From a Howard Fischer story in the EV Tribune -
The top Senate Republican is shying away from putting two measures on a special ballot this spring, at least in part because he fears voters will not decide the issues the way he wants.
Senate President Bob Burns, R-Peoria, said Monday he has a “gut feeling” that a proposal for a temporary tax hike would turn into a one-sided campaign, with his personal position against the increase on the losing side.
In addition, he is opposed to letting the voters decide whether or not to open up voter-protected mandates (both spending and taxes) to legislative "re-appropriation,"
From the same article -
Burns also is balking at putting any plan to let lawmakers tinker with measures previously approved by voters on the same ballot, for the same reason: It might actually fail, which he does not want.
The right wing blogosphere is all over this one, siding with Burns in their open contempt for voters. (Sonoran Alliance)
My prediction is still that the Reps will hem, haw, scream, breast-beat, pull their hair out (OK, so it's too late for that in Burns' case there - see the pic at the Trib article :) ), and all other kinds of showboating before "reluctantly" giving their approval of referring a sales tax increase to the ballot.
And, citing the state's dire fiscal situation, not so reluctantly referring an override of the Voter Protection Act to the ballot.
Oh, and don't be surprised if they look for a way to tie the enactment of a tax hike, even a regressive one, to the lifting of Prop 105 protections on education funding, healthcare for the poorest Arizonans, and Clean Elections public financing for campaigns.
Other notes, but definitely related:
This weekend I was talking to a friend and regular reader who observed that I haven't been picking on State Senator Jack Harper (R-Surprise) as much as I have in the past. I responded by saying that there are too many targets this year to devote much time to Harper, and that he seems to have toned down his "shoot from the lip" brand of lunacy this year, probably because he is running statewide next year.
What a difference a day makes.
Tedski at R-Cubed has an email that Harper sent out to supporters that contained part of a commentary that Harper wrote for the AZ Capitol Times.
Quoting Harper from Ted's post (I don't subscribe to the Cap Times, and their website is subscriber-only access) -
I do not speak for the entire Republican caucus, and certainly not the minority party, but I hope to summarize this with a broad view of what to expect in the next budget for the under-employed or over-expectant.It seems that Harper (and Burns, and the rest of the AZ chapter of the Flat Earth Society) are actually gleeful at the near-bankruptcy of the state and the prospect of ending all but federally-mandated public services for the people of Arizona.
If you are relying on any services from the state that are not mandated by the federal government, I advise you that those services may end June 30, 2009.
If you have children that require expensive experimental treatment or therapy that is not provided by the federal government, I advise that the state will not have the money for it after June 30.
If you have been laid off from your job and are not willing to take a job that is available, unemployment benefits, food stamps and AHCCCS for health care are going to fall short of what you could make by being employed.
Arizona will not follow the country into socialism. If you feel you need greater assistance and are not able to move to another state, please turn to your local churches and give them the opportunity to show their generosity and love.
Harper, Burns, et. al. have made it clear that they have no intention of doing their jobs of serving their constituents unless their arms are twisted.
The two main ways of twisting their arms are federal law and the Voter Protection Act.
And they want us to override the Voter Protection Act.
As painful as the 20 months are going to be here in AZ, we're better off leaving the VPA alone and waiting until November 2010 to kick the nihilist ideologues to the curb.