Senate Elections Committee hearing on Tuesday

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

In addition to attempting to repeal HB 2305 to deny the voters of Arizona their constitutional right to vote on a bill that the voters referred to the ballot as a referendum, there are several other election/campaign finance bills coming up in the Arizona legislature this week.

One of the principal architects of the GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, Sen. Michele Reagan, who has fantasies of becoming our next Secretary of State to make it easier for her to suppress your vote, has several bills scheduled in her Elections Committee on Tuesday Agenda (.pdf), Room SHR 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Remember how Rep. "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth swore last week that he was not aware of any legislator attempting to revive elements of HB 2305? Yeah, that was bullshit, and everyone knew it.

SB 1232 (.pdf) would "require circulators who are not residents of this state (non-residents) and paid petition circulators to register with the Secretary of State (SOS) prior to circulating petitions and prescribes circulator registration information." The bill also "permits any person to challenge the lawful registration of circulators in the superior court of the county in which the circulator is registered."

The bill "Conditions the enactment of the following provisions on the approval or rejection of Laws 2013, chapter 209, the subject of referendum petition R-03-2014, at the next general election, or the failure of Laws 2013, chapter 209 to be referred to the ballot at the next general election:

a) eliminates the requirement that non-resident circulators register with the SOS prior to circulating petitions and eliminates the requirement that the SOS provide for a method of receiving service of process for registered non-resident circulators.

b) directs the SOS to remove all petition sheets collected by a circulator who fails to register as required.

SCR 1003 (.pdf) would refer a legislative ballot measure to the ballot that requires "the reauthorization of statewide initiative and referendum measures that create funds for public monies, dedicate public monies to a specific purpose or otherwise effect state General Fund (GF) revenues or expenditures."

Note that this reauthorizaton is not for all citizens initiative and referendum measures, just the ones the legislature does not like — the ones that require the legislature to spend money on priorites decided by the voters, like heath care and education. This is the teabaggers' "I hate the Voter Protection Act" (Prop. 105 -1998) measure to undermine Prop. 105. The reauthorization applies retroactively to all specified statewide initiative and referendum measures approved on or after November 3, 1998.

The teabaggers want the opportunity to revisit and to reverse the laws that the citizens of Arizona enacted as a super-legislature exercising the powers reserved to the citizens under the Arizona Constitution and exercising their constitutional right to citizen initiative and referendum. This reauthorization provision would give opponents a second bite at the apple after seven (7) years. It would invite a perpetual campaign that seeks to undermine the legitimacy of laws enacted by the voters. The teabaggers are demonstrating their utter disdain for your constitutional rights and for democracy. If this should appear on the ballot, just say "NO."

SB 1344 (.pdf) strips the voter-enacted Citizens Clean Elections Commission of any jurisidiction from accepting, investigating or acting on complaints of campaign contribution and expense violations by non-participating candidates for statewide or legislative office. Only the Secretary of State and Attorney General would have jurisdiction "for enforcement and investigative authority for violations of campaign contribution and expense statutes by non-participating candidates for statewide or legislative office." This is one of several bills by teabaggers trying to kill the voter-enacted Citizens Clean Elections Commission in "a death by a thousand cuts."

SB 1403 (.pdf) is Sen. Michele Reagan's half-measure to introduce some transparency into "dark money" campaign finance disclosures. Her proposal is in no way as effective at enforcement as the California Fair Political Practices Commission, for which California is the model legislation. Reagan's half-measure has already run into opposition from the Arizona Republic's Robert Robb, who used to work for the "Kochtopus" Goldwater Institute and Arizona Chamber of Commerce before flacking for them at the Republic. Dark money reform: more litigation than disclosure. It is questionable whether Reagan even has the votes for her bill.

If Arizona wants to get serious about "dark money" campaign finance disclosures, it should enact the California model legislation.

One response to “Senate Elections Committee hearing on Tuesday

  1. Why do we need so many damn laws?