Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Arizona Secretary of State Ken "Birther" Bennett continues to have a really bad summer. His attempt to prevent the Quality Education and Jobs initiative from appearing on the ballot through his own filing requirement that is not part of any statutory law was rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court. Arizona sales-tax hike can go on ballot, court rules:
A measure to permanently extend the 1-cent-per-dollar sales tax can go on the November ballot, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The initiative seeks to make permanent the temporary tax that expires at the end of May. The money would flow to K-12 schools, community colleges, universities and school-infrastructure projects, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a children's health program.
The Quality Education and Jobs campaign gathered more than 290,000 voter signatures in support of the measure. But Secretary of State Ken Bennett rejected them within a day of their filing, saying the paper copy filed with his office did not match exactly the one circulated to voters. A lower court ruled that the measure should go on the ballot; Bennett appealed.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the group did substantially comply with requirements and allowed the measure to move forward.
In a news release, the Quality Education and Jobs campaign said the court decision was a "huge victory" for voters and schoolchildren. The chairwoman of the campaign, Ann-Eve Pedersen, said Bennett should not have challenged the measure.
"It was very unnecessary and very unfortunate, and we need elected officials in his role specifically that facilitate democracy and don't try to obstruct it," she told The Arizona Republic.
"Birther" Bennett, after being smacked down by the Court, said he was satisfied to have a decision from the Supreme Court.
Now comes the hard part. Most Tea-Publicans, including Governer Jan Brewer, and Chamber of Commerce groups are funding the opposition to this measure. Other business organizations, education organizations, and most Democrats are lined up to support this measure.