(Update) Authoritarian Movement Conservatives Assault The Voter Protection Act


I warned you about this last week. Authoritarian Movement Conservatives Assault The Voter Protection Act. Their utter contempt for the voters of this state knows no bounds.

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Lewft The Cult.

Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature have now advanced this bill. House panel pushes for more control over voter-enacted laws:

A House panel voted Monday to ask voters to give lawmakers back some of the powers they took from them to overturn ballot measures nearly two decades ago.

HCR 2043 (.pdf) would effectively repeal a 1998 voter-approved constitutional provision [the Voter Protection Act] which says once an initiative has been adopted it can be altered by lawmakers only if it “furthers the purpose’’ of the original measure. Even then, it takes a three-fourths vote of both the House and Senate.

And rescinding outright what voters have approved is illegal.

The proposal by Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, would instead say that lawmakers could do whatever they want to what voters approve in the future as long as they do it by the same margin as it was approved by the voters.

So if a future proposal passed with 53 percent, as what happened with a tobacco tax hike a decade ago, it would take just 16 of 30 senators and 32 of 60 representatives to rescind it.

Mesnard told members of the House Elections Committee this change would take place if voters agree in November. And he stressed it is prospective only and would not allow lawmakers to alter anything approved before this year.

But it would permit them to step in and overturn any move this year by voters to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

“It’s trying to strike the right balance to what level of support something has to have at the ballot before we, for all practical purposes, lock it in stone,’’ Mesnard said. “Something can squeak by with 50.1 percent and we pretty much have it.’’

Sandy Bahr, lobbyist for the Sierra Club, said that’s not true. She said if lawmakers have a problem with an initiative that’s approved they can “refer it to the ballot, take it to the voters, and see if they support you.’’

And Bahr said if there are logistical problems in implementing something voters want, the existing constitutional measure does permit alterations, albeit with a three-fourths vote of the Legislature. She acknowledged that likely means the Republicans who control both the House and the Senate would need to get the cooperation of at least a few Democrats but said “that’s not a bad thing.’’

Doris Provine, president of the Arizona Advocacy Network, dubbed the measure the “voter-underminer bill.’’

She talked about the difficulty of even getting a measure to the ballot.

A statutory change currently requires 150,642 valid signatures, a figure based on 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Constitutional proposals need 225,963 signatures.

Provine said it’s virtually impossible to meet that goal without paid circulators, an expensive process. Then there’s the cost of the campaign itself.

Mesnard sniffed at those concerns, saying if a measure is so popular there would be “people signing up left and right.’’

Mesnard is the waterboy for the “Kochtopus,” i.e., the Goldwater Institute and ALEC. When they want to put something on the ballot, they just need a simple majority of our lawless Tea-Publican legislature to refer their ballot measures to the ballot, no signatures or expense required.

But when the citizens of this state are compelled to put legislation on the ballot by a citizens initiative, requiring signatures and expense to do so, this “Kochtopus” waterboy wants the right to rescind the will of the voters.

The only thing the voters of this state should rescind is J.D. Mesnard serving in any elected office, ever again.

Kill this bill!


  1. I agree w Az Blue Meanie … Come November 2016 at the general election vote OUT every member of the Arizona State Legislature, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent (or, Mormon) that even remotely co-sponsored or endorsed or voted for Mr. Mesnard’s (R-Chandler) house bill that will result in the gutting of the Voter Protection Act. The very fact that we as citizens had to construct and pass the VPA back in ’98 was a red-flag that THIS and THAT dominant set of legislators had strayed way distant from the original enabling act eventually signed by then Pres. Taft finally creating the State of Arizona (out of a wild west territory), and the progressive constitution that emanated thereafter. I will have no sympathy for these clowns when the Donald and his tribe of “can do” partisans retake the mantle of the Republican Party and recast “Los elefantes arida” into a more dynamic and respected political organization that our state voters can feel good about.

  2. how a about an initiative to change the state constitution so legislators can’t put initiatives on the ballot like their constant pay raises. the democrat and republican political hacks would whine about the pay raise s ;but many republicans would vote for this too! how about this kavenaugh or herr huppental.

  3. The legislature created a policy environment whereby Arizona created more jobs than all but five other states since 1992, the year starting continuous Republican control of the legislature and billions of dollars of tax cuts. A job is the universal aspiration of all citizens.

    This year, Arizona African American 8th graders had the highest math test scores test scores in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational progress. Our Hispanics tied for 8th place. Not the 49th and 50th you always hear.

    • And after all those years of Republican rule, we’re left lagging in our recovery and the proud owners of the most corrupt state government in the country, according to a 2014 Harvard study.

      Well done!

      • Be serious. That Harvard study surveyed reporters. Reporters are liberal democrats. Any attempt to improve the common good through personal responsibility is going to be viewed as corrupt through their eyes.

        We do have a lagging recovery by our historical standards but we still rank 6th cumulatively since 1992. How many democrats voted for E-Verify?

          • You are talking to somebody who turned down 18 Fiesta Bowl tickets, two Superbowls, countless college games, NBA quarter finals, etc. Someone who ran clean in every race from 1996 to 2014.
            I went one eight year period without raising a dime. All I would have had to do was stick out my hand and I would have gathered 20 grand a year. Instead, I focused on the work.

            The Arizona Republic ran a story saying that I had averaged one lobbyist meal a year for ten years. I knew people who seemed to average one a day and who grabbed every free ticket they could. I did not notice that it affected their voting patterns.

            The issues are almost never corruption, they are disagreements over how to advance the common good with a particular focus on the poor, the disadvantaged and the downtrodden.

          • Admirable, Falcon9, but you’re kind of making my point for me. It seems the rest of your GOTeaP clan is not so honest and they’re taking all that you have turned down.

            Corruption prevents people from advancing the common good, because my elected officials are no longer working for me, they’re working for the guy who gave them those “perks”.

            Proof of that corruption can be found in all the dark money in AZ, there’s lots of it. It takes away my first amendment right of free speech. Since money is now speech, I want to avoid companies that contribute to dark money PACs, but the Republicans won’t allow me to know who’s giving to who.

            I’d also like to say that I admire you for posting here. It’s not easy, I know. I would like to know where you get your information from, though. I suspect that if you start providing links to some of the crazy stuff you say (climate change is a hoax, etc.) that we’ll be able to track the funders of the studies you read back to oil companies and the Koch brothers, and disprove pretty much everything.

            Prove me wrong, Falcon9, tell me where I can find the information that will make me as enlightened as you.

  4. Arizona Republican legislators to voters, “drop dead!” We are all smarter than all youze voters.

  5. Other than the medicaid expansion, have they done any positive thing in years for the people of AZ?

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