MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK

  • LWVAZ STATEMENT
    September 12 Rally in Phoenix regarding the PCEI. Ready more about it here…

    My name is Rivko Knox and I am very pleased to be here today to speak on behalf of the over 800 members of the League of Women Voters of AZ. The League is a very political, progressive AND totally nonpartisan organization, which means we study and take positions on issue but we never support or oppose a candidate.

    Both the League and I are passionately committed to the concept that the right to vote is a critical principle of our democracy; that the arc of the American story continues to bend toward providing the vote to an ever broader group of people, in ways that encourage more and more people to exercise that right by making voting accessible, simple and a point of pride for everyone!!! This should not be surprising to those who know the history of the League, which of course began as a struggle to allow women to vote here in this country…a multi year struggle that culminated in the 19th amendment to the US Constitution adopted in 1920-- tho I must proudly say that we here in AZ gave women the vote 8 years earlier!!

    Today the President's Commission on Election Integrity, also known as the Pence Kobach Commission, or PCEI, meets for the 2nd time in New Hampshire. This Commission is a flawed entity since it was created, based on an unsubstantiated statement by the President that about 3 million individuals voted illegally in the 2016 Presidential election. However, every single study made by every reputable organization, institution and university in the United States has shown that intentional voter fraud is very very very very rare. Further, every prior Presidential Commission on voting has been focused on expanding the vote, making it easier for people to vote, and providing federal assistance to states to help them ensure that the voting process is as efficient, fair and accessible to all as possible.
    Further, this PCEI, is co chaired by a person, Kris Kobach of Kansas, who has a long history of attempting to suppress voting rights by curtailing registration, early voting, complicating the registration process, losing court cases for suppressing the rights of citizens to vote in his home state of Kansas & the one who created the Interstate Voter registration Crosscheck program that has resulted in the removal of a large number of people supposedly registered in more than one state -- a process that singles out Black, Hispanic and Asian surnames. Among the prior actions of the PCEI, that lessen faith in its ability to carry out any actions relating to 'voter integrity' was an initial meeting, via telephone, conducted without providing notice, let alone participation by the public, followed by a 'strange' request to all the states for all voter data, including social security numbers, voting histories, party affiliations, with this request issued without any prior consultation with the chief elected officials of any states, who would have immediately explained that this request invaded voters' privacy -- which these chief elected officials are sworn to protect!

    This Commission is targeting the wrong issue. WHY this Election Commission is even focused on voter fraud? When only about 60% of the eligible voting age population in the US voted in 2016, when 34 states have restrictive voter laws, when many people are prohibited from registering because of onerous ID requirements, when some can not make it to the polls because polling locations are difficult to reach, when voters who move too close to an election are prohibited from voting, when those who are out of prison but owe restitution --a form of a poll tax -- are prohibited from registering to vote, when the US ranks 31st out of the 35 nations with functioning democracies in terms of voter turnout - any Presidential Commission on voting should be targeting barriers to voting, not focused on creating more! Rather than the federal government spending precious time and funds on this voter suppression commission, the League urges the President and Congress to address the real issues facing voters nationwide, which include: the lack of protection provided by the Supreme Courts action invalidation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the lack of funds for new, more secure voting equipment and training for voting officials, the lack of encouragement and guidance to all states on how to expand voting by addressing the growing problems of disenfranchisement of too many people, whether ex felons, those who cannot meet restrictive voter ID laws and those who lack transportation to polling places, This Commission should instead be focused on encouraging states to adopt automatic voter registration, universal registration, permanent portable registration and focusing on increased, easily accessible voter education.

MONEY IN POLITICS (MIP)

  • LWVUS ON MIP
    The Liaison report summaring LWVUS Consensus…

    In preparation for the National Convention June, 2016

    1. The board adopted a new Money in Politics (MIP) position, which has been rolled out in the League Update. We had many LWVs participate and have reached consensus in a variety of areas.

    MIP Position: The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the methods of financial political campaigns should:

    • Enhance political equality for all citizens
    • Ensure maximum participation by citizens int he political process
    • Protect representative democracy from being distorted by big spending in election campaigns
    • Provide voters sufficient information about candidates and campaign issue to make informed choices
    • Ensure transparency and the public’s right to know who is using money to influence elections
    • Enable candidates to compete equitably for public office
    • Ensure that candidates have sufficient funds to communicate their message to the public
    • Combat corruption and undue influence in government

    The League believes that political corruption includes the following:

    • A candidate or officeholder agrees to vote or work in favor of a donor’s interest in exchange for a campaign contribution
    • An officeholder or staff gives greater access to donors
    • An officeholder votes or works to support policies that reflect the preferences of individuals or organizations in order to attract contributions from them
    • A candidate or officeholder seeks political contributions implying that there will be retribution unless the donation is given
    • The results of the political process consistently favors the interests of significant campaign contributors.

    In order to achieve the goals for campaign finance regulation, the Lease supports

    • Public financing of elections, either voluntary or mandatory, in which candidates must abide by reasonable spending limits
    • Enhanced enforcement of campaign finance laws that include changes to ensure that regulatory agencies are properly funded, staffed, and structured to avoid partisan deadlock in the decision-making process
    • Abolishing Super PACs and spending coordinated or directed by candidates (other than a candidate’s own campaign committee)
    • Restrictions on direct donations and bundling by lobbyists, which may include monetary limits as well as other regulations.

    Until full public financing of elections is enacted, limits on election spending are needed in order to meet the League’s goals for protecting democratic processes. Among the different entities that spend money to influence elections, the League supports the following comparative limits:

    • Higher spending limits for political parties, genuinely non-partisan voter registration and get-out-the-vote organizations and activities, and candidates spending money raised from contributors
    • Mid-level spending limits for individual citizens Including wealthy individuals), PACs (with funds contributed by individuals associated with the sponsoring organization, such as employees, stockholders, members and volunteers), and candidates spending their own money
    • Lower spending limits for trade associations, labor unions and non-profit organizations from he general treasury funds
    • Severely restricted spending for for-profit organizations spending from their corporate treasury funds
    • No limits on spending by vena fide newspaper, television, and other media, including the internet, except to address partisan abuse or use of the media to evade campaign finance regulations.

    With our MIP position, as with so much LWV work, we are only effective when local and state LWVs are active - using the MIP and other positions, recruiting and retaining members, raising enough funds, developing new leaders, promoting the vote, etc. Keep up the good work! Encourage your LLs to plan and prioritize.

    The Key Structures of Democracy will be recommended as program for the next biennium. Those participating in program planning process overwhelmingly suggested Key Structures of Democracy to recommended by the board to convention and no new study be recommended.

  • MIP LEGISLATION
    The LWV supports comprehensive legislation to address…

    MIP Legislation


    The League of Women Voters supports comprehensive legislation to address the major loopholes created by Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions, establish a small-donor-based public financing system for congressional as well as presidential elections, and recreate an effective enforcement agency for campaign finance laws.

    SENATE

    • Whitehouse - S299 - The DISCLOSE Act - abolishes “dark money” by closing disclosure loopholes opened by Citizens United. Restores transparency to U.S. elections by requiring complete disclosure of spending on big money advertising in candidate elections, including transfers among groups

    • Leahy - S1838 - The Stop Super PAC - Candidate Coordination Act - provides explicit and rigorous definitions of “coordinated” expenditures to prevent Super PACs from evading the law and circumventing contribution limits

    • Udall - S1176 - The Empower Act - repairs the reinvigorates the public financing system for candidates in presidential elections

    • Durbin - S1538 - The Fair Elections Now Act - creates new small-donor based public financing system for senate elections

    • Udall - S2611 - The Federal Election Administration Act - restructures the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a five-member commission, with a system of administration law judges having initial jurisdiction over enforcement cases

    • Bennet - S1480 - The Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act - limits the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to buy influence with member of Congress

    HOUSE

    • Van Hollen - HR430 - The DISCLOSE Act - abolishes “dark money” by closing disclosure loopholes opened by Citizens United. Restores transparency to U.S. elections by requiring complete disclosure of spending on big money advertising in candidate elections, including transfers among groups

    • Price - HR425 - The Stop Super PAC - Candidate Coordination Act - provides explicit and rigorous definitions of “coordinated” expenditures to prevent Super PACs from evading the law and circumventing contribution limits

    • Price - HR2143 - The Empower Act - repairs the reinvigorates the public financing system for candidates in presidential elections

    • Price - HR424 - The Empowering Citizens Act - creates new small-donor-based public financing system for House and Senate elections, and repairs and reinvigorates presidential public financing as a small donor-based system

    • Price - HR5439 - The Federal Election Administration Act - restructures the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a five member commission, with a system of administrative law judges having initial jurisdiction over enforcement cases.

CLEAN ELECTIONS

  • SUMMARY
    This is the LWV Summary of Clean Elections

    LWV Summary of Clean Elections


    “The Citizens Clean Elections Act was passed by voters in 1998 to promote participation in the political process and to ensure Arizona’s politics are free from corruption. This includes voter education, public financing of campaigns and campaign finance enforcement. The commission is an independent state agency made up of individuals who have sworn to faithfully administer the Clean Elections Act.”

CLEAN ELECTION REPORTS

  • CCEC April, 2018 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Summary/Highlights of the 4/19/2018 Commission Meeting
    by Rivko Knox

    Present:  Commissioners Chan, Kimble, Meyer and Titla. (Note:  Titla’s term has ended; however, Commissioners continue to serve until a replacement is named or they formally resign; and so far neither has happened.)
     
    1. Meeting Minutes.   I normally don’t comment on such; however, since the last meeting on which I reported, the Commission held a special meeting, on April 3, to address the issue of a Clean Candidate many of whose forms were rejected by the Secretary of State because the signatures on the forms did not match the signatures in the SOS’s voter files or indicated the person was deceased. As it turns out, the candidate is someone I know who is/was running for the AZ Senate from LD 20, in which I live.  As of the meeting today, not all issues had been resolved, with the Maricopa County Elections Department still involved with the case; however, the candidate appears to have withdrawn from the race.
     
    2. Executive Director’s Report.  Collins discussed most of the elements of the written report, which included the following:
     
    A. General Information
        a) As League knows, the Governor signed HB2153, which prohibits cities and towns from enforcing campaign finance disclosure from non-profits in good standing with the IRS.  It also removes the requirement such entities be in good standing with the Corporation Commission. Voters in the City of Tempe passed a new disclosure measure by a vote of 91% in favor in the city’s March Election. That charter amendment itself is pending with the Governor’s Office.  The City of Phoenix City Council voted 6-3 to authorize staff to research potential campaign finance reforms for the 2018 Phoenix ballot & is continuing to work on that issue.
        b) The candidate filing period to qualify for the ballot begins on April 30 & ends on May 30 at 5pm. Candidates can make an appointment with the Secretary of State’s Office online.
        c) Candidate training is now available online at https://www.azcleanelections.gov/en/run.
     
    B. Voter Education
        a) On April 6, staff hosted a soft launch of the #18in2018 mural on Roosevelt Row with a lot of people, especially young people, in attendance with several news outlets covering the soft launch.  There is now an #18in2018 landing page.  The official launch will happen on May 4, which will include an augmented reality portion of the mural. A wheat pasting of the mural will debut in Tucson on May 15
        b) Staff attended the Election Officials of AZ (EOA) annual conference, from April 11-15, where they spoke about the Commission’s Voter Education plan. Several counties were interested in the #18in2018 campaign, requesting posters of the mural to assist them in their voter outreach to high schools.
        c) The voter dashboard (previously called “the Compass”) will go live on the Commission’s web site before the start of the filing period, i.e. by April 30.  This is the element in which voters are asked questions about their views on various issues & then get to see the responses of the candidates to those same issues to assist them in determining who they might want to vote for.
        d) The next election in CD8 will be held on April 24, followed by elections in May 15 in La Paz, Maricopa, Navajo and Yavapai Counties, with registration ending April 16 and early voting beginning on April 18.
     
    C. Candidates
        a) There are 67 participating legislative candidates with 11 having received funding.
        b) There are 21 participating statewide candidates with two having received funding.
        c) There have been 13 Clean Election Candidate workshops.
     
    D) Miscellaneous.    I thought this was very important and appears to address some of the League’s concerns with the voter registration issues.
        At the Election Officials of AZ Conference (see above), SOS Election Director Eric Spencer announced that his office and Maricopa County are working on a settlement, which may involve a consent decree, to resolve a lawsuit brought by LULAC and others challenging the state’s processing of voter registration forms. Under the proposal, as described by Mr. Spencer, the state could use information it has that shows evidence of citizenship to allow voters to register even if they have not provided the evidence themselves. Likewise the requirement that proof of citizenship be demonstrated when a person moves into a new county would be abandoned. This settlement, if the terms are as described, essentially removes two operative provisions of 2004’s Proposition 200, which required such evidence and required counties to reject state forms without that proof.    
        Collins stated that this announcement impacts on Clean Elections in that if someone was a federal voter only, they could not contribute a $5 to a Clean Candidate.  Apparently also in the 4/19 Yellow Sheet, Spencer was quoted as saying that the only reason the SOS’s office didn’t do this before, was a lack of adequate technology!! As many of you may recall, after Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes (a League member) took office he said he found boxes and boxes of rejected voter registration forms that lacked proof of citizenship and many who qualified only to be federal voters while the Department of Motor Vehicles already had proof of citizenship for them. 
     
    E. Legislation That May Impact the Commission.  
        a. Most of the bills listed hadn’t ‘gone anywhere.’ 
        b) The major one that was discussed was HCR2007.  Commission staff said that although no one knew for sure, it appears that this bill, if brought forward, will be an 11th hour issue. (Staff also stated that if the Legislature doesn’t adjourn tomorrow – not expected – then the session may contnue till June!!!)  Collins stated that there is a statute of limitations that applies if the bill is passed to file an action to challenge the bill (based on the Voter Protection Act).  A question was raised as to whether the Commission per se could be the plaintiff or whether the Commission would have to locate a plaintiff.   However, no answer was forthcoming as the Commission went into Executive Session after which it did not report any legal action so....
        c) While there I talked with Morgan Dick, AzAN who said that at the moment, Legislative leadership is debating how many referenda to put on the ballot, with an estimate of four or so. However, at the moment there are about 11 potential referenda in the Legislature!!

  • CCEC March, 2018 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Summary/Highlights of the 3/22/2018 Commission Meeting
    by Rivko Knox

    1. Executive Director’s Report.
    a. Tom Collins reported on the City of Tempe’s disclosure measure, which passed with 91% of the voters in favor & that the City of Phoenix Council voted 6/3 to authorize staff to research potential campaign finance reforms for the March 2018 Phoenix ballot (see 4. below as well.)
    b. A new website (much more focused on voter education information) was launched on March 16. I recommend going and taking a look!!
    https://www.azcleanelections.gov/
    c. The primary & general election debate schedule will be finalized by the end of March. For Legislative districts 2, 10 & 14, staff is operating a pilot program in which debates will take place in high schools in the hopes that this will get more people to attend &/or be aware, follow on line etc. etc.
    d. Participating candidates; 57 Legislative, with 6 having received funding & 23 statewide with two having received funding.
    e. There have been 13 Clean Elections workshops.
    f. Three new complaints re current candidates were received & resolved.
    g. Gina Roberts, Voter Education Manager, testified before the US Commission on Civil Rights re voting rights in AZ as it relates to Clean Elections & how it operates to include voter education.
    h. Due to the passage of SB1516 in the prior Legislative session, which significantly changed the definition of what is a non profit & which ones have to report etc., Collins asked an Election Law Attorney for clarification regarding the issue of whether a candidate must report coordinated party expenditures made on that person’s behalf. The response was NO, such cannot be charged against the spending limit of a participating candidate who is a party nominee. Unfortunately, guidance provided by the SOS ‘could’ be interpreted as requiring such reporting. (Note: The changes made by SB1516 re campaign finance laws were actively opposed by League).

    3. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Action Relating to Prior Clean Candidate/Legislator Jesus Rubalcava. (Note: Rubalcava resigned from the Legislature after the Commission raised concerns about lack of documentation for his expenditures & other Clean Election violations). An ALJ basically upheld the Commission’s prior actions to fine Mr. Rubalcava for lack of repayment of Clean funds for which he could not provide documentation. However, the ALJ issued something called a “Recommended Order” on 2/28 that still required the Commission to actually vote to accept that Order. Mr. Rubalcava owes the Commission $52,290.60 to be paid within 30 days. (Editorial comment: For those who say the Commission doesn’t carefully monitor expenditures, I say ‘read this!’)

    4. Discussion/Possible Aciton on Legislation Affecting the Commission etc.
    a. HB2153. The report included a brief statement about HB2153 (see 2.a. above), in which it was pointed out that the issue of charter cities vs. this bill may well lead to litigation based on the AZ Constitutional, especially considering that the City of Tucson has had ordinances dealing with campaign finance issues for 40 years.
    b. HCR2007. Collins spoke at length & quite vehemently about what he considered the distorted information prepared by the supposedly non-partisan Legislative staff in the form of Bill Fact Sheets about this bill. He said he has talked to Legislative staff about this but to no avail. He said there were 3 main elements of this bill, with the one getting the most attention being the prohibition against Clean candidates purchasing anything but a Legislatively-defined voter file from a political party or non profit (e.g., union). He stated that when the Commission adopted rules relating to such purchases/expenditures to a political party, the vote was not unanimous & that he felt this issue was one for political parties to primarily address as it did not alter the ‘heart’ of Clean Elections. The other two elements, which the fact sheets have distorted by glossing over them, do however get to the ‘heart’ of Clean Elections. They are: #1. changing the inflation factor to a set $100 increase every election cycle, which will very negatively impact on the ‘buying power’ & thus the competitiveness of Clean Candidates; & #2. making the Commission subject to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Commission (GRRC), which is a highly partisan body directly appointed by the Governor that serves at his pleasure vs. the Commissioners, who are bipartisan & serve for 5 years (thus overlapping Gubernatorial terms). Collins pointed out that the Clean Elections Act has many places where it differs from Administrative Law. However, he said the political party component has dominated the discussion with the House Speaker having issued a press release against this bill -- focused ONLY on the party aspect - right after the House passed it. Collins also stated that Americans for Prosperity AZ is running ads for HCR2007 focused ONLY on the political party component; & that he has tried 6 times to set up a meeting with Rep. Coleman, the sponsor, without success. Collins then talked about his planned appearance on Horizons (see email sent earlier today with a link to such) during which he hoped to focus on the two other aspects & move the Commission away from the ‘political party’ component. After some very interesting discussion among the Commissioners – Commissioner Chen, who is an attorney pointed out that the bill may violate the ‘single subject’ rule for a referendum - they agreed with the strategy proposed by Collins. Finally Collins said he did NOT think that the Legislature would take final action on HCR2007 until after the next Commission meeting, to be held on April 19 (Ed. I think it’s cutting it close but...) as they will now focus on the budget & then decide which bills to actually send to the ballot.

