actually bothers will exercise their franchise with common sense, if not wisdom.

            Frankly, a lottery ticket a fantastic form of psychological judo; it’s actually much less of a reward than it seems, just like voting itself. If it gets a few more people to take even a passing interest in public affairs, I’m all for it. Those snobs who would rather not have people voting who are incentivized by the possibility of winning a million bucks because they are likely to be ignorant are ignoring the simple fact the average voter is already blissful with ignorance. It’s the magic equation of democracy: the sum total of human folly equals wisdom.

Yes_2
PROP 201: SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA ACT

Initiative Objective: The proposed act would prohibit smoking in
enclosed public places and places of employment with limited exceptions
such as private residences, retail tobacco stores, and outdoor patios.
Enforcement by the Arizona Department of Health Services would be paid
for by a tax on cigarettes of one tenth of one cent per cigarette.
Sponsor: Smoke-Free Arizona, Yes on I-05-2006
The Money: Major contributors for this initiative include the
American Cancer Society ($330,000), the American Heart Association
($45,000), the American Lung Association ($70,000), and the AZ Hospital
& Healthcare Association ($40,000).
Website: http://www.smokefreearizona.org/grassroots/overview
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website
Editorial: As an ex-smoker, I could be a smoke Nazi, or I could be sympathic to the frustrations of smokers who just want the right to quietly and slowly kill themselves in peace. I happen to be the latter. But the overwhelming evidence of the harm done by second-hand smoke pushes me in the direction of not subjecting unwilling citizens to exposure to toxic miasmas in public places.

            The exceptions provided in this measure ensure that smokers will be sunburned, damp, and lonely, but they seem sufficient to be humane. If you want to go to a bar and smoke, make sure it has a patio. If you run a bar and want smoking patrons, get a goddamn patio. Really, it’s time to put people’s right to not be exposed to health hazards in public and in the work-place above people’s right to create a health hazard.

Yes_3
PROP 202: ARIZONA MINIMUM WAGE COALITION

Initiative Objective: To amend the Arizona Minimum Wage Act to
raise the minimum wage in Arizona to $6.76 an hour beginning in January
2007 and to provide annual cost of living adjustments afterward.
Sponsor: Arizona Minimum Wage Coalition, Yes on I-13-2006
The Money: This iniative is financed at just under $150K by a coalition of poverty, union, and philanthopic organizations, including ACORN ($10K), AFL-CIO ($10K), The Tides Foundation ($25K), and Arizona’s Working Families ($50K).
Website: http://azminimumwage.com
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website
Editorial: If anything, Prop 202 doesn’t go far enough – but it is a good place to start. Raising the minimum wage helps families, helps business (those crazies down at the Chamber of Commerce are just lying through their teeth), and helps reduce the cost of public services for the indigent. Don’t be frightened by the horror stories that the fascist corporatists will tell to try to defeat this entirely sane citizen initiative.

Yes_4
PROP 203: FIRST THINGS FIRST FOR AZ’S CHILDREN

Initiative Objective: This initiative would increase funding for
early childhood development and health programs. Local councils would
distribute the majority of the funding, with oversight by a statewide
board subject to audits and other accountability measures. Dedicated
funding would come from an increase on the sales price of tobacco
products.
Sponsor: First Things First for Arizona’s Children
The Money: Who the heck doesn’t support this initiative is the real question. A broad alliance of all ideological leanings are providing ample funding (approaching 2 million) to pass this initiative, including Wells Fargo ($45K), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona ($50K), Fulton Homes ($250K), Grace Investments ($150K), and slew of wealthy Arizonans including Jimmy Click ($25K) in perhaps the only positive political move he’s made to date.
Website: http://www.firstthingsfirstaz.com/about/index.cfm
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website (pdf)
Editorial: Oh, come on! Cute babies vs. smelly smokers and evil tobbaco companies? Who do you think will win that popularity contest? And I say, "tax away, baby"! Hey, it’s not a sin if it doesn’t cost too much, right? Plus, dedicated public health funding that the legislature can’t get its grubby little mitts on? Bonus!

Yes_5
PROP 204: HUMANE FARMS

Initiative Objective: To ban veal and sow gestation crates from
Arizona farms. Veal crates have been banned in the United Kingdom and
are in the process of being phased out across the entire EU. Sow
gestation crates have been banned in Florida by similar citizen’s
ballot initiative in 2002.
Sponsor: Arizonans for Humane Farms,
Coalition of organizations which includes Humane Society of the United
States, Arizona Humane Society, Animal Defense League of Arizona, Farm
Sanctuary and others.
The Money: As important as who supports this Prop is who is opposing it. Organized as CAMPAIGN FOR AZ FARMERS & RANCHERS AGAINST I-07-2006 is a who’s who of agribusiness interests including the Arizona Pork Council ($100K), the American Farm Bureau ($25K), the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association ($10K) and Farm Associations from California to Iowa. In support are the Humane Society ($200K), and the Farm Sanctuary ($140K).
Website: http://www.yesforhumanefarms.org
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website
Editorial: The ethical and human treatment of the animals which are destined to become our food is the neccessary foundation of a sustainable agricultural system. This isn’t as much about the animal’s ‘rights’ as it is about our own humanity. We need to pay the actual costs of creating our food. The high-density factory husbandry practices that this Proposition restrict may be slightly more cost-efficient than sustainable and ethically sound practices, but it comes with at the hidden cost of untold and easily avoidable pain and suffering of those beings which literally sustain our lives. Prop 204 is a reasonable, proportionate response that simply removes the incentives to mistreat animals for profit that the market imposes on farmers.

