My, my how the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that the state Senators and state Representatives scurried back to the Capitol after their long vacation. Some had new ideas. Some had old ideas. And many just had wacky ideas in keeping with Arizona’s fine-tuned national image.
One such politician is Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-WTF.
Ms. Ugenti-Rita has left her mark on the Legislature with a new idea that was so fresh it might have distracted folks from the Ugenti-Rita sex scandal. Not that it was intended to do that… wink, wink.
SEX SCANDAL: “Lobbyist recounts receiving explicit photos of Arizona lawmaker (Ugenti-Rita) and her future husband.”|“She stopped me and got in my face and said everyone was going to find out what a liar I was,” the lobbyist said of state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita.” THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC
And you thought the Arizona Legislature was just home to the far-right that dreams up stuff like making it more difficult for people to vote. By “people” they seem to mean Minorities and Democrats.
Not wanting to be left behind, I suspect, Senator Ugenti-Rita has come up with something that might actually be a wacky, but unique, trailblazing proposal: Stick a “warning label” on ballot measures.
Yup. A warning label. Here’s how its been reported:
‘The legislation “…requires that the ballot contain a “Proposition 105 notification” before every statewide ballot measure informing voters that the Arizona Constitution largely prevents the legislature from changing things approved by voters.”
The idea, some would say, is to make it more likely that a voter would either vote “No” on a ballot proposal or would just not vote on that one. On the other hand, the Arizona Legislature isn’t exactly swamped with praise by voters. Being informed that if they vote “Yes” on a ballot measure the politicians won’t be able to get their grubby hands on a voter-approved law would ensure passage. I suspect most voters would see that as a good government.
Madam Senator explains herself this way: “I don’t think it will have any other impact other than empowering and informing voters…”
Our friends over at the AZMirror did a little analysis. Here’s the impact they’ve identified:
But critics said the effect would be to dissuade voters from approving ballot propositions by scaring them into thinking there was no way to undo them. Since 1998, Arizona voters have increased the minimum wage, approved higher taxes for education, created public campaign financing and taken redistricting powers away from lawmakers.
Republicans broadly opposed all of those measures.
This little piece of Republican heaven is probably on its way to the governor by now. But don’t hold your breath waiting for a veto. Doug “Scoop” Ducey has been auditioning for another Koch Bros. type gig in the next Trump administration…if there is one.