Home General Proponents of Arizona Top-Two Primary Initiative Raised $1,343,540 Through October 25, 2012
formats

Proponents of Arizona Top-Two Primary Initiative Raised $1,343,540 Through October 25, 2012

Published on November 8, 2012, by in General.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s web page has campaign finance reports for committees that either supported, or opposed, Proposition 121, this year’s top-two initiative. Donations and spending that occurred up until October 25, 2012 are now known. Donations and spending for the period later than October 25 will not be known until December 6, 2012.

The only committee that raised and spent money to defeat the initiative, Save Our Vote, raised $458,851 and spent $380,985, in the period July through October 25.

Two committees raised money in support of the initiative. The Open Government committee raised $1,330,582 prior to October 26, 2012, and Arizonans for a Top Two Primary raised $12,958. One of the biggest individual donors to the Open Government Committee is Rob Walton, chair of Walmart. On September 19, 2012, he contributed $50,000 to the campaign in favor of the top-two primary.

Proponents of the initiative, of course, spent a great deal of their money on paying petition circulators, and the campaign finance reports don’t make it possible to know how much the supporters spent on petitioning, versus how much they spent on advertising. Proponents spent most of their advertising budget on television. Proponents also arranged for robocalls to registered Republicans, saying that Republicans support Prop. 121; see here for more about that.

Opponents of the initiative had television ads, but seem to have relied more on direct postal mail. Opponents appeared at a panel discussion on October 14. Here is a link to the hour-long event, which included these five panelists: Luis Heredia, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party; Barry Hess, spokesperson for the Arizona Libertarian Party; Mike Liburdi, a Republican and the attorney who challenged the placement of Prop. 121 on the ballot; Christina Tobin of Free & Equal; and Angel Torres, co-chair of the Arizona Green Party. Barbara Klein, president of the state League of Women Voters, moderated. The comments of Heredia are especially interesting; to hear him, go to the 15 minute mark and also the 31 minute mark.

Proponents are charging that the initiative lost overwhelmingly because of large contributions against the initiative from Americans for Responsible Leadership, which has ties to Charles and David Koch. That contribution came in after many Arizona had already voted.

11 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    The California Supreme Court ordered Americans for Responsible Leadership to disclose who its contributors were:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57545634/donation-by-ariz-group-called-money-laundering/

  2. Andy

    “One of the biggest individual donors to the Open Government Committee is Rob Walton, chair of Walmart. On September 19, 2012, he contributed $50,000 to the campaign in favor of the top-two primary.”

    Wow, another reason to not shop at Wal-Mart.

  3. Jim Riley

    #2 Are Walmart good or bad for collecting signatures?

  4. Demo Rep

    How much for a petition for P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — to put ALL special interest gangs OUT of business ???

  5. Andy

    Wal-Mart’s can be very good for collecting signatures, that is if you can get them. Wal-Mart is notorious for not allowing petitioning. They usually kick petitioners out or call the police on them. When petitioners try to get permission to petition there they usually get rejected.

    The only times when petitioners can consistently get Wal-Marts is if they are in what is known as an “open access” state, which means a state where there are legal protections for people who gather petition signatures or register people to vote which are (generally) backed up by law enforcement. This means that people gathering signatures on petitions or registering people to vote are supposed to be able to go anywhere the public has access to, including shopping centers. The only states which fit this criteria are California, Washington, and Massachusetts. Colorado is sort of an “open access” state as well, but the reason that I’m saying sort of is because there are people in that state that are trying to get rid of the “open access,” and unfortunately the access is not being consistently enforced throughout the state of Colorado at this time. Even in California, Washington, and Massachusetts, there are still many instances where people such as Wal-Mart managers will try to prevent petition signature gathering or voter registration from taking place.

    Some libertarians will say something like, “Well, Wal-Mart has property rights so they should be able to kick out petitioners.” I’m a Libertarian and I do not buy into that argument at all. Why? Because Wal-Mart (and none of the other big, corporate stores) is not a free market company. They are a state created corporation which has received billions of dollars in tax payer funding (ie-corporate welfare), and they have also received land from the government that was seized through eminent domain (and remember, eminent domain is supposed to be for public use). I’ve also found out through researching government Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (aka-CAFR’s) that government entities actually own a great deal of stock in Wal-Mart. I’m not exactly sure what percent of Wal-Mart stock is owned by government entities, but I can tell you that it’s a large percent. So basically, Wal-Mart is a state created legal fiction which gets limited liability protection and has received billions of dollars from the tax payers as well as lots of land handed to the via eminent domain, and they freely invite the public to their stores to shop, so the general public has access to come and go at Wal-Mart, yet this supposedly all American company does not believe in the right to peaceful free speech and to petition the government.

