Category Archives: Propositions

GOP coup against democracy coming to Arizona

E.J. Dionne, Jr. asks Are Republicans abandoning democracy? The clear answer is “yes.”

As Charles Blow explains, Republican Efforts to End Democracy:

Do not believe that we are still living in a functioning democracy. We are not. Republicans across this country are doing everything they can to impede, alter and override the power of the personal vote. This strikes at the very heart of democracy, both undermining people’s faith in it and contorting it until it no long resembles what it claims to be.

From Wisconsin, to Michigan to North Carolina, there is a Republican coup against democracy occurring right now before our eyes. Lame-duck Republicans are stripping their Democratic successors of constitutional powers on taking office.

This is also being contemplated  right here in Arizona. The election of Democrat Katie Hobbs as Secretary of State has Republicans apoplectic. They have been spouting wild conspiracy theories about voter fraud being responsible for Democratic wins in the recent election.

Now our Trump troll Representative-elect John Kavanagh is proposing eliminating the Secretary of State office altogether — because a Democrat has been elected to the office — and creating a lieutenant governor who runs in tandem with the governor, because of Arizona’s constitutional rules of succession.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Democratic SOS spurs talk of change in line of succession:

The election of a Democrat as Arizona’s next secretary of state has renewed some Republicans’ interest in the line of succession.

That’s because if anything were to happen to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey – be it resignation, impeachment or an untimely death – Democrat Katie Hobbs would be next in line to serve as the state’s chief executive.

Given the lengthy history of Arizona governors who don’t serve full terms in office, some lawmakers want to shake up the gubernatorial line of succession by inserting a new player – a lieutenant governor. But they’ll have to convince voters, who’ve routinely rejected the idea, to go along with it.

Continue reading

Arizona Supreme Court sides with GOP voter suppression of citizens initiatives

While you were distracted by the long Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, the Arizona Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the “Outlaw Dirty Money” initiative case. Arizona Supreme Court ruling supports legal tactic used to keep initiatives off ballot:

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a legal tactic used by those seeking to keep voter-proposed laws off the ballot. [“The only issues we must decide are the constitutionality of §19-118(C) and the propriety of the trial court’s exclusion of the non-appearing subpoenaed circulators’ petition signatures.”]

The Court’s opinion is narrowly tailored. “As our decision does not turn on whether the Committee strictly complied with § 19-118(C), we need not determine the constitutionality of the strict compliance requirement of § 19-102.01(A).” The “strict compliance” constitutional challenge is left to another day.

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the justices reaffirmed the right of people to craft initiatives and seek to have them approved.

“And we are reluctant to impede such civic efforts,” they said.

But Justice John Lopez, writing for the court, said there is nothing unduly burdensome about requiring paid circulators to register and provide an address where they can be subpoenaed. Lopez said throwing out the signatures collected by those who don’t show up in court does not impair the constitutional rights of people to propose their own laws.

This is fundamentally anti-democratic, and wrongly decided. The valid signatures of voters who legally signed the petition in good faith are disenfranchised if the circulator cannot be located or fails to appear in court, for any reason. This legal tactic invalidates the otherwise valid signatures of voters given in good faith through no fault of their own.

Continue reading

If you want to put a citizens initiative on the 2020 ballot, you had better file it by early 2019

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and voters overwhelmingly supported expanding access to the ballot box. Voting Rights Were The Biggest Winner In The Elections:

One clear winner emerged from last week’s elections: voting.

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and in almost all of them, voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives that expand access to the ballot box and make the right to vote easier to exercise.

In Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri, ballot initiatives aimed at replacing gerrymandering — the redrawing of legislative districts by political incumbents to strengthen their party’s electoral representation — with nonpartisan methods of redistricting all received more than 60% of the vote. Colorado’s proposal to allow independent commissions to handle redistricting garnered over 70%.

Marylanders turned out in favor of same-day voter registration. Nevadans ushered in “motor voter” automatic registration for those who visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Floridians, meanwhile, restored the right to vote for 1.4 million released felons(excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes).

Perhaps the most significant victory for voting rights came in Michigan, where two-thirds of voters adopted Proposal 3. Among other provisions, the new law guarantees same-day voter registration, automatic registration at the DMV, and no-excuse absentee voting. Voting has never been easier in one America’s most important swing states.

This bodes well for the millions of Americans who have expressed a newfound interest in democratic participation in recent years.

In Arizona, the “dark money” forces of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the “Kochtopus” network blocked voters from even considering the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative. Anti-‘dirty money’ initiative knocked off ballot in Arizona, Supreme Court rules.

Continue reading

What the Arizona GOP fears most: becoming California

Republican California governor Pete Wilson in 1994 pushed hard for California Proposition 187 which prohibited illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California.

Three days after Proposition 187 was approved by voters, on November 11, federal district court judge Matthew Byrne issued a temporary injunction against the state of California, forbidding the enforcement of Prop 187. Federal judge Marianna Pfaelzer then issued a permanent injunction, which California did not appeal and it remains in effect.

This was the defining moment when California began to shift from the state that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into a Democratic stronghold. Proposition 187 Turned California Blue.

Twenty-four years later, the death of the California GOP is near complete. POLITICO reports, RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle:

In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch.

Continue reading

A reform agenda for voting rights

Despite all the horror stories about “red state” voter suppression efforts in this election, there was also some good news for voting rights in the states as well. The New York Times reports, Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting:

In Tuesday’s elections [there was] a wave of actions aimed at making voting easier and fairer that is an often-overlooked strain in the nation’s voting wars.

Floridians extended voting rights to 1.4 million convicted felons. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan were among states that made it easier to register and vote.

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is gaining momentum across the country. Currently fifteen states and D.C. have approved the policy, meaning that over a third of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has either passed or implemented AVR. A brief history of AVR’s legislative victories and each state’s AVR implementation date can be found here. This year alone, twenty states have introduced legislation to implement or expand automatic registration, and an additional eight states had bills carry over from the 2017 legislative session. A full breakdown of these bills, as well as those introduced in 2015, 2016, and 2017, is available here.

Where AVR Has Passed 11-8-18

Continue reading