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  • LMHudson 1:46 pm on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Court of Appeals, Division 1 

    Paul McMurdie has shown bad judgment on several occasions, such as Medicaid expansion and Prop 207 from 2006 (now ARS 12-1134). Samuel Thumma is a Napolitano appointee and an alumnus of Perkins, Coie, an extremely partisan Democrat law firm. These two should not be retained.

  • LMHudson 10:30 am on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for not voting in the Board of Supervisors 

    Adrian Fontes was in charge of county elections for the November 2018 election. He created so-called Emergency Voting Centers–without any legal basis– located in Democrat neighborhoods, and when the Republican party tried to get an injunction against counting the votes they collected, Fontes stripped off the outer envelopes and mixed the ballots with the others, making them impossible to identify. The following March, the Arizona Federation of Republican Women hosted a panel that included Steve Chucri, who represents District 2 on the Board of Supervisors (BOS). Mr Chucri told us that the real responsibility for running elections rests with the BOS, and that the job had been delegated years ago to the Recorder. Because of the Recorder’s behavior in the recent election, Mr Chucri promised us that the BOS would re-assume control of elections.

    Two years later, Mr Fontes is still largely responsible for elections. (See this neighboring post, and this one about how Fontes’ instructions live on, here.) The BOS has done almost nothing to reign in Mr Fontes. It was their responsibility. They acknowledged their responsibility and said that they had all necessary powers to fix the problem. They betrayed us and now they ask us to vote for them because their opponents are supposedly worse. None of the supervisors should be returned to office.

  • LMHudson 6:02 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Superior Court 

    If, like me, you think all government activities become unaccountable over time and our county court system in particular has become a black box –try finding out how many jury trials there are–, our method of voting whether to retain judges is highly unsatisfactory. We are expected to vote based on these ratings by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, which are based on surveys mostly of attorneys and witnesses. Only one of the 40 judges up for review has a rating that varies significantly from the others (Ms Gentry). The Commission distributed 102 surveys to attorneys, of which 27 were returned, and 827 surveys to witnesses, of which 52 were returned, so her score is based on the testimony of some individuals who got mad at her, maybe with reason, maybe without. We cannot know. A more positive review of the ratings system is here.

    Only two Superior Court judges have ever been rated unfit by the Commission. Story here, and here.

    Nevertheless, we vote, usually ‘yes.’ In 2018, all the Superior Court judges were retained, by an average margin of 2.5:1. The judge who came closest to being voted out got 459,288 ‘yes’ and 311,878 ‘no’ votes. In that election, nearly 1.5 million people voted in Maricopa County, so half ignored the second page of the ballot but half voted. Merely failing to vote is not an effective protest.

    The Legislature can change this system but they respond to votes, so we need to vote ‘no.’ Here are three ways of voting ‘no:’

    1. vote against retaining ALL the Superior Court judges, except the ones we have evidence are competent judges, in this case, Ms Marwil, and Mr Whitten. Mr Coury found the language of Proposition 208 to be misleading but he got overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court. Supporters of Proposition 208 are trying to oust him.
    2. vote against all those judges appointed by Democrat governors and those who once worked for Perkins Coie (an extremely partisan Democrat law firm). That logic results in a ‘no’ vote for Ms Gentry, as she was appointed by Governor Napolitano. The other ‘no’ votes are Bruce Cohen, Pamela Gates, Michael Gordon, John Hannah, Michael Kemp, Michael McCoy, Scott Minder, Karen Mullins, David Palmer, Timothy Ryan, and Christopher Whitten.
    3. The Democrat party here endorsed all but a few judges. If you vote exactly in the opposite fashion, you will come close to the results above.

    The Arizona Free Enterprise Club provides its judge endorsements here. They are surprisingly generous.

    • Heidi Will 9:49 pm on October 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate the information on judges. I’m confused about Whitten. Under #1 you say he’s competent, but in #2 you say he worked for Perkins Coie. Are you recommending voting for or against him?


      • LMHudson 6:37 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Judge Whitten was appointed in 2006, by Governor Napolitano. I don’t believe he has ever worked for Perkins Coie. If I knew nothing else about him, being appointed by a Democrat would disqualify him under crude rule #2; however, I know someone who has appeared before him in a difficult case and found him to be a fair-minded judge and that’s more important.


