Ballot Measure Gives Secretary of State Total Power to Select Candidates That Appear on the Ballot

Ballot Measure Gives Secretary of State Total Power to Select Candidates That Appear on the Ballot

Who thinks it is a good idea to let voters decide which candidates appear on the general election ballot? Probably everyone. How about letting just one politician decide instead? You would hope that question is rhetorical, and the answer is no one. But right now, out-of-state special interests are spending millions of dollars to put their so-called “Make Elections Fair” measure on the ballot that would do just that. 

The groups pushing these ideas are trying to trick voters into signing their petitions and supporting their poorly written constitutional amendment, arguing it will lead to less partisanship and more centrist candidates on the general election ballot. But hidden in the measure is a provision that lets just one politician, the Secretary of State, decide how many candidates move from the primary to the general election. 

And it isn’t limited to just some elections. Under the measure, the Secretary of State would have the power to decide for every single election on the ballot, including his own! The Secretary of State could go up and down the ballot, selecting just two candidates for the general election in one race, then select three, four, or five in another when only one candidate can win in the general.

It gets even more confusing when two candidates can win the general election for two seats (like for the State House). The Secretary of State can select four candidates for one race, but seven in another, picking and choosing all the way up and down the ballot for every single race however many candidates would most benefit his own political party. 

How about his own race? If it is better for him to go head-to-head with just one opponent, he can unilaterally declare that just two candidates will be on the ballot. But if it is better to “crowd the field,” he can let five candidates show up on your ballot to have his opponents fight with each other while he sneaks his way to victory. 

This new candidate selection scheme would be in addition to the fact that their measure will result in some races where candidates from only one political party appear on the general election ballot, depriving many voters of any choice at all.  If this sounds familiar, it’s because California uses this exact same system to select its candidates. That’s right. The proponents are trying to fix Arizona’s election system by bringing in ideas from San Francisco.

When the legislature writes election laws, their bills have to pass through two legislative chambers consisting of 90 different lawmakers elected from every corner of Arizona. There are committee hearings, public testimony, amendments, recorded votes, and then the Governor has to approve it too. 

But according to the proponents of this measure, what is “fair” is removing all those checks and balances and just consolidating all power into the hands of one politician so he can install a confusing system no one wants. 

California politicians like to pick their opponents. In Arizona, we like to let the voters make that choice. Placing all power in the hands of one politician isn’t fair, it won’t lead to more centrist candidates, and for a group that purports to support and defend “democracy,” this is one of the most undemocratic measures ever written.   

But the drafters of this measure likely don’t care. Their goal is to buy their way onto the ballot, then hope voters won’t discover all the easter eggs they hid in the initiative. No question that this is a very cynical strategy that speaks volumes about their low opinion of voters, but given that they thought it was a good idea to give one politician the power to pick their own opponents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

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As Democrats Panic Over the ‘Secure the Border Act,’ Republicans Should Keep Their Foot on the Gas

As Democrats Panic Over the ‘Secure the Border Act,’ Republicans Should Keep Their Foot on the Gas

Illegal immigration is the number one issue heading into November’s election, and Democrats have no one to thank but themselves. Over the past three years, the left has single-handedly created an open-border disaster under the neglectful policies of a Biden administration that has completely abandoned its constitutional duty to protect each state from invasion. As ground zero for the current border crisis, the people of Arizona know this all too well.

A surge in illegal immigrants in the Tucson Border Sector along with a dramatic rise in the number of “gotaways” has left our state on edge. Meanwhile, cartel violence has increased near southern Arizona communities, and we’ve even seen a report revealing that thousands of “special interest aliens” from mostly Middle Eastern countries have been apprehended while crossing the border illegally in the past two years. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of the catastrophe that has become our border.

You would think that the governor of a state facing a daily invasion would do something, but Katie Hobbs has proven time and time again that she would rather ignore the problem and hope it goes away. So, after Hobbs vetoed the Arizona Border Invasion Act (SB 1231), which would have significantly enhanced our state’s border security, Republican legislators decided it was time to allow voters to take matters into their own hands through the Secure the Border Act (HCR 2060). And the response from Democrats has been telling.

Immediately after the Senate announced they planned to put a border security measure on the ballot and had a hearing to discuss the issue, Democrats and the corporate media began freaking out. Hobbs responded by putting out a press release begging the business community to rescue her and Democrats from having the Secure the Border Act on the ballot. Most business groups responded to her cry for help by essentially telling Hobbs to leave them out of it.