Yes_6
PROP 205: YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE

Initiative Objective: The single purpose of this initiative is to
ensure that all registered voters are automatically mailed ballots from
the election official before every election. Automatically mailed
ballots shall be in proper form for voting, have all necessary
instructions and shall be accompanied by a postage paid first class
return envelope to the election official. A limited number of
county-wide polling places shall remain open on election days for on-site voting and for voters to return of automatically mailed ballots.
Sponsor: Your Right to Vote
The Money: Republican radio mogul and Congressional primary opponent of Trent Franks in AZ CD 2, Rick Murphy is the money man for this gig, which he says is inspired by the success of the Oregon program. Mr. Murphy has contributed over $150,000 to the initiative effort so far. Hey, even Republicans can believe in making it easier to vote, can’t they?
Website: http://www.vbmaz.com
Full Text: Download PROPOSITION205.pdf

Editorial: There are arguments on both sides of this Prop, but I think the ayes have it. The main argument I hear against this measure is that Vote By Mail (VBM) will introduce new opportunities for voter fraud and coersion. For instance, a person could ensure that a spouse or dependant votes a certain way because the secrecy of the ballot cannot be insured in the home, or could fraudulently fill out ballots belonging to another. I think that such objections and more gedankenexperiments than actual objections. We already have hybrid elections in which large segments of the electorate vote by mail. If this system has serious security problems, we need to address it anyhow; perhaps an all VBM system will provide the political incentive to address its particular security issues in a comprehensive manner.

           Oregon’s experiment with VBM elections have had five years to draw conclusions from a functional state-wide system. We should pay heed to those positive results, as well as the need for further improvements from that on-going experiment, rather than just hypothesize about the possible effects of VBM in Arizona. When you look at the judgement of experts on the Oregon experiment, the results are overwhelmingly positive. VBM has significantly increased voter participation and allowed election officials to focus more resources on voter support. Nostalgia for the excitement of election day causes many to cling to the notion of voting as a collective ritual. The reality is that voting is now an individual act taken over an extended period of time. This new reality will change the way that candidates campaign, possibly making campaigning more engaging and informative.

            We’ve seen too many voters disenfrachised in recent elections by long waits at the polls because of decisions taken by election officials intended to discriminate against voters in certain locales. One would think that making effective use of the franchise dependent upon so many logistical factors out of the voters’ control would give many citizens pause. Putting the power to vote more firmly outside the control of local election officials and into the hands of voters is manifestly a good thing. VBM also makes most issues regarding the security of polling machines and paper trails moot. VBM has security issues of it own, but the simple fact is that when fraud occurs in a VBM election there is evidence of the crime to be uncovered: with a digital voting machine, there very well may not be.

No_1
PROP 206: NON-SMOKER PROTECTION ACT

Initiative Objective: This initiative would prohibit smoking in
enclosed public places and places of employment, except bars and
tobacco shops. Minors would not be permitted in any part of a bar or
tobacco shop that permits smoking. Signs must notify patrons and
employees where smoking is permitted. If part of a larger business, the
bars and tobacco shops must be separated by floor to ceiling partitions
and separate ventilation systems.
Sponsor: Non-Smoker Protection Committee
The Money: Arizona Licensed Beverage Association ($11,00), R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ($10,000)
Status: Pending Verification of Signatures
Website: http://www.protectnonsmokers.com
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website (pdf)
Editorial: An eggregious case of astroturfing in an attempt by industry to extract more favorable terms with a similar, but less restrictive, initiative. Don’t be taken in.

No_10
PROP 207: PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT

Initiative Objective: To protect private property by defining public
use to mean only the public will own and use the land and declares that
the public benefits of economic development, including increased tax
revenues and employment, shall not constitute a public use and to
require that Arizona citizens receive just compensation if they lose
their property or lose the value of their property when government
takes or enacts a law that diminishes the value of private property.
Sponsor: AZ Home Owners Protection Effort (AZ-HOPE)
The Money: Over $750,000 has been contributed by Americans for Limited Government, a far right Republican astroturfing operation aligned with The Club for Growth and Townhall.com, financed primarily by right wing New York real estate developer Howard Rich. You really think anyone spends that much money shovelling something at voters without an ulterior profit motive?
Website: http://www.hopeforarizona.com
Full Text: Initiative text at sponsor’s website
Editorial: This initiative is probably the most deceptive, and thus the most dangerous, measure on the ballot. Prop 207 is a Trojan horse for extremists views in a package of populist outrage. It uses a broadly appealing, and justified, populist backlash against the misuse of eminent domain for private gain (see the recent Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London) to sneak through legal changes that the untra-conservative and ultra-wealthy have been relentlessly seeking for many years. Embedded in what purports to be a populist measure to protect people’s homes from unscrupulous redevelopment interests is a poison pill of extremist property rights language that would wreak havok on the ability of our state and local governments to make and enforce environmental protections and engage in urban planning.

A long-held conservative dream has been to install a fetishized form of private property protection into American law. The idea usually rides under the banner of ‘Regulatory Takings’. Under this theory of the takings clause, any law passed by the government which reduces either the current or future value of a property, must be compensated as if the government had actually condemned a portion of that property and as if those future interests were actual assets. Currently, the law requires compensation only for destruction of present value, or for destruction of all future value; whereas Prop 207’s language would make any dimunition of future value a compensable taking. Seems like a fine point, but environmental laws and urban planning become impossibly expensive to implement under such a property regime, and that’s exactly how ‘Regulatory Takings’ advocates want it.

Within the text of this measure, lies a ticking time-bomb of extremist ‘Regulatory Takings’ language:

12-1134. Diminution
in value; just compensation
.
A. If THE existing rightS to use, divide, sell or
possess private real property ARE reduced by the ENACTMENT OR APPLICABILITY OF
aNY land use law enacted
AFTER THE DATE THE PROPERTY IS TRANSFERRED TO
THE OWNER and such action reduces the
fair market value of the property
THE OWNER is entitled to just compensation FROM THIS STATE OR THE POLITICAL
SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE THAT ENACTED THE LAND USE LAW
.