    5. Legacy Foundation Action Fund v. Clean Elections. This is related to an OLD case, which has been going on for years. Collins said that the Commission won it’s case in the AZ Supreme Court & thus can act to collect a fine it levied & get the Legacy Foundation to provide a report. The Commission voted unanimously to authorize counsel to take this action.

    6. Discussion on AZ Advocacy Network, et. al v. State of AZ, et al. This is a case filed by AzAN relating to SB1516. The current issue relates to what should be ‘briefed’ in early July when the case goes before a court. The SOS, the state & GRRC say that this 1st briefing should deal only with the possible violation of the Voter Protection Act. AzAN says NO. Collins said the Commission’s rules relating to disclosure & the definition of a political committee have always gone beyond the VPA to issues of equal protection & other Constitutionally protected rights, e.g., Article VII, Section 16 that requires disclosure. He actually pointed out that one of the first laws passed by the AZ Legislature after it became a state in 1912 re disclosure was so much more encompassing than SB1516.

    7. An Interservices Agreement (ISA) with the AZ AG’s Office. The Commission approved the expenditure of $172,000 for such with Collins authorized to negotiate the specific language in the ISA, i.e.,what services the AG’s office will provide to the Commission & which division/section of the AG’s office will do so.

  • CCEC February, 2018 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Summary/Highlights of the 2/15/2018 Commission Meeting
    by Rivko Knox

    NOTE: This is the second meeting in a row that I missed observing in person due to conflicts with my lobbying activities at the AZ State Legislature. And these have taken so much time that I didn’t get around to watching the meeting on line until today!! My apologies.

    Present: Only three Commissioners were present, i.e., Chair Meyer & members Kimble & Patton as Commissioner Chen was absent and a replacement for the fifth Commissioner has not as yet been named. Executive Director Tom Collins & other staff were also present.

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    1. Executive Director’s Report. Collins mentioned a few items from his written report.
    a. Voter education relating to the CD 8 Special Election and March elections in South Tucson & Tempe; a booth at an African American Conference on Disabilities & a workshop for election officials. held on 2/26 with the staff from the Elections Assistance Commission on election security & information technology.
    b. Participation Candidates: as of 2/15, there were 51 Legislative candidates of which only 6 had received funding & 23 statewide candidates of which only one had received funding.
    c. Thirteen Clean Election workshops had been presented.
    d. There are three new complaints re this current election & an Administrative Hearing regarding Jesus Rubacalva was held, who is challenging the penalties associated with his inability to document use of the Clean Election funding he received & timely repayment of such.
    e. There are two outstanding enforcement actions from 2014!!

    2. ASU Morrison Institute’s Presentation Regarding a Potential Interservices Agreement (ISA). Andrea Whitsett,, Interim Morrison Institute Director & Joe Garcia, Communications & Latino Policy Center Director, spoke about this potential project, the end goal of which is a ‘Voters U’. Collins started by explaining that he saw this as part of the Commission’s Voter Education program & a way to leverage the Commission’s resources. He spoke about the Morrison Institute’s new Legislative Academy that was started last year (a two day even held in January 2017) & an urgent need for a common set of facts that both legislators & voters agree on. Whitsett started by emphasizing the need to establish that there is a crises in voter turnout & information & that based on the Institute’s two major prior studies relating to such, i.e., on Independent voters and Hispanic voters, she felt that the Institute was the best entity to undertake this project. Aside from documenting the crisis (which she, Mr. Garcia & Collins all related to the Opioid crises that did result in a short special legislative session that took quick & effective action), it was important to educate voters – wherever they are (i.e., potential, infrequent or regular) about what government does/elected officials do, how it impacts on their lives & who does it (a lot of confusion about the 3 branches as well as levels, i.e., federal, state, local). Two examples were mentioned: the Corporation Commission & how utility costs impact on voters & the role of primaries, in which Independents can vote but often don’t know they can nor do they recognize that the primary in many instance ‘is’ the real election. Gina Roberts, Voter Education Director, also spoke about how important it was for Morrison to create the content that the Commission’s ‘tools’ (web, social media, bot) would then spread to the public. Patton, who is helping to get Clean Election Debates in Tucson to take place in high schools so more people are aware of them & attend, talked about expanding this to include large employers to get more ‘captive audiences.’ Both Patton & especially Kimble, were skeptical & pessimistic about whether this project would actually get more people more involved. Patton did encourage the results/the content to be widely publicized to include in the Republic, on all TV stations etc. The vote was 2 in favor and one (Kimble) against. Collins said he will develop the detailed ISA along with deliverables, a timeline, a payment schedule (estimated at almost $100,000). The details of this proposal can be seen HERE, pages 35-40.

    3. Commission Annual Report. Staff reviewed what the report covered, the Commission approved it & it will be presented to the Governor. This can be viewed at the same web link, pages 41-65.

    4. Legislation with Potential Impacts on the Commission. The report provided to the Commissioners & available on line, listed a number of bills, many of which by this time have died & amended (tho all are listed below). The primary one with a very negative impact on the Commission is HCR2007, which Collins felt violated the Voter Protection Act (VPA) per se, as it didn’t pass by a 3/4 vote. He mentioned a number of concerns to include how it restricts the expenditure of even the Clean Candidate’s seed money, that it actually defined what a political party’s voter file may contain, that it ended the inflation adjustment & replaced it with a small flat increase each year & doubles the amount that an individual can contribute as seed money. He felt that there were a lot of legal issues but it was likely it would pass & go to the ballot. The other bills listed in the report are: HB2014, 2049, 2050, 2051, 2052, 2089, 2121, 2153, 2182,2184, SB1037 & 1023.

    5. Status of Payments to the SOS for the Follow the Money Website. Collins reported that interactions with the SOS’s staff re the website were positive/constructive, that the results of Beta testing had been reported to the Commission & all was going well.

    6. Arizona Advocacy Network, et. al v. State of Arizona, et al. Collins reported that the Governor’s Regulatory Review Commission had filed a motion to dismiss this lawsuit, which was denied; & otherwise there were no other substantive changes regarding this lawsuit.

    7. Report on the Legacy Foundation Action Fund Litigation. The AZ Supreme Court upheld the Commission’s rule allowing only 14 days to file an appeal, which the Foundation challenged. The administrative appeal was denied & no court fees were awarded to the Foundation. The Commission then went into executive session to discuss other aspects of this situation with no report provided.

    From Rivko Kknox

  • CCEC January, 2018 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Summary/Highlights of the 1/18/2018 Commission Meeting
    by Rivko Knox

    Present: Four of the five Commissioners; the term of the prior Chair has ended; however, so far no one has been nominated to fill the vacancy.
    1. Executive Director’s Report.
    a) There was information about the upcoming CD 8 election; Commission staff will have a booth at the African American Conference on Disabilities on Feb. 16; there are currently 46 Clean candidates for the AZ Legislature (with two already
    having received their funding, to include League member Senator Dalessandro);
    21 statewide candidates (with one, David Schapira having also received funding); & with 12 Clean Elections candidates workshops presented.
    b) Jesus Rubalcava, who was both fined & asked to repay all the Clean fund he received because he could not provide appropriate documentation, has appealed his case, which will go before an Administrative Law Judge; if the Judge upholds the fines repayment & Rubalcava does not pay, it will go to the AG for action.
    c) The Commission has not as yet paid the second installment to the Secretary of State for the creation of “See the Money” although the CCEC forms are now in the system, both because so far the SOS has not submitted a bill for such & because the website does not meet the Intergovernmental State Agreement
    (ISA) specifications in terms of visibility & accessibility, nor does it clearly state on the home page why people should use it, i.e., what information is there that people should/might want to know; what functions does the web site have of importance to voters!! Several Commissioners said they had gone to the website & not been impressed. See the Money is still in the Beta stage; CCEC staff continue to meet with SOS staff on the on line system. Another ‘minor issue’ is that as the Commission is paying a very significant part of the cost, it had been agreed that both the SOS and Commission logos would appear in equal size
    but...
    d) Tom Collins, Executive Director (hereinafter Tom) also mentioned the “Outlaw Dirty Money” initiative, which states that the CCEC will enforce the law, if passed.
    e) There are also several outstanding complaints as well as one with a group called “Veterans for a Strong America” that is being settled via a conciliation memo with the $2,000 fine going to the AG (vs. the Commission) as the two worked together on this.
    2. Voter Education Activities and Plan for 2018 by Gina Roberts, the Voter Education Manager. This was the highlight!!!! CCEC is doing terrific work!!! I have invited Gina to come speak to the Phoenix daytime Team of the LWVMP & I recommend others do likewise!!
    A. 2017
    1) Research into what the 2018 plan should be began in early 2017 with 10 focus groups, with some held in Flagstaff, Phoenix & Tucson & composed of both voters & eligible non voters. Various messaging strategies were tested on the groups, e.g., the value of a democracy, part of being a citizen, how they felt the
    last time they voted etc. plus questions were asked about where they got their information & did they know what various elected officials did!!! Regarding local elections, most said there was a lack of media coverage & insufficient information. Participants said that: they didn’t want to have to really search for information; the Voter Guide was too long & complicated; no one knew about the CCEC sponsored debates; & voters till felt there were barriers to participation.
    2) One ‘barriers’ for the Commission is that voting is different in each of the 15 different counties, so it’s somewhat difficult to send a simple information piece to everyone!!
    3) CCEC had a chatbot at the National Voter Registration Day at ASU; & also held a Voter Roundtable (that several members of League attended), with the message being: there is still a great need for voter education.
    4) The Commission continues to partner with the counties & various disability groups and the disabilities centers.
    B. 2018
    1) CCEC will participate in a US Election Commission meeting on voting security.
    2) Gina then showed two of the media spots that have been prepared, 30 and 15 seconds, that can be used both on TV, social media & radio with diverse figures/voices focusing on the emotional & tangible rewards of voting.
    3) The theme this year is “18in2018” with the focus being to get 18 year olds to register AND then vote!!! There will be an augmented reality mural in downtown Phoenix (near ASU) that will also be shown on Instagram, plus there will be ‘interesting facts’ about young leaders.
    4) The goal is to hold 4 debates, all for statewide candidates, all televised. Legislative debates will be held in person but recorded for later viewing AND with questions solicited from the public!!
    5) Debates will be much more widely publicized, using all available tools, e.g., PBS, radio, print, videos, social media etc.
    6) Each legislative debate will be preceded by a personalized letter to each voter!!!
    7. Commissioner Patton has arranged for two high schools in Tucson, Saguaro and Empire, to host legislative debates & he is already working with the principals to get all kinds of student groups involved, e.g., government, debate, journalism classes plus various clubs & using the parents as a ‘network’ to get the word out!! He urged Commission staff to try to get all the Legislative debates at schools!!
    8) Legislative debates in LDs 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26 and 27 will be live streamed!!
    9) e-vites will be send before legislative debates!!
    10) The Voter Education Guide will be redesigned with much more information about the different ways to vote (e.g., by mail, early, on election day) & about how to find a polling place etc. Also, just like in 2016, the Guide will be ‘district specific’ (as well as of course with information about statewide candidates).
    11) The CCEC website will be redesigned within the next 30-60 days.
    12) There will be special/increased out reach to Independents!!
    13) There will be a new updated mobile ap & people will be able to sign up on email to receive information from the CCEC.
    14) There will be a dashboard, that will be a one-stop shop, i.e., you enter your address & you get all the info re voting in that area!! The dashboard was displayed & it is truly fabulous!!
    15) The Compass will remain (i.e., it asks you a few questions & then shows you how the candidates answered those same questions); it will also be linked to Equal documents & perhaps to the SOS See the Money.
    3. Legislation with a Potential Impact on the Commission.
    There was an extensive memo that listed a lot of bills, most of which have not so far been assigned to a committee. The main ones that Tom focused on were the following but only in terms of how such would affect the Commission:
    ** HCR 2007, on which League will testify;
    ** SB1023, on which so far League has not chosen to testify;
    ** HB2182, on which League will testify;
    ** HB2184, on which League testified;
    ** HB2153, on which League will testify;
    and the following which has, as of now, not been assigned to a committee;
    ** SB1038, HB2049, HB2050, HB2051, HB2051, HB2078, HB2104 & HB2121.
    (Note: I list such because part of League’s legislative advocacy is to ensure that the Commission’s mission is not impaired.)

    Notes:
    a) I could not attend this meeting in person because of a conflict with a bill that League opposes being heard in the AZ Legislature; & with so many others coming up almost daily, it took me until 3 days ago to find the time to watch the link.
    b) I know that I created my own ‘initial’ system & thus was referring to it as the CCEC; however, as it confuses some people, I may alternately refer to it as the ‘CCEC,’‘the Commission” or “Commission staff.”

  • CCEC November, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Nov. 2017 CCEC Meeting.

    Present: Only three Commissioners were present, i.e., Paton, Meyer (who chaired the meeting) and Kimble.
    1. Executive Director’s Report (from Tom Collins).
    a. The Auditor General reported on its audit of the CCEC, conducted every 4 years. Absolutely no problems!!
    b. Voter education continues to include what was done prior to the Nov. elections and to include a new on line tool showing what kinds of ID you need at the polls.
    c. Clean Election Candidates: There are currently 37 legislative candidates and 17 statewide candidates with Clean Election workshops taking place frequently. Commissioner Kimble reported that he attended one and was very impressed. The number of Clean Candidates is fairly high right now due to a lot
    of contested primaries.
    d. Collins reported on the AzAN Lawsuit charging that SB1516 violated some parts of the VPA, which affects Clean Elections.
    e. Collins reported on the article in the Republic (and in other media) on the in-depth independent investigation conducted of the SOS regarding the late distribution of an election pamphlet and the resulting report, which stated that SOS had violated the law and was responsible but did not recommend any further action to be taken.
    f. Collins recommended that everyone go to the SOS “See the Money” website to review it and comment in the feedback box.
    g. The LOOOONG running investigation by the CCEC into Tom Horne and his violation of CCEC rules is finally coming to a conclusion with a fine being paid.
    2. Discussion and Possible Action on the Issue Re Jesus Rubacalva. To refresh memories, Rubacalva was a Clean candidate who actually won his election to the AZ Legislature and then resigned after the CCEC audited him and found
    major discrepancies. His resignation does NOT affect the potential actions against him which involve basically his inability to document almost any of his expenditures or correlate his receipt of funds from the CCEC to any of his expenditures. He did participate in an earlier meeting by conference call; has
    admitted he ‘made mistakes’ and violated the Clean Election rules – he said he was a teacher without a permanent classroom and kept all his Clean files in a box that somehow got misplaced when he moved from classroom to classroom. A HUGE stack of materials were provided to the Commissioners (and available for all to read on the CCEC website) that contained copies of all
    the documents he provided, documents from CCEC etc. Rubacalva said that somehow when he deposited money into or took money out of his Clean account, it wound up going into or coming out of his other personal account. Staff said that they could confirm only ONE transaction reported correctly!!! In August the CCEC voted to order him to repay the misspent about $17,000; but he never responded or appealed that ruling. The CCEC rules say that those kinds of violations – when the situation is in a penalty phase -- require that the fine for
    funds misspent or not documented is three times the amount, which results, in this case of about $70,000 ($69,386) being owned. The Commissioners asked questions and made comments to include that especially now as a new election
    cycle is gearing up, it is important that everyone understand the consequences of violating Clean Election rules. Thus, in addition to the fact that the money is owed to the CCEC (the steward of the funds), this situation may also act as a deterrent
    to any current Clean candidates to violate rules, and will emphasize that the anti corruption goal of Clean Elections is to be taken very seriously, as rules are clearly spelled out at Clean workshops. The CCEC voted to issue a repayment order and refer collection to the AG, which has 30 days in which to collect
    it. Rubacalva cannot ever run as a Clean candidate again unless/until he repays the amount owned, which can be reduced during a conciliations process.
    3. Discussion and Possible Action re the American Federation for Children. Because the attorney for the Federation did not appear, the issue was delayed for a future meeting. The situation however is very interesting and relates to an ‘independent expenditure’ (by its own admission) made by the Federation relating to robo calls about candidate Christine March and Rep. Isla Blanc. The calls allege that election fraud/a class 6 felony was committed by such people relating to a picture/documents purporting to show an anti voucher referendum petition being circulated by these people that appears not to have the box “volunteer or paid circulator” checked prior to people signing the petition although when the petition was submitted to the SOS a box was checked. D. Andrew Gaona, Coppersmith Brockelman, filed a complaint with the CCEC relating to the ‘independent expenditure’ made by the Federation for the robo
    calls, but no report being filed. Tim LaSota sent a complaint to the SOS and the AG alleging a violation of law relating to some of the referendum petitions submitted by Save Our Schools circulated by March and Blanc. LaSota’s letter to the CCEC state that the robo calls, totally $1,1,69.10, were not independent
    expenditures under the “express advocacy” definition of the law, that even if they were, a late report was filed and disputes the authority of the CCEC over this issue. MORE TO COME!!
    4. Clean Elections Surcharge & Issues Relating to the AZ Administrative Office of the Courts. Months ago a Taskforce was formed to look at how fines, penalties and surcharges impact people with limited funds, which in some instances can
    result in their being jailed or imprisoned. The Taskforce’S recommendations impacted on the main funding source for the CCEC, which is a surcharge, although it represents a very very small portion of all the fines, penalties and surcharges that are applied in AZ in any one year. The CCEC is trying to work
    with the Taskforce to somehow find a way to exempt the surcharges from the overall recommendations. However, as the CCEC chose to go into Executive Session to discuss this matter with no report or statement issued afterwards, I have nothing to report here!
    5. IGA Between the CCEC and Maricopa County for Voter and Public Education Purposes. The IGA was approved by the CCEC to result in a ‘seamless’ voter and public education program between the CCEC and the County Elections
    Department. (A great idea I think!!)
    6. Legislative Agenda. (NOTE: These may very well impact significantly on the LWVAZ’s advocacy efforts in the AZ Legislature in 2018) Staff prepared an agenda with the following principles and priorities:
    a. Oppose efforts to defund, eliminate or limit the Citizens Clean Elections Act and/or the Commission.
    i) Staff expects bills to require independent expenditure reports virtually identical to those required by the CCEC to be filed with the SOS as well as attempts to narrow the scope of the current definition of ‘express advocacy’ which does require some reporting. These may well violate the VPA which requires a 3/4th vote of the Legislature unless the bill furthers the purpose of the Act. (Rivko says, look for potential litigation if such bills pass, which are likely considering the actions of the Legislature last year and the year before plus the recent actions of the GRRC challenging what the CCEC can do.)
    ii) Staff expects bills expressly limit the power of the CCEC to include making rules governing enforcement of the act, and the production, distribution and development of Voter Education and Other Clean Election programs. (Rivko says because the CCEC’s voter education continues to expand and is so effective, ‘those’ forces that oppose the concept, which is to expand voter
    participation, as well as the mere existence of the CCEC, may want to find ways to limit the CCEC’s ability to undertake such activities.)
    iii) Monitor Expanding the Elections Procedures Manual. In the past the Manual was updated annually. However, last year (or perhaps two years??),
    there was no update, which caused some confusion about voting procedures by some election officials statewide. However, the updating currently in process may well lead to additional legislative changes that could negative impact on the CCEC.
    iv) Monitor Proposed Legislation Regarding Current Campaign and Elections Laws. The Legislature has signifinantly changed many aspect of these laws in the last 2 years or so especially as these pertain to campaign finance.
    b. Support Improvements to Voter Education and Access.
    7. Dates for 2018 CCEC Meetings. The following dates were approved: 1/18, 2/15, 3/22, 4/19, 5/31 and 6/28 and are on my calendar.

