Monday, October 15, 2012

Two pro Prop 121 events this week

There are two events this week that are intended to support Proposition 121, the "top two" primary initiative that is on November's ballot.

No, they aren't officially campaign activity, but in practical terms, holding the events this close to the election isn't a coincidence.

First up on Wednesday, former Congressman Mickey Edwards and Jackie Salit, president of, will appear together on ASU's Downtown campus.  Details:

WHAT: 'Taking the Partisan Out of Politics'
WHEN: Oct. 17 at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Cronkite Theater
Arizona State University
Cronkite School of Journalism
555 N. Central Ave.
ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus.
ADMISSION: Free, but seating is limited so please RSVP.

Parking is available at University Center Garage at a cost of $10 per car. The entrance to the garage is on the side of Polk Street between 1st Street and Central Avenue.  However, ASU Downtown is also on the Valley Metro light rail line.
Edwards is the author of the book The Parties Versus The People and Salit is the author of the book Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties, and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America.
Salit took a few minutes to speak to me from New York ahead of her visit to Arizona.  She spoke of the "new conversation" in American politics, and part of that conversation will take place Wednesday evening.
An excerpt from Salit's book is here.
- On Friday, Zocalo Public Square will be holding a similarly-themed event with Edwards (sans Salit) in Scottsdale -
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E 2nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ
Time: 7 p.m.
Parking: West of the Museum in the parking garage between the Scottsdale Civic Center Library and Scottsdale Stadium.  Parking is free.
For the record:  I oppose, and have in fact already voted against, Prop 121. 
A "top two" primary system is already in place in Louisiana, Washington, and California, as well as certain specific smaller jurisdictions (such as cities) but there is no evidence that it has resulted in more moderate candidates or elected officials.  In addition, it has led to situations, such as the one in California, where a heavily Democratic and Latino district has two Anglo Republican candidates on the fall ballot.
This particular measure is also sloppily-written, or maybe it is simply deliberately vindictive, with a provision that allows candidates to self-declare membership in any political party, even one that doesn't exist.  While it certainly isn't right to shun voters who choose not to declare an affiliation to a particular party, neither is it right to show contempt for those who do so choose an affiliation, be it Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian, or whatever.
And that provision seems to be designed to specifically shower contempt on voters who have chosen a partisan affiliation.
However, having said all that, the issue is one that legitimately merits discussion, and the backers of the measure jumped through all the right hoops in order to place the question on the ballot.
I'll write more after the events...


Thane Eichenauer said...

It is far past time for me to put you at the top of my RSS reader.

cpmaz said...

Is that sarcasm Thane? Given the way that I have not written much recently, it seems more likely, and understandable, that I will be removed from RSS readers.

Thane Eichenauer said...

I always try to avoid unlabelled sarcasm whenever possible. You are still in my RSS reader and while you are not at the very top you are in the top third.

Keep up the good work.