It pains me deeply to report that the supreme court just ordered that the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative not appear on the ballot.
For over a century, since the first days of statehood, Arizona legal tradition has protected the citizens' constitutional right of initiative and viewed with suspicion and strictly limited any rule or law which infringed on that right. Sadly, with the simultaneous decision to throw #INVESTinEd off the ballot, this court abandoned that tradition today.
The court affirmed a statute which calls for disqualifying signatures gathered by paid petition circulators who were subpoenaed as witnesses but did not appear. The court saw nothing wrong with striking thousands of valid signatures as a "penalty" to the no-shows, regardless of the constitutional rights of the petition signers. That, plus affirming the cynical way the subpoenas were served with no expectation that the ‘witnesses’ would ever know they were expected in court, is a bitter pill.
Reviewing hundreds of our petitions the last few weeks and recalling the incredible effort that so many volunteers put into collecting over 285,000 signatures to put Outlaw Dirty Money on the ballot, has been inspiring. I hope you are proud of what we accomplished.
But, I know you share my disappointment that the voters of Arizona won't get the chance they deserved to decide whether they want Dirty Money to continue to make a mockery of our democracy.
It is little comfort, I know, but the frantic, incredibly expensive effort by the Dirty Money forces in the weeks since our 285,000 signatures were filed to keep us off the ballot, was conclusive testimony of one thing: They had no doubt that if Arizona voters got the chance to vote on throwing Dirty Money out of our state, they would do it.
We came so very close.
Thank you for your months of effort, your many contributions and your faith in our cause.