Not every outcome of November’s frustrating and poorly run election was a disaster. While Maricopa County certainly dropped the ball, and we await the results of any lawsuits and investigations, voters passed some important initiative reforms.
One of those came from Proposition 129, which earned 55 percent of the vote. This measure amends the Arizona Constitution to limit ballot initiatives to a single subject. It also requires the subject to be included in the title of the measure.
The passing of Prop 129 is critical because for years, out-of-state special interest groups have made it a habit to shove multiple provisions on many different subjects into their ballot initiatives. That would often lead to confusion for voters who didn’t always understand what exactly they were voting for or against. And it would put voters in the difficult position to vote on the entirety of an initiative even though they may support some parts of it and oppose others. Now, with the single subject rule, ballot initiatives will have the same requirement for bills to pass the state legislature. And voters will gain some much-needed clarity when they cast their vote.
But Prop 129 wasn’t the only important initiative reform to pass in this November’s election…
When groups outside of Arizona have more interest in stopping an initiative reform than groups inside Arizona, that should tell you everything you need to know. And so it is with Will of the People Arizona, a group so concerned with our state that it raised nearly $325,000 in the third quarter of 2022.
That’s impressive, isn’t it? But do you know what’s even more impressive? Only $33 of the money raised by Will of the People came directly from people who actually live in Arizona!
You read that right…$33.
Despite its claim at the bottom of its website that only 20 percent of contributions are “coming from out of state,” the group received 11 payments from the Washington, D.C.-based The Fairness Project totaling more than $254,000. In addition, $70,000 came from the Berkeley-based Every Single Vote, and another D.C.-based group called Ballot Initiative Strategy Center contributed $326.11.
That’s well over 99% of the contributions to Will of the People Arizona coming from groups based in California and D.C…
Governor Doug Ducey told Democratic mayors of the nation’s capital and most populous city, respectively, that they shouldn’t complain to him about asylum seekers, but should petition their party since it bears ultimate responsibility. Since April, Texas and Arizona have sent over 4,000 migrants to D.C.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser complained to CBS News that Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott were “tricking” illegal immigrants seeking asylum into boarding buses headed for her city. Bowser said that these buses were overwhelming D.C.’s homeless shelters.
“I fear that they’re being tricked into nationwide bus trips when their final destinations are places all over the United States of America,” said Bowser.
The D.C.-based news outlet, WUSA9, reported that several asylum seekers were told by Texas and Arizona officials that they would be given further transportation to their final destinations after traveling to D.C. These accounts would corroborate Bowser’s claim.
However, Ducey asserted that Arizona only provided asylum seekers with voluntary transportation to Washington, D.C. Additionally, the governor insisted that the mayor was getting a taste of her party’s own policies.
“Welcome to our world, @MayorBowser. Now work with your party, your Congress, and your President to do something about it,” stated Ducey.
Ducey added that the only “trick” played on asylum seekers is one played by the Biden administration.
Ducey later tweeted that Bowser’s accusations were offensive to the homeless shelters and nonprofits of Arizona and other border states because they’re also overwhelmed.
In a statement to WUSA9, Ducey’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, said that they were unaware of anyone misleading the asylum seekers.
“If anyone is being misled, we certainly want to know about it,” stated Karamargin.
Abbott spokespersons also declared to WUSA9 that they didn’t mislead the asylum seekers.
Ducey also dismissed New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ claim that Arizona sent migrant families to New York City, saying that Arizona only sent them to D.C.
“President Biden created the crisis at the border — he’s failed to respond to calls for action and refuses to even visit the border, so we’re bringing the issue a little closer to home for him,” tweeted Ducey. “The President’s policies have placed overwhelming burdens on Arizona communities. It’s convenient that these liberal mayors are finally speaking up on this humanitarian crisis once it affects their communities, even though our program does not charter to New York City.”