Arizona....battle ground state for immigration issues
- Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 07:41:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rosalio Munoz <rosalio_munoz@...>
Subject: Anti immigrant intiative on Arizona Ballot, battle ground
Arizona is a battleground state for the Presidential elections, this is
like a replay of Californias Prop 187 that Republican Gov Wilson used
for reelection in 1994, now it is a right wing tool to help elect Bush.
This coupled with stepped up immigration raids especially in California
is an indicator of anti immigrant, anti Mexican, anti Latino measures
yet to come to destabilize the Latino community and its vote and and
rally ultra right wing voteers injecting racism and intolerance vicously
into the national elections.
Arizona voters face crucial ballot issues
Elvia D�az, Chip Scutari and Robbie Sherwood
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 2, 2004 12:00 AM
An anti-illegal-immigration initiative that would affect all Arizonans
who voted or sought welfare benefits may be headed to the Nov. 2 ballot
after its supporters turned in more than 190,000 signatures Thursday.
But the battle over the fate of Arizona's Clean Elections law is headed
to court before it can go to voters in the form of an initiative.
� More border news �
� More politics �
Protect Arizona Now, aimed at preventing voter fraud and denying
public benefits to undocumented immigrants, will likely thrust Arizona into
the center of the nation's debate over illegal immigration. Hours
before Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline, Kathy McKee, state director of Protect
Arizona Now, submitted 190,887 signatures to the secretary of state.
McKee said she's confident election officials will find the 122,612
valid signatures necessary to send the issue to voters.
In November, Arizonans also will consider six legislative referendums
and a salary increase for lawmakers.
McKee noted that Protect Arizona Now targets welfare benefits.
"We're mandated to educate children of illegal aliens in kindergarten
through (Grade) 12," she said. "But we're not mandated to provide free
breakfast, free lunch, after-school programs and many other things."
The measure would require all Arizonans to provide proof of citizenship
when registering to vote and when seeking state benefits. Voters would
have to show identification when casting a ballot in person. Currently,
Arizonans must fill out a form when registering to vote, affirming that
they are U.S. citizens and Arizona residents.
Critics of Protect Arizona Now say the measure could prevent
undocumented immigrants from getting library cards, water or trash collection,
among other things.
A lasting impact Voters face a relatively light crop of ballot
questions; a maximum of nine overall (10 in Maricopa County), the fewest since
The decisions will have a lasting impact, though, as the measures could
continue funding for freeways and the Valley's light-rail system and
allow public universities to retain some of the profits from their
Voters will also decide if state lawmakers deserve a 50 percent raise,
boosting their salaries to $36,000 from $24,000.
And, ironically, Arizonans will have a chance to limit the initiative
The ballot won't be set until Protect Arizona Now's signatures are
verified. And the Clean Elections case should be heard over the next two
weeks, with the losing side appealing to the Arizona Supreme Court.
A group called No Taxpayer Money for Politicians, which opposes the
Clean Elections law, wants to end the publicly funded campaigns and put
that money into state coffers. The group filed 275,000 signatures last
week, far more than needed.
But the Clean Elections Institute sued Thursday, saying the measure
violates the "single subject rule" because it would also get rid of public
financing that would prevent the Clean Elections Commission from doing
its voter-approved duties. The five-member commission uses public money
to schedule debates, publish a voter guide and regulate
The suit also contends that petitions used to explain the purpose of
the anti-Clean Elections initiative were "highly partisan" and "designed
to mislead voters."
Proponents of the anti-Clean Elections initiative say they aren't
worried about the last-minute legal challenge.
Transportation tax In Maricopa County, voters will consider Proposition
400, which would extend the half-cent transportation sales tax for 20
years to help pay for light-rail lines, new and improved freeways and
other transit improvements in the Valley.
The tax, set to expire next year, would generate $8.5 billion, more
than half of the $15.8 billion local leaders are seeking to improve the
Valley's transit system. Federal and state funds would cover the rest.
Of the six legislative referendums, two would add restrictions to the
initiative process. Lawmakers, mostly Republican leaders, complained
throughout the recent revenue shortfall and budget crisis that
voter-mandated spending for health care and education had tied their hands as they
struggled to balance the state budget.
One measure would require that if initiatives seek state money, they
include a tax increase or some other funding source to cover the costs.
That would prevent another initiative like 2000's Proposition 204, which
provides health insurance for any Arizonans living in poverty. The
measure quickly overwhelmed its funding source, Arizona's portion of the
nationwide tobacco settlement.
The other measure would move back the filing date for ballot
propositions, by four months, to seven months before an election.
Legislative pay raise Legislators had no say in putting a proposed pay
raise for themselves on the ballot, but many are pulling for its
victory. Voters shot down a $6,000 pay raise in 2000.
Voters will have to wait at least another month to find out whether
Protect Arizona Now has enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state legislator and co-chairman of the
Statue of Liberty Coalition formed to defeat the measure, said the group
is ready to raise roughly $2 million to fight the measure.
"This isn't going to make the border any safer or secure," Gutierrez
said. "It will simply harass innocent people. We're not talking only
undocumented immigrants. Everyone would be required to carry proof of
citizenship when seeking any public services."
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa and a leading supporter of Protect Arizona
Now, said residents in Arizona and elsewhere are fed up with illegal
"Americans want something done about the abuse, the fraud and illegal
immigration," Pearce said this week. "This is simply allowing the voters
of the state of Arizona to decide if their elections ought to be
protected and if their welfare dollars ought to be protected."
Hector Cabrera, a 42-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who
waits for work at a day labor center in north Phoenix, was dismayed to
find out people like him will be the target.
Cabrera said that he has never gotten any free government handouts but
that he worries he and other undocumented immigrants will be caught in
the public fight over Protect Arizona Now.
"Most of us come here to work," Cabrera said. "We will keep coming as
long as there is work for us."
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The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004
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