I have the honor and privilege of serving in the Arizona House of Representatives, having been elected in 2010. I am running for re-election this November 6, 2012, for LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 17 (Chandler, Gilbert and Sun Lakes).
I ran for office two years ago because I was tired of politicians running for office on promises they were unable (or unwilling) to keep, claiming to be "different" only to turn out like everybody else: part of the system; part of the problem. I did not make grandiose promises, but pledged to keep an open door and an open mind.
I was also made Chairman of the prestigious House Commerce Committee.
I also received the Open Government Leader of the Year award. Serving as your Representative has been a distinct honor and I hope you will vote to extend that honor another two years. (emphasis/highlights in original)
JD doesn't tell us (at least not on the first page of his campaign website) who bestowed the open government award upon him. Therefore it's not readily available for us to evaluate just what he had to do to earn said award.
However, on the question of grandiousity, it's incumbent upon us to consider his comments last week when explaining his vote on HB 2305, the VOTER SUPPRESSION bill.
But first, let's consider the significance the concept of irony.
i·ro·ny (r-n, r-)n. pl. i·ro·nies
1.a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.So, consider Mr. Mesnard's word in the clip below in light of his award for open government.
b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).
b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.
Is it at all possible that Mr. Mesnard does not see the irony in his advocacy for raising the barriers to keep everyone but Democrats and Republicans off of ballots for legislative, Congressional and statewide offices, after having apparently "earned" an Open Government award.
While the measure doesn't present insurmountable obstacles to Democratic candidates, the ONLY beneficiaries of Mr. Mesnard's largess are Republican candidates.
To illustrate, review the chart (below) showing pre- and post-HB2305 nominating petition signature thresholds from an earlier blog post.
The bottom line is that the changes will make it tremendously more difficult for candidates to get on the ballot except for those affiliated with the Republican Party.
Party Statewide Voter Reg Current HB2305 Amer Elect 267 1 5,376 Democrats 979,171 4,896 5,376 Green 5,119 26 5,376 Libertarian 23,926 120 5,376 Republican 1,141,700 5,709 5,376 Other 1,075,334 5,377 5,376 total 3,225,517
But there's more irony in this situation. While the Republican Mr. Mesnard laments the fact that a couple of Republican Congressional candidates lost in 2012 by fewer votes than the Libertarian in those races garnered, he seems oblivious to the fact that the most egregious and intentional exploitation of the ability of third party candidates to intentionally play the spoiler was JOHN MILLS -- when Mills was on the payroll of the Republican caucus of the Arizona House. From an October 2011 Arizona Eagletarian post:
On the other hand, Weiers was the beneficiary of John Mills' efforts to recruit bogus Green Party candidates to dilute the Democratic vote in his district a few years ago.A website I linked to in that October 2011 post is no longer live, so I'm looking for those specifics elsewhere.
Nevertheless, Mills has been linked to recruiting sham Green Party candidates on behalf of his former boss, Jim Weiers as well as in the old Tempe LD17.
The irony in Mesnard's remarks is that the Libertarian candidates he views as responsible for Republicans losing races for Congress in 2012 were all very clearly and obviously genuine Libertarian candidates. The candidates Mills recruited to run on the Green Party ticket against Democrats had no prior involvement with the Green Party at all.
Let's just say that Mr. Mesnard had no idea that Mr. Mills was the primary perpetrator of GOP largess that he now claims he wants to prevent. Consider our next vocabulary word, "noblesse oblige."
Mr. Mesnard speaks as if he (and the entire cohort of elected Guardians of Privilege in Arizona) are entitled to make the rules about whom to allow entrance to the electoral system.
noblesse oblige [nəʊˈblɛs əʊˈbliːʒ (French) nɔblɛs ɔbliʒ]nOften ironic the supposed obligation of nobility to be honourable and generousThere's that word IRONY again. If he genuinely wanted to be taken seriously as a member of a "ruling class" in our state, Mr. Mesnard would have to take a markedly different approach to his role as Representative.
