I am the most independent-voting Democrat in the Arizona House and perhaps in the Arizona Legislature. How did that happen? When I first ran for office in 2015, I said I would look at every bill and ask myself, “How does this help the people of Arizona?” And if it didn’t broadly help people OR if it was a carve-out for the connected, there was no reason for me to support it.
If you have missed one of my 2022 Legislative Updates, you can check out this compilation from the first 10 days of session. Enjoy!
There is a link to this podcast below. You can also subscribe to A View from the Left Side on multiple podcasting services such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, I Heart Radio and others. The original Legislative update videos on these topics can be found on my YouTube Channel.
Today’s video is about Clean Elections and about saving Democracy. It also addresses the drama over voting rights legislation in the US Congress. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, you were in the Arizona Legislature. You know how radical Arizona Republicans are. PLEASE save our state from voter suppression and a flood of dirty money trying to buy our elections.
The voters of Arizona created the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in 1998 as a reaction to corruption and bribery scandals in the Arizona Legislature in the early 1990s. I moved to Arizona 40 years ago and remember the AZScam scandal very well. Clean Elections funding was meant to be a system where candidates with good ideas (but no connections to rich people) could successfully run for office. It was a good system that was used by Republicans and Democrats.
Every year that I have served in the Legislature, the Republicans — particularly Rep. Leo Biasiucci from Mohave County — have proposed and passed bills to diminish clean money in elections. Prop 306 in 2018 hurt clean elections greatly. There has been a dramatic reduction in candidates running clean since that passed.
One of my pet peeves is reading a cliff-hanger news story, only to be left hanging when there is no follow up. Several stories reported in my previous podcasts have had newsworthy developments since those episodes aired.
To catch you up on the details, Episode 8 is a compilation of updates.
Many of my podcasts referred to petition drives and court cases that were trying to stop bad Republican bills from being enacted. These issues were decided last week. Why last week? Because September 29, 2021 is the 91st day after June 30, 2021, which was the end of the Legislative session. Unless passed with an emergency clause or stopped by the courts or the voters, bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor are enacted 90 days after the end of session.
Three previous guests return to discuss the status of the contested laws – particularly the flat tax, the alternative tax to get around Prop 208, the voter suppression bills, the bills attacking the power of the Secretary of State and the power of the governor, Arizona’s latest radical anti-choice bill SB1457, and mandated COVID public health protections.
The good news is that progressives had some wins in the courts. We also had some disappointments. Needless to say, the struggle to beat back oppressive legislation continues. Of course, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich are appealing cases that the state lost. Brnovich is even appealing the court’s ruling that Republican Legislators acted unconstitutionally when they stuff dozens of unrelated failed bills into the budget. Who is paying for these unnecessary lawsuits generated by unconstitutional or burdensome laws enacted by Republicans? You are. The taxpayer.
The citizens of Arizona created the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) and the process to run as a “clean” candidate in 1998. It was a reaction by the people of Arizona to widespread corruption in the Arizona Legislature, following the AZ Scam investigation. Every year since then, Arizona Republicans have mounted an attack on Clean Elections. Heaven forbid … we should allow politicians to run for office on their ideas and values and deny big money donations. Every year that he has been in office, Rep. Leo Biasiucci has been the CCEC hit man. His HB2014 weakens the watchdog function of the Clean Elections Commission by adding more bureaucracy. I believe that Clean Elections should be expanded — not repeatedly attacked and weakened.
Thank you so much, LD9 voters, for making me the top vote getter in the 2020 Primary Election and the 2020 General Election. I particularly want to thank my grassroots volunteers who worked tirelessly to help me win re-election.
It was an extremely difficult year for humankind, but you persevered to help many Democrats win– including the LD9 team of Senator Victoria Steele, Rep. Randy Friese and me. Oh, yes, and Joe Biden!
I was his target, and you helped me beat him. The final count is PPH 64,781, Rep. Randy Friese 64,772 and Brendan Lyons 48,026. OK, I beat Friese by only nine votes, but I beat Lyons by 17,755 votes.
Big money and endorsements provided by the Chamber of Commerce, insurance company PACs, the police PAC, developers, and others who want another reliable Republican vote for privatization and tax giveaways lost to a Progressive Clean Elections candidate with a people-centered campaign, a strong voice, and an independent voting record.
I could not have done this without your grassroots support.
In the pre-COVID era, you hosted house parties, which were invaluable for meeting voters and for collecting signatures, $5 contributions for Clean Elections, and seed money. You collected signatures and $5s on your own while I was at the Capitol in early 2020.
You bundled and labeled literature. You stamped, addressed and personalized postcards. You organized events and people. You amplified my campaign messages on social media.
You helped the LD9 team distribute palm cards by doing no-contact lit drops in nearly every precinct in the district in just a few months.
You worked really hard this year for the big wins the Democratic Party achieved in 2020 — including electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vide president.
Take care of yourselves. WEAR A MASK. I’ll be looking for you on RTS in the coming session.