State Leaders Join the Fight Against Prop 121

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                

October 4, 2012

State Leaders Join the Fight Against Prop 121

 

PHOENIX, Ariz. – State Senator Steve Gallardo, and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox have joined with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to co-chair the fight against Proposition 121.

Proposition 121 is an election system that would completely eliminate Arizona’s current system.  Under Proposition 121, party primaries would no longer exist.  Instead, Arizona would have one primary ballot in each district with the names of everyone running for an office in that district.  In this “jungle primary,” the two candidates that get the most votes would then move on to the general election, regardless of party.

“I am proud to be part of a strong bipartisan group of people who are concerned about the future of Arizona,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery.  “Proposition 121 is simply an attempt by special interests to control our elections.”

“This proposition will result in a loss of choices for the voters.  We must not allow our elections to become a place for political schemes and corruption,” said Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.

“Money spent on elections will double here in Arizona if this proposition passes,” said Senator Steve Gallardo.  “More money in politics means less of a voice for the voter, which is what the special interests pushing this issue want.”

Honest Elections, Not Political $chemes

Vote NO on Prop 121

Proposition 121 Corrupts Arizona’s Election System

Well before Election Day, voters throughout Arizona need to get the message that Proposition 121 is a hoax, a major fraud designed to convince citizens that the measure will open the political system to more candidates and voters.

Mislabeled the Open Elections Open Government initiative, the measure does the exact opposite. It is the Closed Elections Closed Government initiative. Arizona voters must not be fooled.

A close look at Proposition 121 reveals a cynical scheme that will eliminate voter choice, foster political corruption and advance extremists by abolishing party primaries and eventually destroy political parties themselves.

Proponents of 121 want to hijack the political system so they can elect candidates of their own choosing and take candidate selection out of the hands of the voters. Unable to compete in the primary system as it exists, they propose an end to the system that has served voters well for decades.

The proposition would abolish party primaries and establish one primary open to all candidates and all voters. The top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election. Party identification by candidates would be optional.

That is the real flaw in Proposition 121. Voters would have no way to verify the accuracy of  a candidate’s party identification. With no party primary system to verify candidate identification, the system would be open to sham candidates hand picked and financed by special interests out to fool the voters.

What is worse, millions of voters could be left with no choice in a general election if the top two primary finishers represented the same party. With nowhere to turn on Election Day, voter turnout would plummet as citizens would simply give up and stay home.

This already has happened in California where there will be 28 elections this fall with no voter choice due to top two primaries.  Contrary to top two primary advocates, voter turnout was not up in the state’s June primaries and the primaries did not produce more so-called moderate candidates.

Under Proposition 121, candidates with extreme views easily could manipulate their way into a general election. Voters need only recall how the top two system in Louisiana once produced a run off between a candidate with a history of KKK leadership and a corrupt politician who was convicted and went to jail.

Proposition 121 would give political insiders and unscrupulous consultants the vehicle they want to corrupt the candidate selection process. Special interests would pour millions into primaries to elect sham candidates.

The voters need clear choices. They need confidence in the honesty of candidate identity. They need protection against corruption in the election process.

The party primary system provides these safeguards. Proposition 121 destroys them. The measure should be soundly defeated on Election Day.

Convicted Felons Attempt to Change Arizona Constitution

Thousands Of Signatures Gathered Illegally

(Phoenix, AZ) – Verify the Vote, Arizona, has identified nearly 600 petitions circulated illegally by convicted felons in support of the “Open Government/Open Elections Act” and over 7,000 petitions circulated by individuals whose identities, as submitted on the circulated petitions, could not be confirmed. The felons have gathered a portion of the 9,053 petitions having some sort of irregularity circulated in support of the Act. This initiative is designed to change how primary elections are conducted as set forth by the Arizona State Constitution.

Irregularities range from circulators being felons convicted of fraud and forgery to failing to register with the Secretary of State as an out-of-state circulator as required by law. One circulator of over 600 petitions, whose identity could not be confirmed, used Petition Partner LLC’s address as her residence. Petition Partners LLC is a company paid to circulate the petitions by proponents of the initiative. Many other circulators whose identity could not be confirmed appeared to have used various motels and hotels in and around the Valley as their “residence”.

Under Arizona law, in order for a circulator to circulate initiative petitions in the State of Arizona they must:

  • Be residents of Arizona and be qualified to be registered voters, meaning they are at least 18, they are citizens of the United States, and they are not felons whose civil rights haven’t been restored; OR
  • Be U.S. Citizens residing in another State who has registered with the Secretary of State as an out-of-state circulator and, if they were residents of Arizona, be eligible to become a registered voter in this state (be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and are not convicted felons whose civil rights have yet to be restored).

According to Jennifer Wright of Verify the Vote, Arizona:

“What we have found makes all of the signatures gathered by the felons invalid. Our initial count indicates this will be in the thousands. Our investigation continues on the validity of the 358,000 signatures accepted by the Secretary of State. We are alarmed and shocked by the rate of questionable circulators – and questionable signatures.”

Verify the Vote, Arizona will not file suit but make their findings available to the media and qualified organizations interested in challenging the petition filing in court.