[French, literally: nobility obliges]
The Yellow Sheet (6/18) quotes Mesnard:
Some Republicans did cite their recent election losses as a reason for supporting the bill. On the House floor, Mesnard alleged that some people have manipulated the elections process through “sham” candidates. “I believe that, if you look at the last election, there was at least one, probably two, congressional seats that may have gone in a different direction … if this requirement had been there,” he said. But Mesnard later told our reporter that he supports the new requirements out of fairness. The bill does give an advantage to Dems and Republicans, he said, but it’s appropriate since we have a two-party system. If Libertarians and Greens want to get on the ballot, he said, they should win over more supporters. “Why should they not have to have the same requirements? … We’re all ending up on the general election ballot, equally before all voters. So, it seems to me that everybody should at least pass some kind of hurdle of equal value in getting there. And the hurdle we have in place, in part, is signature requirements,” he said. Mesnard denied that he supported the bill as a way to help Republican electoral fortunes, but acknowledged that his comments in the House might give people that impression.How completely ironic that Mesnard would seek to give credit (blame) to his Democratic colleagues for this disaster of a bill. The final House vote, 33 Ayes, 26 Nays, 1 Not Voting had ALL 24 Democrats voting NAY. Republican Steve Smith was not there to vote and two Republicans, Heather Carter and Michele Ugenti voted NAY. ALL House votes in favor of the measure were cast by Republicans.
On the other hand, how ironic is it for the Yellow Sheet to let Mesnard essentially say, yeah I said that, but it is NOT what I meant?
The final vote in the Senate had a touch more drama. The first "final" vote had the bill defeated 13-16-1. All AYE votes were cast by Republicans. All 13 Democratic senators voted NAY. Rick Murphy was not there to vote. Republicans originally voting NAY included John McComish, Steve Pierce and Rich Crandall.
Following lobbying from Daniel Scarpinato, former Republican staffer at the Arizona House of Representatives, who now works for the National Republican Congressional Committee, McComish executed a parliamentary tactic, making a motion for reconsideration. When that motion succeeded, the final final Senate vote was 16-13-1. Pierce, Crandall and McComish each changed their vote to AYE.
The Yellow Sheet (6/18) also noted another exquisite irony.
Gallardo noted that last year, Republicans such as [US Sen. Jon] Kyl and [Maricopa County Attorney] Bill Montgomery were among those rallying against Proposition 121, the top-two primary initiative, and that one of the main reasons some Republicans argued against the measure was because it would ensure that few third party candidates ever appeared on a general election ballot again. In the 2012 publicity pamphlet from the secretary of state’s office, Lesko wrote that third-party candidates “won’t have a chance,” while Biggs said smaller parties “will be shut out of the general election process entirely.” Tobin wrote that voters will have fewer choices. “Currently it’s possible for an Independent, Libertarian, or third party candidate to qualify for the general election ballot. A top-two system means the days of an Independent candidate appearing on the general election ballot are over,” Tobin wrote. All three voted for H2305. (emphasis mine)Of course, if Mesnard and the rest of the GOP caucus (in each chamber) had embraced the perspective of the servant leader, rather than the narcissists that they have proven themselves to be, they might have been able to avoid what will be the most likely ultimate outcome.
hubris or hybris (ˈhjuːbrɪs) — n
1. pride or arrogance
2. (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin
Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, on the HB 2305 saga, wrote,
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.
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.
And here's one for those "righteous" Bible Believing "Pro-Life" lawmakers to consider when they look at themselves in the mirror to get ready to "serve" the people of Arizona another day.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
I'm wondering, would it be sexist to say that, in the vernacular, Eddie Farnsworth and GOP legislative leaders pretty much tripped over their d**** ... um, machismo?
By the way, if Loredo is correct -- and I think he is -- a referendum could work, in this case, to stuff the GOP hubris back where it belongs.