Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Told you so, Howie. Maybe next time you will listen to me.
Howard Fischer reports today, Ariz. judge rules open primary plan flawed, won't be on ballot:
A proposal to create an open primary system in Arizona is legally flawed and cannot appear on the ballot, a judge ruled today.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain said while the initiative would affect many sections of state election laws, most of it relates to the single purpose of having a single primary were all candidates from all parties would run against each other. Then the top two would face off in the general election.
But Brain said the initiative also would ban the use of public money for elections for each party to select precinct committeemen and committeewomen.
That, he said, is a totally separate issue. More to the point, Brain said it requires a separate ballot measure.
More details from the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) Judge blocks top-two initiative from ballot:
Judge Mark Brain ruled that the section on the rights of political parties should have been a separate amendment from the initiative, which aims to create a “top two” primary election system in Arizona. The provision on the rights of political parties states that the initiative does restrict the rights of individuals to associate with political parties, and that parties may still elect party officers, support candidates or otherwise participate in elections, but that “no such procedures shall be paid for or subsidized using public funds.”
Brain said there is no good reason why a prohibition on public funding for party activities should be included in the initiative. He disagreed with the Open Government Committee’s argument that the only change created by the provision is that the publicly funded system used to select party officers in the past would no longer be usable because it would not exist anymore.
“It would be one thing if the initiative provided that candidates for such offices will no longer appear on the non-partisan primary ballot – such a provision would directly relate to how the primary election would work. Instead, this provision prohibits state assistance in any form or forum and at any time,” Brain wrote.
Attorney Mike Liburdi, who is representing the Save Our Vote committee that sued to block the initiative, praised the ruling. He said the provision would have defunded elections for the parties’ precinct committeemen positions, which he said had nothing to do with creating a top-two primary system.
“This committee put in a provision that has nothing to do with the substance of what they’re trying to achieve, and from all indications they did it in a manner to use it as a sound bite in their political campaign,” Liburdi said.
Joe Yuhas, a spokesman for the Open Government Committee, said the group hadn’t yet decided whether it would appeal the ruling.
Save your money, the Supremes are going to uphold Judge Brain's ruling.
Let the gnashing of teeth and wailing from the meda villagers begin.