Ballot Propositions – 2012
October 11, 2012 by nancy_barto
Here is how I plan to vote on the November Ballot Propositions. I will cover all of them, but the most important measures on the ballot to defeat are 204 and 121. We’ll cover those first in more detail. Click on the red links throughout for good supporting information:
Prop 121 - NO. This is often referred to as the “incumbent protection act” or the “jungle primary”. Here are several reasons why this is a terrible idea for AZ:
- Unlikely to accomplish the goal of “moderating” the Legislature. Top-2′s Intended & Unintended Consequences by Bob Robb provides plenty of examples.
- Produces Extremists. In Louisiana it led to having a KKK Grand Wizard and a convicted felon as the top two governor contenders.
- Favors Incumbents: In Louisiana, over a 30 year period, only 2 incumbents were defeated.
- Favors Big Money: Elections will be bought. Only well known candidates will rise to the top two on the ballot.
- Likely to increase party leaders’ control behind the scenes to keep candidates off the ballot and out of contention
- Limits, rather than expands, voters’ choices - TOP-2 makes it virtually impossible for 3rd party or Independent candidates to appear on a general ballot
Prop. 204 – NO: Throws permanent money at education w/o accountability. Even the AZ Republic editorial board understands this and recommends voters reject this measure. Lots of other reasons to oppose include:
- Vague and ill-defined language contained in the proposition that could allow up to $100 million of taxpayer dollars to be given to abortion providers annually
- Reneges on a promise: Makes a 2010 “temporary tax” permanent in a state with the highest sales tax rate in the U.S. Here’s a short video.
- Not Education reform: It is a special interest lobbyist’s dream come true, paid for out of your pocket. It commits our state to spend a billion dollars a year on twelve different special interest areas (including health care and light rail!) with NO oversight, NO actual reform, and NO guaranteed dollars in the classroom.
- Removes Legislature from Process: If we do not like legislative action, you can vote the bums out. We saw clear evidence of this in the last election. Voters do not have that option under Prop 204. The monies collected are assigned to the bureaucracy without legislative control and without strings attached. Voters will have no recourse if they are displeased with the actions of those who control Prop. 204 funds.
Prop 114 - YES Protects crime victims from being sued by their perpetrators if they are injured in the commission of the crime. No opposition.
Prop 115 -YES. Prevents the Bar Association from dictating judicial appointments. Requires transparency regarding judges’ rulings. A compromise judicial reform that gives the Governor more choices from which to choose judicial appointees. Again, another worthwhile Bob Robb column describing why Governors need more choices on judge appointments.
Prop 116 - YES. Did you know small businesses in AZ are subject to an annual tax on everything used in their business – desks, chairs, computers, machinery, everything…every year? This annual tax is due before an Arizona business makes its first sale, even if the business is unprofitable. That’s unfair and discourages businesses to grow or invest in Arizona. No wonder 45 other states don’t tax their businesses this way. Prop 116 reduces this tax burden. Analysis of cost shift to other taxpayers: minimal. Here’s a small biz testimony.
Prop 117 - YES. Limits the annual percentage increase in property values used to determine property taxes to no more than 5% of the previous year & establishes a single limit property value as the basis for determining all property taxes on real property, beginning in 2014. A measured property tax reform that was referred to the ballot by a large majority of conservative Republicans in both houses. Cities & Democrats opposed. Again, Bob Robb elaborates on this incremental tax reform: Prop. 117: a sensible property value limit
Prop 118 -YES. Enhances school funding via state trust lands. provides even and dependable school funding without any additional cost to tax payers. A bi-partisan referral from the Legislature that has no opposition arguments in the “What’s on my Ballot?”general election guide.
Prop 119 -YES. Authorizes State Trust Land exchanges to avoid encroachment on AZ military installations – which contribute more than $9.1 billion to our economy annually. No opposition arguments were posted.
Prop 120 YES: Re-establishes state land rights. Amends the AZ Constitution to declare that the state has complete control over its land, air, water, wildlife and natural resources. Tribal reservations and lands specifically ceded to the federal government within Arizona (e.g., national parks) are exempt. Yes, it’s a statement, but it’s a statement that states need to make and defend in court.
For guidance on candidates & judges, the AZ Voter Guide is a great resource!