  • CCEC August, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    CCEC August 2017 Meeting

    All five commissioners were present.
    In summary, this was not an exciting or controversial meeting but I think it’s very important for LWVAZ have a presence Further, during an Executive Session, I got to talk with Joel Edman, AzAN, meet the new, third AzAN paid staff person,
    Morgan Dick, and talk after the status of plans for an automatic voter registration (AVR) initiative in 2018 to include polling on what types of revenue (as such has to be specified in the initiative) are the least objectionable and one of the new funding sources, a national family foundation that I’ve never heard about. NOTES: a) Citizens Clean Elections Commission = CCEC; b) Governor’s Regulatory Review Commission = GRRC; c) Secretary of State = SOS A. Tom Collins, Executive Director’s Report CCEC partnered with the ASU undergraduate student government to host a registration drive on the Tempe Campus on National Voter Registration Day supported by the new chatbot which was updated with election related trivia and was quite popular. Also, education materials prepared by the CCEC on National Voter Registration Day were used by Yuma County Recorder and the AZ Center for Disability Law. CCEC has information on its website about November 7 school district bond, budge override, taxation franchises and candidate elections statewide and the Oct. 10 registration deadline, early voting etc.
    At this point, there are 22 Clean Participating Legislative Candidates, 12 statewide Participating Candidates (which is par for this far in advance of the election itself in 2018) and 5 Clean Election Training Workshops have been presented.
    B. Rule Amendments
    1. The first one, to conduct random audits (vs complete audits) on ALL Clean candidates was adopted after some very minor wording changes for clarification. The rule states that those candidates that win the primary will only be audited after the general election. No comments were received on this rule, which was out for public comment for 60 days (as all proposed rules must be.)
    2. There was a long discussion about a proposed revised rule relating to how/when funds are distributed to certified candidates. Most of the proposed revisions related to when how left over funds would be returned, how - if at all - candidates could ask for additional reimbursements if they found documentation once a final report was submitted. A number of revisions were adopted, with a focus on making sure that it was clear to candidates what the rules were and that it was their responsibility to understand such versus coming in with requests “after the fact.” The proposed revisions were adopted by the Commission for publication for a 60 day comment period.
    C. Discussion and Possible Action on Four Issues 1, 2 & 4 Clean Elections Act, GRRC Actions Relating to the Commission and the SOS’s Actions. Collins pointed out hat all were related but… The essence of several was that the GRRC has determined several CCEC rules are not valid, while the CCEC has always maintained that as it was created by an Initiative and is protected by the VPA, it is not subject to the GRRC although it has submitted requested reports. In order to try to reduce the endless correspondence etc., Collins said he has worked out a compromise with eh SOS and GRRC in which the CCEC will republish all its rules in eh AZ Administrative Register as “Notices of Proposed Exempt Rule making.” Collins felt that it was important to have the rules republished as the GRRC has stated they have expired but make it clear that they are exempt from the requirements. He felt this was especially true for those that relate to non-participating / traditional candidates that GRRC has said are not subject to CCEC reporting etc. A lot of this is related to changes made by the Legislation in 2016 via SB 1516 that redefined how various non profits/PAC etc. were defined, what they had to file, if anything etc, etc. In keeping with is conciliatory approach, there will also be a 60 day public comment period on this republication.
    3. The CCEC/SOS Interagency Agreement (ISA)
    This agreement was to authorize the CCEC to make another progress payment to the SOS for the creation of another version of a financial reporting system, after the first such project fell through. (I have covered this issue in some depth in my prior CCEC reports.) After a terrific demonstration of this new website (see more below), the Commission went into executive session and then approved a $150,000 payment/transfer to the SOS. Collins also said that he and his staff have been attending meetings with eh SOS staff creating the new website and it has been a “…very positive working relationship…” (editorial note: while other issues between the CCEC and SOS continue to be debated). The system is titled “See the Money” (currently showing a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the BETA is available). What we were shown is a very comprehensive system, with a very easy search function, with graphics, etc, that will show all money contributed and expended by candidates, campaign, non-profits, PACs in real time, and searchable by the name of the donor or address (so many contributed by different people at the same address can be seen). It looks amazing and appears to be the kind of way to “see the money” that people organizations and the media have been asking for years. Exciting!!
    PS: During the meeting I managed to scratch my elbow on the clipboard with the CCEC agenda, on which I realized - after the fact - that I bled all over. It barely hurt so I didn’t think to look. Thus, at least I, for one, can now say “I’ve bled for the LWVAZ!!”

  • CCEC June, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    June 22, 2017 Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC)

    Meeting Report Submitted by Rivko Knox, on behalf of LWVAZ.

    4 of the 5 Commissioners were present; and as the missing member is the chair, the CCEC decided not to take action on the major item of business, i.e., action on rule revisions relating to Clean candidates being able to spend Clean funds to purchase goods/services from a political party.
    1. Executive Director's Report. Executive Director Tom Collins stated that: * About 100 people have been invited to the Clean Elections Roundtable on July 13, which will be held from 8:30-°©‐4:30 p.m., at a downtown hotel. (Info to be sent to all who are registered). * The period for Clean candidates to start collecting $5s for the 2018 election is August 1; the 1st training will be held on July 20; so far 7 legislative candidates have signed up to run Clean and 5 statewide candidates. * The packet for the Commissioners contained a copy of an article by Rebekah L. Sanders re an interview with Rey Valenzuela, Elections Director, Maricopa County Recorders' Office that described plans/procedures for new ways to conduct upcoming elections . Collins said his only concern was to make sure that the voter education conducted by the CCEC is accurate and timely. He said he has not taken a position for or against the plan per se (ending polling places etc.) but feels that it is important for the CCEC to be prepared to educate voters appropriately; and in order to do so, he must see all the details of the Recorder's plan. * He also said that the CCEC is considering a rule regarding transactions from candidates, i.e., if a candidate returns a very small amount of funds, is it cost effective to enforce the return in terms of then processing the check/recording it etc.? No action was taken on this item at this time.
    2. CCEC Future Meeting Dates. The CCEC approved the meeting dates thru the end of 2017, which will be: 7/20, 8/31, 9/28, 10/19, 11/16 &12/14.
    3. Five Year Review Report to the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) – aka "The Saga Continues." The essence is that the CCEC continues to maintain that the GRRC does not have authority over it based on the VPA. However, in order to be conciliatory, Collins has submitted reports in the past and has continued to work with the GRRC to try to address their concerns re certain rules the CCEC has adopted that the AZ Sec. of State believes should be repealed/removed. The CCEC objects to such a repeal/removal. So, at this time, although a letter & a revised report have been submitted to the GRRC, the CCEC will be hiring outside counsel to represent it in this on going saga.
    4. Rule Amendments. Three sets of rules were before the CCEC. #1. Expenditures by Clean Candidates with Clean Money to Purchase Goods/Services from Political Parties. I have discussed this set of rules in prior reports as the CCEC has been working on the issue for a number of months. For quick background: sometime during the 2016 election cycle, some stories/quotes/tweets etc. were circulated by several Clean candidates talking about how they were helping to fund the Democratic Party. This raised the ire of some Republicans and others, e.g., Constantin Querard (hereinafter CQ as he calls himself) with Grassroots Consulting. The CCEC conducted detailed audits of all the candidates against whom informal complaints were filed, and wound up requesting significantly more documentation than originally had been required. Rep. Vince Leach actually stated in a Committee hearing that the reason he introduced a bill (which died) to defund Clean Elections was because of the funds being used by candidates that wound up going to the Democratic Party. Collins said that the CCEC was in the process of revising it's rules re such use (which had not been identified in documentation submitted in prior election cycles.) Three options were presented for public comment: a) a prohibition; b) a prohibition excluding printing services, voter or telephone lists & a payment of not more than $200 per person to attend a political event; c) payments allowed with appropriate documentation for 'customary' charges if such are resonable in relation to the value received. When the 3 options were first sent out for public comments, very few comments were received; so the comment period was extended. By the time of the May meeting, a number of additional comments had been received and several Clean candidates appeared to speak in favor of option C. The comment period was continued & at this meeting about 13 people spoke. The first one was Representative Vince Leach who was very pleasant (he always is to me personally tho I have testified against his bills etc.) who thanked Collins for allowing al this public input & repeated what he had said in the past about the money going to the Democratic Party vs. actually helping a Clean candidate run/win. He favors option B. The next four speakers started by saying they were very active Republicans (one was actually the President of the AZ Republic Assembly, which is – he said – further 'right' than the AZ Republican Party, period). None seemed to fully understand how Clean Elections works, i.e., one said that he thinks that Clean funds left over after a campaign ends should go back to Clean Elections vs. going to a Party and that if a Clean candidate drops out, the funds should be returned to Clean Elections vs. giving to a party. This resulted in Collins having to explain how the system worked, with regular reports of cash on hand & a requirement that funds be returned promptly to Clean Elections if not expended on the campaign.) Several also said they felt that funds gong to the Democratic party gave the 'appearance' of abuse & were bad optics. The next speaker was Scott Munsey, with the AZ Free Enterprise Club, who stated that he believes there is wide spread abuse, with $100,000 going to the Democratic Party, to include the strategy of the Party getting someone to run Clean in a non competitive district just so that it could get money!! Collins clarified that in 2016 the AZ Legislature did pass a law that loosened the rules as to how political parties can raise & use funds for a coordinated campaign. Further he pointed out that a Clean candidate can use Seed Money (before the Clean funds are provided) as they choose. Additionally, he said that when complaints started coming in after the 2016 election, the CCEC immediately stepped up its auditing & wound up requesting vast amounts of additional documentation. During his comments, CQ stated that he was a very strong supporter of Clean Elections but was concerned about option C because services such as 'training' do not cost a lot, have a lot of value for the candidate but determining price is difficult. None of these speakers favored option C; most favored A. NOTE: Although the CCEC halted public comments on this topic to ensure that it would have time to address some other very important issues (see below), I am reporting on all the testimony in one 'lump'. The remaining speakers included several Democratic elected legislators, who had run Clean & who had also spoken at the May meeting. They stated that they were 'not recruited' by the Democratic Party; that though they purchased goods/services from the Democratic Party, they saw how the funds were spent (e.g., one legislator said she did hire three people through the Democratic Party's coordinated campaign but they worked everyday with her knocking on doors, making phone calls etc.) They also said that if Option A or B were adopted, they would be disadvantage compared to a Traditional candidate. In addition an official with the AZ Democratic Party addressed some of the concerns raised by the prior speakers as well as one Commissioner who seemed to have serious concerns about option C &d asked why a candidate could not just hire a consultant &/or directly hire other people who worked just for that candidate. Her point was that the Democratic Party provided it's employees with benefits, which consultants & independent contractors did not receive. Joel Edman, AzAN then spoke saying he was concerned that options A & B might discourage candidates from running Clean & 'tilted' the system toward traditional candidates. Finally I (Rivko Knox) spoke, partially to ensure that all the new people present knew who & what the LWVAZ was, reiterating our long time support for Clean Elections; stating, that although LWVAZ had not commented on the options prior to this meeting, what I heard had raised some concerns for me that options A & B might make it more difficult to run Clean; that I was disturbed at the misinformation that seemed to exist regarding Clean Elections, how it operates etc. & thus encouraged staff to continue to educate the public. Education of the public, I said, should include where the funds come from (because even one Commissioner said he was concerned that people would feel that 'state' funds were being misused. I pointed out that to many people the words "state funds" mean tax dollars & thus again it is important to ensure the the public understands that Clean Elections takes no taxpayer funds.) Because of the extensive public comments & the absence of the Commission Chair, the CCEC agreed to postpone making a decision about the options until the July meeting. However, it was agreed that any public comments at that meeting will be limited to two minutes per speaker. #2. Regulation of Payments to Campaign Consultants by Participating Candidates. CQ spoke saying that he felt this was a solution to a problem that did not exist and would result n much more paperwork for consultants. (I think this was an attempt to 'level the playing field' between Clean candidates who purchase services from a political party vs. from a consultant, taking into account, the new options being considered, i.e., detailed documentation vs. just a 'contract with a consultant for services, period.) No action was taken. #3. Expanding Audits for Participating Candidates. Although no action was taken, there appeared to be no opposition to expanding audits to include all participating legislative candidates vs. just a random sample of such. 4) Enforcement Action Against Candidate Jesus Rubalcava. (Again, please see prior reports for more detailed information). In summary, during an audit, several of Rubalcava's expenditures raised concerns & his record keeping did not comply with CCEC rules. When he was asked for further documentation after the audit, he said that as a teacher, he was moved from one classroom to another & during the moves, he lost the boxes with his documentation. Thus the CCEC authorized Collins to conduct an investigation, based on the determination that a violation may have taken place. The authorization for the investigation will give Collins or an Assistant AG the authority to subpoena documents & take testimony under oath.
    5) Clean Elections Surcharges. This related to the fact that as a result of some legislation, judges were being given more leeway to reduce or eliminate certain penalties based on the person's income, which also has repercussions for the CCEC which obtains some of its funds thru such surcharges. (See my prior reports for more information.) The CCEC chose to go into Executive Session & as it was 1 p.m. (the longest CCEC meeting I've ever attended...and usually after an Ex. Session no report is made public anyway), I left as did everyone else Submitted by Rivko Knox, on behalf of the LWVAZ Board

  • CCEC May, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    May 18, 2017 Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC)

    1. Present. Only four of the five Commissioners attended; and in deference to the missing Commissioner, no action was taken on some issues.
    2. Executive Director's Report. Mr. Collins spoke briefly about the situation with Adrian Fontes and his decision to process voter registration forms submitted without proof of
    citizenship if MVD indicates they are citizens. He pointed out that LWVAZ had issued a press release about this matter. Because the CCEC was created by an initiative, he also mentioned that there was litigation relating to the new law about 'strict compliance' re initiatives. In response to questions, he then expanded upon Fontes' plan for voting centers, which Collins said impacted on the CCEC in the sense that he needed to make sure voter education efforts
    with consistent with what was done.
    3. Audit of Clean Elections Candidate Representative Jesus Rubalcava. (Note: You're probably all somewhat familiar with this situation because quite a bit of this has appeared in the media). The issue before the CCEC at this meeting was only acceptance of the audit, with a decision as to whether Collins will file an internal complaint as a separate matter. If that happens, it will then allow for a response from Rep. Rubalcava, with a subsequent step including a Commission vote on whether to impose a penalty, followed by the candidate's opportunity for an administrative hearing,
    followed by another vote by the Commission and then a potential appeal to the Superior Court. The auditors were present and Rep. Rubalcava communicated by phone. In summary, Rep. Rubalcava did not file any documents; the auditors used bank statements and based on those tried to figure out which funds were used for campaign expenses vs.
    personal non campaign expenses as there were virtually no backup documents. Rep. Rubalcava did not dispute the outcome of the audit; acknowledged the errors and took responsibility for poor accounting and practices. The CCEC
    did accept the audit. More to come!!
    4. The 'On Going Saga' with Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC). The CCEC voted to approve the response to the GRRC's concerns relating to compliance. (see prior reports for background).
    5. Discussion/Possible Action on Rule Amendment Proposals. As a result of some complaints received after the last election cycle regarding Clean candidates 'purchasing' services from a political party, the CCEC developed three options relating to such. These options
    were: A. Ban expenditures to political parties with clean election funding; B. Limit expenditures by clean candidates from political parties to voter information and political event
    fees and C. Restrict expenditures to political parties by Clean candidates for campaign expenditures that met specific documentation requirements.

