Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Live blogging Senate Judiciary

4:20 - I'm out of here. This isn't meant as disrespect to Sen. Allen. I just have to go home.

4:13 - Carolyn Allen's measure to repeal term limits up now. Allen speaking.

4:10 - Paton says that CE isn't supporting free speech because it is a subsidy. Calls CE candidates "dependent" on the government, not the public. Says it is "morally wrong." Says his colleagues are here to limit government. Doesn't talk about governing responsibly. Votes yes. Measure passes 4 - 2.

4:07 - Huppenthal says that winning office in 1993 was like "winning the lottery." Says that he never took advantage, but opposes CE on ideological grounds. Says CE only enforces rules against Republicans. Votes yes.

4:05 - Chuck Gray *really* hates CE. Calls Clean candidates "government funded", not "publically funded."

4:03 - Voting. Cheuvront criticizes CE's imperfections, but says this is a dishonest measure. Votes no.

4:01 - Paton lists people signed in as supporting/opposed to his measure. For: Business lobbyists. Opposed: Pretty much everyone else.

3:56 - Eric Ehst of the AZ chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is speaking in opposition to Paton's bill. Addressing some of the points raised earlier.

3:54 - Paton hurries the testimony of CE's president, saying that some members want to leave. CE guy is testifying in opposition to Paton's bill. GI wasn't rushed in any way.

3:47 - Paton wants Brown to ID moderates in the lege. To set up a purge list?

3:43 - Brown notes that there are now a wide variety of professions represented in the lege, not just those with access to money from big business. Paton brings up Union boogeyman. Again.

3:41 - Linda Brown, Arizona Advocacy Network, speaking in opposition to Paton's scheme. Debunking many of GI's myths about CE.

3:40 - GI calls matching funds provisions of CE as "punishment" of people who donate to traditional candidates. It's a strawman argument, but I'll talk about that later.

3:37 - GI cites 2008 Corp Commission race and Dem candidates as reason to oppose CE.

3:36 - Picking up from BfA. GI claims to be neutral, but has spent the last few minutes reviling CE.

3:34 - This post is getting to be too long, so I am ending this here out of respect of BfA readers and the other writers. It will be continued on my blog Random Musings, with a summary to be posted here later.

3:33 - GI claims to be neutral on this legislation, but argues against CE.

3:30 - Lang's testimony done; Goldwater Institute up next.

3:27 - Paton criticizes CE for not reducing the influence of lobbyists. Lang responds by noting that wasn't the intent of CE, only to reduce the appearance of corruption by reducing candidates' financial dependence on lobbyists.

3:19 - Chuck Gray argues that CE restricts free speech by funding his first opponent at a higher level than he raised on his own. Calls CE "communistic". Really.

3:17 - Paton objects to tax return check offs funding CE, in light of the recent debates over tax credits. Ignoring the fact that R tax credits are still there. Lang responds that CE has returned more $ to the General Fund than it has received from check offs.

3:13 - Pearce chimes in, complaining that CE is unfair to traditional candidates.
3:12 - Paton says that CE candidates are victims of extortion. Really.

3:08 - Lang supports letting voters consider the entire CE function, not just the funding part. Paton objects because of the name "Clean Elections". He thinks that voters will support "clean". Like they did when they originally approved it.

3:07 - Todd Lang, ED of Clean Elections, testifies in opposition.

3:06 - Miranda wonders if CE could be restricted to "new' candidates; lobbyist hates the idea.

3:04 - Miranda finally off of his hands.

3:03 - Paton comes to the defense of the manufacturing lobbyist, using the boogeyman of labor unions holding parties to collect 5s.

3:00 - OK - Cheuvront off of his hands. About time.

2:56 - Definitely missing Meg Burton Cahill here - Chuck Gray and his saddle partner are serving up Rep talking points thinly-disguised as softball questions, and Ken Cheuvront and Richard Miranda are sitting on their hands.

2:53 - Business lobbyist complains about CE candidates "gaming" the system. Ignores the fact that traditionally-financed candidates (aka - bribees) have been "gaming" the system since time immemorial.

2:52 - Arizona Manufacturer's Council and AZ Chamber of Commerce supports ending CE. The pattern is set - Big Business wants its ability to buy elections back.

2:50 - Michael Bidwill is speaking in support of ending CE. I won't be going to a Cardinals game next season.

2:47 - Paton makes it clear that his intent is to end "taxpayer-subsidized elections" in AZ.

2:45 - Chuck Gray wants to know where funding will go if CE is ended. Paton says funding of CE will continue, they just won't be able to fund candidates.

2:43 - Nominations approved. Start of bill considerations. SCR1009 up first (Clean Elections)

2:35 - Huppenthal has arrived. Six senators present. Meg Burton Cahill absent, excused (I think).

2:33 - Richard Miranda arrived. Five senators present. Also, Senator Carolyn Allen is here. She's not on the ccommittee but she has a measure up for consideration today (SCR1007, repealing term limits)

2:31 - Gavelled into session. Only 4 present (out of 7 members). Introducing staff because it is the first committee meeting of the year.

2:26 - Senate Judiciary will be starting in a few minutes. The agenda will be dominated by measures from Jonathan Paton, Republican State Senator from Tucson and an erstwhile challenger to Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in CD8. The big one here (IMO, anyway) is HCR1009, Paton's plan to outlaw publically financed elections. He will also have SCR1013, changing the title of the Secretary of State to Lieutenant Governor. It's a job title change, not an actual job duty change.

More entries as the meeting gets underway.

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