While I suppose it could be a lot worse, it looks like the days of true citizen democracy in the Arizona Presidential Preference Primary might be over in 2016:
On a 48-3 margin Monday, the state House voted to scrap laws which let individuals put their names on the presidential preference primary simply by filing some paperwork. The result is that the Republicans seeking to make their pick for president this year have to search through a list of 23 contenders, ranging from Wayne Arnett of Tempe to Tucsonan Ronald Zack, to cast a vote for anyone who actually has a reasonable chance of becoming the nation's next chief executive.
If the Senate goes along with HB2379, would-be presidential contenders beginning in 2016 will have to find at least 1,000 Arizonans willing to sign petitions to nominate them.
Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, the sponsor of the measure, said there needs to be some standard to limit the ballot to those who are "serious" about running.
What I personally resent, however, is that Rep. Farnsworth seems to think that just because a candidate is only on the Arizona ballot that they aren't "serious" about running. So, Rick Santorum drops in once before a debate, Romney seems to ignore the state altogether, and I don't recall Newt Gingrich stopping by in recent memory. How "serious" are these candidates about Arizonans and their concerns? At least the Project White House candidates have actually made an effort to meet people in town instead of dropping in on their private jets at the last minute. Maybe we could just save some money and ditch the primaries altogether. Someone else is essentially making these choices for us anyhow, so why pretend any of these candidates care all that much about our state?
But, instead, the national parties and their corporate patrons are upset that the ballot includes some names they don't recognize, so Rep. Farnsworth stepped up to the plate for them. Good for him.
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