Get ready. Next Tuesday, the legislature will guest star Tom Hanks as alcoholic uncle Ned.
That’s right, it’s a very special session.
At issue is the citizen’s initiative to give Arizona a “Jungle Primary.” All candidates will be on the same primary ballot with the top two finishers going to the general election.
The idea here is to limit the influence of political parties, which will of course hail a rebirth of Jeffersonian Democracy and cooperation. As we’ve seen, bodies that are elected on a non-partisan basis, such as the TUSD school board, are free of the bitter division that has been the hallmark of partisan bodies.
Yes, my tongue is firmly in cheek there. You can see that I’m not buying into the arguments of supporters.
Still, it got the signatures and it deserves to be voted on by the voters. It is out of the hands of the legislature and the governor, which is exactly what was intended when the initiative provision was written into the state constitution back in 1911.
Nevertheless, the governor and legislature are prepared to take their case to the people and, in a open democratic fashion, convince them to vote it down and…um…no.
Instead, they hope to trick them.
Hey, I didn’t say it. For all my problems with Frank Antenori, when he’s running a game, he’s happy to tell us. Here is the Arizona Republic:
Senate Majority Whip Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, said many lawmakers, Republican and Democratic alike, don’t like the citizen initiative and would favor an alternative.
But he admitted confusion is part of the game plan.
“If you put two or three (similar proposals) out there, they vote ‘no’,” he said of voters. “That’s the default.”
Yep, at least he’s honest.
The governor is pushing for a less drastic move. The initiative would allow a candidate to run with any label they want, or none at all. The governor is exploring ways to make it so candidates have to run under a recognized political party or “independent.”
(Should this pass, I will announce my candidacy for governor as a candidate of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, because no one can really stop me.)
This could make many elections, de facto, non-partisan races. Now here’s the funny part.
Remember how the Republicans wanted to force the City of Tucson into holding non-partisan elections? Remember their arguments about good government and all that? Now, we’re hearing what a huge problem it would be if people hid their true affiliation in runs for legislature and state wide office.
Hmm. It wouldn’t be about who holds power in the state versus the city, right?