If the Periódico de la República de Arizona’s (Arizona Republic) Linda Valdez has any fans, today must be nirvana for them. She gets two full pages of editorials which she has “researched and written” to take on Arizona’s political parties and what she views as their diminished effect.
In her opinion the reason for the decided uptick in “no party preference” registrants is dissatisfaction with the choices offered by political parties. Conveniently omitted from her soliloquy is the fact that Arizona’s “open primaries” currently allow unaffiliated voters to pull either Republican or Democrat ballots when elections roll around — giving them more, not fewer choices.
Liberal Valdez reveals her true motives when saying open primaries give candidates a better chance of surviving primary elections, where the “party faithful favor more extreme candidates.” It’s a sure bet she has conservatives in her sights, rather than the radical left she favors.
Seeing Red AZ has previously written about this movement to neuter our two-party system. Back in August, it was the daily’s Mary Jo Pitzl who was extolling the virtues of the Arizona Open Government Coalition — a radically left-of-center group whose ultimate goal is replacing traditional primaries with a single-primary system open to all voters. Rather than candidates of each party squaring off against one another, the general election contenders could well be two from the same party who score the highest number of votes on the primary ballot. In the perfect world of Valdez and Pitzl, those top two contenders would, unquestionably, both be Democrats.
But are open primaries actually equitable? We can all be as independent as we desire during the general election. But primaries should be where those affiliated with the major parties choose their best candidates to go forward. Would the Phoenix Suns want the Lakers selecting their players?
Valdez does include this telling quote from Vincent Hutchings, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan, who concedes “A large percent of these people [registered Independents] are closet partisans.” Hutchings works with American National Election Studies, which has been surveying the electorate in pre-and post-election interviews since 1948. “They are not changing the way they view the world by registering Independent,” he said.
His comment brings to mind Colleen Coyle Mathis, the problematic “Independent” chairwoman of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission, the panel charged with reconfiguring legislative and congressional district boundaries. Mathis’ husband, Christopher, a Democrat lawyer, served as treasurer for a Democrat legislative candidate in 2010 and the duo donated to other Democrat candidates. As chair, Mathis’ tie-breaking vote with the commission’s Democrat members resulted in the hiring of Strategic Telemetry – a company with strong ties to high-profile Democrats as the mapping consultant. Registering as an Independent served as a cloak to conceal her actual bent.
Who would have guessed that Ken Strasma, the national target director of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign is president of Washington D.C. based Strategic Telemetry?
People align themselves with political parties for a reason. The two major parties stand for very different principles. Those core values are outlined in the Republican and Democrat Platforms. For insight, read them. Then ask yourself, what registered Independents stand for.