  • LMHudson 5:47 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 207 

    This statute would essentially legalize marijuana for those over 21. The precise rules, such as the limit of 6 marijuana plants, don’t matter because once you take the police out of this business, the rules will become a kind of honor system. Here are the arguments for. Here are the arguments against.

    There are over 100 unique essays urging a ‘No’ vote. Some bear multiple signatures. The essays come from our Catholic bishops, our governor, many of our legislators, and from medical professionals, law enforcement, psychiatric counselors, and parents, people who have experienced the effects of marijuana on their children.

    There are 10 essays urging a ‘Yes’ vote, two from Chad Campbell, first in his capacity as the sponsor of this legislation, and a second one, in which he presents himself as a private citizen. (He is, in fact, an executive for the advocacy firm Strategies 360.) There are two essays from retired politicians predicting job creation by the marijuana industry. There is an essay from a lawyer lamenting harshness of the punishments under existing law. The rest are from commercial sellers of marijuana.

    Will Humble (director of Arizona Public Health Association, an advocacy organization) submitted the same essay under both ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ He predicts both costs and benefits.

    The recent book Tell Your Children, by Alex Berenson, makes two points:

    1. we have long experience of alcohol, but almost none with today’s high-potency THC.
    2. there is lots of evidence that, for some people, THC is a gateway drug, and for some, THC may cause violent, psychotic behavior.

    No one knows for sure what will happen if this legislation passes, but the most important thing to realize is that if it passes in this form, as a ballot initiative, bypassing the legislature, we cannot easily undo it or amend it if it turns out to be a mistake.

    To love thy neighbor as thyself means wanting good outcomes for your neighbors. There are no good outcomes in drugs.

    Vote ‘No’ on Proposition 207. If you think marijuana should be legalized, tell your representatives in the legislature.

    Here is a recent report from Colorado.

  • LMHudson 1:41 pm on September 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Cheatsheet for the Chandler ballot 

    • john fitz 10:37 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been trying to get more information about the judges. Why so many ‘NO’s?


      • LMHudson 10:42 am on October 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        The best thing I have read is The Machinery of Criminal Justice by Stephanos Bibas. My argument is that our justice system has strayed far from the 6th Amendment. We have allowed a caste of experts to turn it into a machine for processing Justice-Involved-Youth. Plea bargaining has caused jury trials to disappear. The conviction rate would make North Korea proud. This occasional opportunity to vote is our best tool for protest. How can we possibly vote intelligently with the information we have? Better to make our robed masters fear for their jobs, and encourage the legislature to reform this system.


  • LMHudson 9:23 am on September 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Justices of the Supreme Court 

    Johnson Utilities Inc v Arizona Corporation Commission et al, decided July 31, was an unusual decision because it went beyond the narrow holding courts usually seek and clarified how the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) fits into the state constitution. Before the decision, the ACC regarded itself as “Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government.” In fact, on July 30, it had proposed issuing a mandate requiring electricity to be generated by renewable sources of energy, not very different from the 2018 ballot Proposition 127 which was defeated 2:1. No, says the Court in this decision, which makes it clear the ACC has no more power than a municipality, and that its decisions may be overridden by the legislature. One might wish the Court had gone even further, along the lines of the dissent by Justice Bolick, but we should celebrate whenever a court has the courage to overturn its own past errors, and ground a rogue unit of the government in already written law.

    The author, Justice Gould, and concurring justice Lopez were appointed by Governor Ducey. Chief Justice Brutinel, also concurring, was appointed by Governor Brewer. We should retain them.

  • LMHudson 7:00 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    How to return a mail ballot 

    Remember the instructions included in your August primary ballot?

    There are three possible reasons for these instructions: (1) to cause the automatic ballot readers to jam, in order to slow the ballot count, (2) to permit ballots to be intercepted, steamed open, altered and re-submitted, and/or (3) to cause everyone in Maricopa County to vote in person on Election Day, which won’t be possible because the lines will be too long. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the instructions above will not be supplied for the November ballot, whereupon our Recorder, Adrian Fontes, offered the same instructions over twitter. Story here.

