Robert Graham Releases Video Thanking Arizona’s Conservative Grassroots for Defeating Proposition 204 and 121

“Despite [. . .] disadvantages, we organized quickly, worked hard, and proved that when you have a clear message and you stand up for your principles, you can’t lose.” 

PHOENIX – Today, Robert Graham, candidate for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, released a video thanking Arizona’s Conservative grassroots for their efforts in defeating Proposition 204 and 121.

The video highlights the tireless efforts of canvassers, callers, and volunteers in spreading the message that Proposition 204 and 121 were wrong for Arizona. To watch the video, click on the link here, or watch the embedded video below.

To learn more about Robert Graham and his plan for Arizona’s Republican Party, please visit his website at www.GrahamForArizona.com or his Facebook page.

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BUSTED! Yes on Prop 121 Committee stoops to new low with dishonest Robo Call

Committee’s dishonesty shows that Proposition 121 is nothing but a political scheme

Phoenix, AZ – This weekend, Paul Johnson and the Open Government Committee Supporting Prop 121 (Yes on 121) stooped to a new low. The Yes on 121 Committee sent a dishonest robo call designed to mislead voters to support Prop 121. The transcript of the call states:

“Tired of dirty politics, let’s clean things up with Prop 121. The top two open elections, open government initiative. 121 is supported by Republicans because it will help combat politicians who overspend and add to our deficit. That’s why the Democratic Party and Liberal politicians oppose it. Vote yes on Prop 121. Paid for by Open Government Committee supporting Prop 121. Major funding by Greater Phoenix Leadership, Professional Fire Fighters of AZ, International Association of Firefighters (an out of state contributor), Cali-companies Inc.”

To answer the question, yes, voters are tired of dirty politics. Voters are tired of being lied to and they are tired of political schemes, like Proposition 121, that over promise and under deliver.

The fact is that the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party and Green Party are unified in opposition to Proposition 121 because it is bad public policy that will limit voters choice, increase the influence of special interests, potentially shut out minority candidates and essentially destroy independent and third party candidates.

To suggest that Republicans support 121 because it will “combat politicians who overspend and add to our deficit” is just shameful.

The call is designed to intentionally mislead voters. The Greater Phoenix Leadership, Professional Fire Fighters of AZ, International Association of Firefighters and Cali-companies Inc. should be ashamed to be associated with an organization that would try to intentionally mislead voters.

“This call is a desperate attempt by the Yes on 121 Committee to mislead voters away from the negative consequences that would take place if 121 is passed,” stated Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Unfortunately for them, it shows just how desperate the committee is by blatantly lying about false support for their radical proposal.”

A recording of the robo call can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x4gzkednbtufhrr/Yes121-DishonestCall.mov

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ALERT! Misleading Robocalls on Proposition 121!

Republican voters have been receiving a very misleading robo call concerning Prop 121. Just to be clear, the Republican party is NOT supporting 121…and our opponents know it…talk about “dirty politics”. Please be sure to forward this to others and encourage them to VOTE NO on Prop 121.

Here’s the text of the robo call:

“Tired of dirty politics, let’s clean things up with Prop 121. The top two open elections, open government initiative. 121 is supported by Republicans because it will help combat politicians who overspend and add to our deficit. That’s why the Democratic Party and Liberal politicians oppose it. Vote yes on Prop 121. Paid for by Open Government Committee supporting Prop 121. Major funding by Greater Phoenix Leadership, Professional Fire Fighters of AZ, International Association of Firefighters (an out of state contributor), Cali-companies Inc .”

I’ve also attached an audio copy of it.

Please share this with others. It’s sad that the other side has to stoop to these types of shenanigans.

Thanks for your help in getting this message out!

Lisa Gray
Chairman, LD21, Arizona Republican Party

Goldwater Institute positions on Arizona’s 2012 Ballot Initiatives

With so many initiatives on the ballot this year, it can be hard to keep them all straight.  Here is a helpful guide you can use when casting your ballot.

Prop 114 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 114 would amend the state constitution to prevent crime victims from being subject to a legal claim for damages for causing death or injury to a person who is harmed when engaging in, attempting to engage in, or fleeing after having engaged in a felony offense.