           With this language, property rights extremists would accomplish what decades of litigation and lobbying had been unable to create: the perfect tool to defeat the protection of critical habitats and species, urban planning and zoning, and any other law related to the use of land.

            I have sympathy for the idea that the states should cabin the effect of the Kelo decision. Governments should not be able to take people’s private dwellings and destroy existing communities to theoretically increase tax revenues, or to line the pockets of private developers. If this measure was reasonably related to accomplishing that goal, I would be recommending that people vote for it. But this measure has obviously been hijacked by extremists whose primary goal is not the good of Arizona’s communities nor the rights of home owners. If passed by the voters, we will find it difficult indeed to repeal this terrible deception.

           Because the Kelo eminent domain issue has such popular appeal, and this terrible lie is wrapped within that appealing package, Prop 207 is the most serious threat to Arizona’s voters this election. There are other terrible ideas on the ballot, no doubt, but none of them are so deceptive to the average voter. Defeating this measure will require a massive grassroots effort to educate voters as to why Prop 207 is not in their interest. We have plenty of time to create real eminent domain reform (even Prop 207’s authors could only find one plausible example of such a taking to put in their findings section, so this is not an epidemic of abuse), and we should demand that our legislators craft a reasonable and well-considered law to protect home owners from abuses of eminent domain. But if the voters approve ‘Regulatory Takings’ doctrine by initiative, it could do incalcuable damage to our environment and to our ability to plan for urban growth for many years to come.

UPDATES:
Dan Patterson also has a great blog entry on this evil poison pill meaure.

A coalition of Arizona cities and public interest organizations just failed to have this prop stricken from the ballot for failure to specify the sources for new spending mandated by the measure. Likely the measure will face legal challenge again if Arizona’s voters are tricked into passing this dog.

No_11
PROP 300: PUBLIC PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

Referendum Objective: This proposition would prohibit adults who are not citizens or legal residents of the United States from taking classes offered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Division of Adult Education (Division) or receiving child care assistance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and would prohibit in-state student or county resident status to persons who are not citizens or who lack lawful immigration status pursuant to federal law.
Sponsor: Legislature
Full Text: SCR 1031
Editorial: If you are stupid enough to believe that Mexico’s tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free are going to stay home because they can’t get free ESL instruction and day care in the land of the free and the home of the brave, you might consider voting for this measure. Otherwise, you’ll see it as more of the mean-spirited, misguided, hate-based politics the Arizona GOP seems to specialize in.

No_12
PROP 301: PROBATION FOR METHAMPHETAMINE OFFENSES

Referendum Objective: This proposition would amend the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996 so that a person who is convicted for the first time of personal possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia involving methamphetamine is not eligible for probation under the personal possession or use laws and is subject to incarceration.  The person may be eligible for probation pursuant to the general probation laws for convicted persons.
Sponsor: Legislature
Full Text: SCR 1033
Editorial: This measure would prevent any defendant who was charged with a first-time drug offense involving meth from particpating in the DMPCA’s diversion program. Such persons would become ineligible for drug treatment and automatic probation. The GOP majority wants to look like they are doing something about meth, so their response is to wooden-headedly attempt to stiffen the penalties on users and addicts. This approach hasn’t worked in the entire decades-long ‘Drug War’, what makes them think it will work now?

            Meth is highly addictive – more so than most other drugs. If you don’t attempt treatment the first chance you get, you may never get another chance. To make you think they are doing something to combat meth, the GOP majority is willing to throw away the lives of your fellow citizens, without even trying to save them. Instead, they want to throw these people into our already over-crowded prisons, on your dime. How many other varieties of stupid do I need to point out to justify voting ‘No’?

Yes_7
PROP 302: STATE LEGISLATORS’ SALARIES

Referendum Objective: The Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers recommends the salaries of legislators be increased to $36,000.
Sponsor: Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers
Full text: On Secretary of State’s website
Editorial: You might be surprised to see a green check by this one given the esteem I have for our legislature. If so, you mistake me. I have the highest esteem for the people who serve in the legislature, especially the Democrats who show up, work their asses off to have any effect on policy, and get little credit and less respect. It’s not a job I would want. And that’s the problem. The more it becomes possible for a citizen to decide to become a legislator, and actually be able to support him- or herself and a family with that calling, the larger the pool of potential citizen representatives we can draw from. By making the position financially a part-time proposition, we dramatically narrow the talent pool we can utilize. We certainly do get the legislature we pay for. I think that legislative salaries ought to be indexed to the median household income of Arizona: this year, that would be around 58K. It would encourage raising all the boats by aligning the personal interests of legislators with, literally, the average Arizonan. 36K still isn’t enough, but it’s a start.

      

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Michael founded BlogForArizona.net as the Howard Dean presidential campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren. In 2008, Michael remade BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now is but one of the contributors to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction in consultation with the Board of Directors and the other authors. If you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news in an entertaining quick hit of news and opinion, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which Mike curates under the hashtag #MB.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Arizona Credit Union System would be very happy if payday advance companies shriveled up and died in the Grand Canyon State, but their opinion is certainly greased by the wheels of their own commerce. The credit union is stepping up its lobbying efforts to crush the competition and absorb all the former cash advance customers into their coffers. In a massive E-mail campaign that they estimate will reach as many as 1.6 million credit union customers, System will encourage voters to give Proposition 200 an emphatic thumbs down. On the flip side of the coin, Prop. 200 supports organizations like the Arizona Community Financial Services Association that claims that Proposition 200 will indeed lower state loan fees, eliminate extensions by introducing flexible payment plans, regulate Internet lending and cull the number of total walk-in stores in Arizona. These very real reforms will not only help payday loan customers, but will keep industry employees off the breadlines past the current lending sunset year of 2010. Who wants to lose their job, particularly in our current economy?
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  2. I think a better approach, now that 205 is dead, might be to mail out ballots, but have people bring them to the polls, show their ID to validate their identity, sign the log, and submit the ballot.