    Early voting started to open all over Maricopa County on October 7. Each one contains a padlocked blue plastic urn with a slot in it. Drop your completed ballots in there, or vote in person if you prefer. The result will be the same: a ballot in a green envelope dropped in the blue urn. Only on Election Day can you pass your ballot through the scanner yourself.

    You can then get some confirmation from Maricopa County that your ballot has been at least received by browsing here. If it has been received, you will be told that it has been signature verified and counted. The process is taking about 72 hours on October 25.

    Here is a page on the recorder’s website where you can obtain a spreadsheet list of voting centers.

    The nearest as of October 13 is 2051 W Guadalupe Rd, in a strip mall on the south side of Guadalupe, just east of the 101 and west of St Timothy’s church, where the anchor tenant appears to be Goodwill. As of October 22, the nearest station is in Chandler Fashion, in a group of buildings on the north edge of the shopping center, where the anchor is PF Changs. The address is 3305 W Chandler Blvd, suite E05.

    Please vote before Election Day.

  • LMHudson 3:33 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Community College District 1 

    There are two candidates:

    1. Laurin Hendrix, incumbent, website, facebook page,
    2. Jacqueline Smith, website, facebook page, blog

    Notable differences:

    Hendrix is endorsed by Andy Biggs and Justin Olsen.

    Smith is endorsed by Greg Stanton, Katy Hoffman, and almost the entire Tempe City Council.

  • LMHudson 3:03 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Community College District At-Large 

    There are two candidates:

    1. Shelli Richardson Boggs, website, facebook page, and
    2. Linda Thor, incumbent, website, facebook page, blog,

    Notable differences:

    Boggs is endorsed by Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko.

    Thor is endorsed by Greg Stanton and many people from higher education. She is a supporter of Mitzi Epstein.

  • LMHudson 1:33 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 208 

    This is a proposal to raise the top rate of income tax in Arizona by 78% and devote the proceeds to education. Good summaries of the economic arguments are here and here. Very little of the proceeds will reach teachers, anyway, article here. The proceeds will be divided between the district and charter schools according to school population, but most of the money by far will go to the district schools. Most of us, even those without school-age children, are willing to pay for public education, but will the district schools use this money well?

    The Arizona Retirement System, its membership mostly teachers at district schools, is dramatically underfunded ($15.6 billion, according to this study by the Reason Foundation). None of the money will go there.

    The charter and private schools in our neighborhood have done a much better job re-opening this year than have the district schools. The problems that have had to be solved in order to re-open are the same for charter, private, and district schools, but the district schools have lagged. Their problem is their immensity.

    The school districts are enormous compared to the charter and private schools. The three school districts (Tempe Union, Chandler Unified, and Kyrene Elementary, together serving nearly 100,000 students) are all promising to open by Oct 13, if the COVID “metrics” behave. By contrast, Desert Gardens Montessori (enrollment 260, infant-through-grade 12) has been open since June for small children and since August 17 for the older kids. St Timothy’s Catholic school (K-8 and about the same size), has also been open since August 17. Our public charter schools, Tempe Prep (6-12, enrollment 430) and Chandler Prep (K-12, enrollment 725) both opened September 8.

    Most activities achieve economies of scale. One might expect the district schools to be able, for example, to buy cheaper textbooks by buying in quantity. Government activities seem not to enjoy economies of scale. The cost to educate a student in the three school districts is not significantly different from the cost in the much smaller charter schools:

    schoolgradesenrollmentcosts ($m)cost per student
    Chandler School DistrictK-1245,9994008,707
    Kyrene School DistrictK-816,68317410,407
    Tempe High School District9-1213,3121279,541
    Chandler PrepK-1272579,217
    Tempe Prep6-1243049,152
    (These numbers come from the schools’ regulatory reports for 2019, pre-COVID.)

    The price of a year at St Timothy’s Catholic school (K-8, enrollment 260) is $7,500. The smaller schools may actually be more efficient.