    Some people may say, “Well just go somewhere else other than Wal-Mart.” Petitioners often do, however, the unfortunate reality that we live in is that many of the old town square areas in most cities across the USA are no longer buys places. Why? Because most people now go to big corporate stores like Wal-Mart.

    Petitioners not being able to get access to locations where they can gather signatures is one of the biggest road blocks to ballot access that there is. Wal-Mart is generally very hostile to petitioning. I find this to be very reprehensible.

  6. Andy

    “are no longer buys”

    Should read busy.

  7. Andy

    I find it really hypocritical how Wal-Mart waves the American flag and has all of this “Support the Troops” stuff on the wall in their stores. This country was founded on the principles of liberty which are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution is supposed to be the Supreme Law of the Land. The flag is supposed to be a symbol which represents this country, which gets its principles from the Declaration of Independence, and which is supposed to follow the Constitution. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. The 1st amendment is supposed to guarantee the rights to free speech and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The flag is supposed to be a symbol which represents the country, a country founded on the Declaration of Independence which is supposed to follow the Constitution. So by waving the flag, Wal-Mart is implying that they support the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. However, when one follows Wal-Mart’s actions, it is clearly apparent that they are hostile to the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, therefore, when they wave the flag and claim to be an “all American company” it is a lie. They claim to support the troops. The President of the USA is the Commander-in-Chief of the military, and Congress has the power to appropriate funding for the military, and to declare war. Most states have created ballot access laws whereby people seeking to be on the ballot for President or for Congress have to gather petition signatures. Wal-Mart, by generally not allowing petition signature gathering, is basically limiting which choices get on the ballot for President and for Congress, thus limiting the options of who becomes Commander-in-Chief of the military, and who controls the purse strings for the military, and who decides whether or not the military goes to war. I’d say that by limiting the options of who can have a chance at being elected President or being elected to Congress, that this right there tells you that Wal-Mart does NOT really support the troops. Wal-Mart is openly hostile to the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and they obviously don’t give a damn about having fair elections. Wal-Mart is basically an anti-American corporate fascist company. They send lobbyist to every state capital and to Washington DC to influence government officials to give them tax payer funding or to build roads that lead to their stores or to hand them land through eminent domain, however, when it comes to We the People trying to excercise our right to petition to place candidates on the ballot, or to petition to place an initiative or referendum on the ballot, or to petition for a recall of an elected official, or to register people to vote, well, oh no. Wal-Mart can’t have any of that! They do allow the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, Veteran Groups, church groups, etc…, but nothing political, except of course when it comes to them sending their lobbyists to the halls of local, state, and federal government to beg for more tax payer funding and special benefits.

  8. Jim Riley

    #5 If Walmart were to permit petition signing on their property, they would probably be stuck with letting anyone gather signatures, including those which were hostile to Walmart’s business.

    It would be like a Roman Catholic seminary was used a voting place, and then had to permit pro-choice groups to campaign on their property but outside the 100-foot limit.

    When you refer to “government entities” I suppose you are referring to entities such as Calpers. It should be converted to a defined-investment pension plan restricted to investing in government bonds.

    If it is to make private investments, it should be converted to a cooperative, with allocation rights for individual participants.

  9. Andy

    “Jim Riley Says:
    November 9th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    #5 If Walmart were to permit petition signing on their property, they would probably be stuck with letting anyone gather signatures, including those which were hostile to Walmart’s business.”

    Wal-Mart already has to allow petitioners in California, Washington, and Massachusetts, and in Colorado as well (although last I heard it is not being consistently enforced there). I can tell you that petitioners at Wal-Mart is common in those states every time there’s a petition drive, and it’s really not a problem (expect when Wal-Mart managers turn it into one, which still happens sometimes, even though Wal-Mart lost a law suit over this in California a few years ago).