    That eliminates most opportunities for fraud, and will greatly cut down the time spent standing in lines to vote. There are still a few new ways to commit fraud – but then there are plenty of “old” ways to commit vote fraud that’d be easier and less lightly to get the fraudsters caught.

  3. PROP 100: BAILABLE OFFENSES
    PROP 102: STANDING IN CIVIL ACTIONS
    PROP 103: ENGLISH AS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
    PROP 300: PUBLIC PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

    all passed by huge margins.

  4. What the f*&^% are you thinkin on prop 101. The county has increased my property value by over $300,000 in the last 2 years, costing me a lot of money in property tax.
    What the hell are they doing with all that money. There has to be some control over this taxation. All it does is give people a false sense of their property value. Right now my 2007 full cash value is less than $100k of what it is appaised for. remember the days when it was at least 20% less? They priced my property last summer for 2007 and now the bottom is dropping out and I have to pay $2,000 more in taxes! for WHAT? This is a bull*#^@ prop that only gets voted in by what-a-be’s that wish their property is really increaseing so much only for bragging rights. But I own 3 ac 1/4 mi from a major freeway and don’t need to impress anyone by the county tax assessor’s esimate of my value. Why haven’t any of the news stations covered the closeness of this prop????

  5. One thing that has puzzled me on 201 and 206 has been the way they have been advertised against each other as though they were candidates of which voters needed to choose one or the other.

    Why not vote No to both 201 and 206 and let consumers and businesses vote for smoke-free surroundings with their wallets and instead of taxpayers paying to enforce these preferences?

  6. Thanks for your efforts. I personally found your name calling and editorials highly amusing. They didn;t detract from the message for me. I hope the uptight people who were offended by them, can find a way to pull the stick out of their ass!

  7. Thanks, I pretty much just choose the opposite of what you recommended, and find myself extremely happy. Nice Information though, really, saved me a bunch of time

  8. As we shy from our duties as citizens of the United States of America, and let those who seek to opress or rights blind us, Just as our Military forces are fighting overseas, and in this country, to keep our country and borders secure. It is our responibility, here at home, to maintain the freedoms we are entitled to by our laws and constitution.
    We are being over run by *illegal immigrants who demand that we spek their language, feed them, & their families, allow them access to our healthcare systems, and educate them.
    ~All at our expense!~
    We are giving up one of our most precious Freedoms!
    THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE
    This is the freedom to: Democratically choose which laws are passed, and what is written into these laws, to ensure the stability of our nation.
    If we are to continue to be a democratic nation, we must not re-elect the politicians who continue to underwrite into our laws, loopholes that will allow non-Americans to abuse the priviliges of our nation. We as Americans need to ensure that our rights and privileges are upheld.
    LEGAL immigratin has been one of the strengths of our nation. It has enabled us to continually grow, thru the diversity of peoples that are tired of the opression inflicted upon them by their nation of origin.

  9. Appreciate the info but I differ with some or your opinions.

    101 – I don’t think that local taxing authorities should be allowed to “double-dip” on both unrealistically increased property evaluations AND previously un-used tax limits.

    200 – Who wouldn’t like to win $1M? But, this initiative is no way to promote informed voting.

    201/206 – There are already too many restrictions and taxes on smoking. If you don’t want to be exposed to smoke – DO NOT GO THERE, non-smokers have more options than smokers do!

    203 – According to this proposed initiative, “ARTICLE 9. TOBACCO TAX FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH states: 42-3371. LEVY AND COLLECTION OF TAX ON CIGARETTES, CIGARS, AND OTHER FORMS OF TOBACCO.

    IN ADDITION TO ALL OTHER TAXES, THERE IS LEVIED AND SHALL BE COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY THIS CHAPTER, ON ALL CIGARETTES, CIGARS, SMOKING TOBACCO, PLUG TOBACCO, SNUFF AND OTHER FORMS OF TOBACCO IN THE FOLLOWING TAX: ………”

    The key words being, “In addition to all other taxes”, NO WHERE DOES THIS INITIATIVE MENTION ANY OTHER TAXES. Why? Why should smokers bear the brunt of this selective taxation, without representation I might add? Where is the equity?

    205 – Every registered voter in AZ has the right to vote by mail and many opportunities to take advantage of that right if they so choose. To mandate voting by mail leaves untold openings for fraud from all levels. Who could prove or disprove if ballots were received or counted? Diebold, Sequoia, etc. may be the least of our concerns if this initiative were to pass. And to say that a “limited number” of poling places would be left in place county-wide would dis-enfranchise even more than already are – AZ has large counties encompassing many square miles.

  10. Hey dude thanks for the info.
    You might want to become informed about some worldly realities before spewing your extreme liberal bias tho.

    But thanks again for the blog.

  11. I found your site while searching for info on AZ props. I don’t agree with you on all points, but I do appreciate some of the information and opinions. The one thing I didn’t appreciate…the foul language and name calling. Is this ever really necessary in an intelligent monologue or conversation? It takes away from your credibility. I’m a democrat by the way.

  12. Regarding someone’s post about Prop 205, which read: “When there are so many initiatives, you can sit down and do actual research without having to just guess how to vote based on some some partisan summary”… can’t you already do that prior to the election? I mean… how did we all end up on this website? It was probably from researching the various Propositions on the internet. A google search brought me here… and I’m sure that’s true for most of us who have posted comments here.

  13. Regarding 203:

    Where is the fairness in taxing one group of people (i.e. smokers) to fund programs that benefit society as a whole? Shouldn’t the public be taxed (e.g. via a sales tax increase) if we’re all to benefit from the programs under Prop 203?