    A consequence of excessive size, particularly for government organizations, is paralyzed decision-making. Here is a video of the September 16 meeting of the Tempe Union High School governing board. At about the 31 minute mark (after a lengthy presentation of COVID metrics by zip code) you can see the superintendent trying to make a decision on behalf of the entire district. They are unable to consider the possibility of opening some schools earlier than others. At 47:50 president Hodge declares that it would be inequitable to allow students in the southern part of the district to return to school when northern students cannot. No member of the governing board ever moves to challenge that idea, or in any way to discuss how the re-opening process might be sped up.

    The effect of excessive size on curriculum is a subject worthy of a separate post, here. Who do you suppose is better educated, a graduate of St Tim’s or a graduate of Kyrene?

    Support quality education by voting ‘No’ on Proposition 208. And don’t forget to use the Arizona Tax Credit to support charter and private schools at no cost to you. (See neighboring post.)

  • LMHudson 1:32 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for voting against all ballot initiatives 

    Ballot propositions are designed to bypass the legislative process, to allow citizens to make law directly. Democracies tend to end in tyranny, so the founders of our republic favored separation of powers rather than democracy. Making positive law is supposed to be difficult, not something to be done whimsically. Ballot propositions undermine the separation of powers and lead to bad law.

    Laws passed by the legislature may be readily amended, but laws passed by initiative can only be amended by initiative. Arizona permits three kinds of citizen initiative, an amendment to the constitution, a statute, and a referendum. Rules here. The rules for getting a proposition on the ballot do not require any geographical distribution. The sponsor of a 2020 ballot statute, for example, can gather all 237,645 required signatures in downtown Phoenix. There are companies that collect signatures. They charge about $10 per signature. (Search for ‘paid petitioners’ or ‘Arizona Petition Partners.’) Two million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but it is evidently no serious bar to out-of-state interests who wish to make Arizona law. Here is a good account of the difficulty of amending the statutes passed by initiative. Special interests are almost always the sponsors of ballot initiatives. Who would be willing to spend $2 million to repeal one?

    Ballot initiatives are often paid for by out-of-state interests

    Proposition 208, the “Invest in Education Act,” reports contributions to date of $4.6 million, of which $4 million has come from a Portland, Oregon-based charity called “Stand for Children.” (Campaign finance report here.) The second biggest donor is the Arizona Education Association, our teacher’s union. If you read about Stand for Children (here) you will learn that they are a 501(c)(3) charity that does political advocacy, specifically in favor of such causes as Black Lives Matter and barring police from schools. IRS Forms 990 no longer require the disclosure of donors, so we must guess the source of their funding. One possible source is us taxpayers. Stand for Children is apparently a major beneficiary of the CARES Act. Story here.

    Proposition 207, the “Smart and Safe Act,” is mostly funded by commercial sellers of marijuana. (Campaign finance report here.)

    Ballot initiatives are intentionally misleading

    The petition gatherers are required to state their proposition in 100 words or less, so there is always a battle over whether the petition signers and the voters are being misled. Here is the proposition that has become 208 on our November ballot:


    In 2018, a similar proposition was disqualified because the proposed tax rate hike from 4.5% to 8% was described as a “percentage” increase of 3.5%. This year, the same tax proposal is okayed as a “surcharge.” The sponsors do not wish to appear to be proposing a 78% tax hike.

    By contrast, the short title of Proposition 207, the “Smart and Safe Act,” is so self-evidently untrue we may detect a sense of humor. The longer title is less reassuring:


    To evaluate these claims requires considerable knowledge and experience. If the promoters turn out to be wrong about either the smart or the safe parts, who will pay to repeal this statute? Remember, the legislature won’t be able to.

  • LMHudson 1:32 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Tactical voting 

    Consider this hypothetical election: there are 100 blue voters and 100 red voters. There are 6 candidates, 4 of which are blue and 2 are red. Each voter is allowed to vote for 3 candidates. If all 100 red voters vote for the 2 red candidates and no other, the each red candidate will receive 100 votes. If the 100 blue voters each cast 3 votes, but distribute them equally among the 4 blue candidates, each blue candidate will receive 75 votes. The 2 red candidate will be elected, along with 1 blue candidate. The red voters, who cast only 200 votes, nevertheless win an election against blue voters who cast 300 votes.

