Arizona Advocacy Network

Government of, by and for the People

Phoenix, AZ- Today the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation and other plaintiffs were joined by the League of Women Voters of Arizona and Common Cause in challenging the constitutionality of an effort by the legislature and corporate interests to repeal the 1998 Citizen's Clean Elections Act. In joining the challenge, League President, Bonnie Saunders stated "the League of Women Voters of Arizona helped to draft and pass the Citizen's Clean Elections Act that was approved by voters in 1998. We believe in its merits and will actively work to defend and improve the system."

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Phoenix, AZ--Just days after the still-unfolding Fiesta Bowl scandal ensnared dozens of state lawmakers, many of these same officials will hit the diamond tonight at an event usually paid for by some of the state’s most powerful lobbyists. It is the annual Arizona Senate versus House softball game at the Salt River Project’s private PERA Club in Tempe.  “Getting mixed up with another lobbyist-fueled sporting event a week after the Fiesta Bowl scandal broke shows these legislators are completely tone deaf.  Instead of spending their time hobnobbing with lobbyists, they should be working to address our state’s serious challenges,” said Linda Brown, executive director of Arizona Advocacy Network.   “It’s hard to imagine legislators participating in a softball game organized by the people being kicked off AHCCCS, or the parents who will soon be scrambling to find affordable child care.  It’s probably a lot more fun to hang out with those who got what they wanted from this legislative session—the powerful lobbyists who secured big tax breaks for their big-money clients.”

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Phoenix, AZ—Today a diverse group of Arizona voters and taxpayers challenged the constitutionality of a ballot measure pushed by the legislature and big money interests to repeal the Citizens Clean Elections Act passed by popular vote in 1998. The legislature appears to have intentionally used confusing language designed to deceive voters.  Like many recent actions by the legislature, the measure impinges on local control by forcing the city of Tucson to shut down their 25-year campaign finance system and turn over local funds for state government use. “Opponents and special interests know the only way they can attack Clean Elections is with lies and unconstitutional efforts like this,” said Mike Valder, a plaintiff in the lawsuit and longtime advocate of stronger anti-corruption laws.

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Phoenix, AZ.—Just hours after a new poll was released showing broad opposition to efforts to repeal Clean Elections, the Arizona House passed SCR 1025, a measure that will put a repeal of Clean Elections on the ballot in November 2012. “Just like the big corporate tax breaks in the budget, wealthy special interests in Phoenix won again,” said Linda Brown, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network. “It’s obscene that these lawmakers, just weeks after being ensnared in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, would push to give powerful corporate interests even more power in the state house.”

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Phoenix, AZ—Today the House Committee on the Whole will consider SCR 1025, a back-door attempt to dupe voters into killing Arizona’s popular Clean Elections Act.  The measure, backed by big-money special interests, sailed through the Senate before the Fiesta Bowl scandal broke. Now, with the scandal still unfolding, the House is considering eliminating one of the checks voters placed on candidates in the wake of the AZScam scandal of the 90s. 

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PHOENIX, AZ—The Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation (AzANF) has published a comprehensive guide to measures on the 2010 ballot and they are taking it on the road.  “Propositioning Arizona: A Review of 2010 Statewide Ballot Measures” is a non-partisan guide designed to give voters the information they need to make informed decisions by providing them with a description of and background for each measure, supporting and opposing arguments, lists of supporters and opponents and perhaps most telling, lists of the amounts of money various individuals and organizations have donated to support or oppose each measure.  As they did in 2004, 2006 and 2008 AzANF is also offering presentations on the measures to groups all over the state.

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Phoenix, AZ—Last night’s election results show that the Arizona Clean Elections system is strong, popular, and the next legislature must work together to make sure it will be in place in 2012, according to the Arizona Advocacy Network. “Amid a host of legal issues and turmoil surrounding Clean Elections, 84 of 197 statewide and legislative candidates participated in the system this year,” said Linda Brown, executive director of Arizona Advocacy Network. “These candidates, along with the people of Arizona, understand the importance of Clean Elections in our state.”

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PHOENIX, AZ - Responding to President Obama's address to Congress Wednesday evening, Linda Brown, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network called on Congress to represent the interests of the American people - not the insurance companies - and pass quality, affordable health care reform with a public health insurance option. "We support the President in his call for genuine health care reform and that means fixing the real health care challenges that the American people face," Brown said.  "I speak as an advocate and as one with personal experience.  Last year I was 'recissioned' by my health insurance company after they refused to pay for an in-network PET scan prescribed by my in-network doctor.   They actually returned my premium check and left me with no coverage.  Arizonans have limited choices among insurance companies. 

 

My present insurance company required that I sign a waiver agreeing that they would permanently exclude two of my health issues from coverage.   Fortunately for now, these health issues aren't that serious, but what happens to people who need costly treatments in order to survive?  In the richest country in the world, no one should have to worry that a treatable health problem could either bankrupt them or lead to an early death."

 

Brown added that affordability must be the cornerstone of health care reform - and to make health care affordable, insurance companies must be held accountable. "Without a public health insurance option, the health insurance companies win and the American people lose," she said.

 

Brown said the public health insurance option will lower costs and stop insurance industry abuses. "We have an historic opportunity to pass comprehensive reform that gives people a choice of a public health insurance plan as a guaranteed option with good benefits at a price that they can afford, so that never again in America will anyone have to worry about getting the care they deserve when they need it."

 

Arizona Advocacy Network (AzAN) is an affiliate of USAction. USAction and AzAN are members of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the nation's largest public health care campaign. USAction Executive Director Jeff Blum serves as co-chair of HCAN's steering committee.

 

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