    I am a non-smoker and therefore do not buy tobacco products. From what I understand, tobacco products are taxed differently state to state, as well as on Indian reservations. Therefore, couldn’t purchasers of tobacco products just buy their products in a neighboring state or on an Indian Reservation to avoid paying the tax increase resulting from Prop 203?

    Thus… wouldn’t a more effective (not to mention, fair) funding source be a tax increase on the general populace?

  14. Vote NO on Prop 202.

    Minimum wage laws hurt those they’re trying to help. If you’ll recall from Economics 101, there is a natural supply and demand for labor… and the “market equilibrium” for both the wage rate and the quantity of workers demanded exists where supply meets demand.

    If government enacts a wage floor (i.e. a minimum wage law) above the market equilibrium wage rate, demand for workers will be less than supply. In other words, there will be a surplus of workers… which is more commonly referred to as unemployment.

    Accordingly, Prop 202 is the WRONG answer. Perhaps a better solution would be to find ways to improve the skills of those at the bottom of the wage scale.

  15. I hoped I had found a real balanced, intelligent review of the propositions. Instead, it was idiotic screaming and name calling. Too bad, you have some good information here. I will admit that your web blog helped me….if I vote the opposite of everything you recomend, things will turn out well…. Thanks, I think.

  16. Thanks for a very helpful blog. I sent a link to all of my friends.

    Regards and thanks again,
    “Just another confused voter”

  17. Thank you for the help. I’m printing out your list and voting exactly opposite every one of your choices. You seem to have the daily kos level of respect toward opinions different than yours on illegal immigration, having to bribe people to vote, etc.

  18. I don’t like Prop 205. I don’t want to vote by mail, and I’m afraid that that proposition would practically force me to. Just how many valley-wide polling places would still be open? How far would I have to drive to get to the closest one? I see this proposition as unecessary, and annoying at best. I don’t want my polling place, the one I’ve been going to since I first became old enough to vote, taken away. People can already vote by mail if they want to. And I can go to my polling place if I want to (which I very much do). I strongly desire that Prop 205 be defeated.

  19. Could we try to keep the language clean? I came for info on each proposition and maybe a pros and cons for each, but unfortunately I just got an eye-ful of immature use of language.

  20. Yep Im back,

    I completely read the ballot measure on 203 and I am even more convinced that this is bad for Arizona. Click probably signd on because he smelled car sales. Nothing in there about accountability, utilizing a bid process for outside services, or guaranteeing all monies will be spent in State. What is it about PERPETUITY that you do not get? Phase 1 was engineered to get the vote by relation to an unpopular act. The bait and switch here is perpetuity. You think you are sticking it to the smokers. But not all smokers – Native Americans, Federal Reserves such as base PX, veterans who have requested an IRS number, and the Veterans Administration do not and will not pay any taxes. Read the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, for the rest the Arizona public when Phase 2 kicks in, bend over and grab you ankles because Uncle Eddy is coming and now it is your turn.

    My current stance is a resounding NO on all the Propositions. Most of them are ridiculous others are plain stupid. This is Arizona and if you don’t like it there are 49 other States to move to. Quit trying to make something like where you came from because if you liked it so well there why are you here?

  21. Mike, I think you’ve done a superb job boiling these propositions down and offering direct and succinct “editorials”. Thanks for an important public service. Well done!

    Jim Saunders

  22. Good summary, and I am in step with you on all except 200 (paying people to vote is not the foundation for a healthy democracy) and 205 (I think this will lead to unintended consequences we haven’t come to terms with yet.)

    Your writeup on 102 is a little over the top in my opinion, it smacks (in tone, not content) of republican hate-and-fear rhetoric. There are plenty of level-headed arguments to be made against the proposition without labeling the opposition “mouth breathers”!

    I’m confused by your statement on Prop 100, however. You state (if you’ll allow me to paraphrase) that it would make no effective changes – that no one currently eligible for parole would become ineligible, and that the proposition should be defeated because it is a political move alone. My read was that it did in fact change the legal rights of illegal immigrants, and though bad policy, was not an entirely empty act. So, what am I missing?

  23. Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

    Proponents of Prop 205 disingenuously cite a study by the Oregon Secretary of State (Five Years Later: A Re-assessment of Oregon’s Vote By Mail Electoral Process, http://www.sos.state.or.us/executive/Southwell.pdf) from 2003 with claims such as voting among women increased 83%. However, if you actually read the study, no where in the study is there a reference to an increase in actual voting as a function of vote-by-mail! The study is a self-reported preference survey only, not an analysis of the actual voting behavior of Oregonians.

    Please read the actual language of Prop 205. Don’t buy into the ‘Blue Sky’ propaganda propelled by the proponents of this bill that would codify into law an anti-choice, anti-integrity, anti-public oversight, redundant and unnecessary restriction of one of our basic freedoms.

    VOTE NO ON PROP 205!

  24. PLEASE READ PROPOSITION 205 AND DON’T ACCEPT THE PROPAGANDA!

    Prop 205 takes choice away from Arizona’s voters and further compromises election integrity. We already have the right to vote by mail. Everything in Prop 205 is already available to Arizona’s voters. Prop 205, the Orwellian named “Your Right to Vote Act”, should be named the “You Will ONLY Vote the Way We Tell You Act”. Remember the Clear Skies Initiative or the Healthy Forests Act or No Child Left Behind? Same difference. Oregon never had the liberal vote-by-mail system Arizona enjoys today and its population is significantly less, more agricultural, and spread out than Arizona. Comparing Arizona to Oregon is an ‘apples and oranges’ misapplication to the argument.

    “IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS MUST USE DATA.” -W. Edwards Demming-

    Vast amounts of evidence that our elections processes are currently very fragile makes adding the plethora of problems contained in Prop 205 by changing Arizona law very risky business. Every argument for Prop 205 can be refuted (go to http://www.aceronline.org the Arizona Citizens for Election Reform website) with hard evidence. The proponents of Prop 205 have used everything from specious, outdated, and unsupportable arguments to scare tactics right out of Karl Rove’s talking points.