    The conditions for this tactic to succeed are narrow. If there were only 1 red candidate, he would receive 100 votes and be elected, but he would then be out-voted by the two blue winners. If there were 3 red and 3 blue candidates, and each voter allowed to vote for 3, there would be no advantage in concentrating the votes. One side must have more acceptable candidates than the number of allowed votes.

    The only case where this might be useful on our ballot is the race for the governing board of Tempe Union High School District. Because there are three seats open and four acknowledged (follow the time line to Aug 29) left-wing candidates — Hodge, James, Montero, and Reesor — the vote for them may be scattered. Conservatives, if they can agree on three candidates, may win by concentrating their votes on those three.

  • LMHudson 1:31 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Chandler Unified School District (No 80) election 

    The Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) election has 3 candidates. You can vote for up to 3. On the ballot, the candidates will appear in random order. Because this campaign is uncontested, and two of the candidates (Mozdzen and Wirth) are well known in the district, none of the candidates has yet put effort into websites and facebook. There is also a write-in candidate.

    1. Barbara Mozdzen, facebook page
    2. Jason Olive
    3. Joel Wirth, facebook page
    4. Sharon Tuttle (write-in), facebook page

    Here are outstanding features of the candidates:

    1. Ms Mozden, incumbent, has served on the governing board since 2012. She is in favor of in-person instruction.
    2. Mr Olive is a parent with children in the district. He is an architect, a profession in which conservatives are rare. He is aware that the charter and private schools are doing a better job re-opening than the district schools. It is difficult to find out much about Mr Olive. He is a registered Democrat. He is sophisticated enough to have filed a challenge against David Evans, an incumbent who dropped out of the race after Olive’s challenge. Story here. Mr Wirth has endorsed Mr Olive.
    3. Mr Wirth is the former chief financial officer of the district. He helped recruit Lana Berry, the district’s current CFO. Look at any of the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports here. They are the best school district reporting in Arizona.
    4. Ms Tuttle (facebook page here) chose not to submit the 400 signatures required to get herself on the ballot. She prefers facebook. If you search facebook for any of the other candidates, you will find her. She is a district school teacher and in favor of Proposition 208. A teacher can serve on a governing board as long she does not do so in the district where she works. Michelle Fahy, for example, is a teacher in TUHSD and serves on the Kyrene School Board. Ms Tuttle has been endorsed by Lindsay Love, a member of the Governing Board.

    Here’s a new tool coming out of a student project at Basis Schools: thepollingplace.org

  • LMHudson 1:31 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Kyrene Elementary School District (No 28) election 

    The Kyrene Elementary School District (Kyrene) election has 5 candidates. You can vote for up to 3. On the ballot, the candidates may appear in random order.

    1. Ivan Alfaro, website, facebook page, personal facebook page
    2. Michelle Fahy, website, facebook page
    3. Wanda Kolomyjec, website, facebook page, personal facebook page
    4. Triné Nelson, website, facebook page
    5. Margaret Wright, website, facebook page

    Here are outstanding features of the candidates:

    1. Mr Alfaro is an executive with a national education company. He favors Proposition 208.
    2. Ms Fahy is a teacher in Tempe Union High School District.
    3. Ms Kolomyjec is a former district school teacher, now a professor of justice studies at ASU. She is endorsed by Terry Goddard and Paul Penzone. Her twitter feed @wkolomyjec has been edited since she became a candidate, perhaps because she felt it might be disqualifying in a school board candidate to be so vulgar in her opposition to Donald Trump and all Republicans. Sadly, she is probably destined for a larger stage.
    4. Ms Nelson wants to close the gaps in achievement.
    5. Ms Wright teaches biology at Paradise Valley Community College.

    Mr Alfaro and Ms Wright are both registered Republicans, but Mr Alfaro supports Prop 208. Ms Wright wishes to be a voice for parents, and for good sense. The next two years are going to be tough for Kyrene.

