Friday, July 06, 2012

Hide the kids and small animals: Special session of the lege on tap

Update on 7/7 -

Based on tweets from Jeremy Duda (AZ Capitol Times) and Mary Jo Pitzl (AZ Republic), the special session has fallen apart -

However, it ain't over 'til it's over.  This story will be fluid until it becomes too late for the lege to put a competing question on November's ballot.  The "drop dead" date is around the third week of July, though that's sort of fluid, too - Ken Bennett, the Secretary of State, is in the lege's pocket (not least because he wants as many of them on his side as he can get in 2014 when he runs for the R nomination for governor).

End update...

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -

Gov. Jan Brewer intends to call the Legislature back to work next week to put a measure on the ballot designed to counter one of the key aspects of a citizen's initiative that overhauls Arizona's primary-election system.

The move immediately triggered complaints of intentional voter confusion from backers of the Open Government/Open Elections campaign, which on Thursday filed more than 365,000 signatures to get their measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.


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."

The ballot question that the lege is seeking to override is here.

It's a sloppily-written measure that is rife with the potential for mischief (and I'll be voting against it), but it's also a legitimate matter for the voters to decide, and not one for self-serving Republican tea party types in the lege to screw with.

Expect the session to be quick and efficient, unlike the *very* special session that they called last year, ostensibly to make a change to Arizona law that would have extended unemployment benefits for Arizona's long-term unemployed, at no cost to Arizona.

They didn't do anything to help the Arizonans hardest hit by the Great Recession.  Instead, they used the special session as a platform for pushing for more tax breaks for corporations that were (and are) wallowing in record profits, and when they weren't busy doing that, they were engaged in bigoted preening, showing their utter contempt for most of the people of Arizona, be they employed or unemployed.

Expect next week's session to be over in a day, perhaps three...OK, most likely one - it's an election year and they want to get back out on the campaign trail.

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