Monday, October 17, 2016

Ballot time in Arizona

...and elsewhere, as well, but since I live in AZ and my ballot covers AZ, that means this post will focus on AZ (or at least my little part of it).

There are races here in Maricopa County and elsewhere in the state that are important and interesting, but this post only covers those that are on my ballot.

President -

This one is easy -

Hillary Clinton is easily one of the two or three most qualified people to ever run for president.

Donald Trump is a buffoon (which is a word I use to describe someone when I don't want to use the more colorful part of my vocabulary).

And I thought this even before Trump's recently unearthed admission of a seduction technique that can best be described as "rape".

US Senate seat representing AZ -

Ann Kirkpatrick is nowhere near liberal enough to suit me, but she genuinely works to represent her constituents.

In addition to supporting Donald Trump until it was no longer "cool" to do so, John McCain has never met a war he didn't monger.

Another easy choice.

US Congressional seat, representing CD9 -

Skipping this race.

There are two Republicans in this race.  Be it in this race or ones where an R is running and is uncontested, I will be skipping the race.  Even in Arizona there are Republicans who are decent human beings and are (or were) honorable public servants.

They can no longer get through primaries here.

LD24 seats in the Arizona Legislature -

They face no challengers, but Sen. Katie Hobbs, Rep. Lela Alston, and Rep. Ken Clark do a great job representing the people of LD24 and merit an expression of our support and thanks.

Arizona Corporation Commission -

This is Arizona's utility regulator, and when the CEO of the largest regulated utility endorses three of the candidates, vote for the other two, and only the other two.

Those are Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, District 1 -

Skipping this race.

Maricopa County Assessor -

Skipping this race.

Maricopa County Attorney -

Diego Rodriguez.

County Attorney isn't just a "staff" job, where the person holding the position must have a particular skill set (the lawyer stuff), but must have integrity,

Bill Montgomery is the incumbent.  Ask him on which side of the bars we can find Sean Pearce.

Maricopa County Recorder -

Adrian Fontes.

A county recorder doesn't do much that directly impacts voters, except for RUN ELECTIONS.

The current recorder, Helen Purcell, has held the post for decades (literally!).

It has been decades since an election here went of without a hitch.

It seems that in every cycle, something new goes wrong, but there is one constant - she always blames someone else for the problems.

The height of her chutzpah in this regard may have been when she blamed incredibly long voting lines during the presidential primary on voters actually, you know, "voting".

Maricopa County School Superintendent -

Michelle Robertson.

There are two candidates on the ballot.

Both are teachers.

One hates public education and Common Core (in short, he's Diane Douglas with a Y chromosome...and she is unfit to be state superintendent of public instruction).

The other one is Michelle Robertson.

She's highly intelligent, highly educated, and student-focused, and will make a great leader and advocate for Maricopa County schools.

Maricopa County Sheriff -

Paul Penzone, in another easy choice.

The incumbent, Joe Arpaio, a nationally-renowned nativist and publicity junkie, is facing criminal charges over the way he operates the agency.

Penzone is a decorated career public servant.  Arpaio has been reduced to bald-faced lies.

It should be a walkover for Penzone, but it won't be - too many of Arpaio's supporters know he is a hater, but he hates the same way that they do.

Maricopa County Treasurer -

Joe Downs.

Like Robertson above, he's smart and knows his stuff.

Unlike his opponent, he doesn't believe in using public resources to campaign for public office.

Justice of the Peace, Arcadia Biltmore -

Skipping this race.

Constable, Arcadia Biltmore -

Carolyn Lane.  She's unopposed, but she works her a** off and deserves an expression of thanks and support.

CAWCD (Central Arizona Water Conservation District, aka the governing board of the Central Arizona Project) -

For this race, voters can select five candidates.  However, there are three outstanding ones - Alexandra Arboleda, Ben Graff, and Jim Holway.  Voting for only those three will increase the likelihood of them winning seats.

Maricopa County Community College District governing board, At-Large seat -

Linda Thor.

Scottsdale Unified School District ballot questions -
"Yes" on both.

Just because the legislature hates public education and refuses to adequately fund it, doesn't mean we have go along with them.

Mayor of Scottsdale -

Bob Littlefield.