    Here is a video of a recent candidates’ forum. (1 hour, 33 minutes)

    Here are some of the posts Ms Kolomyjec deleted:

  • LMHudson 1:31 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Tempe Union High School District (No 213) election 

    The Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) election has 8 candidates. You can vote for up to 3. On the ballot, the candidates will appear in random order.

    1. Lori Bastian, website, facebook page
    2. Don Fletcher, website, facebook page
    3. Berdetta Hodge, website,facebook page, blog
    4. Sarah James, website, facebook page, blog,
    5. Sandy Lowe, website, facebook page
    6. Armando Montero, website, facebook page, blog
    7. Michael Myrick, facebook page, article in local newspaper
    8. Paige Reesor, website, facebook page

    School board elections are supposedly non-partisan; however the Democrats invited their four candidates (Hodge, James, Montero, and Reesor) to a facebook forum on August 29, here. Here are the main things they emphasize:

    1. Ms Bastian entered the race to protest the continued closure of the schools. She has children in the district.
    2. Mr Fletcher is the parent of 4 kids who have already graduated from TUHSD schools. He has been active for years in TUHSD committees, such as the Finance Committee.
    3. Ms Hodge is incumbent, currently the president of the TUHSD governing board. She also is the parent of a former TUHSD student, Jevin Hodge, who is running for the County Board of Supervisors. From her blog: We do not always agree, nor should we; we may have different paths to get to a solution, but we generally always come to the same conclusion: Putting students, teachers, staff, and our community first.”
    4. Ms James is a teacher in Mesa Public Schools. A teacher can serve on a governing board as long she does not do so in the district where she works. Michelle Fahy, for example, is a teacher in TUHSD and serves on the Kyrene School Board. She favors Restorative Justice (RJ) as the first method of school discipline. She has children in the district.
    5. Ms Lowe is incumbent. She has served on the TUHSD governing board since 2012. Though a registered Republican, she supports Mitzi Epstein for the State House.
    6. Mr Montero is 19 and an undergraduate at ASU. He favors Proposition 208 and wishes to be the voice of the students.
    7. Mr Myrick has served since 2016 on the Kyrene governing board. His children are now old enough to be in Tempe Union, so he wants to switch governing boards. He thinks the current governing board has been too slow to reopen the schools and needs new members.
    8. Ms Reesor is also a teacher, in Tempe Elementary. She wants to bring EVIT-type instruction on to the Tempe campus.

    See the neighboring post on Tactical Voting. This may be the only case on our ballot where we have such an opportunity. By concentrating their votes on three candidates — Bastian, Fletcher, and Myrick — conservative voters have a chance at influencing the governing board.

  • LMHudson 1:30 pm on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Cheatsheet for the South Tempe ballot 

    • Kimber 3:23 pm on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      The only Judge I know is Suzanne Marwil- Republican


    • Jim92065 8:44 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Why did you vote No on Coury? He’s the one who initially blocked Prop 208 and the Dems are targeting him.


      • LMHudson 9:00 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I am sympathetic to him for exactly the reason you state; however, I did not read his opinion and the Supreme Court overruled him. You and I may agree with him in the same sense that a stopped clock is right twice a day.


  • LMHudson 6:18 pm on July 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An Argument for voting for Eddie Cook for Assessor and for John Allen as Treasurer 

    Two of the six contested races on our ballot have not attracted endorsements by credible endorsing organizations. I don’t know why the lack of endorsements, but I am prepared to vote both races. I hope my logic will help you.

    If you want to help make policy in Arizona, it is best to run for the Legislature. The elected municipal posts — in the cities and the counties — are ministerial rather than policy jobs. Those offices have only the powers delegated to them by the Legislature. They are important jobs, but to do them well, the office-seekers must focus on the job. It is not helpful if they use the posts to promote themselves or their agendas.

    I think at least part of the reason endorsers picked Stephen Richer over Clair Van Steenwyk and Jerry Sheridan over Joe Arpaio is that both Steenwyk and Arpaio, by their own frequent admission, are not really interested in the jobs of recorder and sheriff. Mr Van Steenwyk seems to think he will use the post of recorder to campaign against the National Popular Vote, where what Maricopa County needs is a well-trained recorder like Mr Richer. We may find things to admire about Mr Arpaio, but none of us imagine that he simply wants to be a good sheriff.

