Open primaries may drive Legislature to special session
PHOENIX—The media is a-buzz with the initiative filed by Jack Biltis—with more than 320,000 signatures—which would allow Arizona citizens to, “to reject any federal action that they determine violates the United States Constitution.” This initiative comes on the heels of a referendum from the Legislature where we may see Arizona voters proclaim, “SOVEREIGN AND EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION OVER THE AIR, WATER, PUBLIC LANDS, MINERALS, WILDLIFE AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES WITHIN ITS BOUNDARIES”
According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the measure submitted by Jack Biltis is not just in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling on the takeover of the health care industry by the Obama administration, but the Bush PATRIOT act, as well.
“The only portion of government that has unlimited powers are the state governments and the people themselves,” Biltis is quoted as saying.
A referendum that was submitted to the Secretary of State by Republican members of the House and Senate is now Proposition 120. The bill is a response to Governor Jan Brewer vetoing several State sovereignty bills.
In an email message, Senator Allen, one of the sponsors of the concurrent resolution wrote, “HCR 2004 came about because every problem we have in the state goes back to the federal government and the fact they control air, water, and how the majority of land in our state is used. We are not a sovereign state. The federal government is out of control and it is up to the state to put them back in the proper federalism position. This proposition will merely make a statement that the people of Arizona want control of their state and their lives. We want to control our destiny. If the people pass this it will help with future legislation that pushes back on the Federal government.”
Another bill—SB 1083—which would have formed an Arizona State Guard to secure the border between Arizona and Mexico, was killed in committee by House Speaker Andy Tobin. Pundits charged that it would establish “vigilantes” and send armed and untrained citizens to the border. The pundits obviously never read the bill, but it was enough for Tobin to cave leaving our borders as porous as ever.
The Open primaries initiative is said to have sufficient signatures to reach the November ballot. This initiative would Californianize the Arizona election process. In essence, everyone would vote in the primaries. The top two vote getters would be on the November ballot limiting any choice Arizona citizens might have.
The primary process was developed so that the major political parties could select one candidate for each office for the November ballot. That is why the process was limited, in previous years, to the members of the particular party. In this way, you could have several different candidates to choose from.
Recently, however, any Independent or non-partisan voter is allowed to go to the polls for the primary and ask for the ballot of any major party except the Libertarian party which holds closed primaries. Thus, non-party voters can vote Democrat, Republican, Green or whatever other party in the primaries. All voters are allowed to vote any way they desire on the November ballot and do not have to vote the party line.
Open primaries actually limits choice rather than expands it. It is not currently on the Proposition list of the Secretary of State.
The word is that the governor is planning to call a special session of the Legislature to combat with a referendum of their own.
SEE ALSO: Arizona Daily Sun, Initiative would let voters overrule federal law