Prop 115 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 115 makes various changes to the way judges are selected. Currently, potential judges are selected by a State Bar committee and then a short list is sent to the Governor from which to choose. This law would have the State Bar give one recommendation to the Governor, and the Governor’s office would produce the rest of the potential names themselves. This change will give the Governor more power to select judges and takes away power from the State Bar. It would also increase the term of office for Supreme Court justices and Appellate and superior court judges to eight years. The judicial retirement age is also increased from 70 to 75.

Prop 116 – Yes

Prop 116 would amend the Arizona Constitution by increasing the value of personal property used in agriculture, trade and business which is exempt from the personal property tax. The threshold of taxation would be raised from $70,000 to $2.4 million, exempting almost all small businesses from the personal property tax. This will be good for economic growth and for the business climate in Arizona.

Prop 117 – Yes

Prop 117 would limit the growth of the primary taxable value of real property – like houses and land — to no greater than 5 percent each year. Prop 117 would simplify the property tax system and more strictly limit property taxes. This proposal will also insulate taxpayers from dramatic increases in their tax bills that result from major fluctuations in the real estate market.

Prop 118 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 118 amends the state Constitution to change the formula used to calculate the amount of the annual distribution from the permanent state land fund to its beneficiaries for a nine-year period beginning fiscal 2012-13. The new formula distributes 2.5 percent of the average monthly market values of the fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. The largest beneficiaries of revenues from this fund are elementary, middle, and high schools in Arizona.

Prop 119 – Goldwater Institute has No Position

Prop 119 would allow exchanges of state trust land when the exchange is related to either protecting military installations or managing lands so they can be leased or sold.

Prop 120 – Yes

Prop 120 would amend the state constitution with language asserting state sovereignty and authority to manage the land and natural resources of the state of Arizona.

Prop 121 – No

Prop 121 seeks to eliminate party primaries and instead send the top two vote-getters in a primary to the general election, regardless of party. The Institute opposes Prop 121 because it will limit voter’s choices in the general election. To learn more about Prop 121, click on the links below:

Prop 204 – No

Prop 204 would increase the state sales tax to fund education. But there is no guarantee in the Proposition that the money raised will go to the classroom. In fact, instead of a “dedicated” revenue source for education, not even 75 percent of the money raised will be spent on public schools, while a variety of special interest groups will benefit from the rest. This proposition will send more money to schools without a focus on improvement. The Goldwater Institute opposes Prop 204. To learn more, click on the links below:

David Schweikert: Vote No On Prop 121 and Prop 204

David Schweikert

Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked me what my thoughts are on Proposition 121 (open primary) and Proposition 204 (permanent sales tax increase) which are both on the November ballot. I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you my thoughts on each of these propositions.

Proposition 121

Proposition 121 would dramatically change elections in Arizona. This proposition would eliminate party primaries and instead conduct an open primary with the two candidates who receive the most votes advancing to the general election regardless of party. Proposition 121 has the very real potential to be disastrous for Arizona’s election system. Political parties would be stripped of their ability to conduct primary elections to choose their own candidates for office. Democrats could vote for Republicans and Republicans could vote for Democrats. This is troubling. I believe that political parties have every right to pick their own candidates and Proposition 121 would take that away.

Additionally, party affiliation would no longer be printed on the ballot. Candidates could choose whatever party affiliation they would like to appear on the ballot. I don’t need to explain how this is a recipe for chicanery and trickery where candidates would choose a party affiliation or title that may suit their own political interests- but that could also confuse voters.

Proposition 121 is bad policy that has the potential to do real damage to our system of electing candidates.

I am opposed to Proposition 121 and will be voting against it. I would encourage you to do the same.

Proposition 204 

Proposition 204 is a special interest funded effort to make permanent the 1 cent sales tax due to expire. If you remember, this was placed on the ballot in 2010 to assist in closing the state’s budget deficit. It was sold to voters as a temporary tax and many of the supporters of the temporary tax are now opposing Proposition 204.

If Proposition 204 were to pass, Arizona would have the 2nd highest sales tax in the nation. Simply put, this is bad for our economy.