    Royce Flora and Rodney Glassman, as candidates for treasurer and assessor, wish to position themselves as “friends of the taxpayer.” How might they do that? The Arizona Constitution requires the so-called Limited Property Value (LPV) — the fraction of our houses’ value on which we actually get taxed — to go up by 5% every year. If you look at your tax bill, you will see that most of the dozen or so entities on whose behalf Maricopa County taxes us — mostly schools — do not take advantage of the automatic increase and instead levy a lower increase, usually something designed to give them a reliable, inflation-adjusted source of revenue. They tell Maricopa County how much they need and Maricopa County provides the service of collecting the tax for them. What would a Friend of the Taxpayer do? There is almost no room for discretion in this system. Here’s what the Chairman of the county Board of Supervisors says.

    What Maricopa County needs are people willing to do the ministerial job of running the assessment and taxing systems professionally. I will vote for Eddie Cook as Assessor and John Allen as Treasurer.

    • Kimber 10:26 am on July 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Lets not forget Rodney Glassman ran against John McCain as Senator, worked for the most radical lefties Raul Grijalva, and was vice mayor of Tucson. Not someone Im willing to vote into office and I told him so yesterday. He kindly removed me from his mailing list.

      Liked by 1 person

    • GaryJ 2:29 pm on August 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Good logic!


  • LMHudson 10:31 am on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Clean Elections 

    Arizona Clean Elections (website here) is intended to reduce the influence of special interests on elections. To illustrate how it works, I will use the example of the Arizona Corporation Commission race. Three Republicans, Lea Márquez Peterson, Jim O’Connor, and Eric Sloan, have decided to run as team funded by Clean Elections. To qualify, each of them must get 1,800 individuals to donate $5 each by July 28. We learned on July 15 that they succeeded. The state now keeps the $9,000 and gives them each $174,024, the amount Clean Elections thinks is sufficient to run a general election state-wide in 2020. In return, the candidates agree to limit their private fund-raising to $29,000 ($170 limit per donor), also by July 28.

    To donate, (Don Hawker still needs your support) go to the Arizona Secretary of State: https://apps.azsos.gov/apps/election/eps/qc/ You will be asked to authenticate yourself with your driving license or your voter ID. You will be charged a processing fee of 46 cents. The Secretary of State does not help collect private donations. To make a $170 private donation, you must pay the candidate directly, here.

  • LMHudson 9:13 am on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    The importance of a write-in vote in the Arizona Corporation Commission primary 

    Proposition 127, which would have amended the Constitution to require electricity providers to generate at least 50% of their sales from renewal energy, was defeated in November 2018 1,580,101 to 723,138. In the same election, 1,076,800 voters picked Sandra Kennedy, a supporter of Proposition 127, to serve on the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

    The activists behind Prop 127 may believe the easiest route for them to control Arizona’s utilities is via the ACC. There are five commissioners. Three seats are open in November, all now held by Republicans. There were many Republican candidates. All but two, Lea Márquez Peterson and Eric Sloan, were knocked off the ballot by challenges to their signatures. Candidates for the ACC in 2020 were asked to collect 6,663 signatures. Signature challenges are common. Candidates needing 6,663 will normally seek to collect 10,000 or more to provide a margin for error, however the corona virus lockdown intervened in early March, catching four Republican candidates with only about 7,000 signatures each, and the opposition pounced.

    Jim O’Connor can get his name on the November ballot if we write it in in the August primary ballot. He needs 6,663 write-in votes, the same number as the signatures required.

    The Arizona Republican Assembly (AZRA) has endorsed Eric Sloan but not Lea Márquez because Márquez is more sympathetic to renewable energy. Márquez was appointed to the commission by Governor Ducey in 2019. If O’Connor’s write-in bid fails, Democrats will win one seat by default and Márquez may be the swing vote on the commission. AZRA does not endorse write in candidates.