MORE DETAILS OF THE PETITION IRREGULARITIES

Out of the 9,053 petitions with Irregularities:

  • 7,030 petitions were circulated by persons who Verify the Vote, Arizona, was unable to verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address used by the circulator
  • 582 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 221 were circulated by individuals who DID NOT appear to have a social security number

The remainder failed to register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators

Broken down by subcategory:

Out of the 1,842 petitions circulated by 35 individuals who FAILED to register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators:

  • 53 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 75 were circulated by by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • 1,004 were circulated by persons who Verify the Vote, Arizona, was unable to verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address used by the circulator

Out of the 2,830 petitions circulated by 39 individuals who DID register with the Secretary of State as out-of-state circulators:

  • 102 were circulated by convicted felons
  • Two of the circulators have active warrants and are considered fugitives from the law
  • 44 were circulated by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • 2178 of the petitions were circulated by individuals who Verify the Vote, Arizona was unable to verify the identify of the circulator based on the name and address the circulator used when circulating the petitions

Of the 4,381 petitions circulated by 36 individuals who purported to be Arizona residents:

  • 427 were circulated by convicted felons
  • 102 were circulated by individuals who did not appear to have a social security number
  • One of the circulators is in the midst of forgery charges and the petitions submitted have clear instances of fraud
  • 3,848 of the petitions were circulated by individuals who Verify the Vote, Arizona could not verify the identity of the circulator based on the name and address the circulator used when circulating the petitions

While the exact number of signatures on the 9,053 petitions have not been individually counted as of yet, based on the commonly accepted average of eleven signatures per page, these petitions may equate to over 99,000 petition signatures.

Verify the Vote, Arizona is a non-partisan organization committed to ensuring free and fair elections and further ensuring ballot measures are legal and fair.

For More Information Contact:
Ed Phillips
edphillipsgroup@gmail.com
480-648-5599

True the Vote is a 501 (c) 3 organization
Verify the Vote, Arizona is filing paperwork to become a 501 (c) 3 organization

Top Two Proves To Be A Disaster In California

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Top Two was sold to the voters in California as a way to get “extremists” and people outside the mainstream out of politics, increase voter turnout, and give voters more options (at least in the primary).

Many voters bought the propaganda and jumped on board and I’m sure that when they looked at their primary ballot with dozens of choices they felt that they had more choices than they knew what to do with. But a primary ballot with lots of options says little about what a general election ballot will look like.

Now the reality is starting to sink in. After results from Tuesday’s primary election were tabulated, Mercury News reported the following:

“In about one-sixth of the state’s legislative and Congressional races, either two Democrats or two Republicans will be on the ballot as a result of Tuesday’s primary that sent the leading two vote-getters into a November runoff. Democrat will face Democrat in 18 races, and Republican will battle Republican in eight more” 

So much for voter choice. But it gets even worse. The article continues by pointing out what I have been warning about in this blog since Top Two started picking up steam. You will never see third party candidates on a general election ballot again in California!

“As expected, though, the biggest casualty from Tuesday’s foray into a top-two primary were third-party candidates: Not one made it through to November’s ballot in the 153 state and federal legislative races.” 

California has succeeded in effectively silencing dissenting voices and candidates who think outside the box.

Keep all of this in mind when you see Top Two on the Arizona ballot this year.

I can assure you that State Representative Tom Chabin and others who fought so hard to get Top Two in Arizona do not have your best interests at heart.

June 9, 2012 UPDATE: Last night State Representative Tom Chabin deleted and blocked me from his Facebook page after I brought up the Mercury News article. Today he issued a statement that reads in part:

“I blocked E Dorfsmith from posting on my facebook page because of the hostile attacks against me personally.” 

Chabin has not been able to provide any evidence of hostile verbal attacks from me because they simply do not exist. I find it underhanded of him to attack me by name on his page knowing full well that I cannot defend myself there. But that’s pretty typical of the way he treats those who disagree with him.

I also have to laugh at his pretense of being willing to discuss controversial issues after banning me from his page (see photo below).

Tom Chabin openly admits that he supports getting rid of third parties through the Top Two system. (Click to enlarge).

Visit the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance website

 

Paul Johnson insults, indicts the voters of Arizona

If you’re paying attention to Arizona politics and this year’s election, you know a left-leaning committee has its sights set on turning Arizona elections on its head in the name of re-engaging so-called “independent” voters.

The chairman of the committee pushing the “Top Two Primary” aka “Jungle Primary” initiative is none other than former Democrat and Phoenix Mayor, Paul Johnson.

Thursday night, Johnson appeared on KAET’s Horizon to discuss his 2012 pet project and joust with Jaime Molera.

Johnson waxed on and on about how important it is to woo unengaged “Independent” voters back into the electoral process. But there came a moment in Johnson’s appearance where his true motivations were revealed – his utter abhorrence of conservative Republicans.

Watch in this brief clip as Johnson insults and indicts voters of Arizona for their election of “David Duke” candidates every election cycle.

Paul Johnson owes the voters of Arizona an apology for indirectly calling them racists who elect “David Duke” candidates every election season.

A conversation how this will pervert our entire primary election system is going to happen over the next few months. Republicans and Democrats and even third parties will likely all side with the status quo – which is that this is the best system we have.

One thing we don’t need is the chairman of the committee pushing this initiative to call the voters of Arizona racists.