“Top-2 Primary” initiative declared unconstitutional; off ballot

Citing a violation of the Arizona Constitution’s “single-subject” rule requiring ballot initiatives to focus on a single subject, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain has issued an injunction against the cunningly titled Open Elections/Open Government Act. The scheme is nothing more than a ruse to gut the influence of conservative Republicans in Arizona politics.

Judge Brain ruled that the section on the rights of political parties should have been a separate amendment from the initiative, which seeks to create a “top two” primary election system, effectively abolishing political parties in Arizona by prohibiting them from organizing and nominating candidates for virtually all public offices. The lack of political affiliation would serve to mask candidate’s actual political positions, an overt attempt to confuse voters.

The court’s ruling can be read here.

Attorney Mike Liburdi, represented the Save Our Vote committee which sued to block the initiative. Liburdi praised the ruling saying, “Not only does Top-Two severely limit voter choice, but as the court found, it is in direct violation of the Arizona Constitution. This decision can only be viewed as a major victory for Arizona voters.”

Democrat Paul Johnson, a onetime Phoenix mayor chairs the initiative backed by a stunning assortment of liberals. He says the committee is prepared to raise and spend $2 million on the campaign. And to underscore the deception, Johnson has reregistered as an Independent to promote this sham against Arizona voters.

Although the state’s left-wing newspaper the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) has been relentless in pushing this ruthless political charade, columnist Robert Robb has been a lone standout exposing the farce.  We recommend his excellent column linked in this post.

The Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee has not been conned. Read the group’s protest to the resolution here.

8 Responses to “Top-2 Primary” initiative declared unconstitutional; off ballot

  1. Scott says:

    Another political hoodwinking, courtesy of the liberals.

  2. greenvalleygal says:

    Judge Brain used his. Thank you, Judge.

  3. Vince says:

    This issue is obviously of extreme importance to the Democrats if Johnson says they will put millions toward getting it passed Once again the liberals have put a catchy name on a ballot issue and the voters are prepared to swallow it whole. I’ll grant you people are busy. But people have always been busy with jobs and family, and still have educated themselves about the candidates and other matters on the ballot. The dumbing down of America by the NEA and state unions have already begun to take their toll. Don’t allow the entire country to cave because you’re too busy to pay attention. Step away from the televison, arm yourself with knowledge and don’t be conned. Unlike TV, there will be no reruns. Ballot initiatives become part of the state constitution, and are as good as written in stone.

  4. American Dad says:

    Paul Johnson and his group of liberals spent nearly $1 million just to collect the signatures for this monstrosity. They have high dollar underwriters. Don’t you wonder why it matters so much?

  5. chick20112011 says:

    If it’s a liberal cause, you don’t have to follow the Law or Constitution, right EJ Montini?

  6. greenvalleygal says:

    And this amazing outcome may have been influenced by Maricopa County http://www.verifythevoteaz.org group’s initiative to manually check 365,000 petition signatures for irregularities using software from TRUE THE VOTE-the same software used for Governor Scott Walker’s recal petitions.

  7. If the Arizona Supreme Court keeps it off the ballot, be assured it will be back in two years, minus the offending part.

    The fact that almost all of the signatures gathered for this initiative were collected by paid collectors shows how distant Arizona’s initative process has strayed from its populist grassroots beginning.

    Next session, I will introduce legislation to require 40 – 50% of initiative signatures to be collected by volunteers.