Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lobbyist Shakedown status update

Before the Arizona Legislature adjourned its 2013 session, it made a number of direct assaults on the rights of everyday citizens. The two most egregious, of course, were passage of the Voter Suppression Bill (HB2305, which is now on hold subject to the People of Arizona issuing an unconditional veto in the 2014 general election); and passage of HB2593, the Lobbyist Shakedown Bill.

Since last week I posted about Sen. Begay's first bills, all of which are striker busses, I'll note that HB2593 started out the same way, as a "technical correction" bill.

Last month, the Arizona Court of Appeals blocked enactment of the Lobbyist Shakedown Bill. GOP leadership in the legislature subsequently intervened and appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court. A spokesman for Arizona's Citizens Clean Elections Commission today told the Arizona Eagletarian that he expects the Supreme Court to announce tomorrow (Tuesday) whether it will accept the legislature's request for review.

Ultimately, the case still needs to be tried in (Maricopa County) Superior Court regardless of whether the preliminary injunction granted by the Appeals Court stands or not. After that, especially if the legislature loses, expect more appeals.

Some of the documents filed last Friday by the plaintiffs (Clean Elections, AZ Advocacy Network, state Rep. Victoria Steele and Clean Elections Commissioner Louis J. Hoffman) are linked below:

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Do not be fooled, my friends. JD Mesnard (sole sponsor of the Lobbyist Shakedown Bill) and the GOP majority in the Arizona Legislature passed the Lobbyist Shakedown Bill and in so doing took a giant leap further along the path to institutionalizing corruption.

You may or may not like to hear it, but this is far and away NOT exclusively a "Democratic" or "Liberal" or "Progressive" issue. Key supporters of the American Anti-Corruption Act include DC Tea Party Patriots leader Tom Whitmore, Former Bush (GW) ethics advisor Richard Painter, and GOP strategist Mark McKinnon.

Nevertheless, this video of actor Matt Damon is from daily.represent.us and poignantly addresses the overarching issue presented in the Lobbyist Shakedown Bill.




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As an aside, it should be noted that a local daily newspaper took information reported in the blog post on Sen. Begay's bills and included it in a political insider column on Sunday -- without giving credit to the Arizona Eagletarian.

Of course, I have been a vocal critic of that newspaper and its editorial decision-making on important stories. Whether the oversight (failure to provide proper citation for the material they took from this blog) was the responsibility of an editor or a reporter, it still disappoints me that they would stoop to this depth.

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