I am opposed to higher taxes as a matter of principle. I believe government should live within its means and not continue to raise taxes and that’s why I am opposed to Proposition 204.

If you believe in smaller government and lower taxes, I would encourage you to vote no on Proposition 204. 

Thank you,

David

Fair Vote Arizona: Vote NO on Proposition 121!

Fairness? If you embrace fairness do NOT vote for this initiative. Top-2 (so-called `Open Primaries’) has been strongly opposed in Washington, Oregon and California by many Independents, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens and other smaller parties. Some may benefit strategically, but not most of us.

Major parties  Top-2 can create ONE-PARTY controlled general ballots (November election) with only one party represented on the ballot. In the primary, the major parties have suffered in other states from `spoiler effect’ by running multiple candidates (splitting votes). To avoid this they have pressured candidates not to run, thereby reducing our choices. Big parties can totally lose their big voice after primaries.

Small parties lose ANY platform to voice their opinions and advance their ideas in the general election. In Washington State smaller parties (and larger) are suing over this issue, claiming it will (or has) almost destroy(ed) their party.

Independents will not make it onto the general ballot (except possibly if they are very wealthy). More money will be needed in the primary than ever before and they are without financial support from a party. As Top-2 has been described as an `incumbency protection plan’, Independents are still left out. Arizona should simply ease the ridiculously unfair burden on Independents for ballot access (such as reducing the required-signatures needed).

The current system has flaws but Top-2 is even worse. Luckily, there are REAL SOLUTIONS to problems posed by promoters.

In contrast to Top-2, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) would elect the overall favorite of the people, treating all equally. RCV eliminates spoiler effects, tends to increase turnout and it encourages less polarization. RCV treats everyone fairly and can be used either IN primaries or to REPLACE primaries (ultimately saving money).

Consider BETTER SOLUTIONS and REJECT TOP-2 . Join FairVote AZ in voting ` NO .’

Barbara Klein, Chairman, FairVote Arizona, Scottsdale

Joe Cobb, Treasurer, FairVote Arizona, Glendale

Linda Macias, Secretary, FairVote Arizona, Mesa

Governor Jan Brewer: Vote NO on Proposition 121!

Dear Voter,

I urge you to vote NO on Proposition 121. The proponents would have you believe that Arizona does not currently have an “open primary” system. This is categorically false. The truth is, Independent voters in Arizona have the right to vote at any election for any candidate by choosing a party ballot in a primary election. Proposition 121 repeals that important piece of our Constitution, passed by the voters in 1998, and further proposes sweeping changes to over 50 different election laws – the impacts of which have just begun to be understood. For example: Do you like to know a candidate’s political party before casting your vote? This proposition would eliminate the requirement that candidates for partisan elective office specify their party affiliation on the ballot, opening the door to widespread voter deception.

No Prop 121

As Arizona’s former Secretary of State, I know well the importance and value of increasing voter participation in our elections. But this proposition is not the way to do it. This measure is an attack on Arizona’s political parties and an attack on our election process itself. Most disturbing, it threatens to create new opportunities for `sham’ candidates whose sole purpose is to mislead voters and fraudulently impact the outcome of Arizona elections.

This is not “open elections, open government” at all. Proposition 121 may have a “catchy” title, but it will usher in a selection process that threatens the voice of Arizona voters.

Jan Brewer, Governor, Phoenix

East Valley Chamber Alliance Releases 2012 Voter Guide

East Valley Business Community Opposes Propositions 121 and 204

GILBERT – The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) today released its 2012 Voter Guide. The Voter Guide recommends positions on the November ballot measures.

“The EVCCA Voter Guide is a powerful consensus tool for chamber members as they head to the polls,” said EVCCA Chair Angela Creedon. “The EVCCA only takes a position on a ballot measure when all seven chambers agree.”

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance is the largest chamber of commerce organization in Arizona. It includes the Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa Queen Creek, Scottsdale and Tempe Chambers of Commerce representing more than 5,500 businesses in the East Valley.

Proposition 121 would eliminate the current partisan primary system in Arizona and establish an open primary in which the two (or more for offices in which more than one individual is elected) candidates receiving the most votes move on to the general election.