    Also, who’s gives a rat’s ass if the petition is in Wal-Mart’s interest or not, and who is to say what Wal-Mart’s interest is. They are NOT a free market company and their stores are open to the public so the subject matter of the petition is irrelevant.

    This would be like if somebody was gathering signatures on a petition to stop eminent domain abuse, and Wal-Mart didn’t want people there because they want to use eminent domain to get land for free or on the cheap from the government, so they harass and call the police on the petition circulator.

    I say to hell with Wal-Mart. I don’t give a rat’s ass if the petition is to shut down every Wal-Mart in the country and put their board of directors in prison (which is not a bad idea for a petition), I say circulate in front of Wal-Mart and if they don’t like it, tough $&*+!

    “When you refer to ‘government entities’ I suppose you are referring to entities such as Calpers. It should be converted to a defined-investment pension plan restricted to investing in government bonds.”

    Yes, CALpers is on of them (that’s the California State Employees Pension fund). I found out a few years ago that CALpers owned $1 billion worth of stock in Wal-Mart. The California Public School Teachers have their own pension fund, and they own another $1 billion worth of stock in Wal-Mart. A couple other government entities that I found out own large shares of stock in Wal-Mart is the Illinois State Investment Board and the University of Arkansas, but there are many others. This is one of the reason that Wal-Mart got so big, they had government entities invest billions of dollars in them, and they also went to the government and lobbied for corporate welfare and for land to be handed to them via eminent domain. Wal-Mart is a statist company.

    For more information of government Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports visit http://www.CAFR1.com and also go on http://www.youtube.com where they are some documentaries on the subject posted, such as Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports Exposed, and The Biggest Game in Town.

    Government employee pension funds, school districts, water districts, port authorities, toll authorities, state universities, etc… all have billions in slush funds, much of which is invested in the stock market. We don’t have a free market folks. Big corporations are all in bed with big government.

  10. Jim Riley

    Barbara Klein is also a member of Fairvote, and as she explained in her remarks she was representing the LWV in its advocacy role. Calling her the “moderator” may mislead people to infer that she was neutral, or objective.

    Minneapolis had a Top 2 partisan primary, before it switched to IRV. What Klein does not recognize is that before you can have IRV you have to have all the candidates running in a single election. She probably thinks that you would use IRV in a partisan primary, followed by the general election.

    Incidentally, a Green candidate was elected in Minneapolis under Top 2, who would not have been elected under IRV.

    Christina Tobin thinks that proportional representation is around the corner. She is like Gautam Dutta in thinking that if they can cause a train wreck it will advance their cause. She also thinks that Top 2 is unconstitutional. It has been upheld by the SCOTUS, the 9th Circuit, and district courts in Washington and California.

    Luis Heredia gave an example of the Attorney General race in 2010 as one that would have produced two Republican candidates. But there were contested GOP gubernatorial and senate primaries in 2010 and twice as many people voted in the GOP primary as the Democratic primary, and who were forced to choose between the two Republican candidates in the primary.

    Heredia also noted that Top 2 would have required preclearance. But Top 2 was precleared in Louisiana and California. The USDOJ crawdadded in the Kinston case, and I doubt they would really want to take on Arizona over the issue.

    Mike Liburdi appeared mainly interested in derailing the initiative process and maintaining the status quo.

    Barry Hess defended extremism. But he could still be extreme in the primary.

    Angel Torres suggested that perhaps the legislature could reduce barriers to independent candidates. But the situation is like in California. From 1964 through 2010, the period in which Richard Winger has been voting, there were a total of 12 independent congressional candidates in over 1000 races.

    After Top 2 was adopted there were 22 independent candidates in 2012. The legislature coulda, shoulda, woulda done something about independent access over those 50 years. It took Top 2 to make it happen.

  11. Richard Winger

    Minneapolis does not use top two for its city elections.

    The US Supreme Court has not upheld top-two. That Court said top-two isn’t necessarily in violation of freedom of association, but said in footnote eleven (in 2008) that it was not deciding the ballot access issue. And it has not said anything about top-two since 2008. When the Court refuses to hear a case, it is not saying anything at all about the issues in that case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Protected with SiteGuarding.com Antivirus