Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

About that thumb in the eye from AZ GOP state lawmakers...

So, because Eddie Farnsworth is both the chairman of House Judiciary and sponsor of the bill to repeal #StopHB2305, he put the bill on this week's agenda for his committee. Well, the legislature has an online system that allows citizens to comment on bills being heard in committees.

So, I signed on to make sure the members of the committee will know how I feel about the bill when they meet in the morning. What I found disturbed me.



This screenshot shows assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake having signed in and left a comment. Representing gubernatorial wannabe Ken Bennett, Drake says he is FOR HB2196 (the repeal of HB2305). And he left a comment that says,
There are some great ideas in last session's HB2305. Through testimony last year, we clearly demonstrated that campaigns picking up ballots had engaged in fraud by telling voters they were from the Maricopa County Elections department. Unfortunately, on the cusp of sine die, perhaps too many measures were rolled into one. We are supportive of the repeal.
What does this all mean? First, it means that Ken Bennett is now ON RECORD as supporting VOTER SUPPRESSION. He should be made to answer for that position, without letting him squirm out of it. Second, Drake, not being sworn in, can and does make a false statement with no fear of being held to have committed perjury. Third, Drake puts -- on the record -- what we know to be FALSEHOODS. These falsehoods are clearly a political ploy to provide cover for committee members who use the statements for justification of a yes vote on HB2196 in committee AND to stir up a hornets nest of controversy by reigniting claims of voter fraud.

There WAS NO demonstration, in any testimony last year, that fraud had been committed in connection with any provision in HB2305.

IF there had been "demonstration that" it would have been big news. As it was, the allegations though demonstrated to have been unfounded, caused plenty of buzz on their own. Julie Erfle, chair of Protect Your Right to Vote committee, on August 12, 2013 posted the following on Facebook.
From today's Capitol Times... for those claiming "voter fraud" as the reason behind HB2305, here's the data: 
Calls to Maricopa County Elections Department regarding volunteers suspected of not delivering ballots: 20-25.
Known cases where volunteers didn’t turn in ballots: 0.
Ballots that get-out-the-vote groups turned in to Maricopa County Elections Department: roughly 12,000.
Cases of voter fraud in Arizona during 2011-2012, according to Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s testimony before a U.S. Senate panel in December 2012: 15.
Cases of voter fraud associated with get-out-the-vote groups: 0.
Votes cast in the 2012 primary and general elections combined: 2,995,587.
Arizona voters on the Permanent Early Voting List: 1.7 million.
Reported in (quoted from) the Arizona Capitol Times. Cases of voter fraud associated with get-out-the-vote groups: 0.

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The Arizona Capitol Times' Legislative Report today contained this:

ORR [Rep. Ethan, R-LD9/Tucson] POISED TO PLAY SWING VOTE ON ELECTIONS BILL
When it meets tomorrow, House Judiciary is scheduled to take up on Farnsworth’s H2196 (election law amendments; repeal) which would scrap Laws 2013, Chapter 209 (H2305: election revisions; violations). While all sorts of legal questions still surround the strategy of repealing the law and then passing its parts in a piecemeal fashion, it’s also unclear if the bill will be able to clear the committee. The panel consists of five Republicans and three Dems, and Orr, who expressed concerns about the bill when voting for it last year, could be the swing vote that stops the repeal effort in its tracks. While Orr signaled to our reporter that he will probably vote for H2196, he said he is still undecided and his vote will hinge on whether he is convinced that the Voter Protection Act applies to referenda. If he believes that it does, Orr said he would vote for the repeal, because he doesn’t want huge parts of elections statutes voter-protected. If legal experts tell him the Voter Protection Act doesn’t apply to referenda, he said he isn’t sure how he will vote. Orr said it’s still a question to him, however, noting that the issue came up with the Medicaid expansion referendum. “And I don’t know how much of that was just our side raising fears of it. I really don’t know if a referendum is voter protected, but I would argue that a half-decent lawyer could make that argument,” he said. Orr acknowledged that preemptively repealing the law, then going back and passing it piecemeal, would just be a backdoor way for the Legislature to get around the referendum. But he gave a tepid endorsement of the process anyway, saying some of the provisions were good public policy that was supported by all 15 county recorders. Quezada, who also sits on Judiciary, said Republican lawmakers’ comments about preemptively repealing and then reenacting the law will come back to bite the law’s supporters if there is a lawsuit challenging the Legislature’s ability to repeal the law before the referendum, which he said was on the table. “With a lot of these statements, these individuals dig their own graves and show what their real motivations are. This is very clearly intended to be and end-run around the voters, and I don’t think the courts are going to look too kindly on that,” he said. (emphasis mine)

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The report from the Capitol Times shows WHY Drake's comment might serve to provide cover for the BEE-hinds of GOP lawmakers.

It also shows an incredibly high level of desperation, that they would need someone like Drake to run interference, and do so by deliberate false assertions of fact.

1 comment:

  1. "...Orr said he would vote for the repeal, because he doesn’t want huge parts of elections statutes voter-protected."

    That right there is one of the scariest statements from an Arizona elected official I have read. It goes right to the heart of the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature's hatred for the Arizona voter. And it is hatred.

    ReplyDelete