The Arizona Republic ran an editorial (I think) on October 11th with a list of problems in policy-making and possible solutions.
They suggest that the best way to reduce extremism in AZ politics is to (1) get rid of Clean Elections and (2) make competitive districts.
It is nice to see that my three-year long mantra is starting to stick with some folks. However, the idea that eliminating Clean Elections will do anything to improve politics in AZ is ignorant of our own history.
Clearly nobody at the editorial board (or among our legislators who talk about “reforming” Clean Elections while they try to gut it) remember what it was like before Clean Elections.
The only people who could run a campaign were those who could get gobs of money from the Arizona and Phoenix Chambers of Commerce, lobbyist or the home builders. This meant that candidates were, in many ways, hand-picked before they even got started.
That is why the chambers and the home builders would like to see us go back to the old, broken ways.
There are problems with Clean Elections, but not enough to justify tearing it all down!
If you have competitive districts –i.e. within 6% registration, Dem/Rep, it will be more difficult for the extremes of both party to get candidates in to office, regardless of whether they run clean or not.
So, why tear down a system that allows more people to get involved?
Like Columbo, we need to just keep coming back to the suspects behind this effort to ask the same questions over and over. Motive? Opportunity? Means?