    Notes:
    1) I did not recommend to the LWVAZ that we
    submit any comments as I did not think the issue directly related to the LWVAZ's position re Clean Elections;
    2) All expenditures were made to the Democratic Party;
    3) The main reason that a specific legislator introduced a bill to abolish the CCEC was that he didn't want Clean money going to the Democratic Party – he said that in a Committee
    hearing I attended!!! And I wonder if the same or another legislator will attempt the same thing next session as this rule does not prohibit candidates from 'purchasing goods and services' from a political party. Collins said that very few comments were received on these three options; he also pointed out that there was no
    rush to vote on this today because the next cycle of Clean Candidate funding will not start until January 1, 2018. Three elected Legislators, all of whom ran as Clean Candidates and all of whom did purchase services from the Democratic Party came to speak; they were Rep. Athena Salmon and Isela Blanc and Sen. Juan Mendez. They all spoke against options A and B; and asked questions about C because they
    thought it prohibited them from paying for services before they are received, which they pointed out made for great difficulties although none of them were opposed to clear
    purchase orders spelling out in detail in advance what was being purchased. Commissioner Patton raised the most questions about this issue, saying he had concerns when he
    saw 10 candidates' writing checks to a political party from Clean funding. The elected legislators explained that the services an experienced political party could provide (e.g., a
    field organizer, cutting canvassing/phone lists, finding people to canvass and phone bank) were not the kinds of things that small businesses and even some consultants could provide. They all agreed that more accountability and transparency was important and requested some minor rewriting to clarify Option C. They also pointed out that as the system as it exists now is built around political parties; thus, it does not make sense (my words) not to expect interaction between Clean candidates and the parties they
    are running as part of. In addition Dana Walton, the Ex. Dir. of the AZ Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) also appeared and spoke. Collins made it clear that the new rules were needed to verify that Clean candidates were not 'giving' money to a political party and that a political party was not 'giving' money/resources to a Clean candidate (vs. purchasing specific services much as if they were using a consultant or purchasing supplies from a company). The elected officials spoke about the difficulties of ensuring they complied with CCEC rules and in favor of greater transparency; and the Commissioners focused on ensuring that candidates were not deterred from running Clean by the rules while still ensuring transparency and having protection from political parties and consultants based on the CCEC's requirement for detailed documentation of services provided. There was a 'meeting of the minds' at the end. Due to the absence of one Commissioner, a vote on the options was postponed.
    6. Ending Comments. Commissioners Collins spoke briefly about a bill, SB1072, which started out being a rewrite of the Administrative process of administrative appeals and ended up as a bill that says a person can get attorneys' fees if they challenge a rule, policy or subject in some instances. He said he thought the CCEC was the target of the bill and if it applies, it will raise VPA concerns.

    Respectfully and belated submitted by Rivko Knox, LWVMP Advocacy Chair on behalf of the LWVAZ Board.

    P.S. This is being sent to the entire LWVAZ Board and the LWVMP Board

  • CCEC February, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Notes of the Feb. 23, 2017 CCEC Meeting

    1. Present: All five of the Commissions were present along Tom Collins, the Executive Director and other staff. I introduced myself to the new Commissioner, Mary Chan, who used to work for the SOS’s office when it was under Ken Bennett and she said she remembers fondly working with LWV folks in a very cooperative manner. She was the Elections Director and is an attorney.
    2. Executive Director’s Report: Tom Collins. Highlights:
    a. Gina Roberts, the Voter Education Manager, will be working with Inspire AZ (a group that educates high school students on leadership and citizenship, with which LWVMP has worked).
    b. Workshops will soon be started and guides prepared for 2017 participating candidates as they can start collecting $5 on August 1, 2017.
    c. All but one enforcement action from 2016 has been closed; and the 2014 enforcement action against the Legacy Foundation is still in process.
    d. Staff have been in discussions with the SOS’s office which has requested $300,000 to help create a more modern report filing system, they they say will also then cover all local governments, and that will cost about $700,000 total. This led into a rather long explanation about the history of Interagency Service Agreements (ISAs) between the CCEC and the SOS for data systems and questions about this proposed ISA. Commissioner Chan said she remembered such a system being built for a web based system in 2013 and wanted to know what happened to that one and why more money was needed now. Collins said that the SOS deleted some CCEC reports from the existing system, which resulted in CCEC having to create its own reporting forms etc. and which is still being resolved with them. Also there was a system that CCEC helped pay for in 2006 which is now outdated; however, the 2013 one has never been fully completed. Further he said that under Governor Brewer, CCEC was ‘at the table’ in the design of such a system and CCEC reports were in it. Various Commissioners asked questions: if some reports are statutorily required, how could the SOS delete them? what control will CCEC have it if provides these funds? Will CCEC really use almost half the system and if not, why pay almost half the costs? what will be the ROI for CCEC? And ‘this sounds more like a ‘supplemental’ appropriation for the SOS’s office.’ Collins said in this situation, the ISA is really more like a purchase order with CCEC being the ‘customer’ and as such it has the right and duty to make sure it gets what it pays for. Collins said that the SOS’s office has an IT staff of 15 and now says it plans to bring in a new person to develop this system. However, he said that before any CCEC funds are spent, he will contract with an IT specialist to assess what the ‘new system’ might provide to CCEC and how much it is worth.
    3. Governor’s Regulatory Review Council Issues. For those who have been receiving and reading my prior reports, I’m sure you are aware of the on going battle between the GRRC and the CCEC, in that the CCEC says it is not subject to the GRRC but out of courtesy provides it with 5 year reports, which in the past (2000, 2005, 2010) have always been discussed with GRRC staff and accepted. And then came 2015; and since then the GRRC has refused to accept the report, without providing reasons, identified issues but then refused to accept the revisions etc. etc. etc. Thus, two GRRC Commissioners came to this meeting to try to resolve the impasse, along with their legal counsel: John Sundt and Christopher Ames, and Chris Kleminia. Another LONG discussion followed with various Commissioners asking Sundt questions (Ames did not speak at all and Kleminia only spoke very very briefly). At the end, I think the two parties agreed to disagree, i.e., CCEC says is it not subject to GRRC and is protected by any future laws requiring such by the Voter Projection Act, and GRRC says they are but for now, litigation will only take place if some other party sues. (I can answer more questions if anyone cares but...)

    4. Proposed New Rules Relating to Campaign Consultants to Include Political Parties. Again, for those who read my prior reports, you are aware that there was a complaint filed toward the end of last year regarding expenditures by Clean candidates to political parties (at this point, only the Democratic Party) for the purchase of ‘services,’ which resulted in audits for such candidates and which led Representative Leach to file a bill to repeal Clean Elections, because he said he saw it as a way to ‘funnel money’ to a political party. During the hearing of that bill (HCR2004), at which Leach openly said that was why he had filed the bill, Collins said that the Commission was aware of the concern and was in the process of drafting proposed rules to address this issue. So, such rules will now be put out for public comment. There will be two sets of proposed rules, i.e., for expenditures to parties and for expenditures to consultants. For the former, three options will be proposed: 1) such will be banned; 2) such will be limited to voter information (voter rolls) and public events or 3) other services would be allowed but with much more documentation and with advance payments only for specific services (e.g., the party will knock on X # of doors) vs. as a retainer. For consultants, the proposed rules will also require more documentation along with a list of other candidates for whom they are working to ensure that there is no coordination or to help determine how shared expenditures are apportioned. A Commissioner asked if these rules might discourage candidates from running Clean. Collins said that he has discussed these proposed rules to some extent with some candidates and some consultants but of course the public comment period will provide an opportunity for people to address this concern.
    5. Legislative Agenda. Collins said that SB1158 is going to the House; it will exclude the surcharge set aside to fund the CCEC for penalties etc. from being reduced by a judge, though other fees will be more easily subject to reduction to enable more prior offenders to regain their full rights to include voting rights. He also said he is working with various legislators on a HB2304 that includes language re how information is sent to voters (by email, which means to each person vs. to each household with a registered voter, which is how the CCEC now mails the Candidate brochures). He said there is also some language about the CCEC and SOS ‘cooperating’ on voter education, which he is concerned might allow the SOS’s office to veto voter education efforts by the CCEC.
    6. 2016 Annual Commission Report. This was reviewed and has excellent information to include plans for 2017, e.g., a data driven roundtable on voter education to include decisions makers, local governments etc.
    7. Public Comment. Everyone looked at me?? so I got up and gave a few quick comments about LWVAZ and our history with CCEC, said I was so impressed with what the CCEC has done that I hoped we could get copies of the Annual Report for the upcoming LWVAZ Convention and that I hoped LWVAZ would be included in the roundtable (and I was assured both would be done as long as I let them know about how many copies LWVAZ will need); and then I said I was very glad to have been able to testify against HCR2004 on behalf of LWVAZ to repeal the Clean Elections Act. (At the moment the bill is dead).
    _As part of the Executive Director’s Report, information was distributed and discussed about Voter Education efforts by staff, among which was prominently listed the Voters’ Rights Summit. There was also a list of outstanding enforcement actions relating to the 2016 election cycle, all of which have been or are in the process of being resolved; and THREE from the 2014 election cycle. The first one relates to Tom Horne; the second the Legacy Foundation Action Fund (LFAF) which was just filed in the Supreme Court; and the third is the Veterans for a Strong America (VSA). The AG has not been able to resolve this one either and is actually working with the CCEC on this. VSA’s primary attorney is about to become the White House Counsel, which will make it even more difficult to resolve the issue.
    3. New Chair: Potential Implications for LWVAZ. The CCEC elected Steve Titla as the new Chair. The term of the current Chair, Melvin Laird, a Republican from Maricopa County, is about to end, with the January 2017 meeting likely to be his last. NOTE: At present the CCEC is all male with one non Caucasian member. The next appointment will be made by the highest ranking Democrat, i.e., Senator Katie Hobbs, and must be a Republican who cannot live in Pima County (based on the statute). I’ve approached the LWVMP Board to help identify a female Repubican as it seems that LWV would be an appropriate background for the next Commissioner. So far no one has submitted names. My problem is that I bascially don’t know how almost any LWVMP or LWVNWMC members are registered.
    4. CCEC Schedule January-June 2017. The CCEC adopted its meeting schedule thru June of 2017 with dates being: 1/19, 2/23, 3/23, 4/20, /18 and 6/22.
    5. CCEC Budget, Expenditure Cap, Revenue Projects and Excess Monies. The CCEC reviewed and adopted its 2017 Budget, Expenditure Cap, Revenue Projections and Use of Excess Monies. During the discussion the following issues arose:
    * The primary sources of funds for the CCEC come from Clean Election Candidates $5 contributions during election years, fines paid by entities that violate CCEC rules AND a statutory 10% surcharge on civil penalties and criminal fines. Up until October 2011, CCEC revenues included photo radar surcharges and until Dec. 2013 tax checks off and tax credits. However, the Legislature terminated these. Thus the CCEC is highly dependent upon surcharges/penalties. It is therefore finding itself in conflict with a new AZ Supreme Court “Fairness and Justice Project’ that is attempting to reduce these burdens, which of course weigh most heavily on those with limited incomes (and can keep some from being able to have their voting rights restored). However, this recommendations of this Project, which may appear as legislation in 2017, could also severely impact on the ability of the CCEC to operate, although the CCEC’s share of the surcharges/penalties is a relatively minor portion of all such.
    NOTE: This may raise some real conflicts for those who support Clean Elections and also do not want to see poor defendants burdened with high fees and penalties.
    * As a result of the termination of tax checkoffs and tax credits, CCEC revenue has decreased from $19 million to $7 million a year.
    * In some past years, the CCEChas returned money to the General Fund, because of the caps on expenditures.
    * In terms of public education, a detailed plan will be provided at the January 2017 meeting; further only paid media is capped. Costs associated with CCEC staff and education, e.g., a roundtable for recorders is not capped.
    * It was also stated that County Recorders are concerned that the Secretary of State’s office (SOS) will shift the cost of the new campaign finance reporting system to the counties; and so far the SOS’s office has refused to accept CCEC funding to help establish the new system.
    * As a result of SB 1516, the SOS’s office is expanding that system, and even cities and counties will have to pay to use it if they don’t have their own systems.
    * The total budget for 2017 is estimated to be about $4.8 million (whereas the cap is over $20 million).
    * The CCEC approved the caps, budget and the staff recommendation that excess funds NOT be returned to the general fund.
    6. The CCEC and the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) 5 Year Report. This issue has been going on for a very l-o-n-g time with prior versions of the CCEC’s report returned as not satisfactory without any or very few explanations. Mr. Collins recommended that the CCEC submit a slightly revised report (trying to address the few actually stated concerns of the GRRC) along with a copy of the statement on this issue on the website.
    http://www.azcleanelections.gov/
    7. Discussion and Possible Action on Rule Amendment Proposals. All but one amendment recommended by staff were adopted with between no and minimal discussion and reflected either clarifications, renumbering due to new laws or minor concessions to the requirements of new laws (e.g., SB 1516, HB2296/97), with a Preamble (that I can send to anyone interested) that in essence is a almost a ‘disclaimer,’ i.e., “...The Commission does not, by adopting these rules, waive any legal objection to the enactment of laws that violate the Voter Protection Act.....and questions of equal protection .... The Commission retains its full authority to enforce Article 2 of Chapter 6 of Title 16...”
    NOTE: The comment on the proposed rule changes submitted by Shirley pretty much said the same thing!! However, the Commissioners had a long discussion on and voted 3 to 2 NOT to adopt staff recommended revisions to one section (109-B-4) that would have, for consistency with SB1516, end reporting in AZ for corporations, with just their IRS approval being sufficient. Sam Psross, AzAN spoke on this issue; and I considered doing so but when the Commissioners themselves raised the issue and voted NOT to accept any changes, I felt there was no need for LWVAZ to make a public statement.
    8. Public Comment. I thanked the Commissioners for allowing staff to provide so much assistance to LWVAZ in the planning for the Voters’ Rights Summit and for their actual participation in it; and then personally invited each Commissioner to attend, handing them a flyer. Staff then announced that any Commissioner who wants to attend will have their registration paid for them by the CCEC funds.

    NOTES
    1. If there is anyone else who ‘should’ be this report, please forward it and let me know so I can add them next time. I think it’s more important for folks to have a chance to read this, even if they chose not to, then to be left off.
    2. In case some of you are not familiar with this, the CCEC’s mission statement is: “To improve the integrity of AZ State Government, diminish the influence of special interest money and promote freedom of speech under the US and AZ constitutions.” Neat!!
    3. The numbers below do not correspond to the agenda, which is available on the website, because this report does not cover some items such as accepting minutes of prior meetings etc.

    Submitted by Rivko Knox

  • CCEC January, 2017 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Report of the January 19, 2017 Citizens Clean Elections Commission Meeting By Rivko Knox

    NOTE: The numbered items below do not reflect the meeting agenda, which includes items such as a 'call to order,' 'approval of prior meeting minutes' etc. but rather the topics that I think are of interest to LWVAZ. Numbering is for ease of reference if anyone has questions.
    1. Present: All five of the Commissions were present along with Tom Collins, the Executive Director and other staff. This was the first meeting with Mr. Steve Titla as chair. (A bit of information about him appears at the end of this Report, Note #1.) Further, as I mentioned in prior reports, there will very very very soon be a vacancy on the Commission. And below is a link to the information about how the vacancy will be filled. Senator Katie Hobbs will appoint the next Commissioner, whose term will start on Feb. 1 and expire, Jan. 31, 2022; the person cannot be a Democrat and must live outside of Pima County. As I've also said in prior reports, it would ideal to have an LWV member in that position but.... time is running out.
    http://www.azcleanelections.gov/CmsItem/File/292

    2. Executive Director's Report. Tom Collins, the Executive Director, reported that staff were gearing up to provide education on the next set of elections to be held in March, i.e., in Goodyear, Phoenix and Tucson for City Council. He also mentioned an article in the AZ Capitol Times, January 16, by Mike Becker, stating that the Secretary of State would not seek enforcement of several late or missing trigger reports even though they were effective for this election. These required traditional candidates who receive $1,000 or more in the days leading up to an election to file a report. Even though this requirement was removed with the passage of SB1516, it was still effective for the Nov. 2016 election. Also, please see below (Note #2) regarding legislation that might affect the CCEC.

