Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Our lawless legislature and governor routinely pass bills that are unlawful or unconstitutional to make-work for the lawyers of the Goldwater Institute who write and lobby for these bills. It constitutes a taxpayer-funded subsidy to a right-wing organization -- dedicated to the free enterprise system (sic) -- that has done more harm to the state of Arizona over the years than any other source. Goldwater Institute is a cancer on the body politic.
Despite Goldwater lawyers having just lost in the Arizona Supreme Court on "Paton's Law" which sought to dictate to the Charter City of Tucson how it must conduct its local elections, the Goldwater Institute pressed ahead with HB 2826, which would dictate that all elections in Arizona must occur on only two dates in even numbered years (there is an exception for certain bond elections).
The bill was opposed by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns and county elections officials, and editorialized against by The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star.
Despite overwhelming opposition, Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2826 on Monday in what can only be viewed as a taxpayer-subsidy to the Goldwater institute to defend the bill it wrote and lobbied for in the courts. This corrupt system of "make-work for Goldwater institute lawyers" has to end. New AZ law limits city elections even-numbered years, 2 days per year - East Valley Tribune:
Brushing aside local concerns, Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday signed legislation that will limit cities to electing officials only in even-numbered years -- and only on two days each year.
And in doing so, she may be setting the stage for a lawsuit.
This measure, pushed by the Goldwater Institute, further tightens that law, spelling out that the odd-year elections that many cities have will no longer be legal after 2013. And it says city votes must also be the same day the state holds its elections: on the date of the general election which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and the primary election which by law occurs exactly 10 weeks earlier.
Brewer's decision came despite a last-minute flurry of letters from city officials who would be directly affected by the changes.
"The biggest issue from the local perspective is having the local issues effectively superseded by the federal, state and other issues that are going to be on the ballot, with the local issues being on page 20 before anybody gets to them,'' said Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin.
State law already requires those federal and statewide races to be placed first on the ballot. That cam leave city races at the bottom of what already is often a very long general election ballot, a place that several city officials said will result in voters losing interest before they get to those races.
"I think there is certainly a legitimate local interest in having our own elections not mixed up with too many other things on the ballot,'' Rankin said.
* * *
Rankin said there are problems, both practical and legal.
In the [practical] category is the fact that there are people in office now whose terms end in odd-number years. He said that raises the question of what happens in the 2013 vote -- assuming one actually occurs and that current office holders do not simply have another year added on to their terms to make them now end in even-numbered years.
Potentially more significant, Tucson got a ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this year voiding a 2009 law which forbids cities from having partisan elections for mayor and council. That same law, aimed specifically at Tucson, also sought to overturn the city's modified ward system where candidates for council are nominated from each ward but elected on a citywide basis.
The justices concluded the Arizona Constitution gave Tucson and the state's 18 other charter cities special rights to control their own local matters. And they said that, in this case, the Legislature illegally intruded into that local area.
It remains an open question, though, whether that ruling will provide the basis for charter cities to challenge this new law.
Rankin acknowledged that the justices did say that lawmakers can step in to local matters if they are of "statewide concern.'' And he noted the court pointed to the existing laws about having elections only on four specific dates each year.
"The Legislature could have a role in deciding ... these types of things,'' he said.
And that is why the legal challenge to this law that is certain to be filed cannot be counted upon. There needs to be a second line of attack, a citizen's referendum to repeal this law, just in case. We can call it "The end taxpayer subsidies to the Goldwater institute" measure. I am confident a majority of Arizonans would vote for it out of disgust for the Goldwater Institute.