P.O. Box 3377
Payson, Arizona 85547
Gila County Republican Committee Opposes Four Proposed Propositions
The Gila County Republican Committee, at its August 18th Precinct Committeeman meeting, voted to oppose four of the state level propositions scheduled to be on the November ballot.
The approved motion stated;” The Gila County Republican Committee opposes the four state initiatives because passage would change the Arizona State Constitution and believes the four questions should first be addressed by the state legislature”. The Committee recommended all four propositions be submitted the Arizona legislature for proper debate. The four state initiatives for the 2018 General Election Ballot are;
- The “Invest in Ed Act”
- The “Outlaw Dirty Money Act”
- The “Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona Act”
- The “Protect Arizona Taxpayer Act”
The primary concern was passage of any of the propositions would become part of the Arizona Constitution, and therefore could not be adjusted, altered, or ceased in any way, without a hugely expensive financial burden on tax payers to return the question to a vote of the public.
The Committee was also concerned that the four initiatives are intentionally attempting to by-pass the legitimate legislative responsibility and the need for a thorough and open public debate on the initiatives pro’s and con’s. The Committee is further concerned that paid political ads in favor of passage will not constitute a fair and balanced “debate” and will be one sided with an agenda – particularly when the opposition can not raise the funding necessary to counter the argument.
It should also be noted that the initiative process is also foreign to the United States Constitution. The initiative process cannot be found anywhere in the Constitution, and for good reason. The Founding Fathers placed a heavy burden of deliberation on government, and the legislative process, to ensure a thorough and deliberate public debate occurs on matters affecting the Constitution along with a high mark of two thirds vote before the Constitution can be amended.
Therefore, the Founding Fathers established Article 5 of the Constitution which states; “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution.”
The Gila County Republican Committee is further concerned about whether there is a real pubic need for the initiatives and worries about their consequences.
Here is an examination of the individual Initiatives:
The “Invest in Ed Act”
NOTE: The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on August 29th that the “Invest in Ed Act” did not qualify for the ballot because the initiative’s language mislead the petition signers and the public on the actual tax burden. The below position statement by the Gila County Republican Committee is for information only in that there may be a future attempt to put this initiative back on the ballot
One has to question the additional cost to tax payers should the “Invest in Ed Act” initiative pass. The Governor just gave Arizona teachers a huge 20 per cent pay increase. And teachers initially didn’t think that was enough and went on strike and then settled for the 20 percent. The strike was illegal and very disruptive event. Today, 55 percent of the state’s budget goes to education and is growing. That’s a huge percentage! The legislature has added approximate $150 million to education each year over the last five years. Proposition 301, passed eight years ago, is putting approximately 3 percent annually into education. Additionally, Proposition 123, which passed in 2015, is projected to produce $880 million for K – 12 education. In addition, the growing economy is projected to deliver millions more of additional tax revenue to the State treasury which will be available for the legislature to move into education.
Considering these millions of dollars presently going to education, and more projected, why is there a need to double the tax burden on small businesses and high-income earners. And it should be noted, because the tax rate increase becomes a constitutional amendment it cannot be removed, expanded, or amended by the legislature without a huge cost to the tax payers to return the question to voters. This proposition effort is also receiving considerable out-of-state funding that that the voter needs to question why? Further, this initiative has not yet gone through the legislative process for proper deliberation. The Gila County Republican Committee recommended a no vote.
The “Outlaw Dirty Money Act”
NOTE: On Thursday, August 30th the Arizona Supreme Court Ruled the organizers of the “Outlaw Dirty Money Act” failed to obtain the required number of valid signatures. It seems some 70 “dirty” felons were hired to obtain petition signatures and all those signatures, plus other invalid signatures, were thrown out. The below position statement from the Gila County Republican Committee is for information only in that there may be a future attempt to put this initiative back on the ballot
The “Outlaw Dirty Money Act”, also known as the “Dark Money Initiative” is another needless attempt to change to the Arizona Constitution. In 2010 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that money contributed by corporations, AND unions, to political campaigns is a form of free speech. In a 1958 case involving the NAACP vs. Alabama, the Supreme Court the court ruled, in a unanimous ruling, that the State of Alabama’s action to identify members of the NAACP could leave members vulnerable to “economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of public hostility” should extremist obtain the list. In other words, government compelled disclosure of contributors violates the right to freedom of association, limits speech (as well as limiting donation of money) and limits participation in the political process and risks intimidation and retaliation…or worse. The initiative, if passed will mandate a huge data base of contributors.
Considering the current harassment, and actual physical assaults on Republicans, by members of the “Left” and the Democratic party, such a list exposes every contributor to a high risk of harassment described in the 1958 Supreme Court ruling. The initiative is also supported by the Democrat Party and the lead organizer for the initiative is former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat. Further, considering the two Supreme Court decisions cited above, the initiative, if passed by voters, could be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Stay safe. The Gila County Republican Committee recommended a no vote on this initiative.
“The Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona Act”
Speaking of consequences, “The Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona Act” proposition, for example, would require all electric power companies in Arizona to use “renewable energy” sources (i.e. wind mills, solar, etc.) for 50% of their energy generation by 2030. That’s 50% in just 11years after the General election! Passage would cause the closure of coal generating plants in northern Arizona. The Palo Verde Nuclear Plant west of Phoenix – the largest nuclear power plant in the country, does not fall under initiatives “clean, affordable and renewable…” definition and could likely be closed (it produces 32% of Arizona’s electricity). More importantly, it would be virtually impossible for technology to meet the requirements in just 11 years and the consumer will be burdened with the extraordinary cost in their utility bills for the frugal attempt to try to comply with the law.
The proposal has not previously been presented to the state legislature. Liberal California billionaire Tom Steyer is committing $8 million to the effort. The Gila County Republican Committee recommended a no vote.
The “Protect Arizona Taxpayer Act”
The Gila County Republican Committee empathizes with the organizers of the “Protect Arizona Taxpayer Act” proposition which would prevent the legislature from assigning taxes or fees on services such as barbers, veterinarians, etc. Restricting unnecessary taxes is a primary principle of the Republican Party. But to place a new tax, or raise a tax, requires two thirds vote by both State Senate and House of Representatives, making it very difficult to place a new tax on services. The Committee believes there are adequate protections to avoid taxes on services and to place it the States Constitution is unnecessary and recommends a no vote.
2 September 2230 hours