Other liberal organizations vented their frustration to their supporters, upset that the Republicans would have the audacity to “change the subject” from abortion to immigration. And of course, our local legacy media joined in on the freakout parade with a conveyor belt of poorly written opinion pieces attempting to tear down HCR 2060.

What does that tell you?

The left is not even pretending to hide the fact that they are more upset about how the Secure the Border Act hurts their chances in November than the actual damage being caused by the open border. Democrats created this problem, and now they are angry that Republicans are trying to do something about it and (gasp) even go so far as to make it a campaign issue?

Ridiculous.

Voters in Arizona deserve an opportunity to enact solutions to help solve our border crisis, which is why the legislature should stay focused on this issue with their foot pressed firmly on the gas.   

And if this is about election prospects in November, the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. Their radical woke agenda has led to a freefall in Democrat voter registrations. Immigration and the economy remain the top issues for voters. And Biden and Hobbs remain the two most unpopular politicians in Arizona.

Now, the ball is in the Republicans’ court. They can spend the next six months playing the left’s game of talking about abortion and fighting among themselves (the dream scenario for Democrats), or they can unite and focus on the issues that most voters care about. The choice is up to them.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Driving Arizona’s Bright Economic Outlook

Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Driving Arizona’s Bright Economic Outlook

A strong economy is a key piece of the foundation for any society. But while the Biden administration has been busy doing anything it can to destroy the economic climate in America over the past four years, Arizona is set up for success—not just for today, but for decades to come.

Last month, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released its latest “Rich States, Poor States” report, and the Grand Canyon State received the number three ranking for economic outlook among all 50 states. Such a high rank is impressive enough on its own, but when you consider that our state was ranked 13 back in 2021, Arizona’s dramatic rise up the chart especially shines. So, how did we get here?

Pro-Growth Policies Have Led the Way

Arizona’s high ranking is a direct result of significant pro-growth income and property tax reform that have supercharged our economy. In just the last decade, we have cut taxes on capital gains and drastically reduced the property tax burden on small businesses. Then, in July 2021, the Free Enterprise Club helped lead the charge as the Republican-led legislature passed a 2.5% flat tax, delivering historic tax cuts for every single Arizona taxpayer. And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans also included tax relief for Arizona’s families in last year’s state budget to help with the growing cost of gas, groceries, housing, and energy under the Biden administration.

Each of these pro-growth policies have set up Arizona as a leader in the country with many other states looking to mirror these reforms, but if the left had gotten its way, we never would have been here.

Stopping the Left’s Push to Double Arizona’s Income Tax

For five years, the left fought to give our state one of the highest income tax rates in the country. And after an ugly campaign where Red4Ed deceived voters and spent more than $23 million, Prop 208 barely passed in Arizona with only 51% of the vote—doubling our income tax. But in a case that the Free Enterprise Club joined as a plaintiff, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down the unconstitutional tax hike. Then, a superior court judge put the final nail in the coffin of Prop 208 when he ruled that the money raised from the tax would exceed the constitutional spending limit for education. But the battle was far from over.

Red4Ed immediately set its sights on Arizona’s historic flat tax, spending over $5 million to hire an army of paid circulators to put a referendum on the ballot to block the tax cuts from going into effect. But after the referendum was submitted, the Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of the ballot referral because it did not comply with the “support and maintenance” clause in our state’s Constitution.

Once again, we defeated the teachers’ union when the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against the referendum and issued another big win for taxpayers. But we knew these rulings wouldn’t stop the left from trying to jack up taxes at a later date.

Protecting Taxpayers from Future Increases

It’s clear that the left has an insatiable desire to take more of your hard-earned money and put it into their coffers. In the case of Prop 208, they were able to do that by winning only 51% of the vote (until the court system killed it). But allowing 51% of the population (who may not have to pay a tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% is wrong. That’s why the Club also led the charge on Prop 132, a constitutional amendment that requires a 60% majority vote of the people on any ballot measure that seeks to raise taxes.

The ballot initiative passed in 2022, ensuring that if the people of Arizona are asked to part with more of their paycheck, it will require a broad agreement from every part of the state.

Now, it is critical to keep all these reforms in place. Slashing income taxes and increasing the approval threshold for future tax hikes has made Arizona a destination for both families and entrepreneurs. And if we stay on this path, our state is on track to continue its route of economic growth and perhaps one day see that number one ranking.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.