Dr.Bob “Does SOS have to resign?”

Dear Dr. Bob,

I was reading about how Mr. Bennett, our secretary of state, has become a “birther.” And he might just have to keep the President of the United States off the Arizona ballot unless he receives proof that Mr. Obama is an American citizen.

Of course, that’s just another bit of Arizona Republican insanity, but Mr.Bennett seemed so normal. Its very disappointing.

Searching for Normal

Dear Searching,

You have every right to be disappointed my friend. He really did have the appearance of ‘normal’ didn’t he?

Let’s consider the motive our friend Laurie Roberts at the Arizona Republic came up with: The dude is running for governor in 2014 and this is his chance to make nice-nice with the Republican wackos.

At the risk of seeming to be a lefty wacko myself, I have been wondering how Mr. Bennett is getting away with what appears to be a clear violation of election law; you know, the laws his office is supposed to enforce.

A short time go, the SOS got a nice PR bump when he introduced a new online nominating petition program. This enables people to “sign” nominating petitions in the privacy of their own homes and thus avoid someone shoving a clipboard in your face..ok, maybe they’ll still go after you, but you can still sign online. Kinda a cool thing, eh?

Except for what appears to be a little wrinkle. Under Arizona law, if an elected official announces he/she wants to run for another office, its resignation time baby.That is unless the elected person is in the last year of his/her term. For Mr. Bennett that last year is 2013. 2012 is a full 2 years out. In any event the law is called the “resign to run” law.

Well, Mr. Bennett was so enamored of his new online nominating petition system that he signed himself up to start collecting nominating petition signatures for his 2014 race for governor now; Two years before the election, not one year. Not in his last year as SOS.

Oops.

ARS 38-296 B. An incumbent of a salaried elected office shall be deemed to have offered himself for nomination or election to a salaried local, state or federal office upon the filing of a nomination paper pursuant to section 16-311, subsection A or formal public declaration of candidacy for such office whichever occurs first.

Seems to me, my dear Searching, that Mr. Bennett has some explaining to do. And that is about as close to “normal” as Arizona gets these days.

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About Bob Grossfeld

Bob is a longtime political & public affairs strategist. Based in Phoenix, AZ he spends a great deal of his time doing guerrilla therapy for his fellow Arizonans before they succumb to the state's lunacy. The media calls on him frequently to help explain Arizona politics with a straight face.
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