by M. Chubon
This is nuts.
The AZ GOP is literally trying to destroy voters’ rights to pass laws that the legislature doesn’t like.
Here’s a scenario:
1. AZ Legislature is full of people beholden to ALEC/Koch “kill public education-don’t tread on my right to be an unqualified service provider and pay zero taxes” Also the Chamber of Commerce/APS don’t like it when citizens raise the minimum wage or change rules for clean energy.
2. Majority of voters (even their constituents) don’t want what they’re selling but “illegals” are “invading” and the majority of voters don’t pay attention to State politics so they keep getting elected
3. Democrats introduce bills that actually represent what voters want like public education, living wages, criminal justice reform, fair taxation.
4. The GOP Chairs of the House and Senate do not assign the popular bills to committee (the beginning of a bill’s road to becoming law) so the legislators never even vote on them. Some even have bipartisan support!
5. In the current session, 647 bills were introduced in the House. 293 of those were from Democrats. Of those 36 were heard in Committee. 322 Republican bills were heard.
The Governor signed 164 bills into law. 3 of those were introduced by Democrats. Many of the Democrat (and even Republican) introduced bills were bipartisan, like criminal justice reform bills that are more just and save the State money. But the donors who profit from our criminal justice system don’t like them.
5. Voters get tired of it and spend thousands of volunteer hours and donated funds to get a citizen initiative like Minimum wage that passed in 2016. The only non GOP candidate or initiative that won in 2016.
6. AZ GOP panics and begins a campaign to disqualify petitions. First, making it illegal for someone to be paid per signature. Then stating that the signers must stay perfectly in the lines. Etc.
7. In spite of that 2 popular initiatives managed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot for 2018. But Devos came and personally “inspected” the Invest in Ed petitions with her attorneys.
They were disqualified.
Outlaw Dirty Money was also disqualified on a technicality.
8. Outlaw Dirty Money is at it again. They are on track to collect more than enough signatures on the ballot. Also, Tucson Families Free & Together is collecting signatures for a Sanctuary bill that almost neutralizes the immoral, racist SB1070.
9. The Arizona Legislature is trying to kill our chances of doing that again. SB1451 – will give Attorney General absolute power to kill a bill he doesn’t like. As with Prop 127, the clean energy bill, the AG can change the language of the bill arbitrarily. https://www.azcentral.com/…/arizona-attorney-ge…/3629662002/
SCR1023 and HCR2005 adds Geographic requirements to signature collectors making grassroots nearly impossible and expensive.
A fourth bill would criminalize voter registration volunteers because they don’t like it when new voters are registered.