    3. Report on Voter Education Activities in 2016 and Plan for 2017. Gina Roberts presented a very comprehensive report, with data showing when, how and how effective various voter education activities were in 2016 to include the number of TV ads, on line information, the Voters' Guides, the number of debates, the number who watched and the comments submitted about such. These voter education activities were based on research done in 2015 as well as very recent post 2016 election information. Among the key findings: voters still don't feel they know enough about the issues; millennials remain apathetic – they do not feel their votes matters; there is distrust of the system; people don't see the importance of voting; and the Voters' Guide was a key tool for a large number. Ms. Roberts also pointed out that there were additional elections coming on March 14, May 16, August 27 and November 7. And that August 1, is the start of the $5 qualifying period for Clean Election Candidates for the 2018 election – time is passing!! Regarding the 2017-.‐18 Voter Education Plan, Ms. Roberts said additional research will continue, both qualitative (surveys) and quantitative (focus groups) to help refine the plan. CCEC staff will try to customize the voting experience (meet the different needs of different voters), enhance the tools developed during the last two years, continue work with the Native American community (via ITCA); hold a roundtable to include the Secretary of State, staff from counties, cities and towns including (including town clerks), and also bring in National organizations involved with voting issues as well as community groups. Collins said that a lot of what the CCEC does is driven by demand with staff being very involved with and attending meetings of city clerks etc. etc. (NOTE: county and local governments rarely have enough money or expertize to focus on voter education; they handle the actual elections and use the CCEC for the voter ed part). NOTE: LWVAZ and local leagues might consider having Ms. Roberts come and give her comprehensive report, which was very enlightening.

    4. Final Audit Approval for Particiapting Candidates in 2016. Sara Larson, CCEC staff, discussed the audit process, i.e., the Commission hires an outside auditor and then randomly selects candidates for audits. Fourteen (14) candidates were selected for audits from the 2016 primary election, with the auditors looking at 10 random transactions (5 contributions and 5 expenditures). The audit of only one candidate, a Jesus Rubalcava, indicated unusual transactions and funds going into/out of a personal checking account, and staff is considering referring the issue for an enforcement audit (much more detailed.) Although the law requires all Clean election candidates funds to be in one separate account, the actual checks are issued by the GAO, which is really set up to deal with vendors. One of the Commissioners thought that perhaps new rules needed to be created to ensure that the CCEC can immediately track where rules are deposited. The overall report was approved by the Commission with any potential future action after the one enforcement audit to be bought to the Commission at a later meeting.

    5. Additional Enforcement Actions. Four (4) such issues were brought to the Commission, with one, submitted by Mr. Constantin Querard, a consultant who works almost exclusively with Republican candidates, against a list of Democratic candidates, resulting in Mr. Collins writing a memo discussing this unique situation. Mr. Querard spoke on this issue, Jim Barton, attorney for the Democratic Party responded and there were many questions from the Commissioners. The issue: the Democratic candidates all hired the Democratic Coordinated Campaign to provide consultant services, training etc. etc., paying different amounts for such, with out any detailed backup, i.e., lack of 'specificity' according to Mr. Querard and which Mr. Q stated might raise the issue of 'joint expenditures.' The AZ Democratic Party Executive Director provided a sworn statement regarding the services provided. Collin's memo stated that he felt Mr. Q was reiterating the allegations of the Free Enterprise Club's November 2016 press release alleging that Clean Elections was being 'used' to actually help fund the AZ Democratic Party; whereas Collins felt the issue was one of how deeply the CCEC should micromanage the campaign expenditures of a Clean Elections Candidates. Further he stated, both in the memo and at the meeting, that before an investigation can begin, a threshold of "reason to believe a violation may have occurred" must be met in the view of three Commissioners. Although some Commissioners felt that perhaps new rules were needed to ensure more specificity, at the end of the lengthy testimony from Mr. Q and Mr. Barton and questions/comments from the Commissioners, the Commission agreed with the staff's determination that there was 'no reason to believe...' There were two other enforcement actions reported on relating to a Senate and House Victory PAC. I both cases the PACs acrid to pay a fine although they raised some concerns about whether the CCEC had jurisdiction in the matter.

    6. The CCEC and the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) 5 Year Report. This issue, which has been going on for a very very very long time (as reflected in each of my reports) continues. Collins said that a revised report has been submitted to the GRRC and that a GRRC member may attend the next Commission meeting to address this issue.

    7. Public Comment. I took the opportunity to tell the Commissioners how much LWVAZ appreciated the participation of CCEC staff in the planning and implementation of the Voters' Rights Summit to include helping us identify and make contact with several speakers, with a special 'thank you' to Gina Roberts for appearing on two panels AND being mentioned by a very large number of people submitting evaluations as one of the most articulate, enthusiastic and informative speakers.

    Submitted by Rivko Knox

    NOTE #1. Steve M. Titla is a Democrat from Gila County. Senate Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor appointed Steve M. Titla in July 2013. Mr. Titla is a partner in the Titla & Parsi law firm and is admitted to practice law both in Arizona and on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
    Note #2. Below are the election bills that may impact the Commission.

    HCR 2004 – Clean Elections Repeal; Education Funding Sponsor – Rep. Leach (bill has been assigned to House Appropriations) The bill would place on the November 2018 ballot the question of whether or not to repeal the Clean Elections Act and divert the Clean Elections Fund to the Department of Education to be distributed to school districts and charter schools Effect on CCEC: Would eliminate the Clean Elections Act.

    HCR 2002 -°©‐ Repeal 1998 Prop. 105 -.‐ Sponsor – Rep. Ugenti Rita This bill would place on the November 2018 ballot the question of whether or not to repeal Proposition 105. Proposition 105 was passed by the voters in 1998 and requires any changes to items passed by the people to further the purpose and be passed by . vote of the legislature. Effect on CCEC: – If passed, would allow the Legislature to change and/or eliminate any issue passed by the people.

    HB 2026 -°©‐ Secretary of State; Omnibus – Sponsor – Rep. Coleman (bill has been assigned to House Government) This bill would make a multitude of changes to the functions County Elections Officers and County Recorders have and give the authority to the Secretary of State. Effect on CCEC: – Minimal effect on the Commission. The one area that would affect the Commission is 41-.‐1011 preparation and publication of the code and register. This section would give the Secretary of State's office the ability to remove a rule that the Governor's Regulatory Review Council says has expired.

  • CCEC October, 2016 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Clean Elections Commission Report Oct. 27, 2016
    By Rivko Knox

    All five of the Commissioners attended today's CCEC meeting, which though among its longer ones, wasn't that 'rich' in substance. The items that took the most time were two complaint cases; a) one regarding two Clean Election/Participating Candidates in LD 1, i.e., Noel Campbell and David Stringer & b) the second a complaint against Save Our Solar. a) The complainants, the Gray's (which included Linda Gray, a prior AZ Legislator who ran but was defeated in the Republican Primary) participated by phone. The issue related to a mailer & an event, with Commission staff determining that neither constituted a 'failure to report' violation. The mailer was NOT sent by the participating candidate although his name was on it, i.e., it said something like "you have two votes, and after you vote for x, please vote for the complainant with your second vote." Re the event, the participating candidate did not send out the mailer, did not know that his name was on it or that he was a 'featured' guest. After extensive discussion, statements by the Gray's, questions by commissioners and a political consultant involved in the mailer/event, the CCEC moved & approved a motion to support the staff recommendation. b) The second case re Save Our Solar (Solar) relates to a failure to report. An attorney from Coppersmith Brockelman, Andy Gaarn, spoke on behalf of Solar. He said that the CCEC & Solar were very close to a conciliation; that CCEC had proposed a $15,000 fine while Solar countered with $8,000; & he felt the issue was about to be resolved. He said Solar was asking that a 'reason to believe there has been a violation finding' should be postponed until the Nov. 17 CCEC meeting; that Solar had told him that they would NOT disband as a committee on Nov. 9th & would ensure they had at least $15,000 to resolve the fine. Collins said that he was recommending a 'reason to believe' finding be made by the CCEC today; that Solar agree not to disband until the issue is resolved & agree to maintain sufficient funds to cover whatever the fine is. Collins pointed out that his interacts with Solar were not a final action by the CCEC but just a starting point. Further, Collins said that there is a daily fine or $880, which actually could come to about $300,000 in theory. Based on what the Commissioners said (which I did not see), apparently the Solar written response to the complaint stated that the CCEC was acting unconstitutinally & CCEC had no authority over this matter which was beyond it's scope (citing what Eric Spencer said!!). Gaarn spoke again stating that Solar did believe in total transparency, it's strong written language was part of 'the legal game' (none of this is verbatim), that the issue is related to the SOS website (see more below); that it wants to comply; & that it felt that the CCEC was singling them out. Re the singling out, Collins said that once he is notified of a complaint, CCEC must follow through. Again, after extensive discussion & questions from the Commissioners, a motion was made, seconded & passed that the CCEC has a reason to believe that a violation may have occurred regarding a lack of filing of reports (not verbatim). NOTE: the issue as it relates to the SOS is that because the SOS doesn't agree that CCEC has any authority in this area, there is no way to electronically file the kind of expenditure report CCEC requires in this case. Rather there is a link to a PDF on the SOS website that must be downloaded & then submitted to the CCEC. In addition, under the Director's Report, Tom Collins stated that: * The oral arguments in the Legacy Foundation Action Fund (LFAF), a 501( c)(4), were heard by the AZ Court of Appeals on Oct. 19, with CCEC represented by Joseph Roth. Eric Spenser, SOS, attended the hearing also & argued that the CCEC's authority only extends to people/entities involved in Clean Elections. This is a case regarding a deadline to file an appeal from a CCEC ruling that resulted in a $96,000 fine relating to ads by LFAF attacking Mesa Mayor Scott Smith during the 2014 Republican primary. LFAF said their ads were issues vs. express advocacy ads. The Capitol Times indicated in an Oct. 21 article about this that the decision could "...settle long standing questions over how far the Clean Elections' authority extends. ..." * Voter education efforts continue. In addition to ads, billboards etc., staff have been answering very many phone calls and are being told by those calling that the CCEC is the only entity they have contacted that answers the phones & actually walks them thru their issues. * There is an on going issue with am AZ Supreme Court Taskforce on Fair Justice for All, which looked at surchanges as part of its mission. Of course surcharges is how Clean Elections is funded so any decisions/legal actions/rules about such could very significantly impact the CCEC. The Taskforce is proposing legislative language that would allow the courts to waive surcharges much more broadly than is done now. Collins pointed out that 83% of all surcharges on civil fines are NOT related to CCEC, which represents only 1/8th of the total. Thus, just excluding those could still make a huge impact on Fair Justice without getting into the 'voter protection' issue. It also came out during the Taskforces meetings, that a lot of surcharges are currently being waived without prior authorization, which lead to the question: If so, what has been in the impact on the CCEC? Collins said that revenue was going down but no one understand the reason for such. He said he will continue to follow this issue & will try to get details about how much in the way of fines have been waived, when etc. The other business before the CCEC was the random selection of 15 Clean Legislative candidates out of the 23 participating to be subject to audit as soon as the final expenditure report is submitted, with those who were audited after the primary excluded from the 15. Using a 'good old fashioned' wire cage and orange balls with numbers on them corresponding to candidates' name, the candidates were selected. CCEC will also audit the only statewide participating candidate not audited after the primary, i.e., Tom Chabin. Staff also said that as so few statewide candidates are participating, in the future CCEC anticipates auditing all of them. Regarding the on-°©‐going/never-°©‐ending disagreement with the Governor's Regulatory Review Commission (GRRC), Collins said that they are submitted another 5 year report, tho the GRRC has never indicated what is wrong with the initial one submitted or given a clue as to what should be revised. Finally, regarding the issue of the CCEC's contract for government relations services (to include lobbying), which was prohibited by a Governor's Executive Order a few months ago, Collins said he has submitted a written request for an exemption, will meet with the appropriate DOA staff, but does not think that such an exemption will be approved.

    Respectfully submitted, Rivko Knox


  • CCEC September, 2016 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Citizens’ Clean Election Commission Report
    Rivko Knox
    Sept. 15, 2016

    The CCEC met on September 15, 2016 with four of its memberS present, i.e, only Steve Titla, a Democrat from Gila County, was absent. It was a non contentious meeting, with no executive sessions and no media present (although as e meetings are now telecast, media may observe them in that manner). The Commission discussed proposed revisions to its rules to both address ‘housekeeping’ issues as well as the impact of SB 1516 and HB 2296, which of course made dramatic changes to election law, to include campaign finance rules, disclosure requirements etc. Staff had prepared a memo outlining the impact and rationale for the proposed changes. (A copy is available on their web site or I can forward such if anyone is interested.) The most important element, to me, of the memo was that it recognized the potential conflict between the requirements of both laws cited above and the CCEC’s own rules, adopted in compliance with the goal of the Clean Elections law and protected by the Voter Protection Act (VPA). The Commisson voted to publish the proposed rules changes for public comment along with a statement that says that the Commission proposes to proceed with revisions consistent with its legal duties (thus implying that where it feels that the VPA protected goal of the law is violated it will not proceed). Within a week or so I will draft a statement that I will recommend LWVAZ submit during the public comments period, as soon as those dates are provided by the Commission.
    Note: I copied the most important parts of the Memo and inserted such at the end of this report).
    In compliance with its rules, Commission staff then drew a random sample of primary clean election candidates who will be audited, whether they won or not. A similar procedure will apply after the general election. Two of the four primary ‘clean’ Corporation Commission candidates will be audited and 13 of the ‘clean’ legislative candidates. An outside CPA firm will conduct the audit. The rest of the meeting was devoted to a presentation by Gina Roberts, who is in charge of public education. The range of public education efforts undertaken by the CCEC is very impressive, something that all the Commissioners commented on. Ms. Roberts started with statistics about the voter turnout in the recent primary election, as well as compared to prior primary elections. Turnout was slightly higher but still was only 29% of registered voters. It was also reported that of the 175 candidates in the primary, 172 submitted statements for the Voters Education Guide, that the guides were printed in English and Spanish, were available in large
    print and in Navajo and for an oral version from Sun sounds. It was also stated (which I admit that I didn’t know) that questions for the Clean Election debates could be submitted in advance digitally and the same will be true for the general election debates. It was pointed out that the CCEC website is a one stop shop for information about elections, to include this year the Candidate Compass that asks a voter to respond to questions and then shows how each of the candidates for whom they vote responded, along with additional comments the candidates chose to submit.
    CCEC educated voters using: radio, digitally, on TV, print, using pandora, other social media, an app and billboards. Ms. Roberts said that many local election officials charged with educating voters use the CCEC’s materials. (Note: I hope that all of you got to see some of the great TV ads that ran and continue to run). Staff spent $1,303,170 on all the various types of public education, some through a media buyer they contracted with, which was the total budget. Roberts said that the media outreach in 2016 was based on research conducted in 2015 with voters. Staff was requested to prepare a memo for the Commission with ideas for an expanded voter education plan for the 2018 election along with a budget. Several Commissioners stated they felt that public education was the most important thing the Commission does. Executive Director Tom Collins said he hopes to build more partnerships in the future with other groups to include counties, Native American groups and to bme more of a resource for everyone. As has become a pattern at CCEC meetings, both Sam Pstross, AzAN and I spoke. Both of us stressed our organizations support for the voter outreach the Commission does and for putting the proposed rules out for public comment. I emphasized (again, for the public record) the role of LWVAZ in the creation of the CCEC, our position in opposition to SB1516, our support of public comments, which I said LWVAZ would likely participate in, and our continuing concern about the potential compromise of the CCEC’s mission/goals and violations of the VPA as a result of SB1516.

    Note : I have
    highlighted the sections in the memo below that I think are most relevant for LWVAZ to consider in terms of a potential public comment on these proposed rules MEMORANDUM

    To: Commissioners
    From: Commission Staff
    Date: September 9, 2016
    Subject: Highlights of Proposed Rule Changes
    Proposed Action:
    Staff proposes to open the rule process on the changes identified in the attached exhibits. It is important to stress that this is only the opening of the process. Action on adoption of any amendments will follow. By beginning this process Thursday, September 15, the amendments would be eligible for adoption as soon as the November meeting, with an additional month available if necessary, to meet our January 1 projected implementation date. Except where necessary references to SB 1516 include HB2297, a companion bill. We have highlighted what we think are the most crucial changes. Rule changes are limited to Article 1, 4, and 7. Additionally, we recommend you review the enforcement procedures.