Proposition 204 would create a permanent $.01 sales tax increase to fund educational programs, public transportation infrastructure projects and human services programs. The tax and funding allocations are preserved in perpetuity.

For more information on the EVCCA’s ballot positions, please contact Tom Dorn, Eric Emmert or Heather Wilkey at (602) 606- 4667.

For more information on the ballot measures themselves, please visit the Arizona State Legislature’s website at http://azleg.gov/BallotMeasureAnalyses.asp or the Secretary of State’s website at http://www.azsos.gov/election/2012/general/BallotMeasurePage.htm.

Will Arizona’s Proposition 121 Hurt or Help Political Parties?

By Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute

Proponents of Prop. 121, the “top two” Arizona ballot initiative, contend it will lead to the weakening of the two major political parties. But the opposite is true. In fact, it would strengthen them while killing third parties, all to the detriment of voter choices.

Prop. 121 would create an open primary in which all candidates—Republicans, Democrats, independents, and third parties—would run. Only the top two would go on to the general election, and no other candidates would be permitted to appear on the ballot.

In California, this has led to multiple general elections featuring two candidates from the same political party. To Prop. 121’s backers, this is nirvana: the surviving candidates supposedly would have to appeal to independents and voters from the other party. To us, two candidates from the same party looks like no choice at all.

Nor would this necessarily produce two Republicans in Republican-leaning districts or vice-versa. To the contrary, the more candidates who run in a primary from the same political party, the more they will split their party’s vote—improving the chances that the other party’s candidates will move on to the general election.

This year in Congressional District 9, which has a slight Republican registration edge, there were fewer Democrats than Republicans running in the primary, so that under Prop. 121 the top two candidates moving to the general election would have been two liberal Democrats, Kyrsten Sinema and David Schapira, rather than Sinema and her Republican opponent, Vernon Parker. Which scenario offers a real choice? To ask that question is to answer it.

The only way to prevent a multiplicity of candidates from one party splitting the primary vote is to pressure candidates not to run; and the only entity that can do that is strong political parties. Thus Prop. 121 would lead to stronger political bosses and fewer electoral choices.

As for third parties, this measure’s impact is even clearer: it would make them extinct. Except in the rarest circumstances, neither Greens nor Libertarians—or even Independents—ever would appear on a general election ballot.

Though Prop. 121 calls itself the “Open Elections” initiative, it is anything but. Good thing for its backers there’s not a law requiring truth in political advertising.

Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

Learn More:

Arizona Week: Clint Bolick debates Paul Johnson on Prop. 121 (video)

Goldwater Institute: Prop 121’s Dirty Little Secret

Robert Graham Releases Video Opposing Proposition 121

PHOENIX – Today, Robert Graham released a web video opposing Proposition 121. Graham, a candidate for Arizona Republican State Party Chairman, criticized the Open Elections/Open Government initiative’s corrupting influence on Arizona politics.

“This year, however, with Prop 121, outside special interest groups are trying to take away our freedoms by limiting OUR choices in OUR elections. We’ve seen these same groups cripple California with laws similar to Prop 121. Do you want California politics in Arizona?”

The video also highlight’s Graham’s concern that Proposition 121 is an attempt by outside groups to control Arizona’s election process. The video closes by calling for “honest elections.”

“Like you, I don’t want Arizona to have to deal with the same mess California is in. This November, let’s stand up for honest elections, not political schemes. Vote NO on 121 with me.”

Robert Graham is President and CEO of RG Capital, and is responsible for the company’s financial advisory, investment banking/consulting and corporate development business.

In addition, Graham is the author of Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse and is a nationally recognized fiscal policy expert.

Graham has lived in Arizona for seventeen years. He and his wife, Julia, reside in Phoenix with their five children. Graham and his family are active members of their church and local community. Graham is also a Life member of the National Rifle Association. The Grahams have helped support and serve local and international charities through their church and directly such as Catholic Charities, New Beginnings Women Shelter, My Sister’s Place, Saint Mary’s Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and Healing Hands for Haiti, among others.

For more information on Robert Graham, please visit his website or Facebook page.

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