    Electronic voting machines will not be eliminated; they will just be secreted to the elections department with the same secret software resulting in even less community oversight. Ballots will still be tabulated on the same machines, with the same secret software, with the same problems of calibration and maintenance. All vote by mail all the time serves to further remove voters from the process and the publics right-to-know.

    Elections are increasingly being decided by one or two votes per precinct making every vote a valuable commodity. The Florida 2000 Presidential election was decided by only 537 votes, less than one vote per precinct, and the Ohio 2004 Presidential election would have changed if just four votes per precinct were different. Mountains of evidence show manipulation of the votes and mass voter disenfranchisement occurred in both elections. It’s not illegal to steal an American election in Mexico or Canada. In a state where vote tampering criminals like Nathan Sproul run gubernatorial campaigns, it’s not hard to imagine an operation in Nogales or Vancouver advertising “Send me your ballot and I’ll send you $10!”

    Vote-by-mail does not significantly increase voter participation. The increase in voter participation in Oregon in 2000 was 3.6%. National voter participation increased 2.1%, i.e., more people voted overall. An increase of 1.5% is not significant and belies the primary argument for all vote-by-mail all the time by its proponents.

    Please read the actual language of Prop 205. Don’t buy into the ‘Blue Sky’ propaganda propelled by the proponents of this bill that would codify into law an anti-choice, anti-integrity, anti-public oversight, redundant and unnecessary restriction of one of our basic freedoms.

    From a previous post on this website I include again for you to find the evidence for yourself:

    *No exit polls to verify results

    *The audit (SB1557) will be cut in half since polling places are audited at 2% and mail-in only 1%

    *Turn-out results are mixed – “sixteen states and the District of Columbia had turnout increases in 2000 that exceeded Oregon’s”, “[i]n every presidential election year since Texas began early voting in 1988, the voting turnout increase in Texas has been less than turnout increases nationwide” (Cal-Tech/MIT – Voting: What Is, What Could Be)
    http://www.vote.caltech.edu/media/documents/july01/July01_VTP_Voting_Report_Entire.pdf

    *Prop 205 does not put our vote-by-mail system on par with Oregon’s
    For example:
    Oregon – if a forwarding address is available and in the same county: “a Voter Notification Card is generated and sent to the new address. The voter will automatically be sent a ballot for the next election. The voter may appear in person to update his or her registration and receive a ballot for the current election.” (Carter Baker Report – Ballot Integrity and Voting by Mail: The Oregon Experience)
    http://www.sos.state.or.us/executive/CarterBaker.pdf

    Arizona – “The early election board shall check the voter’s affidavit on the envelope containing the early ballot. If it is found to be sufficient, the vote shall be allowed. If the affidavit is insufficient, the vote shall not be allowed.” (ARS 16-552(B))
    http://azleg.gov/ars/16/00552.htm

    *Fraud cases – “The absentee ballot is the ‘tool of choice’ for those who are engaging in election fraud.” (Florida Department of Law Enforcement: Florida Voter Fraud Issues) http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/publications/voter_fraud.asp

    We are not against vote-by-mail, but we are against taking away the polling places. It causes many problems people don’t think of right away – we are starting a page on our website that will expand over time at http://aceronline.org/205

    any questions, let us know: info@aceronline.org

  25. You are all wrong on Prop 203. Giving a special interest group access to tax dollars without any oversight. A very dangerous precident. I wonder if the proposed tax was on gasoline if you would be singing the same tune. Why is the new American view ” On the backs of others we will prevail”? Let’s see, the tax goes up on tobacco so the users in order to reduce costs switch to items not in the Master Settlement Agreement and the State looses a huge chunk of change. Due to the reduced revenue the State now starts to cut programs. Finally, in the future, those that authored 203 are seeing reduced funding and increasing operating costs, so back to the Legislature they go to tax something else (which they cleverly wrote into their proposition). In the meantime multiple special interest groups have flooded into Arizona since an avenue through the voters has been established. In the long run we all loose because we opened pandoras box. I guess we could resort at that time to boycotting any buisnesses or individuals that originally supported the measure. This is NOT a smoking issue – why tie childcare to something you would like to see gone? This is a clever manipulation by an ex wannabe Governor.

  26. I personally agree with you on every single issue except one, Prop 205.

    I’m part of a group (ACER) that (after the legislature took a lot out of the bill) finally got hand audits of elections, and companies like Diebold now have to file their source-code with the Secretary of State (hopefully open-source in the future.)

    Here are some of our concerns with all-vote-by-mail:

    *No exit polls to verify results

    *The audit (SB1557) will be cut in half since polling places are audited at 2% and mail-in only 1%

    *Turn-out results are mixed – “sixteen states and the District of Columbia had turnout increases in 2000 that exceeded Oregon’s”, “[i]n every presidential election year since Texas began early voting in 1988, the voting turnout increase in Texas has been less than turnout increases nationwide” (Cal-Tech/MIT – Voting: What Is, What Could Be)
    http://www.vote.caltech.edu/media/documents/july01/July01_VTP_Voting_Report_Entire.pdf

    *Prop 205 does not put our vote-by-mail system on par with Oregon’s
    For example:
    Oregon – if a forwarding address is available and in the same county: “a Voter Notification Card is generated and sent to the new address. The voter will automatically be sent a ballot for the next election. The voter may appear in person to update his or her registration and receive a ballot for the current election.” (Carter Baker Report – Ballot Integrity and Voting by Mail: The Oregon Experience)
    http://www.sos.state.or.us/executive/CarterBaker.pdf

    Arizona – “The early election board shall check the voter’s affidavit on the envelope containing the early ballot. If it is found to be sufficient, the vote shall be allowed. If the affidavit is insufficient, the vote shall not be allowed.” (ARS 16-552(B))
    http://azleg.gov/ars/16/00552.htm

    *Fraud cases – “The absentee ballot is the ‘tool of choice’ for those who are engaging in election fraud.” (Florida Department of Law Enforcement: Florida Voter Fraud Issues) http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/publications/voter_fraud.asp

    We are not against vote-by-mail, but we are against taking away the polling places. It causes many problems people don’t think of right away – we are starting a page on our website that will expand over time at http://aceronline.org/205

    any questions, let us know: info@aceronline.org

  27. Well now, I read that last entry on blog and about lost my cookies laughing. As a voter who hates sorting through the BS to find the truth I found this to be very well stated and helpful. So from a woman who isn’t a spring chicken thanks for the help!!!