    Highlights of Rules:
    R2-20-101
    · Removes part of the definition of unopposed.
    R2-20-105
    · Reverts to statutory levels for qualifying contributions. Testimony this summer and the experience of candidates over the past two election cycles indicate candidates are struggling to meet the thresholds set by rule. Corporation Commission candidates are qualifying later, for example, or in one case in 2014 not at all. The legislature in session law indicated a desire to have the qualifying contribution increase expressly for the 2014 cycle. Fiftieth Legislature, Second Regular Session, Chapter 257, Section 20, available at
    http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/
    50leg/2r/laws/0257.htm&Session_ID=107. Given the purpose of the law is to allow participation to fighting corruption, revisiting this policy is appropriate and the time frame the legislature contemplated has past.
    R2-20-109
    · Maintains Internal Revenue Service/Corporation Commission delegation for certain entities that
    might otherwise be political committees. Adopted at August meeting, 3-2. Moved to R2-20-
    109(F)(11) for clarity and to account for statutory differences between SB1516 and earlier measures.
    · Removes exemption process for 16-941(D), -958 reports. These exemptions were created to avoid potentially duplicative reports when the legislature later added ARS 16-914.02, which applies to corporations, labor unions and LLCs. That statute has been repealed, effective Nov. 5. The Clean Elections Reports, which voters put in place long before the 16-914.02 reports, will be the only time-sensitive report on spending in state elections that we are aware of post-SB1516.
    R2-20-110
    · SB 1516 is ambiguous regarding post-general election reports. Specifically, Without a post a post general election for nonparticipating candidates, their last report for a particular election cycle would not be filed until two or four years after that election was completed. Participating candidates must show that they have properly spent and refunded as appropriate clean funding. This requires a post general report for those
    candidates in compliance with A.R.S. §§ 16-953(B) and –956(A)(7). This proposal adds such a report.
    · Moved references on joint expenditures under use of funds to incorporate them with the joint expenditure reporting requirements to align and simplify the rules. (This is the change in Article 7 noted above).
    R2-20-111
    · Reflects that the reductions required by ARS 16-941 will be enforced on permitted contribution limits SB1516. (see legal note below)
    · Reflects that the limit adjustment will be $100 (see legal note below)
    R2-20-112
    · Political Party Exception—the current rule, based on a now repealed statute, is replaced with a new rule that adopts the new statute for party support of nominee, which do not constitute contributions pursuant to SB 1516. R2-20-112
    Article 2. R2-20-201 – R2-20-228
    · Maintains existing enforcement procedures. Although some may argue that SB 1516 affects the Commission’s authority to enforce the act, whatever limits it imposes are not related to Article 2 of Chapter 6 or the penalties imposed by that Article. The extent that the measure conflicts with the Clean Elections Act directly, it raises a voter protection act issue. These provisions will not be put out for public comment because there is no change. However, this information is important for your consideration.
    R2-20-402.02
    · Staff proposes to subject all statewide participating candidates to audit. Audits are performed by outside auditing firm. We have changed audit policies from time to time to account for various changes. There are fewer statewide participating candidates, however, the current means many will not be audited at all because they subject to the limitations of the random draw. The clean funding for these races is a considerable amount of money and warrants this additional scrutiny.
    Most Article 1 Rules – R2-20-101 – R2-20-115
    · Updates and in some cases corrects various cross-references affected by SB1516
    Legal framework. The staff recommendation again attempts to adopt avoid conflict where possible with the SB1516 language. However, the fact remains that there are numerous voter protection act as well as equal protection and other issues raised by the measure. Attempts to directly limit commission enforcement are plain VPA violations. However, other issues exist. By way of illustration, SB 1516 expressly states that the cross references contained in the act failed to be updated consistent with the VPA. However, some people will nevertheless argue that where SB1516 changed the underlying cross-referenced statute, the change is effective notwithstanding the VPA, and despite a recent AG opinion rejecting that construction of cross references. Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I16-01 at 4 (“The Arizona and United States Supreme Court have recognized the principle of statutes adopting and incorporating other authorities by reference.”), available at
    https://www.azag.gov/sgoopinions/ state-fire-marshal%E2%80%99s-adoption-national-fire-protection-association-code
    The cross-references alone raise legal questions . For example, what is the factor that should be used to adjust campaign finance limits ? Inflation, as the unamended Clean Elections Act states, or $100 as SB1516’s companion HB2297 calls for. (The rule proposal seeks to address cross reference issues on permitted campaign contributions and their limits by applying ARS 16-941(B) to the new statutory sections.) Additionally, the exemptions from the definitions of contribution and expenditure have been
    vastly expanded . For example, a corporation or union can now directly contribute to a political
    party for certain activities, A.R.S. 16-911(B)(5), and parties can in turn make coordinated expenditures on behalf of candidates that are not contributions at all. Thus, although the party cannot directly write a check to a candidate with corporate-generated funds, A.R.S. 16-915(B), the services of the party are not contributions at all. Similarly, all legal costs may be paid by any entity, including corporations and unions, regardless of their purpose and these donations will be both unlimited and undisclosed. A.R.S. 16 911(B)(6)(c). Individuals, for example, may make donations of food, property usage and invitations that are not limited or reported. A.R.S. 16- 911(B). Other provisions allow expansion of the internal communication by entities to groups nominally related to the entity in coordination with candidates free from limit or disclosure,
    A.R.S. 16-911((B)(10) and expands the facilities that can be made available by individuals and corporations and unions to candidates free from limit or disclosure, A.R.S. 16-911 (B)(11). These issues and issues like them could raise cross-reference problems as they tend to allow for greater donations and less disclosure which could be seen as contrary to the anticorruption purposes of the Clean Elections Act. These issues are in addition to the U.S. and State constitutional issues noted in staff’s May 2016 memo to the Commission. During the session, the Commission advised the legislature of the risks of creating two parallel systems. Now, we recommend using the new limits statutes and adjustments for discussion
    purposes and so indicating by rule. But the legal conflict is open and apparent. We therefore recommend the Commission continue to note its legal concerns in proposals circulated for public comment. Therefore, we recommend the Commission include in its notices the following language: The legality of provisions of SB1516 and HB2297, and their companion measure HB2296 (all enacted in the 2016 legislative session) remain open to question. In the interest of consistency, the Commission proposes to adopt rules consistent with those changes where possible. The Commission’s rulemakings are exempt from Title 41, Ch. 6, Article 3, pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-956. THE LAST SENTENCE WAS AMENDED BY THE COMMISSION AS I NOTE IN MY REPORT ABOVE.

  • CCEC August, 2016 Report
    Clean Elections is an important issue for The League and you can read recent Clean Elections Commission Reports here…

    Report of Special August 9, 2016 Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC)
    Meeting by Rivko Knox for LWVAZ

    1. Four of the five Commissioners participated, but all by teleconference, ic., Chairman Laird, Commissioners Kimble, Meyer and Titla:
    2. The focus of this meeting was the issue of the recent Governor's Executive Order banning the hiring of lobbyists by state agencies etc., and the Commission's position that as it was created by an Initiative, it's authority comes from the initiative/law and cannot be impacted by Executive Orders. In reality this is part of an almost year long intense disagreement between the CCEC and the Executive Branch, i.e., the Governor, his Regulatory Review Commission (GRRC) and the Secretary of State's (SOS) Office over the Commission's authority, which is, I think (editorial here) really a philosophical/political disagreement about Clean Elections per se, with the Executive Branch using any tool it can find to challenge the CCEC. The best summary of the situation is an article in the August 5, 2016 Capitol Times, page 9 by Jeremy Duda. (Gini I believe you subscribe and thus can easily find the link and send it.) Specifically, DOA, acting on behalf of the Governor and his Ex. Order, sent out a form to all agencies that hire lobbyists asking them to sign it, but according to Tom Collins, it's not clear what that form really means. Thus he was authorized by the Commission as its last meeting to not sign the form but send back a letter saying why it was not signed. At this meeting, Collins requested that the CCEC authorize him to submit a request for an exemption, which must be granted by DOA, although the Governor's Ex. Order stated that such should be 'rare' etc. Collins further stated that so far, to the best of his knowledge, one other state agency has filed for an exemption with DOA; 14 have not returned the form; and several others have asked for the Exemption Form. He also said that shortly before this meeting, he got a call from DOA asking for a meeting toward the end of next week, which he plans to attend. The CCEC AUTHORIZED COLLINS TO SEND THE EXEMPTION REQUEST RE LOBBYISTS TO THE DOA. 3) The final item on the agenda dealt with a request by Collins to send a letter to all entities required by law to either submit election related expenditure reports or request an exemption (clearly 'exemption' was the 'word' of the day at this meeting) saying they are not subject to the law. As both SOS and the CCRC have some overlapping authority and both require some reports to be filed, Collins created a form by which an entity can state they are exempt and/or already filed with the SOS. Collins said that this year there have been fewer requests for exemptions currently but that he planned, with the CCEC's authorization, to send reminder notices to all those he thinks might fall into this category (e.g., corporations, limited liability corporations, unions etc. as well as the attorneys who specialize in these issues) reminding them that they should submit this exemption form. Collins said he thought most would comply and that he wanted to make sure they were aware that the CCEC had the authority to request such. THE CCEC AUTHORIZED COLLINS TO SEND A LETTER RE REPORTING EXEMPTIONS AND THE EXEMPTION FORM TO POTENTIALLY COVERED ENTITIES.

ELECTION SYSTEMS

  • MAJOR ELECTION SYSTEMS
    LWVAZ Update & Review of Election Laws & Systems Reform Positions

    LWVAZ Update & Review of Election Laws and Election Systems Reform Positions

    At the 2015 LWVAZ Convention, delegates approved the update of the LWVAZ elections laws and election systems reform positions. As the work began, it became clear that a reorganization of the LWVAZ government positions was necessary to create a clearer understanding of these positions.

    The update has three parts:
    1. Reorganize LWVAZ government positions
    2. Review and concur on the newly titled LWVAZ Legislative Branch position
    3. Review existing positions on voter registration and voting systems and review additional areas for League member discussion and consensus.

    Background

    The decision made by the delegates at the LWVUS Convention 2016 to focus League efforts on “Making Democracy Work for All” and election 2016, makes it abundantly clear that the Leagues’ work is far from finished in making democracy work for every voter and every voice in our communities. The LWVUS program adopted for the next biennium is as follows:

    Voting Rights and Voter Protection

    In Congress, we must continue to push for restoration of the Voting Rights Act by supporting the bipartisan Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA). We must continue to support positive reforms such as online voter registration for all, portable voter registration within each state, and reforms to provisional voting, areas for which there are already pending bills. We must continue pushing this administration and the next to comply with the National Voter Registration Act by allowing voters to register through the federally-facilitated health care exchanges.

    Money in Politics

    Congress can take action to reform money in politics. Including the Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act in the House, there is legislation on each of the three pillars of our work on campaign finance: disclosure, stopping Super PACs, and public financing of congressional and presidential elections. There is also an anti-bundling bill. In addition, Congress can and must ensure meaningful enforcement of existing and future laws. The Federal Election Commission can’t fix itself, but Congress surely can. These reforms can be made despite recent decisions of the Supreme Court.

    Supporting Voting Rights and Voter Protection in the States

    In the states the fight continues in statehouses and courthouses to prevent legislation that suppresses the vote. Support also continues for reforms like on-line voter registration and expansion of early voting. These efforts are most successful when state Leagues can rely on LWVUS for resources in the form of shared expertise and coordination of strategies and messaging. State Leagues play a critical role, too, in developing partnerships and coalitions to protect the vote, not only in state legislatures but also in local communities. Collaborating with LWVUS, state Leagues take the leading role in advocacy for voter protection but also in coordinating statewide campaigns around voting issues.

    Supporting Voting Rights and Voter Protection in Local Communities

    In recent years local League voter service has joined the front lines of voter protection. The 2016 election will be the first presidential election in 50 years in which voters cannot rely on the protections of the Voting Rights Act to ensure free and fair access to the polls. Never has a local presence--real people in real communities--been a greater asset for the League. Registering voters in underserved communities, high schools, community colleges, and at naturalization ceremonies has become the primary focus of our voter service work. Long-standing relationships with elections officials have already produced good results in preventing careless or not so careless decisions regarding precinct locations and distribution of polling place resources in the wake of the Shelby decision. More is required. It is critical that, in this upcoming election, we promote and support a local presence in our most vulnerable communities by working together with community partners and using our 95 years of election experience to protect voters in the next election.

    Voting Rights and Voter Protection Following Election 2016

    The past five years have shown that elections have important consequences for both candidates and voters. Long lines at the polls in 2012 prompted the president to appoint the Presidential Commission on Election Administration to examine best election practices from the perspective of voter experience. The resulting recommendations provide an excellent road map for election reform at state and local levels. The League and our partners will be on the ground next November, but our election observations are meaningless unless we take them back to the appropriate decision makers.
    Election 2016 will be the most expensive in our history. The issue of money in politics does not end the day after an election, nor is it confined to federal elections or the federal government. Leagues are working hard to update our campaign finance reform position, and it is incumbent on all of us to work at every level of government to ensure that power is in the hands of the many and not the few.
    Redistricting reform continues to be a goal for the League. Armed with a position every state League can use, we look forward to more robust efforts to accomplish this goal. LWVUS will provide both venues for coordination and expert assistance. Progress has been made already, but League-wide support can strengthen the effort. State Leagues will take the lead in their states as we look to 2020 and beyond.
    In addition, given the current political climate, there will likely be continued calls to amend the U.S. Constitution through a convention. The lessons learned through our study of the amendment process will inform LWV’s education and advocacy in this area.

    Making Democracy Work for All

    The League is dedicated to ensuring that all eligible voters – particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, minorities, the elderly and low-income Americans – have the opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote. The League is deeply committed to reforming our nation's campaign finance system to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process. We will continue this fight in Congress, with state legislatures, with the executive branch and, where appropriate, the courts.
    The League supports redistricting processes and enforceable standards that promote fair and effective representation at all levels of government with maximum opportunity for public participation.

    Voting Rights in Arizona

    In Arizona, the League of Women Voters' work on the protection of voting rights is focused on both education and advocacy. The Leagues in Arizona distribute voter education materials, help voters understand voting requirements and the necessary documentation needed to cast their ballots.
    The Arizona League and the League of Women Voters of the United States were involved in the Supreme Court voting rights case, Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), which examined whether the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) prevented states from passing laws that restrict the voter registration process. At stake was Arizona’s Proposition 200, which required, among other things, that voters produce proof-of-citizenship when registering to vote, including when using the federal mail-in registration form. Citing provisions in the NVRA, the Supreme Court invalidated the part of the law requiring proof of citizenship for the federal voter registration form, resulting in a partial victory for voters.
    After that victory, however, the Arizona State Attorney General (and Kansas Secretary of State, as well) tried a different tactic: they asked the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission to change the federal form to allow the requirements of documentary proof of citizenship on the form. The Arizona League, along with the League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Kansas, intervened as defendants in the case, which became Kobach, et al v. U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) . The case worked its way up to the Supreme Court, which let stand a 10th Circuit Court opinion denying the request to allow proof of citizenship requirements when registering to vote using the federal form (for federal elections only).
    In the 2014 state legislative session, the League of Women Voters of Arizona lobbied against bills that made it harder for third party candidates to qualify for the ballot, prohibited community organizations from assisting voters with getting their ballots to the ballot box, and that created a flawed process for purging permanent voting lists (PVL). Unfortunately, the Legislature passed an omnibus voter suppression bill -- HB2305 -- with all of the above provisions in it. League members throughout the state helped collect signatures to bring a referendum on HB2305 to the November 2014 ballot. The referendum qualified for the ballot, but the 2015 Legislature repealed HB2305, so the referendum became moot. Then in the 2016 legislative session, the "ballot harvesting bill” was passed and signed. The bill makes it a felony to assist voters with getting their ballots to the ballot box.
    Local Leagues have developed good working relations with their county elections officials in the ongoing process of community education about the voting administration in their counties. Community education has become a very important activity, given the recent voting problems with the statewide elections (presidential preference, May special election, and the primary election) held in 2016.

    Campaign Finance in Arizona


    The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that the political process must be open, equitable and honest. The process must provide opportunity for maximum citizen participation. There should be limits on the size and type of campaign contributions. There should be full disclosure of contributions and expenditures to combat undue influence in the electoral and governmental processes.
    This position was the basis for LWVAZ involvement in the writing of the Citizens' Clean Elections Initiative and the passage of the Clean Elections Act in 1998. In 2011, after the passage of SCR1009 which was designed to] disallow the use of public money to fund political campaigns, the United States Supreme Court ruled that matching funds should be blocked in Arizona's clean elections law. Today, the Clean Elections Act is still the campaign finance law for Arizona, but it continues to be under assault by the Arizona Legislature.

    In the 2016 state legislative session, the League of Women Voters of Arizona lobbied against SB1516. The goal of SB1516, to simplify the state's complicated election regulations, is laudable. But the devil is in the details. The new campaign finance laws include these provisions that the League of Women Voters is opposed to:
    1. Allowing 501c4 social welfare organizations to spend unlimited amounts on ballot measures
    2. Not requiring 501c4 organization to disclose the amount they spend on ballot measures
    3. Not requiring 501c4 organizations to reveal their donors

    Redistricting in Arizona

    The League of Women Voters of Arizona has been actively involved in the process of redistricting since we adopted our position in 1967, which states that the LWVAZ supports the retention of an independent commission to redistrict legislative and congressional districts at regular intervals, subject to judicial review.
    LWVAZ was a part of a group of individuals and organizations that filed an amicus brief against the attempts by the lawyers for the AZ Legislature to overturn the independent redistricting process in Dec. 2013.
    We joined the amicus group because of our long-standing position on redistricting, our involvement in the campaign in support of the Independent Redistricting Commission, and our participation in two redistricting processes since the passage of Prop 106, that created the Redistricting Commission.

    Initiative and Referendum in Arizona (I & R)\

    The LWVAZ's position on initiative and referendum was adopted in 1976. LWVAZ believes in the constitutional right of the people to enact direct legislation; therefore, the League opposes any attempt by the Legislature to repeal or amend initiative or referendum rights by means such as requiring more than just majority approval of I & R propositions. A minority of voters should not have a stronger voice in voting for or against a citizen-driven initiative or referendum. This type of legislation to amend the initiative and referendum process has been introduced almost every legislative session over the past 20 years and there is a strong possibility that it will occur again in 2017 and beyond.

    Judicial Independence and Merit Selection in Arizona

    The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the selection of judges by appointment, with voter approval for retention; adequate judicial salaries; longer terms; higher qualifications for justices of the peace and magistrates; a judicial nominating commission responsible to the governor; and a competency review commission.
    In each session of the Legislature there are efforts to either return to the old system of electing judges or to weaken the current merit system. Constitutional amendments have been proposed by legislators that would divert the selection and retention of judges away from a vote of the people and into the Legislature’s hands, handily ignoring the fact that there are three branches of government for very good reasons. Election vs. appointment of judges could, and probably would, lead to quid pro quo promises by judges to campaign funders, damaging the independence of our judiciary. In previous attempts, citizens have seen through these diversions of power. But year after year the attempts go on. The 2016 Legislature was no different.

    Next Steps

    This brief background, current efforts and the review of the League’s work in these areas over the past few years presents the importance of our ongoing mission to Make Democracy Work for all. Use this information in your discussion of the proposed reorganization of the LWVAZ Government Positions, the new concepts we propose be added, and in the concurrence on the new position of the Arizona Legislative Branch.

