Monday, August 02, 2004

Clean Elections in Arizona

As reported by Annabelle Garay of the AP, an Arizona judge threw out a developer-driven effort to repeal Arizona's successful Clean Elections program. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret H. Downie ruled the initiative violated the Arizona Constitution by posing two separate questions in one measure.

The developer-backed group, No Taxpayer Money for Politicians, did not limit themselves to using a misleading title or disingenuous ballot language in their efforts to reimpose their influence over Arizona elections, but even resorted to hiring bald-faced liars of questionable sobriety to collect signatures, as Derek wrote here in June.

Ignoring the stupid and petty corrupt practices for the moment, what this group is trying to accomplish is nothing less than the re-privatization of elections in Arizona, with candidate slots going to the highest bidder. These guys cloak themselves in the mantle of the common man, trying to play Robin Hood to the wicked politicians' Sheriff of Nottingham by putting a few more pennies back in the taxpayers' pockets, but what they really want is the ability to pay the way into office for candidates or politicians that agree with their agenda. And whose pockets do you suppose that will line?

Judge Downie's ruling will probably be appealed, meaning that the Clean Elections program may still be at risk this November depending on the outcome of the appeal. But Thursday's decision still stands as a victory for supporters of democracy and a setback for those who would calibrate a person's voice in society to the amount of money they have in the bank.

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