  28. I came across this site looking for info on Arizona propositions. I was looking for objective information, unfortunately, you are a leftist piece of shit and this site reflect that fact. Fucking treasonous, traitorous, socialist assholes.

  29. THANKS SO MUCH!
    As a young voter it reminds me too much of a test in school and it is tempting to not go vote at all. But, your blog helps out A LOT so I can make informed decsions and have a voice in my state! THANKS SO MUCH!

  30. PROP 205: YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE (AKA: DALUTE YOUR VOTE)

    In our world of “sound bite” news (based on ratings) and special interest advertising (follow the money) enabling kitchen table voting will only perpetuate uniformed policy that is shallow and based on the commercial interest with the money advertise on TV, Radio and Newspapers.

    We don’t need to look any further than Prop 207: Private Property Rights Protection Act, to see what will happen when voters cast ballots amidst the zoo we call daily life. How can any property owner oppose 207 if all they know is what the see on TV in the weeks leading up to the election? We can here them now… ‘you’re not taking my property to put up another big box store… where’s that ballot?’

    Better for society to be governed by those willing to take the time to research and then travel to vote. Clearly the alternative, easier voting, is taking the nation in a less informed direction.

  31. Mail in ballots are a recipe for voter fraud by people voting who are deceased, not citizens or many other ways as has been practiced in the past. The only prop that makes any common sense that you endorse would be Prop 202 to raise the min wage. And you call other people names

  32. I have to say I disagree with you on a few of these propositions–especially if Jimmy Click is supporting it. There has to be a loop hole we are not aware of with the First Things First proposal. If someone acts like a shit, smells like a shit, they are indeedy shit. I see the GOP legislatures getting their grubby hands on these funds and throwing it to their cronies in the private sector. No way will I support that!

    The second is the Smoke Free Arizona–sure, I think people stink when they smoke and I don’t want them around me so I support they go elsewhere to lite up, however, there is no conclusive scientific study that proves second hand smoke causes the type of damage people are saying it does. Certainly not in the medical journals.

    I think the goal here is to really force people to stop the evil habit–which is okay with me, but please, let’s call things what they are and not have people thinking they are going to develop cancer because the passed by people smoking. Not when there is so much more in our daily environments to cause that to occur–I’d rather call the proposition the “Go away You Stink” law.

    I can’t imagine employers giving their smoker employees MORE time away to travel to remote area’s staked out even further from their desks for their multiple breaks for a “quick” smoke.

  33. This is some great work! My sister was telling me how useful a site like this would be.

    A note on Prop 107: it would create minimal, if any, changes. Arizona currently does not recognize any other legal status similar to marriage. So the propaganda going around about how people won’t be able to visit their loved ones in the hospital, has no basis.

  34. Great Post man. I actually started a blog today just to try and get some dialogue going about the Protect Marriage initiative. Good info here, answered a lot of the questions I had.

  35. I went to school in Oregon, and my experience with vote by mail was great. When there are so many initiatives, you can sit down and do actual research without having to just guess how to vote based on some some partisan summary. The fraud control was easy, based on some numbering systems and having to sign the outside of the tamper-proof envelope. More safe than Diebold in my opinion.

  36. Thanks Michael for a most informitive and well written article. Where I may not be in agreement with evey stance you take – you have provided links to the Prop’s websites, listed the sponsers and given us the actual text of the props. It makes it much easier to understand and formulate educated opinions rather then just guesses.

    Bravo.

  37. Great info on the propositions, but I do have to disagree with you on some of your recommendations.

    I strongly oppose a mail-in ballot. Yes, votor turn out is pretty damned bad these days, but this is not the answer.
    As the saying goes “freedom isn’t free”. Democracy requires some sacrifice, and not just the men and women of the armed forces. It is only a minor inconvenience to drive to your local polling place to vote come election day, and if you are going to be out of town, obtaining an absentee ballot is easy enough. As far as accomodating persons with disabilities, there are a number of accomodations that can be made right at the polls.

    There are too many opportunities for voter fraud with a mail-in ballot going out to all voters. We need to quit pandering to the laziness of the American voter. Besides, if the $$$VOTER REWARDS ACT$$$ passes, voter participation will increase. (and if that doesn’t do it, nothing will!)

    I also oppose increasing the pay for legislators. I am tired of the cry-baby do nothings complaining about how under-paid they are when they pass off too much of their job creating legislation to the voters (in the form of referendums)I know that they aren’t all as bad as that, but why reward the majority of the bastards for the good hard work done by a few.