  • LMHudson 10:49 am on May 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply  


    Please contact us on contact@southtempecivics.com if you wish to contribute

    General Election Nov 8, 2022

    example ballot

    Some ideas on voting

    Central AZ Water Conserv Dist

    Maricopa County Community College District At-Large

    Tempe Union No. 213 Governing Board Member

    Tempe Union No. 213 Questions 1,2, and 3

    Kyrene Elem No. 28 School Governing Board Member

    Justices and Judges


    Primary Election Aug 2, 2022

    A sample ballot

    Some ideas on how to vote

    Another view…

    Some things ordinary citizens can do in between elections

    Become a Poll Worker/Observer

    Democrats get disproportionate share of Maricopa County temporary poll-worker jobs

    Vote only on Election Day, even with an absentee ballot

    Write to our legislators using email

    Use the Request to Speak (RTS) system to comment on individual bills

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests


    SRP Regular Election April 5, 2022 District 8

    A Post-Mortem

    A sample ballot for the Power District

    A sample ballot for the User’s Association

    Some ideas on how to vote

    Tempe City Council Election March 8, 2022

    Some suggestions

    A sample ballot

    Kyrene Special District Election November 2, 2021

    Kyrene ESD No. 28

    Notes on Kyrene 6-8 curriculum

    Our November 2020 ballot

    Cheatsheet for the South Tempe ballot

    Cheatsheet for the Chandler ballot

    How to return a mail ballot

    Tactical Voting

    Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils

    An argument for not voting in the Board of Supervisors

    Maricopa County Special Health Care District

    Proposition 449

    Tempe Union High School District

    Chandler Unified School District

    Kyrene Elementary School District

    City of Tempe Questions 1-5

    Maricopa County Community College District At-Large

    Maricopa County Community College District 1

    City of Chandler Question 1

    Justices of the Supreme Court

    Judges of the Court of Appeals, Division 1

    Judges of the Superior Court

    An argument for voting against all ballot initiatives

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 207

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 208

    A further argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 208

    August 2020 primary

    Guide to the August 2020 Republican Primary

    The importance of a write-in vote in the Arizona Corporation Commission primary 

    Clean Elections 

    An Argument for voting for Eddie Cook for Assessor and for John Allen as Treasurer

    Arizona Tax Credit and school choice

    Support school choice at no cost to you. Use the Arizona Tax Credit. 

    Corporations, too, can use the Arizona Tax Credit to fund private schools at no cost to them


    The importance of voting in SRP elections

    SRP Board election 7 April, 2020 

    How to vote by mail in the April 7 2020 SRP election 

    Tempe zoning

    Tempe claims “federal case law” prevents it from enforcing its zoning laws. 

    GPLET forum January 13, 2020 

    Short-term rental meeting Tuesday September 16, 2019 

    Airbnb is coming to your neighborhood 

    Municipal courts

    8 studies in Municipal Courts 

    Tempe election March 2020

    An argument for voting in the Tempe municipal election 

    All Tempe candidates’ forum January 15, 2020 

    Mayor Candidates’ Forum December 13 

    City Council Candidates’ Forum December 13 

    A proposal for voting in the March 2020 Tempe election: Don’t vote 

    • Kirstyn Goodman 12:02 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply


      This is such a helpful resource. Do you know if there is anything like this for Phoenix? I am having a hard time voting for some of the Phoenix specific questions and would love some input.


      • LMHudson 12:52 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your kind words. I will keep my eyes peeled and link to it if I see it.


    • azfamilylawtips 2:22 am on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      This is invaluable, and I so very much appreciate this resource. I also liked the “lady’s” deleted tweets… can’t spell her name offhand, so I’ll be over-generous and refer to her generically as a lady. I guess woman with the injured middle finger is a better appellation. Terrible that she can’t bend it after the accident. But it still works to delete tweets and cya. 😉 Thanks for all your hard work! Hoping 11/3 is a WIN for the country, AZ and South Tempe!


    • azfamilylawtips 4:14 pm on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, AZ! #WalkAway is bringing some PATRIOT LOVE to the Valley of the Sun! Join us in PHOENIX this Sunday! Let’s RESCUE AMERICA together! Info or register: give.walkawayfoundation.org/event/walkaway-rally-phoenix-az/e296887 Dems walking away from Democratic party & voting for Trump!


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