REDISTRICTING

  • LWVs MIP Group
    Consider joining this discussion group, which will continue…

    LWVs Money in Politics
    Discussion Group

    Consider joining the discussion group, which will continue as a platform for sharing information and networking about what Leagues can do and are doing to reform money in politics at the federal, state and local levels of government. Members of the 2014-16 LWVUS MIP Committee are available as resources for League leaders. We hope for very active discussions and look forward to your postings.

    MIP and Constitutional Amendments (CA) are part of the League-wide 2016-18 Campaign for Making Democracy Work adopted at the LWVUS Convention. The new positions will be included in the “LWVUS Impact on Issues, 2016-18” available at LWV.org online soon.
    The MIP position:
    Replaces the LWVUS Campaign Finance position which predated Court decisions that upended campaign finance regulation and unleashed big money into politics
    Addresses First Amendment issues: whether the League believes all spending to influence an election is protected speech
    Can be applied to federal campaigns, as well as to state and local

    Action on a proposed amendment to the US Constitution is federal. If you have questions about a specific amendment, please contact LWVUS and let US know, 1) the language of the constitution amendment itself, and 2) the specific language from LWVUS positions supporting the language of the proposed amendment. You can use the
    Federal Action Request form.

    What we achieved in our extensive efforts on MIP and CA over the past two years:
    League members nationwide are well informed on those complex issues
    Leagues are fortified with strong positions to take action on Money in Politics and Constitutional Amendments
    Compared with our previous position on Campaign Finance, the new MIP position is stronger, clearer, better defined and more nuanced
    The League is alone among advocacy organizations in having undertaken in-depth study of how the US constitution can be amended and its implications for protecting our democracy.

    Now’s the time to identify opportunities to reform money in politics and support those states where real change is possible. And Leagues in many states are already deeply involved in successful advocacy. But there isn’t a state that doesn’t need more transparency, more disclosure and strong enforcement of ethics and campaign finance laws. If the League is successful in moving our states in a positive direction, then what excuse does Congress have for continuing to avoid its responsibility to fix enforcement, pass the DISCLOSE Act and meaningfully define independent expenditures?

    We invite you to review the new positions and the tools that we have provided to support League reform efforts in your state and communities.

  • MIP LEGISLATION
    The LWV supports comprehensive legislation to address…

    MIP Legislation

    The League of Women Voters supports comprehensive legislation to address the major loopholes created by Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions, establish a small-donor-based public financing system for congressional as well as presidential elections, and recreate an effective enforcement agency for campaign finance laws.

    SENATE

    • Whitehouse - S299 - The DISCLOSE Act - abolishes “dark money” by closing disclosure loopholes opened by Citizens United. Restores transparency to U.S. elections by requiring complete disclosure of spending on big money advertising in candidate elections, including transfers among groups

    • Leahy - S1838 - The Stop Super PAC - Candidate Coordination Act - provides explicit and rigorous definitions of “coordinated” expenditures to prevent Super PACs from evading the law and circumventing contribution limits

    • Udall - S1176 - The Empower Act - repairs the reinvigorates the public financing system for candidates in presidential elections

    • Durbin - S1538 - The Fair Elections Now Act - creates new small-donor based public financing system for senate elections

    • Udall - S2611 - The Federal Election Administration Act - restructures the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a five-member commission, with a system of administration law judges having initial jurisdiction over enforcement cases

    • Bennet - S1480 - The Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act - limits the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to buy influence with member of Congress

    HOUSE

    • Van Hollen - HR430 - The DISCLOSE Act - abolishes “dark money” by closing disclosure loopholes opened by Citizens United. Restores transparency to U.S. elections by requiring complete disclosure of spending on big money advertising in candidate elections, including transfers among groups

    • Price - HR425 - The Stop Super PAC - Candidate Coordination Act - provides explicit and rigorous definitions of “coordinated” expenditures to prevent Super PACs from evading the law and circumventing contribution limits

    • Price - HR2143 - The Empower Act - repairs the reinvigorates the public financing system for candidates in presidential elections

    • Price - HR424 - The Empowering Citizens Act - creates new small-donor-based public financing system for House and Senate elections, and repairs and reinvigorates presidential public financing as a small donor-based system

    • Price - HR5439 - The Federal Election Administration Act - restructures the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as a five member commission, with a system of administrative law judges having initial jurisdiction over enforcement cases.

JUDGES

  • JUDGES
    Here is some history and basic information

    Judges

    Since 1974, Arizona voters have benefitted from a judicial merit selection and retention program. Non-partisan commissions evaluate judicial applicants for the Governor’s appointment. Then, judges up for retention election in all appellate courts statewide and trial court judges in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties are evaluated by the Judicial Performandce Review Commission (JPR) who vote if a judge meets or does not meet judicial performance standards. Results of each JPR vote appear online and in the Secretary of State’s Voter Pamphlet along with state Ballot Propositions.

  • JPR BASICS
    Basic information on how the JPR works

    Arizona Judicial Performance Review Process
    How do Arizona judges become judges? How are they evaluated?

    Appointment: For more than 30 years Arizona has benefitted from a judicial merit selection and retention process. Merit selection is a way of choosing judges that uses nonpartisan Judicial Nominating Commissions to investigate and evaluate applicants for judgeships. A commission submits the names of at least three highly qualified applicants to the Governor. From lists of nominees submitted by a judicial nominating commission, the Governor appoints all appellate court judges statewide and trial court judges in from counties with census populations of 250,000 or more (2016: Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal.)

    Public members make up the majority of every judicial nominating commission. There are three nominating commissions - one for appellate court appointments, and two local commissions on trial court appointments in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties. Each commission is composed of ten public members and five attorney members, and is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    Merit selection is not a system that grants lifetime judgeships. In Arizona, after an initial two-year term of office and every few years thereafter, judges appointed under merit selection are evaluated by the voters in uncontested retention election. Voters have the power to remove or retain judges during the retention elections.

    Performance & Retention: In 1992 Arizona voters amended the state constitution to create a process for evaluating the performance of judges appointed through merit selection using input from the public to generate a judicial performance report and provide this to the voters before the state's general election.

    The Commission on Judicial Performance Review ("JPR") was created to conduct this periodic performance reviews of appointed judges. The public has the key role in the performance review process. Jurors, witnesses, litigants, people who represent themselves in court, attorneys and court staff who have observed the judge at work are surveyed about the judge's performance. The JPR Commission sets standards for judicial performance and works under procedures adopted by the Supreme Court. Like the judicial nominating commissions, public members form the majority of the JPR Commission.
    The Commission is composed of not more than 34 members appointed by the Supreme Court who are members of the public, attorneys, and judges. The majority of the members of the Commission represent the public and there can be no more than 7 judges and 6 attorneys on the JPR Commission.

    The JPR Commission uses the public input (see list below) to decide whether each judge subject to retention election "Meets" or "Does Not Meet" judicial performance standards (see list below.) The Commission reports its decision and the information collected from the surveys in the Secretary of State Voter Information Pamphlet and on this website. Voters can use the JPR Commission's findings and data reports to decide how they will vote on each judge on the retention ballot. Thus JPR provides information for each voter to finish the ballot.

    JPR Commission carefully considers public input to determine whether a judge or justice "Meets" or "Does Not Meet" judicial performance standards:

        High Judicial Performance Standards are set for Arizona's judiciary.  The JPR Commission evaluates each judge up for retention election to assess the judge’s: 

          Full information available at azcourts.gov

        • SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR
          Justice O’Connor speaks about Merit Selection

          LWV helped craft and pass merit selection of judges and judicial performance review in Arizona. According to US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, “After Merit Selection was enacted in 1974, I saw the changes over the years. It’s been good for Arizona. We have excellent judges here. The merit selection system works well.”

        MARICOPA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

        • EV County Study
          The East Valley Team report on the Maricopa County Gov’t study…

          Report of the East Valley Team Maricopa County Government Study

          The East Valley Team of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix report on the Maricopa County government study was presented at the Program Planning General meeting on January 25, 2014. Consensus was reached on the retention of our current position in support of charter home rule for Maricopa County with the inclusion of the steps specified in the state constitutional requirements. We submit the following wording for the position to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting:

          “The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix supports charter home rule for Maricopa County. The Arizona Constitution requires an elected charter committee to compose a charter. Maricopa County voters then vote on the proposed charter, as well as appointment vs. election of row officers and taxation as additional and separate questions.”

          On the question “Should row officers be appointed or elected?” there was no consensus. There was general agreement with the idea row officers should be elected if they make policy and appointed if they are administrative. The determination of what constitutes “policy” is a very complicated issue. This would need further in-depth investigation.

          It was considered important that row officers be accountable to the Board of Supervisors for their administration and budget. While by law they are responsible to the Board of Supervisors, the fact that the row officers are elected muddies the waters.

          At this time, it is suggested that these issues remain on hold, but investigated when there is actual movement toward the writing of a charter. The East Valley Team at this time has concluded the study and research portion of the Maricopa County government study. The East Valley Team and Metropolitan Phoenix League should now put their emphasis on education about county government. There is a great need for education about county government and the election of county officials.

        • MARICOPA ROW OFFICERS
          Information on the various county row officers.

          Maricopa County Row Officers

          Background:
          The Arizona State Constitution (Article 12, Section 3) provides that each county may have a number of elected officials. Most of us are familiar with the Board of Supervisors. But there are other elected officials including the Assessor, Clerk of the Court, County Attorney, Recorder, Sheriff, Superintendent of Schools and Treasurer. These are often referred to as the ‘row officers’. They always seem to be far down or on the backside of the ballot. So, many people have no idea what these officials and their offices do, what big departments they head, the various tasks performed and the level of independence and autonomy they have. This article will briefly explain the responsibilities of each of the row officers and their offices. For more information, the email address for each will be included.

          Assessor:
          The Assessor’s office administers all laws and regulations regarding property ownership and has the responsibility of seeing that all property is fairly valued. They maintain accurate data on each account on the tax rolls and include deed processing records. The office provides support services regarding valuation decisions that have been appealed. The mapping division maintains accurate maps and information on locations of property. Recently the office established an internal audit group with investigative powers that reports directly to the Assessor. Public service counters can be found at the County Administration Building at 301 W. Jefferson Street in Phoenix, at the Southeast County Complex on Javalina in Mesa, at the Santa Fe Freight Department in Phoenix and at the Sun City Taxpayers Association office.
          For more information contact:
          http://mcassessor.gov/assessor

          Clerk of the Court:
          The office of the Clerk of the Court has the responsibilities of supervising Superior Court complexes in Phoenix, Mesa and Surprise. In addition it supervises Juvenile Court centers in Phoenix and Mesa. The duties and responsibilities include: providing court forms, managing a service counter for the public on Jackson Street in Phoenix and maintaining e-filing programs for many of the procedures. At this office you can obtain a marriage license, apply for a passport, arrange for wage assignments, and other support arrangements. In addition adoptions are arranged through this office and you can obtain copies of court records that are available to the public.
          For more information contact:
          http://clerkofthecourt.maricopa.gov/

          Treasurer:
          The County Treasurer was one of the first positions named when Maricopa County was formed in 1871. The Treasurer’s office serves as the tax collector; collecting for real and personal property taxes for the state, county, cities and towns, schools and special districts. The office then distributes them to the appropriate entities. Revenue information is provided to the County Board of Supervisors for budget purposes and the office serves as a bank for the county. There are on-line services where one can review tax bills, update addresses or make a tax payment. The Treasurer’s office is located at 310 W. Jefferson, Phoenix.
          For more information contact: http://www.treasurer.maricopa.gov/

          County Attorney:
          The County Attorney is the chief prosecutor for the county and must be an attorney at law licensed and in good standing in Arizona. The County Attorney’s office advises the other county officers and defends actions brought against the county. This office tries approximately 35,000 felony cases a year and is also responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors in the unincorporated parts of the county. In addition to conducting trials and doing investigations, the office also supervises the probation department, maintains a victim’s service department to assist crime victims and provides a variety of award winning community education programs. Offices are located at both County Court complexes in Phoenix and Mesa. Juvenile facilities are located on Durango in Phoenix and at the Mesa Court
          Complex. There is a Civil Service division located on N. Central in Phoenix.
          For more information contact
          http://www.maricopaattorney.org/

          Recorder:
          The Recorder’s office maintains the public records and legal documents for a variety of activities such as real estate transactions, personal property transactions and military discharge records. The public is more familiar with the services provided to voters. The Recorder’s office is the registrar of voters and maintains the voter lists as well as arranging for polling places and doing ballot tabulation... The public can find information through their office for many things: voter registration, redistricting information, polling place locations , requests for early voting ballots, campaign finance and candidate information and to check on whether you are registered to vote. The main Recorder’s office is at 111 S. 3rd Ave. in Phoenix with another office at the SE County Complex in Mesa. The County’s election technical center (Election-MCTEC Center) is at 510 S. 3rd Ave. The Recorder’s office also maintains kiosks in libraries in Surprise, Fountain Hills and Anthem.
          For more information contact:
          http://recorder.maricopa.gov/

          Sheriff:
          The Sheriff’s office provides local law enforcement for unincorporated parts of Maricopa County and it also contracts with several cities and towns to provide services for them. The Sheriff’s office operates the county jail system. The county is divided into six districts with stations in Mesa, Avondale, Surprise, Cave Creek, Queen Creek and Fountain Hills and there are substations in Guadalupe and Gila Bend. The main office is on Washington in central Phoenix. The Sheriff’s office patrols lakes, rivers and trails and maintains the Amber Alert system and Search and Rescue operations. The aviation division supports the other services and the K9 Unit has various specialties. Recently added were illegal immigration and counter terrorism services. There are jail facilities located at 4th Avenue, Durango, Estrella, Lower Buckeye and Madison.
          For more information contact:
          www.mcso.org

          Superintendent of Schools:
          The Superintendent of Schools manages the Maricopa County Education Services Agency (MCESA) which provides a wide variety of services for local school districts. There are approximately 700,000 school age children participating in educational opportunities covered by this office. The office is also responsible for carrying out 100 plus mandates related to education in Arizona. The office supervises several student learning programs: reading and literacy, STEM instruction (science, technology, engineering and math), English learner’s support and juvenile transition education. MCESA registers private and home schooled students and assists students in unorganized areas of the county to arrange for their education. Technical support is provided for 57 school districts within the county. 38 school
          districts are provided with business and payroll services. An elections division assists with school district governing board elections and special elections for bonds and overrides. MCESA is located at 4141 N. Central in Phoenix.
          For more information contact:
          http://www.maricopa.gov/schools/

        MARICOPA COUNTY RECORDER

        • ROUNDTABLE RECAP
          Read the detail of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Roundtable meeting, Nov. 2017

          Roundtable Recap
          Roundtable Name: Civic Engagement Roundtable
          Date: November 18, 2017
          Location: McKinley Club, 800 S 1st Ave, Phoenix, AZ
          CRT Contact: Christine Dyster,
          cdyster@risc.maricopa.gov,
          (480) 381-4589

          Overview

          Starting at 2:00pm, seven community members, five County Recorder’s staff members, and Recorder Fontes attended this roundtable. We started with an update about the 2017 election. We had 23.5 percent overall turnout, we finished counting ballots within 24 hours of Ballot Centers closing, and less than 2,000 voters chose to vote in person. One particular point of interest was that 10 percent of ballots returned were from voters not on the Permanent Early Voter List. Two issues we found we needed to better educate voters on were who was eligible to vote in the election and the process an early ballot goes through to ensure a vote remains secret. The bottom line was that this election went, as Recorder Fontes put it, “disturbingly well.” The discussion focused on better ways to reach out and better inform the community. With a variety of perspectives present, this office got a clearer picture of what materials and information groups need to advocate for voting. The discussion wrapped up by 3:30pm.

          Top Discussion Points:
          The bulk of the discussion focused on better ways to communicate and educate voters. Some of the top discussion points were:
          1. Voter education about the Ballot: The instructions in the ballot should include two further steps. Flip over your ballot and a mail it back by date. Some voters were unaware that the backside of the Phoenix Elementary and Phoenix Union ballot were separate issues.
          2. Better voter education about Ballot Centers: There needs to be a clear and loud message that you can vote anywhere coming from the office. Potentially a visual should be created to clearly mark that issue.
          3. Outreach needs to be through many sources: Local papers are an excellent way for getting our message out. The social media efforts and videos done by the Recorder’s Office were helpful and should continue in the future.
          4. Community Network meetings need to come back: The Recorder’s Office would benefit from restarting this informational, lecture-style meeting where the office can bring together and inform community leaders about upcoming elections. These meetings were especially helpful because of the diversity of people who attended, making them valuable networking opportunities.

          Action Items:
          These items require further action from someone attending the roundtable or the office. Each item is listed with the assign person first- then the action (in parenthesis is the due date):
          1. All Attendees - Invite three people who would benefit from participating in the next Roundtable. (June 2018)
          2. All Attendees- Send any information they have about local sources (newspapers, neighborhood newsletters, etc) that may be willing to publish election information before the next election. (February 1, 2018)
          3. Christine Dyster- Meet with members of the Recorder’s office and report back on what bringing back the Community Network meetings will look like going forward. (December 20, 2018)
          4. Lauren Henschen, Christine Dyster, and Karen Loschiavo- As part of Lauren’s work with neighborhoods, she suggested a one page document or infographic to help inform people of everything from registering to vote to casting their ballot. She will work with Christine and Karen from the Recorder’s office to put together the best product. (January 12, 2018)
          5. Maricopa County Recorder’s Office- In order to improve outreach, this office will provide print and web friendly materials for upcoming elections. (Prior to each election)
          6. Christine Dyster and Karen Loschiavo- There were suggestions made on how to improve the instructions that come with the ballot. We will take those under consideration for the next election. . (June 2018)

          Proposed Timeline

          Next Meeting: This will be a biannual roundtable. However, if any civic engagement groups wish to host a discussion about elections and voter engagement in between, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office would be happy to attend and listen.

