Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Provisional Early Voting - By Mark R. Kerr

As previously reported in this column and publication, ballots (vote by mail and/or provisional), are still being tabulated by election officials in Arizona’s fifteen counties for the general election held November 4.

With the ongoing counting of votes cast, the outcome of who was won seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, as well as the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate for a couple of Legislative Districts (including Pima County’s District 26) is still pending as well as Proposition 101, the ballot measure that would prohibit the implementation of a universal health insurance program in Arizona, which was losing in the most recent count - by a narrow margin but could not be called.

Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for President, despite name recognition and a home-state edge, narrowly won the popular vote cast by registered voters in the state, by a little more than just 10% to the winner, Democratic Senator and presidential nominee and now, president-elect, Barack Obama of Illinois, who won the national popular vote, as well as the Electoral College vote. In addition, Obama won the neighboring state (surrounding Arizona) of New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and California, as well as 365 total Electoral votes.

Arizona’s delegation in Congress, specifically the U.S. House of Representatives, will be a majority Democratic one for the upcoming 111th Session of Congress, holding five of the eight House seats, occurring when former Democratic state Representative Ann Kirkpatrick defeated the Republican Legislative lobbyist, Sydney Hay, in the Congressional District One race. In Southern Arizona, incumbent Democrat and strong support of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and HIV/AIDS communities, U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva, romped to an easy victory in Congressional District Seven, over his Republican, anti immigrant and virulently anti-LGBT opponent.

In Southern Arizona’s other U.S. House seat, in District 8, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Democratic incumbent, faced the soon-to-be former state Senate President and Republican challenger, Tim Bee. Senator Bee, who was the prime sponsor and deciding vote to place Arizona’s Proposition 102 on the ballot, hoping it would be the “wedge issue” to help propel him to victory, had his political “ass handed to him on a plate” by Giffords superb record and exemplary campaign, losing by more than 12% of the vote, making Giffords the first Democrat to win reelection in the history of this Congressional District.

Giffords, Grijalva and Kirkpatrick will be joined in the 111th Congress by Democratic incumbents, Harry Mitchell (Congressional District Five) and Ed Pastor (Congressional District Four). Incumbent Republican Congressman Trent Franks (Congressional District Two), John Shaddegg (Congressional District Three) and Jeff Flake (Congressional District Six) were also reelected.

Republican state Representative Marion McClure of Tucson sponsored legislation and subsequent voted for the measure to place Proposition 102 on the ballot. Like Tim Bee, McClure, with her public declaration’s of “Christianity,” hoped the ballot measure would be the springboard to higher office, the Arizona Corporation Commission, especially after McClure’s half-assed effort to get a measure on the ballot, a watered down one to boot, dealing with payday loan businesses. As with Bee, the voters gave McClure the “voided” sign on her candidacy for the Commission on election day, November 4.

Arizona voters had several ballot measures to consider on November 4, most of which they gave their “thumbs down” in the polling booth to: extending the life of payday loan centers, check cashing businesses and auto title loans, saying no to Proposition 200; rewarding voters for not casting ballots (Proposition 105); providing legal protections for new home buyers (Proposition 201); a real estate transfer tax (Proposition 100); a pay raise to Arizona’s Legislators (Proposition 300) as well as a bond override in the Tucson Unified School District (Proposition 403).

Two other overrides for smaller school districts in Pima County were approved by their voters, as well as a ballot proposition, setting standards of cuisine for racing greyhounds at Tucson’s Greyhound Park and then there was Proposition 102, showing that greyhounds in Arizona will get better treatment in the eyes of the law than Gays and Lesbians will.

Proposition 102 was the proposed state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and was defeated by Pima County voters but unfortunately, the other fourteen counties cast ballots and despite state law and court precedent, voters bought the lies and spin and approved the “wedge issue” from Karl Rove’s “political playbook by a 56% to 44% margin and in turn helped the Republicans, the primary supporters and sponsors of the proposition to gain two seats in Arizona’s state House of Representatives.

Despite Proposition 102 and the lower turnout of voters in this election, Pima County is sending Democrats Manny Alvarez, Jorge Luis Garcia, Paula Aboud and Linda Lopez to the Arizona Senate, as well as Republican state Representative and Proposition 102 supporter, Jonathan Paton, who won his bid for the state’s upper chamber. For the Arizona House, Pima County is sending Democrats Pat Fleming, Nancy Young-Wright, Olivia Cajero-Bedford, Phil Lopes, Steve Farley, David Bradley, Daniel Patterson and Matt Heinz. Republicans Vic Williams, Frank Antenori and David Gowan were also elected.

On November’s ballot in Pima County, there were two contested elections for the Board of Supervisors (District 3 seat) as well as for County Attorney. Observer endorsed candidate Sharon Bronson, the Democratic Supervisor and incumbent, was easily reelected, as well as current County Attorney, Democrat Barbara LaWall who triumphed over her Republican and Green Party challengers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that people that have never had anything to do with the Payday Loan Industry have seen fit to act as God and determine what they think is best for others