In addition to the attacks on Clean Elections, a clash between the legislature and the will of the voters has broken out by way several bills that would make Arizona’s initiative process and signature gathering rules more restrictive. The initiative process, which dates back to 1912 and Arizona’s first days of statehood, is a way for voters to have independence from the legislature and the power to create their own laws. This clash and the legislature’s distrust of voters is highlighted in this week’s cover story from the Arizona Capitol Times (featuring our very own Joel Edman!) and is incredibly evident in some of the bills that are coming up in committee this week.
After being pulled from an Appropriations agenda two weeks ago, HCR 2004 (Leach)- the Clean Elections Commission defund bill- is being heard in House Appropriations on Wednesday, February 8th at 2PM. Appropriations committee members are:
Republicans: Chairman Rep. Don Shooter (LD13), Vice-Chairman Rep. David Livingston (LD22), Rep. Russell Bowers (LD25), Rep. Heather Carter (LD15), Rep. Regina Cobb (LD5), Rep. Vince Leach (LD11), Rep. Jill Norgaard (LD18), Rep. Tony Rivero (LD21), and Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (LD23)
Democrats: Ranking Member Rep. Lela Alston (LD24), Rep. Mark Cardenas (LD19), Rep. Ken Clark (LD24), Rep. Charlene Fernandez (LD4), and Rep. Randall Friese (LD 9)
If you live in one of these members' districts, call their office and urge them to protect Clean Elections and vote no on HCR 2004. If needed, you can find a list of members’ phone numbers here and look up your legislative district here. Use the legislature’s Request to Speak system to sign in against HCR 2004 before 2PM on Wednesday, February 8th. For years, Clean Elections has allowed countless candidates to run for office without having to raise money from lobbyists or special interest groups that may have never run for office otherwise.
Also back this next week after being held in last week’s hearing, HCR 2006 (Thorpe), is being heard in House Federalism, Property Rights, and Public Policy on Tuesday, February 7th at 2PM. Federalism, Property Rights, and Public Policy Members are:
Republicans: Chairman Bob Thorpe (LD6), Vice-Chairman Mark Finchem (LD11), Rep. Noel Campbell (LD1), Rep. Travis Grantham (LD12), Rep. Kevin Payne (LD21), and Rep. David Stringer (LD1)
Democrats: Rep. Isela Blanc (LD26), Rep. Daniel Hernandez (LD2), and Rep. Tony Navarrete (LD30)
Let these members know that you are opposed to Rep. Thorpe’s bill to call a constitutional convention to repeal the direct election of US Senators, add a national voter ID requirement to our existing requirements, and create limitation on early voting- among other things. Use the Request to Speak system to sign in against HCR 2006 before 2PM on Tuesday, February 7th.
HB 2320, HCR 2002, and HCR 2007 (all Ugenti-Rita) are back in House Government this Thursday, February 9th after being held in last week’s hearing. A part of the legislature’s effort to limit voters’ ownership over the initiative process, these bills include measures to refer to the ballot the repeal of Proposition 105 and add further question to the will of the voters. Members of the Government committee are:
Republicans: Chairman Douglas Coleman (LD16), Vice-Chairman Bob Thorpe (LD6), Rep. Todd Clodfelter (LD10), Rep. Drew John (LD14), and Rep. Michelle Ugenti- Rita (LD23)
Democrats: Rep. Ken Clark (LD24), Rep. Ray Martinez (LD30), and Rep. Athena Salman (LD26)
If you live in any of these members’ districts, call them and let them know that you support Arizona’s initiative process and the Voter Protection Act and to vote no on HB 2320, HCR 2002, and HCR 2007. Use the Request to Speak system to sign in against all three bills before 9:30AM on Thursday, February 9th.
Thank you for all that you do to advance voting rights and to improve the fairness of our elections. Please consider doing even more by making a contribution to the Arizona Advocacy Network today.