Our team at HighGround was proud to be a part of yesterday’s campaign launch for the Open and Honest Elections campaign efforts to reinvent the architecture of Arizona’s elections system. Please take a moment to read the coverage from the Arizona Republic. Additionally, Chuck Coughlin’s remarks from yesterday’s event can be read below:
At 2:30 pm MST time today – mark your calendars – the revolution has begun.
Partisanship has been baked into our form of government since the founding of the country, we have only had one President who was not a member of a party – Our first President – he was an excellent role model.
Today the single largest group of registered voters in Arizona have chosen to be Independents or have refused to align with a political party. Our current election system for state offices discriminates against these voters and forces them to participate in a taxpayer funded election which forces them to choose the very partisan ballot they have already rejected. Our current election system institutionalizes unnecessary and anti-competitive barriers to participation. Through the filing of an amendment today to our Arizona Constitution we intend to tear those walls down.
America was born on the idea of a meritocracy – a political philosophy which held that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively according to merit. Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury and General George Washington’s right hand man – was born without a father, an immigrant, a Scotsman born into abject poverty in the Caribbean. He became our founding father memorialized today on our nation’s $10 dollar bill.
Open, Competitive markets gave Alexander Hamilton a chance – today our electoral system discourages competition and service to our Country and has institutionalized partisanship and self-interest.
Last year, Arizona had the lowest voter turnout in 30 years – Our American Experiment in Representative Democracy is in jeopardy.
Fortunately, because Arizona has a history of being a populist state, we already have open election systems in Arizona – it is how we elect a vast majority of our City Council members and Mayors – Public opinion data suggests that most Arizonans are far more pleased with their local governments than that of the State or Federal government.
Recently, there has been a great public debate about the sharing economy; Our Governor has encouraged our City to permit visitors to choose any cab or ride-sharing company they choose – if that system, of open competition, is good for consumers at the airport, think how productive it would be in permitting voters to choose the best candidate – regardless of party affiliation. Everyone competes on the same ballot – that’s how Arizona Cities do it today and that is how we intend to change our State and Federal election process.
America remains today the greatest country on the face of the earth – it is our two party system, injected with the steroids of dark money that is broken and is in jeopardy of destroying the American experiment.
So today, we are proposing to treat all Arizona voters & candidates, regardless of party affiliation exactly the same – Same number of signatures to get your name on a ballot as a candidate and the equal access to early voting as any registered partisan voter.
And we are proposing a constitutional right to guarantee that all Arizona voters have the right to know who is spending more than $10,000 dollars to influence a candidate election in Arizona.
Open & Honest Elections!
I am deeply honored to be joined here today by people who I have opposed in past elections, Former Attorney General Terry Goddard and Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson. It is a testament that the American Experiment is still alive and well in the last continental State, Arizona, to join the Union.