Of course you realize, this means war: Stop the Top Two Primary


BugsFormer Phoenix Mayor and malcontent Paul Johnson, and the “shadow governor of Arizona” under Jan Brewer, corporate lobbyist and political consultant Chuck Coughlin from High Ground Public Affairs, have filed their deceptively named Open and Honest Elections ballot measure, aka the Top Two Primary (or Jungle Primary).

Former Phoenix Mayor and Attorney General Terry Goddard has teamed up with this oddball pair to pursue his Open and Honest Disclosure ballot measure for “dark money,” because he lacks the confidence in his ability to raise enough money on his own to support his ballot measure.

This “brain trust” are calling themselves the Open And Honest Coalition, which is funny because the bulk of the funding will come from Open Primaries, a national organization that promotes open primaries, which does not disclose its contributors (because Arizona law does not require it). Coalition files initiatives on dark money, top-two primary.

Of course, The Arizona Republican media villagers and pundits love this damn fool idea because they are dumber than dirt when it comes to political science. How do you know? Check out E.J. Montini’s powerful intellectual argument (sic) in favor of the Top Two Primary today. Montini: Time to shine a light on political cockroaches:

As you might imagine these two initiatives aren’t very popular with the political parties, lobbyists and the fabulously wealthy dark money interests. We can expect a couple of big anonymously-funded ad campaigns against them.

Is there a better reason to support them?

ArizonaRepublicanThis is the same lame logic behind Obama Derangement Syndrome: if President Obama is for something, even ideas that were originally Republican ideas, then Republicans must be against it.

In this case, if the political parties are against something, then it must be a good idea to be for it.

By the way, one of the most influential lobbyists in Arizona, Chuck Coughlin, and what is essentially a dark money group, Open Primaries, are behind these measures, so way to overlook the obvious inconsistencies in your weak argument, E.J. I can’t believe you get paid to write such crap.

We already know that The Arizona Republican will ignore all of the political science and election data which demonstrates that the Top Two Primary is a complete fraud that does not deliver on what it promises. The Republic will heavily propagandize for this damn fool idea.

I have previously posted about the false promise and outright fraud of the Top Two Primary (Jungle Primary) system on several occasions, including in Real solutions, not top two primary snake oil | Blog for Arizona:

Donna Gratehouse posted that “As promised, the brain trust of Arizona centrist business establishment types (country club Republicans and corporate Dems) that failed to pass Prop 121 in 2012 plan to return with a slightly altered version of it in 2016.” Top Two Primary is back, with twice the magical thinking.

I have posted at length about the political science studies and election results which demonstrate that the the top two primary fails to deliver on the promises made by its proponents. It is snake oil being sold by political flimflam artists.


Arizona voters wisely rejected Prop. 121 by a 2-1 margin in 2012, and will do so again in 2016, if necessary, because they are smarter than the flimflam artists give them credit.

StopTop2So here is what I am asking from each and every district organization, county party organization, and state party organization for both Democrats and Republicans: adopt a resolution opposing the deceptively named Open and Honest Elections ballot measure, aka the Top Two Primary (or Jungle Primary), and instruct your precinct committee persons that they are not to walk petitions or to gather signatures for it, that your organization will not make its resources available to the Open And Honest Coalition, and to educate and inform the public that they should not sign the petition for this deceptive ballot measure to counter the media propaganda from The Arizona Republican. This is war! The easiest way to defeat this damn fool idea is if it does not garner enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot in 2016.

I will support Terry Goddard’s Open and Honest Disclosure ballot measure for “dark money,” even though I find it weak tea and far less than I had hoped for from Goddard when I heard him speak about it last summer. It appears to have been watered down since he partnered with Chuck Coughlin and Paul Johnson. It is nowhere near as effective as California’s model law, which is what I had hoped he would follow as a guide.

In any event, if Goddard’s measure passes voter approval, it will be challenged by the “Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, in court on bogus “First Amendment” anonymous speech grounds. It’s good to have one of their own on the Arizona Supreme Court (I doubt that Clint Bolick will recuse himself from any Goldwater political litigation).

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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 was on KPHX to talk about this on Thursday. There were 5 panelists and 3 or 4 callers. I don’t think anyone in that entire group was supportive.

    This is a sloppy substitute for ranked voting, which actually would be easier and cheaper to implement. Why the insistence on top two? Why no mention of ranked voting? Because the objectives of Johnson and Coughlin are the opposite of openness and honesty.

  2. I can’t speak to what Republicans will do if this passes but Democrats, if they want ensure that their candidates advance to the general election ballot in many races, will be forced to discourage multiple candidates from running in primaries and anoint “official” Dems in the event of sham candidates being recruited to dilute the vote. Democrats may go to actual nominating conventions at the state committee where, oh irony, the “party bosses” and not voters will be selecting candidates.

  3. So let me get this straight — there are 2 different ballot measures, one called “Open and Honest Elections” and the other titled “Open and Honest Disclosure” and both of these will be circulated by the same people — aka people who say ‘just sign both of them, thanks’ — and you want people to sign the second one but not the first? I will remember the difference but most people won’t. Basically what this dark money group is doing is it is depending on Terry Goddard’s dark money measure to get its top two measure on the ballot and then relying on the same deception to get it passed by the voters. I think it is best if both fail, then come back with a real anti-dark money measure.

    • I do not disagree with your analysis, but I do need a starting point for the dark money disclosure that we need, and right now this is all we have. For some reason we do not have a liberal/progressive policy shop in Arizona that runs ballot measures, even though it has been talked about for years.

      • Trying to educate voters to the point they vote for one but not the other would be a suicide mission. And it’s far more important that top two fails than it is that anti-dark money passes.

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