  38. I appreciate you taking the time to put this site together. However, I must say that I disagree with your stance on the illegal immigration initiatives. Though I would prefer that Arizona would focus on closing its borders then on benefits programs, I do think that these initiatives are good ones. This is why: It only makes sense that you protect social programs that are funded by tax paying citizens from abuse by non-citizens. There is already a way to help non-citizens if you are so inclined; charities. I pay my taxes with a smile because I know they are going to help protect and support other citizens whose tax dollars are, or will in the near future, also support those programs. As for English being the official language; why not? I used to live in Italy and while there I learned as much Italian as I could and whenever possible spoke Italian to the Italians. I never expected signs or documents to be in English. I hate to think my hard earned tax dollars are going towards printing government materials in any other language besides English. Furthermore, I do not hate anyone. I would love to have as many LEGAL immigrants as we can safely run background checks on each year. I have several Hispanic, black, Indian, and Iranian friends and any one of them would call you crazy for saying I hate people because of where they were born. By attacking people with a view that is different from yours shows that you cannot come up with a legitimate reason to disagree with them.

  39. I love how people love every tax raise they look at because they “tax the rich” Me and my wife are nurses who earn a decent wage and get penalized for educating ourselves and working our butts off. We pay on average an extra $6000 a year in taxes on top of our payroll taxes (about 40%). If earning $90000-$120000 qualifies as rich then anyone who thinks so is on drugs.

    As for the laws on smokers do we really want to became part of “The Peoples Republic of California”? I personally don’t eat in the smoking sections at restaurants (those few that are left that have one) because I don’t like the mix of smoke and food. But when I want to go out and enjoy some alcohol I want to have a smoke. Drinking and smoking are 2 great thing that go great together. No one is forcing you or anyone else to go to places that give us smokers the privilege of smoking there.

    And why is it that the cigarette tax which originally was supposed to go to paying for care of patients that could not pay their own bills for smoking related diseases and education of children to prevent them from smoking? It seems like anytime politicians can’t get a tax through for their pork barrel projects, they pass another cigarette tax. Why? could be because the minority of people smoke. Get off our backs. You have the planes, 99% of the buildings, and 99% of the restaurants.

    Now being a Libertarian I believe the government needs to legalize everything and butt out of my business. I have no problem paying to protect our country and our community, but all of the welfare programs that the government sponsors under many disguises need to stop. We need to empty out 70-90% of our jails which are over populated by non-violent drug offenders that get harsher sentences then killers. I myself served in the Army for 4 years and was deployed to Iraq and am proud of it. I have travelled outside the U.S. at least once a year see what a joke people make of our stupid laws. And when I get back I love the fact that the government stays out of our business somewhat. Most of the rest of the world the government is in everyone’s business. I wish they would get out of it even more.

    I say vote no on everything. The less laws on the books the better.

    The Angry Gun-Toting, Porn Loving, Cigarette Smoking, Beer Drinking, Militant Libertarian.

  40. Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, I disagree with most of your opinions, and your comments like “if you are stupid enough”, and “you’re an idiot if” speak volumes.

  41. Adam,

    If the voting comes first and the need to educate voters comes later, that’s fine with me. The more voters, the more potential folks who can become informed and involved. Democracy is a matter of playing the percentages and odds – hoping that the majority gets it right, no matter how – and a matter of faith in the ultimate wisdom of the collective. There’s no room in it for elitism. The alternative is the Platonic model of philosopher kings – I hardly think that is what you want, even if that is the logical conclusion of your reasoning (read the Republic if you doubt me).

  42. Moronic Mouth Breather (has there ever been a more appropriate handle?),

    What you characterize as “childishness” is the sound of an authenthic human voice. Apparently, it didn’t run you off fast enough, because you stuck around to comment. I know that some people aren’t familiar with the sound of deserved derision and scorn, and are afraid of it, because they have been insulated behind double-speaking PR for far too long. You’ll get used to it. It’s the sound of the future of politics. The stupid and duplicitous should be very afraid.

  43. If you want people to read your opinions you should cut back on the name calling. The childishness of your editorial comments ran me off after the third proposition.

  44. I would like to express my appreciation for you taking the time to thoroughly analyze and opine on the propositions on this year’s ballot. However, I think you are extrememly misguided and avoid the reality that your views are askew to the whole reason we vote. You seem to think that it is fine for foreigners to enter this country illegally, and that we should even keep in place, and create new incentives for people to come illegally. If you have no respect for the laws that voters have enacted in the past, why do you have so much to say about the issues to be voted on in the future? Despite my reproach of your views, I applaud you for taking the time to inform our extremely uninformed and uneducated state. One of my greatest points of disagreement was with PROP 200: AZ VOTER REWARD ACT. Just as I would not elect uneducated or unimformed citizens to be my elected representitives, I do not think we should entice apathetic, ignorant voters to cast their ballots in order to “strike it big.” Morons play the lottery, and similarly, those same incompetent-minds will be the citizens that respond to such ludicrous attempts at motivation. Actually, I think voters should be required to take a test centered on economics, politics, sustainable-growth, law, education and other important issues. Their vote would be given a certain “weight” based on their ability to display a basic level of knowledge of how society functions.

    I hope you are able to detect my slight sarcasm, but I did want to point out the opposing view to show how laughable the extreme perspectives are on both sides of this issue.

    I would truly enjoy any response you might offer to my opinions.

    Sincerely,
    Adam

  45. Whoops! Got the name wrong – it’s Bob Schwartz who is the hero who worked so hard to get the minimum wage initiative on the ballot! Apologies – I sure hate it when people get my name wrong.

  46. Wow!!! What a thorough and excellent job of discussing a long of list of intitiatives we will find on the ballot. This information needs to get out there to inform the electorate. I hope a group of public minded citizens will take on the task of publicizing this excellent information Michael has compiled. It will take a massive information and education effort to protect the residents of Arizona from some of the worst initiatives and being sure the good ones, like the minimum wage initiative get passed.

    I would like to salute Bob Straus whose efforts made the minimum wage initiative a reality on the ballot. It is a truly rotten shame he has not gotten the credit he deserves for his tireless efforts.

  47. Thanks Mike – A LOT of props! I tried to read through them in the Tucson Weekly yesterday…You got to go wading through the ick so we didn’t have to…much appreciated.