Arizona's 2-track voting plan to be costly
Arizona is creating a two-track voting system, with one track that will accommodate a tiny fraction of the state’s voters at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to county governments.Last month, Secretary of State Ken Bennett said the switch is needed in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined Arizona cannot impose its proof-of- citizenship requirement on voters who use a federal voter-registration form. The citizenship requirement applies only to those registering with Arizona’s state form.
Court: Candidates must use lower contribution limits
Candidates for city, school board and other local offices can continue collecting campaign donations capped at $5,000 per donor.But for now, candidates running in statewide and legislative elections must abide by donation limits that have been in place since earlier this year. Any attempts to collect higher contributions allowed by a new state law that is on hold could result in campaign violations and fines.
Abrahamson is top recipient; justices remain involved in 98 percent of cases involving attorney donors
In January 2009, Milwaukee area attorney Mark Thomsen donated $5,000 to a Wisconsin official’s political campaign. Thomsen soon sent an additional $500 just eight days before the official cast a key vote on an insurance issue that greatly affected Thomsen and his clients.
Candidates: Turn back those dollars
Now that a court has slapped a preliminary injuction on higher campaign contribution limits, an advocacy group is urging candidates to refun anything they collected in excess of the previous limits. “We intend to educate voters about donor contributions that violated the Clean Elections Act and encourage all candidates to return amounts in excess of the voter approved limits,” the network’s executive director, Sam Wercinski, said in a statement.
Today, Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Randall Howe ordered the following in the special action filed by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, state Rep. Victoria Steele, CCEC commissioner Louis Hoffman and the Arizona Advocacy Network to challenge the hubris of the Republican majority in the Arizona Legislature regarding campaign contribution limits:
Wed Jul 17, 2013- Lawmakers were wrong to raise campaign-contribution limits by up to 10 times current caps without asking for voter approval, according to a special action filed Wednesday with the Arizona Supreme Court.
The lawsuit seeks to block House Bill 2593 from taking effect on Sept. 13. The action was filed by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Commissioner Louis Hoffman, the Arizona Advocacy Network and state Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson.
June 21, 2013- On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of every eligible American to register to vote using a national standard that eliminates unnecessary barriers. The decision was authored by one of the court’s strongest state’s rights advocates, Justice Antonin Scalia.
Fri, June 21, 2013- On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of every eligible American to register to vote using a national standard that eliminates unnecessary barriers. The decision was authored by one of the court’s strongest state’s rights advocates, Justice Antonin Scalia.
Washington — Arizona may not require documentary proof of citizenship from people seeking to vote in federal elections there, the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-to-2 decision on Monday.
The decision was the third in as many terms to consider tough measures from Arizona addressing what lawmakers there say is a crisis caused by illegal immigration. But the Supreme Court has pushed back, protecting the dominant role of the national government in regulating immigration and voting.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican, has been paid $2,000 a month by a key bankroller of the Tea Party group Freedomworks since he took office in 2009, according to KTVK’s Dennis Welch.
From lobbyists to lawmakers to advocacy groups, reactions to flaws in Arizona lobbying reports reflect an image of a system that needs to be improved.
Some call for increasing oversight, others for clarifying the laws and guidelines, narrowing loopholes or even banning certain kinds of lobbying. Lobbyists would like to see more clarity in procedures and statutes and ease in reporting.
PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Thursday a Republican-backed measure that wildly increases campaign finance limits and undermines the state's public campaign funding program enacted by voters to limit money in politics.
The law is one of several efforts to allow more money into state elections being pushed by Republicans nationwide amid a skyrocketing influence of outside political dollars in elections made possible by a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that erased years of campaign finance law.
The battle lines are drawn.
Our electoral system is being hijacked by special interests that favor big-money politics over working voters. If Arizonans want a government of, by and for the people, it’s going to take a fight.
Our state’s history of voter suppression provides a context for Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court arguments on Arizona’s 2004 voter-ID law. Ditto for election bills in Arizona’s Legislature.
It’s not ancient history.
The un-sunny side of Arizona was revealed at Senate hearings when Republican William Rehnquist was named to the Supreme Court in 1971.
Rehnquist denied allegations that he personally challenged minority voters at the polls. But he told the Senate he witnessed Republican poll challenges in 1962 that “struck me as amounting to harassment and intimidation.”
Stuff happened. And it wasn’t so long ago.
And now? Two of today’s most effective strategies to increase Latino voter participation are under attack in Arizona’s GOP-controlled Legislature.
The Arizona voting-rights case now before the U.S. Supreme Court is more about states’ rights vs. federal control of elections than about the particulars of the case itself.
Yes, that sounds like a familiar, Arizona-centric issue.
From efforts to nullify federal laws to this current question of whether Arizona can pack additional requirements onto a federal voting-rights law, our state is highly prone to challenging federal dominion.
This time, the struggle is over Proposition 200, an initiative passed with about 55 percent of the vote in 2004 requiring people registering to vote to prove their U.S. citizenship, as well as requiring applicants for state and local welfare benefits to prove eligibility.
The federal National Voter Registration Act requires new registrants to attest that they are U.S. citizens, but not provide proof. The added requirement is at the heart of the fight: Can a state tack onto a federal law additional voter-registration requirements that the federal government does not?
Jesus Gonzalez worked as a farm laborer and factory hand in Arizona. He lived in the United States for more than four decades. Earning citizenship, along with the right to vote, was a dream.
So he couldn’t believe it when, after finally taking the citizenship oath at the Yuma federal courthouse in 2005 and filling out his election paperwork, he received two notices from the state that his voter registration had been denied.
“I was angry,” he would later tell a court. “After all of my hardship and struggles to finally become a U.S. citizen, I was still treated like a second-class citizen of this country. ... We should all have an equal right to elect the people who make the decisions in our country. I want to have a voice in the United States.”
An Arizona law that has inflamed passions on both sides of the immigration debate heads to the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments Monday. It could affect not just the sanctity of elections, but the fundamental right to vote.
The measure — approved by Arizona voters a year before Gonzalez became a citizen — aims to keep ballots out of the hands of illegal immigrants. Anyone registering to vote must provide documentation of U.S. citizenship.
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- Proposed AZ House bill puts focus on Voters, not donors.
- HB2306: AZ Legislature proposes increasing the influence of big money on elections
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- March hearing for voter registration case
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