Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

GOP officials still intent on telling the Big Lie -- OFTEN

Arizona Republican Party communications director Tim Sifert appeared on Arizona Horizon on July 9 to verbally duke it out with Libertarian Barry Hess about the Voter Suppression Act (HB2305). On the question of whether there has been voter fraud in the return of early ballots by concerned citizens, Sifert, who might know something about election irregularities used the expression "recipe for mischief."

In other words, the VERY BEST this political hack (or, at best, flack) could produce -- when called to cite specifics on whether there had been any actual allegations of voter fraud -- was rumor and innuendo.

Why would I suggest that Sifert might know something about election irregularities? Might that be only rumor and innuendo on my part? Not in this case. An Arizona Supreme Court opinion from 2004 says,
Jim Irvin was elected to a four-year term of office as a Corporation Commissioner beginning January 2003. In September 2003 Irvin resigned, and the governor appointed Kris Mayes to fill the position until the next general election in accordance with Article 15, Section 1(C), of the Arizona Constitution. This section provides in part, “[I]n case of vacancy in the office [of the Corporation Commission], the governor shall appoint a commissioner to fill the vacancy. The appointed commissioner shall fill the vacancy until a commissioner shall be elected at a general election as provided by law, and shall qualify.” Ariz. Const. art 15, § 1(C).
Tim Sifert timely filed nominating petitions for the office of Corporation Commissioner. However, two different terms for seats on the Corporation Commission are up for election in 2004: one seat has a term expiring January 1, 2007,which is the office currently held by Mayes, and three seats have terms expiring January 5, 2009. Although Sifert is seeking the office with the term that expires on January 1, 2007, his nominating petitions did not “designate the expiration date of the term following the name of the office being sought.” See A.R.S. § 16-314(D). Carl Seel, a candidate for the same office,filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court seeking an injunction to prevent Sifert’s name from appearing on the primary election ballot because he did not comply with A.R.S. § 16-314(D).
Long story short, the trial court found in favor of Seel; Sifert's name was not allowed to appear on the ballot. Sifert appealed directly to the Arizona Supreme Court (represented by Lisa Hauser, counsel to plaintiffs in Leach v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and all around thorn in the side of the AIRC). The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court ruling (Sifert lost).

I'd bet that Tim Sifert considers what Carl Seel did in 2004 to be "mischief." But was it immoral, unethical or illegal? NOPE.

-----

Just this last Sunday, Julie Erfle -- chair of the Protect Your Vote Committee -- appeared on KTAR radio to debate HB2305 with state Rep. Steve Montenegro (R-Avondale).
Erfle pointed out that
...there was a very effective Get Out The Vote effort by essentially voter advocacy groups that happened to favor Latinos, that happened to favor groups that tend not to vote Republican. Now, they were able to collect ballots from people who are disabled, who are home bound, who are low propensity voters.
They were able to turn those votes in. These are young volunteers, some of whom I met, who were not criminals. They weren't doing anything illegal. They weren't doing anything unethical. In fact, they were doing that which we ask our young individuals to do, which is to get involved in our democracy. That's what they did.
Now, what's very unfortunate for me to hear from Steve [Montenegro] and from his colleague Michele Reagan, is these rumors that somehow they were doing something that is illegal. And right now, that's all we have.
As you pointed out Mike [radio host], there's no investigation going on. There's no evidence that this is anything other than rumors and innuendo. And so because we have nothing more than rumors and innuendo, we want to then put these people in a bad light. And that's very distressing for me and distressing that we would want to put these individuals in a bad light, would want to now criminalize their acts.
I find that very hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that if there was any evidence, any evidence at all, that we had voter fraud going on with these groups, that Ken Bennett, our current Secretary of State, who was willing to investigate the President's birth certificate would not be investigating this right now. 
One of the hosts then asked Montegnegro if there had been any investigation conducted by anyone, such as a county attorney. Montenegro said there "should be" and then rambled on about "evidence" and testimony before the legislature about it. Apparently to deflect attention from the fact that he really has no tangible argument, Montenegro suggested Erfle had pulled the race card. What she really did was call attention to the underlying reality behind HB2305, the concern that Latino voters, traditionally suppressed without so much effort, are now asserting themselves at the ballot box.

Bottom line, Julie Erfle called it straight. Montenegro and Reagan have had nothing but rumor and innuendo.

If Tim Sifert can get specific about his "recipe" or if Steve Montenegro can cite credible evidence, let's see it.

Until we see details (credible details, for that matter), we can only surmise that the Arizona GOP has NOTHING but the Big Lie it's trying to sell.

I ain't buying. Neither should you.

-----

The HB2305 referendum effort now has a website. It holds background information about the effort, links to news coverage and information on how to volunteer to help collect signatures or to verify signatures collected on petitions already turned in.

Protect YOUR Vote!

No comments:

Post a Comment