Majority Rules: Let the People Decide

WHAT IT WOULD DO: Amends the Arizona Constitution to require that any ballot measure that increases taxes pass by a majority of all registered voters—not just the voters who go out on Election Day. In 2006, for example, the proposition that raises cigarette taxes to pay for children’s programs would have had needed more than 80 percent of the vote to pass.

SUPPORTERS SAY:
In their filing with the Secretary of State, supporters announced: “Currently, initiatives that increase taxes or spending can pass with approval from only a minority of qualified electors.”

OPPONENTS SAY:
This would give a small minority of voters control over the majority of voters; 50 percent plus one vote should be enough to pass a measure in a democracy; this would make passing any tax increase, no matter how small or reasonable, absolutely impossible; whenever the anti-tax crowd gets tired of losing, they try to change the rules in their favor; this is flat-out nuts.

MAJOR FUNDING PROVIDED BY: Jason LeVecke, owner of a chain of Carl’s Jr. franchises; auto dealer Jim Click

TOTAL $$$ IN CONTRIBUTIONS: $471,000

TOTAL $$$ SPENT: $138,136

Campaign finance totals reflect activity through May 31. A list of more recent contributions and expenditures of greater than 10K can be found here.

Find the complete text of each initiative here.

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One Response

  1. I found an interesting connection from this ballot proposal to John McCain.

    First, an introduction of the players:

    Robert Delgado is chief executive of Hensley & Company the dominant beer wholesaler in Arizona and the third-largest Budweiser distributor in the country.

    Hensley & Company plays a leading role in corporate Phoenix — Andy McCain, senator McCain’s stepson from his first marriage and a top executive of the beer company, is now president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce — and is a forceful presence in state politics on the issues that matter to it.

    Senator McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain is chairwoman of Hensley & Company, having inherited that position upon the death of her father, Jim Hensley.

    And here’s how they play:

    This year, Phoenix Children’s Hospital proposed an initiative to raise money for pediatric hospital beds. Polling showed a liquor-tax increase would be an easy sell, but the hospital still offered a 30-year moratorium on any further liquor-tax increases. But Mr. Delgado said he learned that the moratorium was not ironclad and vowed to fight. The hospitals, lacking money for a costly advertisement campaign, folded, according to people involved.

    But Hensley & Company is taking no chances. It is supporting another initiative that would require that any ballot measure imposing a tax increase be approved by a majority of all registered voters in the state, not just of those who turn out at the polls.

    • Source:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/23/us/politics/23mccain.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ei=5070&emc=eta1

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