July 3 was the deadline for filing citizens initiatives and — shocker! — no citizens initiatives will qualify for the ballot this year. No citizen initiatives will make ballot for first time since 1978:
It appears that none of the petition drives to amend the state constitution or laws [met] today’s 5 p.m. deadline to submit sufficient valid signatures. That means the only proposals that voters will face in November are two proposed by the Legislature and the recommendation of a special commission that lawmakers get a pay hike.
And that hasn’t happened in any election since 1978.
This is partly due to the fact that our Tea-Publican legislature deprived the citizens of Arizona of their constitutional right to vote on a “citizens veto” (referendum) of the GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, that qualified for the ballot by repealing the act before the people could veto it. Of course, the evil GOP bastards have every intention of bringing back these voter suppression measures in new bills to be filed in January.
Proposition 122 will ask voters to put a provision in the Arizona Constitution to allow resident to “reject a federal action that the people determine violates the United States Constitution.”
This is otherwise known as interposition and nullification. You may recall that America fought a bloody Civil War over this. The 14th Amendment forever put an end to this discredited theory, except in the minds of Neo-Confederate dead-enders.
A similar ballot measure to declare “state sovereignty” over federal lands in Arizona, Proposition 120, was on the 2012 ballot and was soundly defeated by Arizona voters, 1,308,299 votes to 623.461 votes.
I previously provided the background on this ballot measure. Neo-Confederate dead-enders put the long discredited and unconstitutional theories of ‘nullification, interposition and secession’ on the 2014 ballot:
Remember the “Checks and Balances in Government” citizens initiative aka the “nullification” initiative from a nutty Scottsdale millionaire businessman, Jack Biltis, that failed to qualify for the ballot due to an insufficient number of signatures [in 2012]? Businessman spends $1.2 million to put nullification measure on ballot.
Biltis has decided to bypass the expense of another initiative effort and to take the easy route of getting his fellow Neo-Confederate dead-enders in the legislature to repackage his “nullification” initiative as a constitutional amendment referred to the ballot by the Arizona legislature. SCR1016 is sponsored by the usual suspects, Sen. Rich Crandell (R-Heber), Sen. Judy Burges (R-Sun City West), and cosponsors Sen. Cap’n Al Melvin (R-Saddlebrooke), and Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson).
The ballot measure would amend the state Constitution to allow the state to reject any federal action the public deems to be a violation of the US Constitution by passing an initiative, referendum or bill, or by using any other legal remedy. The proposal also prohibits the state from using its employees or resources to enforce or cooperate with a federal action that’s rejected by the people.
It turns out that Jack Biltis has a lobbyist buddy who helped him out in getting these yahoos to sponsor SCR1016: the wannabe tinhorn dictator of Tucson, Jonathan “Payday” Paton. If there is a bad idea, you can bet this tool is behind it.
It’s a sad day in Arizona. On Tuesday, the Neo-Confederate dead-enders and Tea-Publican Birthers-Birchers-Secessionists put the long discredited and unconstitutional theories of “nullification, interposition and secession” on the 2014 ballot. The late night comics rejoice!
Next is Proposition 303 which would allow drug manufacturers to provide certain experimental drugs to terminally ill patients even though they have not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
I have reservations about this measure. Are insurance companies going to cover the cost of this experimental care? Because if not, end of life medical expenses have financially decimated individuals and left their surviving spouse and family members, if any, burdened with substantial debt. The most frequent cause for bankruptcy is medical bills. The key words here are “terminally ill” — that means what the words imply. It may be better to face death with dignity than to burden your family with debt in the false hope that you may cheat death — but for how long?
Finally, Proposition 304 will let voters decide if lawmakers get an $11,000-a-year pay increase, to $35,000. The Commission on Salaries for Elected State Officers voted 3-2 to recommend that voters raise legislative pay to $35,000 a year.
The last pay hike was 16 years ago, when voters approved the current $24,000 salary. Voters conditioned that pay raise on legislators giving up their per-diem pay, but that didn’t happen. Are they kidding? A 45% pay raise for Arizona legislators?
Voters have routinely rejected pay hikes for state legislators. Things like Proposition 122 above, and our lawless legislature pissing away your tax dollars on attorneys fees and costs defending their unlawful and unconstitutional actions in court are a major reason why.