Bob is a die-hard Republican, and when he's mayor, we will disagree on pretty much everything that Democrats and Republicans disagree on.

But he genuinely cares about the city.

On the other hand, Jim Lane (the incumbent) and his accomplices on the City Council seem to mostly care about money from developers, holders of liquor licenses, and others that come before the council.

I may not agree with Littlefield on much, and reserve the right to not vote for him in a future election, but for this one, he meets the basic criteria necessary for all elected officials should meet (but most in AZ fail to meet) -

He gives a damn about the district/city that he is running to represent.

Scottsdale City Council -

Guy Phillips.

He's a tea party type, and one I wouldn't vote for under most circumstances.

However, Lane and his handlers keep running negative campaigns against him, so he gets my vote - much as I don't like his ideology, anybody that Jim Lane dislikes can't be all bad.

Proposition 490 (Scottsdale-specific ballot question) -

It appears to be a harmless cleanup of language in the city charter, but, while I am not familiar with all of the people who submitted an argument, the ones that I am familiar with have never supported a "good government" measure that doesn't directly benefit them.

Oh, and Jim Lane also endorsed this one.


Back of the ballot:

Judges - AZ Supreme Court, AZ Court of Appeals and Maricopa County Superior Court -

Voting to retain all listed, except for Jo Lynn Gentry.

The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review does a good job of examining their own, and I am going with that.

Next cycle, I may not - Governor Doug Ducey and the majority in the Arizona Legislature are doing their level best to co-opt/corrupt the judicial branch, and they may make enough inroads toward that goal that next time, the Commission may not merit trust.

For now, however, they do.

Arizona ballot questions -

Proposition 205

Passage of this one would legalize the possession of marijuana for recreational use.

This one is controversial, in that many of the people and corporations that profit from the status quo oppose it.  And have expended thousands (OK, millions) of dollars to defeat it.

Given that the vast majority of Arizonans understand that marijuana is not the "great evil" and opponents that profit from pharmaceuticals that are less effective than marijuana or the police state apparatus that has been constructed to wage the "War on Drugs", well, they've had to resort to misleading and false signs, TV spots, and more.

I am voting Yes.

Proposition 206 -

Passing this one would raise the state's minimum wage, in increments, to $12/hour by 2020.  It would also result in employees being able to accrue paid sick leave.




Marc said...

My toughest choice was for the Peoria School District seats. Five candidates, pick three. I found only one I could support, after doing a little research. I don't support candidates who are trying to out Kansas Kansas. With our Governor and the Legislature, it sure seems like we're on the way, though.

There is an impressive charter school building which was just built off Thunderbird and (I think) 75th Ave in Glendale. I wonder how the operators of that school are going to recoup the costs of construction? Will this charter school pay their teachers less, or skimp elsewhere? Arizona already pays teachers 8 to 10k less than other states - aside from being tied to living in AZ, why would a teacher not go elsewhere? I just don't see charter schools as being a long term success, since they're getting the same funding as public schools.

I don't see any increase for school funding, contrary to what was thought with the passage of Prop 123. Governor Ducey doesn't have the funds for his 'second step' in funding eduction, since there are tax cuts programmed into the tax code for the next few years, and we're looking at a shortfall in tax revenue already. Local districts are trying to raise money via bonds and overrides to keep schools in good order and try to keep class sizes from exploding, but I'm not sure voters will continue to support them, since Prop 123 was sold as solving the fight over money allocation for education.

Derek Cline said...

Great post. Thank you for taking the time to do the research and share your findings!

Laura Carson said...

Thanks this was a great help on the Central Water District. I had already decided to vote straight Dem and the prop 205 & 206 were a no-brainer "yes".

Frank Eager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Eager said...

I recommend the 2 Davids and Monica for the school. As a teacher the district these individuals will do th best for our school district

Brian Carola said...

Thanks for this, it helped me decide on the water conservation candidates

jeana said...

In terms of judges, some filled out and posted a survey from the conservative Center for Arizona Policy in which they aligned their political beliefs with Alito/Scalia/Roberts. Most declined the survey. The ones who share judicial beliefs with Scalia, etc. are Joseph Mikitish, Timothy Thomason, James Beene, and Jo Lynn Gentry. Thanks for this blog! I found the judge info at: