Squeaky clean, self-proclaimed Republican moderate LD9 Rep. Ethan Orr voted for the voter suppression bill, HB2196 today, and it passed in committee. You’ll remember that the House Judiciary Committee tried to hear this bill last week, but when PEOPLE showed up in the hearing room and flooded the phone lines, the vote was postponed.
HB2196 is the Republican end-run around the voters to repeal HB2305 (the omnibus voter suppression bill that passed in the dead of night on the last day of the 2013 session, at the personal urging of US House Speaker John Boehner).
Sounds OK, right? He voted for a bill that would repeal a 2013 voter suppression bill. The catch is that last summer 140,000 Arizonans signed petitions to stop implementation of HB2305 and put it on the ballot in 2014– in a sense asking Arizona voters if they want the Legislature to suppress their right to vote and to put initiatives on the ballot (among other things, list here.)
If HB2196 survives the Legislative process, the Legislature will have taken away our right to vote on this measure– essentially using political maneuvering to suppress our vote. How convenient. Furthermore, Republican Legislators plan to pass several smaller voter suppression bills individually this year. (They tried this last year, and the tactic didn’t work.)
I guess Orr’s vote shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, since Orr voted for the original HB2305.
Don’t be fooled by the politicos who say Orr’s a moderate. He’s pro-life (with a 0% approval rating from Arizona Right to Choose). He’s backed by the NRA, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Association, and he has a 61% approval rating by the Goldwater Institute. Check out his voting record here.
The upcoming match-up for the highly competitive LD9 house seat between Orr and Dr. Randy Freise should be interesting. Stay tuned.