Sunday, September 16, 2012

Doug Ducey and other Republican elected officials using their positions to interfere with initiative process

There are two ballot questions on the November ballot that were placed there by petition drives (or maybe just one right now, depending on the latest ruling on the "top two primary" question) instead of the legislature, and the Republicans hate them both almost as much as they hate President Obama.

A little birdie (aka - a friend :) ) pointed out this Twitter exchange between Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey and a couple of interested Arizonans -


For those who say that elected officials are free to express their opinions on their own time, just like the rest of us, I agree...if the campaigning is on their own time.

However, in this case, I would point out some of the detail information from at least one of Ducey's tweets -


"1:52 PM on 11 Sep 12"?

That's early in the afternoon on Tuesday.  Kind of the middle of the workday there, Doug.

Ducey is the chair of an anti-Prop 204 political committee.  While the committee is so new (formed on August 15) that their first finance report showed no activity, but their next report should be interesting.

This activity could be a problem for Ducey - he could report this, perhap as an in-kind contribution from the taxpayers (?), because his campaigning took place during the middle of his work day.  At that point, his time is a resource that belongs to the taxpayers.

Which could cause him some discomfort.

On the other hand, he could *not* report it, and hope no one notices...oops, too late.

And either way, there could be hell to pay if it comes out that Ducey used a state-owned computer to post his tweet (and let me be clear, I'm not saying that he did.  It would take someone with far more technical knowledge and with far better investigatory access to the state records and equipment needed to prove that he did or did not use state property for campaign purposes).

This isn't the only committee that Ducey is giving his/the taxpayers' time to - he's also the chair of a pro-Prop 118 committeeProp 118 is a long, complex, and highly technical amendment to the Arizona Constitution relating to state permanent funds and investments.

He's also not the only state-level elected campaigning against Prop 204 - at Thursday's Forum on Civic Engagement held by the Arizona Town Hall, John Huppenthal, the AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, spoke against Prop 204.  Not directly, but by talking only about things in the measure that he didn't like, nor did he express support for any effort to buttress education funding in Arizona (an interesting non-position for someone who was elected to oversee and protect public education in the state).

Huppenthal on stage at the forum

The forum was clearly after business hours, but he was there as, and was introduced as, the holder of his office, the highest-ranking education-related office in the state.

...Another elected official actively working against the best interests of Arizona citizens is State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, who is the chair of a committee that supports Prop 115, an amendment to the AZ Constitution that seeks to reduce the independence of the state's Judicial Branch.

Hey, at least Farnsworth can point out that the lege is out of session and his work against the judiciary

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