Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The GOP Voter Suppression Act, HB 2305, may produce united opposition to their nefarious designs to infringe upon Arizona citizens' constitutional rights to initiative, referendum and recall, to disenfranchise minor party candidates and to reduce voter options on the ballot, and to suppress the votes of certain classes of voters, in particular Latino voters. A citizens referendum is under discussion.
A column by Laurie Roberts in the Arizona Republic today reports, Democrats, Libertarians teaming to fight election law:
Democrats and Libertarians are threatening to mount a campaign to block House Bill 2305, the election “reforms” signed into law on Wednesday.
The crown jewel in the bill was a little gem added late last week – one that’ll make it far more difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballot.
Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, the Gilbert Republican responsible for the change, didn’t return a call to explain his motivation. But it’s not terribly difficult to figure out what’s going on here.
Republicans – still smarting from losing three swing congressional districts last year –believe that more congressional and legislative seats will fall their way once Libertarians stop soaking up votes. Their aim: the congressional seats now held by Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema.
Libertarian Barry Hess says Republicans are miscalculating. His party draws from both the right and left and even those inclined to lean R would likely take a pass now, given this sneak attack, he says.
“They believe they’ve got a Republican majority, with Libertarians climbing over onto their bandwagon,” Hess told me. “That’s not going to happen. … This is going to be a big issue. The governor, she was the only one who could have stopped what I think is going to be political war.”
Look for the war to start soon. Democratic Party activist John Loredo says his party is working with Libertarians and the Green Party to mount a referendum to put HB 2305 on hold until the November 2014 election.
That would be bad news for Republicans who already have to worry about a potential Medicaid referendum on the ballot, one that would bring out all thousands of angry people newly tossed out of AHCCCS.
[There may also be a marriage equality initiative on the ballot, and a marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot -- both issues on which Democrats and Libertarians agree.]
Add in a referendum on HB 2305 and you’ll see angry Libertarians and angry Latinos also flocking to the polls next year, when all statewide offices are up for grabs.
“This will wind up being one of the stupidest political moves of all time,” Loredo told me.
Hess concurs, saying that Libertarians also are looking at a lawsuit and payback in next year’s elections.
“This is going to be a situation where the activists in the Libertarian and Green Parties are going to be doing serious opposition research and vocalizing what they find for every single Republican,” he said. “It could turn out exactly the opposite of what the Republicans intended. They thought they could lock up Arizona. I think they’re going to hand it to the Democrats.”
Let's be clear, a citizens referendum is not going to be easy and is costly. Even with a massive volunteer effort, paid circulators are going to be necessary. Robert Robb at the Arizona Republic explains the difficulty while discussiing the Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration citizens referendum that the Tea Party is pursuing in Will Medicaid referendum make it?: They need to collect 86,405 valid signatures by September 11. Invalidity rates in recent years for petition drives have really soared. To be safe, opponents probably need a 40 percent cushion, or around 121,000 signatures.
120,000 signatures in 90 days. If this comes to fruition, it is going to take every one of you to be circulating petitions in the oppressive Arizona summer heat to make this happen. And you are going to have to open your wallets and contribute generously.
This will usher in a new bipartisan cooperation between Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, and the Americans Elect Party in a united front against a common foe, the anti-democratic Tea-Publicans who are constantly seeking ways to suppress the vote and impose one party rule.