          When: Late June or Early July, Christine will send a request to schedule at the beginning of May.

          Where: Phoenix Center for the Arts

        HEALTHCARE & REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

        • LWV POSITION STATEMENT
          Read the LWV position statement on healthcare and reproductive rights.

          Healthcare & Reproductive Rights


          The League believes in the constitutional right to privacy and trusts women to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions. We support the inclusion of reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion coverage, in any health benefit package. We believe that denying women access to healthcare services because of ill-defined religious or moral objections is discrimination based on sex. We actively oppose attempts to repeal the reproductive health services provided under the Affordable Care Act.

        • MEDICAID
          The history of Medicaid and how ACA affects it.

          MEDICAID
          By Marjorie Dion, M.A., LWVNWV, June, 2017

          Prior to the Industrialized Age, people who were ill were treated by family members, itinerant doctors, or just plain quacks. Although there were hospitals, these institutions were regarded as places to go to die. Medical treatments were cheap and mostly ineffective. As America industrialized, charities, often religiously based, began to offer health care to ill or injured workers paid for by donations and employers. These charities often helped the less fortunate as well.

          Some early forms of health insurance were introduced during the 1930’s responding to more expansive and improved medical training, and care as well as hospitalization. Most healthcare was still provided by charities.

          During and after WWII, there were dramatic improvements in both healthcare and medications. Western Europe, recovering from the devastation of war, chose to use government to help provide healthcare to their people. This resulted in various forms of socialized medicine. The U.S. chose not to go this route, fearing socialism which might lead to communism. Both political parties were in agreement with this position.

          During WWII, the foundation of our present system of employer based insurance coverage arose out of the National War Labor Boards freezing of wages and salaries. This occurred at a time of robust economic growth. Since companies could not entice new workers with better wages, they found that health insurance benefits were a highly-prized benefit. Congress soon allowed companies to deduct the cost of provided health insurance from their taxes. Between 1940 and 1955, insured employees increased from 10% to 60%. To provide this service, insurance carriers needed to make a profit. This employer based, profit motivated insurance provided the foundation of our present healthcare system.
          • The development of present-day Medicaid, occurred in 1965 when both Medicare and Medicaid were introduced through an amendment to Social Security under Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. Most Republicans and virtually all Southern Democrats opposed this change. Medicare is a federally funded program offering healthcare to citizens 65 or older. Medicaid is a program jointly funded by the federal and state governments. It was originally designed to help low income children, pregnant women and individuals with disabilities. Although initially opposed by Republicans, the Party supported this program as well as Medicare allowing both programs critical modifications over time. (An American Sickness), Elisabeth Rosenthal, Penguin Press, 2017

          MEDICAID AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) 2010
          In 2010, 48 million Americans were not covered with health insurance. Within a few years after the passage of the ACA, the uninsured number fell to 28.6 million. Today, Medicaid covers 74.6 million American adults and children. Children are covered by CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are covered through Medicaid: 33 million children, 10 million elderly and disabled and over 4 million in long-term care. These categories comprise a large proportion of Medicaid recipients. The program provides care for maternity and pediatric care, assistance for disabled adults and children, nursing home care as well as support services covering mental illness and addiction disorders. (
          http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/medicaidmoving-forward/)

          Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. It comprises 17% of all state budgets and 9% of all federal spending. Federal monies are received from taxes on individuals at the top percentile of American income. Additional revenues come through taxes on health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices. The rest of the funding is derived from state taxes. Because of their contributions, states are given wide leeway in establishing installment and administrative procedures.
          (
          http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/policy-basics-where-do-our-state-tax-dollars-go)

          What benefits are covered for Medicaid beneficiaries through the ACA?
          • Essential Benefits: These include coverage for maternity, emergency services, hospitalization, and include insurance for disabled children and adults as well as mental and addiction services. For (
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_health_benefits) Medicaid pays for nearly half of all childbirths in America as well as 2/3rds of the care of nursing home patients. (https//: www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Education/Downloads/nursinghome-beneficiary-factsheet.pdf )
          • Individual Mandate: All citizens must have health insurance.
          • Community Rating: People with pre-existing conditions would not pay more for insurance than those without these conditions.
          • Among many other benefits, there is an emphasis on prevention and public health support at the local, state and federal levels. Hospitals in areas with large Medicaid populations, often in rural areas, also receive additional financial support.

          The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 138% of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level). This includes individuals making $15,417 or a family of 3 making $26,347 annually. (
          https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2013/04/02/58922/10-frequently-asked-questions- n/about-medicaid-expansion/ ) Thirty- two states, including D.C. joined
          increasing coverage to an additional 11million people.

          In NFIB vs. Sibelius, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the although the ACA was constitutional, mandatory expansion was not since it was deemed coercive. However, if states wished to join the expansion they were free to do so.

          Ninety -one percent of states that did not expand coverage are located in the South. Those not covered are: White (43%), Black (30%) and Hispanic (22%). (
          http://www.kff.org/disparitiespolicy/issue-brief/the-impact-of-the-cvoverage-gap-in-states-not-expanding-medicaid-by-race-and-ethnicity/ )

          The effects of passage of the ACA and its expansion are significant in terms of positive health results. For example, The New England Journal of Medicine’s 2012 study shows that for every Four-hundred and forty-seven people covered by insurance, one life is saved. With 74.5 million Medicaid citizens covered, this means tens of thousands of lives were saved.
          (
          https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/23/repealing-the-affordable-care-act-will-killmore-than-43000-people-annually/?utm_term+.21a27fb4383e ) Those not covered under expansion would suffer as a result. American productivity could only improve with a healthier population.

          THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PROPOSED AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT (AHCA) 2017 AND ITS EFFECT UPON THE ACA AND MEDICAID
          The AHCA Act (
          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/3/15531494/american-health-care-actexplained passed by the House of Representatives in 2017 fulfilled a nearly decade old promise of Republicans to their constituents to repeal and replace the ACA. The party also wanted to eliminate, among other things, the tax liability of affluent Americans as well as insurance companies and corporations. If this bill passes in its current form, these groups would see a trillion dollar decrease in taxation over a 10-year period. The Senate version recently made some modifications allowing some taxation on the wealthy to help fund their bill, but permits tax exemptions for other entities.

          The ACA’s portion on Medicaid is costly. The AHCA would cut up to $883 billion of this cost over a 10 -year period. Supporters of the bill would also like to see the deficit cut by $137 billion over that same 10 -year period.

          Republicans would also like to increase access and secure lower premiums by allowing people to choose what health care they do or do not want. Supporters want citizens to take responsibility for their own healthcare rather than relying upon the government.

          Financial funding of the AHCA: Since federal funding would not come from taxation, financing could come through per capita caps. Starting in 2020, the federal government would provide states with a flat capped rate of funding for each person enrolled in Medicaid. This would be based upon past state history but with a lower growth metric than the actual annual consumer price index. Or states could choose a block grant from the federal government. Very basic Medicaid coverage would need to come out of the grant, but remainder monies could be used by the states for any reason. Since states have to balance their budgets annually, there could be the temptation to the use the excess to help pay for deficits. If block grants are chosen, the state has to keep them for 10 years and would be prohibited from using the money for family planning.

          Medicaid recipients covered under expansion could keep their coverage unless they drop out for 30-60 days. They could rejoin later but with a serious financial penalty.

          Insurance for these plans would wind down by 2020 with the federal government no longer funding the program. Expansion states could continue coverage, but would have to pay for it out of state funds.

          To help the neediest Medicaid recipients such as nursing home residents or disabled children and adults, federal pools would be set up. Under the AHCA a $100 billion fund for 10 years would be available. There is a general feeling by legislators that more money would be needed.

          Other AHCA changes to the ACA impacting on Medicaid:
          • The Individual Mandate requires all Americans to have health insurance would be abolished. Pre-existing conditions under Community Rating could be offered, though states would be allowed to waive out of the insurance. This omission would allow insurers to increase premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.
          • Pre-existing conditions under Community Rating could be offered, though state have the option to waive of this coverage. This omission would allow insurers to increase premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.

          Essential Benefits would be covered unless a state wishes to waive coverage. If waived, maternity and newborn care as well as mental health would no longer be covered. Substance abuse disorders, including opioid addiction which alone killed 59,000
          Americans in 2016, would be eliminated.(
          https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/05/upshot/opioid-epidemic-drugoverdose-
          deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html
          ) The result of not having this coverage would be deadly. Additionally, Medicaid recipients would be unable for one year to use Planned Parenthood which provides health services in hundreds of communities, including rural areas, around the country. Decades ago, the Hyde Amendment disallowed federal funds for abortions, so this is not the reason why Planned Parenthood was prohibited. (https://peltiertech.com/chart-busters-what-plannedparenthood-
          actually-does/)

          • Older Americans could be charged more than 5 times more than a younger person for healthcare. For example, a 64-year-old man making $26,500 would pay $1,700 for coverage under the ACA due to subsidies. Under the AHCA, his annual premium would be $14,600.
          (
          http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/13/news/economy/cbo-premiums-republican-health-careplan/
          index.html)
          • Work Requirements: With certain exemptions (children, the elderly, disabled and pregnant women), all Medicaid recipients would be required to get a job. This requirement appears to pre-suppose that Medicaid is a welfare program, not a form of social insurance. There is a clear implication that recipients do not work or may not be willing to work. However, over 60% of non -disabled adults do work. Their jobs are low paying and do not offer health insurance or, if offered, is too expensive for these workers to purchase. Those who don’t work often face significant roadblocks, lacking reliable transportation or child care. Others may be caring for ill or elderly family members. Some may have criminal records making it difficult to get work. ( https://www.nytimes,com/2017/02/25/health/medicaidwork-
          requirement.html
          ) Administration of these work requirements would be costly.

          CBO REPORT ON THE AHCA:
          In 2018 14 million more people will be uninsured under the AHCA than the ACA due to projected higher premiums and repeal of penalties associated with the Individual Mandate. In 2026 that number will rise to 23 million people uninsured. Bottom line: In 2026, an estimated 51 million people would be uninsured compared with the 28 million who would lack insurance that year under the ACA.

          OBSERVATIONS:
          Popular attitudes towards continuing funding Medicaid are very positive across the country. Governors from both parties, the AMA, hospitals and patient advocacy groups are all in favor of securing some form of Medicaid similar to the ACA. (
          http://www.kff.org/health-costs/report/kaiserhealth-tracking-poll-may-2017-the-ahcas-proposed-changes-to-health-care/)
          Uninsured people, with few other places to go, would increase the usage of emergency rooms for their health care. There would be little or no follow-up care. In 2006, before the ACA, approximately 120 million Americans sought help in emergency rooms each year. Almost 400,000 waited 24 hours or more. ( http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5884487&page=1) Similar numbers could be expected with the AHCA.

          Governors of both parties are requesting the Senate to reconsider what would happen to people currently on Medicaid under the House or Senate proposals and the ensuring higher premiums projected by the AHCA CBO report. The attached charts illustrate what could happen to recipients by age and state. (
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democratic-and-gop-governors-urgesenate-to-rethink-healthcare-bill_us_59442a7ee4b01eab7a2d8cb9)

          Rural and small-town Americans would be hit the hardest by the AHCA. Arizona, for example, has about 20% of rural adults on Medicaid as well as 34% of its entire population on Medicaid. That population includes 45% of children. “…rural counties make up Medicaid Country”
          (
          http://khn.org/news/gop-medicaid-cuts-hit-rural-america-hardest-report-finds/)

          American healthcare is the most expensive in the world with results that do not compare well with other Western healthcare systems. Neither the ACA or the AHCA addressed this crucial issue. The U.S., alone among developed countries, has no mechanism to explain prices for medical procedures. Most institutions involved, including insurance carriers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, establish their own prices. The goal of these costs is to make a profit. Why does one person’s Echocardiogram cost $1,714. In Massachusetts, $5,435 in New Jersey and less than $100 in Japan? Another example is in skyrocketing drug costs. “Approved in 1996, Avonex was expensive, about $9,000. a year. Today, two decades later, it is no longer the latest thing—but its annual price tag is over $62,000.” (
          http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/26/opinions/us-health- prices-rosenthtal-opinion/index.html ) Who can even decipher a hospital bill? Patients with insurance are often unaware of what procedures cost and do not have the wherewithal to do comparison shopping.

          American health care is expensive, but are outcomes worth the price? In this year’s survey, the Commonwealth Fund ranked the U.S. dead last compared with 10 other Western Countries on many outcomes. For one thing, there are few uninsured in Europe, while millions in the U.S. lack access to care due to the cost of premiums. In fact, the US has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world at 26.4 per 100,000 live births. rates range from 9.2 (UK) to 3.8 (Finland). (
          http://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/528098/u-s/has-the-worst-rate-of-maternal-deaths-in-thedeveloped-world) “The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage…Unfortunately, many still equate “universal healthcare” with “Government run” or “single payer” healthcare”. It isn’t”. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/06/16/u-s-healthcare-ranked-dead-last-compared-to-10-othercountries/ )The U.S. does rate first--on costs.

          Rising death rates: Nearly 45,000 deaths each year are associated with lack of health insurance. This rate could rise according to the projections of the increased numbers of uninsured in the 2017 CBO report on the AHCA. The American Journal of Public Health, citing a study conducted at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance, showed that “uninsured working age Americans have a 40% higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts. ”(
          http:/news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/09/new-study-finds-45000-deaths-annuallylinked-to-lack-of-health-coverage/ )

          There is also a prevalent feeling among many politicians and their supporters that healthcare is not a right but a privilege. They say if people live a healthy life style, premiums would be lower and more affordable. Those who do not live a healthy life style then would and should have higher premiums. This opinion leaves out the fact that even healthy people can get cancer or Alzheimer’s, or any number of illnesses. A skimpy policy can spell disaster for a healthy person.

          Gutting Medicaid as could happen under the AHCA and current Senate proposal could have life and death consequences for people currently on Medicaid. A healthy population contributes greatly to a healthy economy.

        • OpEd
          OpEd published in the Sun City Independent regarding healthcare.

          On July 30th, the nation will celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Medicare program, which serves 46 million seniors and 9 million disabled Americans. Prior to 1965 about half of all seniors lacked health insurance, while today nearly everyone over age 65 is covered. Medicare recipients enjoy excellent access to care, including to physicians, hospitals and other providers, with 96% reporting they have a usual source of care. For those who do not qualify for Medicare, the future is much less certain. Lack of health insurance results in a reduction in preventative care and screenings, and medical bills contribute to almost half of all bankruptcies. Currently, Congress is locked in a partisan standoff, with the health, well-being and very lives of millions of Americans on the line. It is time for truly bipartisan health care reform.

          The United States operates the most complicated and fragmented health care system in the world. There are many payment systems, payers, and fee schedules with a complex and redundant private insurance bureaucracy. Additionally, America is trailing many developed countries on key health care measures such as infant mortality, life expectancy, disease burden, hospital admissions for preventable disease, avoidable mortality and in preventative medicine. Yet we spend the most of any country on health care; nearly 18% of GDP. Administrative costs in U.S. health care are the highest in the developed world, accounting for over 8% of spending, while traditional Medicare is operating at 2% overhead. These administrative expenditures are crowding out investments in public health. Furthermore, there is no socially beneficial reason to operate health care as a for-profit enterprise.

          In addition to the financial considerations, the United States has an overriding moral and ethical obligation to provide basic health care to every citizen. Like so many countries before us, it is time to embrace the fact that health care is not a privilege for the few, but a right for all. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 60% of Americans said it is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure health care coverage for all Americans. The U.S. is fortunate to be home to the world’s best training programs which graduate first-rate medical staff. We play a central role in innovation, including in research and advances in technology. A socially just system of care needs to be developed so that these resources can be provided to all, as a public service.

          The League of Women Voters, as a nonpartisan, progressive, political organization committed to helping create an informed and active electorate, has long supported access to a basic level of quality care at an affordable cost for all U.S. residents. Basic care should include the prevention of disease, health promotion and education, primary care (including prenatal and reproductive health), acute care, long-term care and behavioral/mental health care. The League favors an equitably distributed, efficient and economical national health insurance plan financed through general taxes in place of individual insurance premiums. As a result, the League opposes the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) which would leave at least 23 million people, particularly minorities and underserved populations, uninsured. The AHCA and BCRA will reduce revenue to the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A), hastening its insolvency by 2-3 years. The BCRA will also increase the number of uninsured 50-64-year olds, which will result in new Medicare enrollees requiring more services due to delay in seeking care.

          As we approach the 52nd anniversary of the Medicare program, please consider calling your Senator today and urge them to protect Medicare by voting no on the BCRA. Join the League of Women Voters in supporting bipartisan reform that creates a fair and equitable health care system that is worthy of this great nation.

          Michelle Dorsey, MD
          President, League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix

        • THE ACA
          Important information about the Affordable Care Act

          THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
          By Lois Brechner, Second Vice President,
          LWV of Northwest Maricopa County

          The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, was enacted by Congress in 2010. How has it succeeded? How has it failed? What do we still not know? Can it be improved? The present law is broad and complex with many goals and even more provisions. This paper will deal with its major achievements, its biggest disappointments, questions not yet answered, and suggestions for making needed changes.

          SUCCESSES:
          According to the Census Bureau, over twenty million more people now have health insurance. Recently, the both the Census Bureau and a Gallop Poll reported that the number of uninsured Americans dropped from 13.3% of the population to 9.1%. (1) Many of these newly insured Americans could not have afforded insurance before the ACA or would have been refused insurance because of a preexisting health condition. Under the ACA, health insurance is subsidized for those with low and middle incomes. Young people up to age 26 became eligible to remain covered through their parents. In addition, states who opted for government subsidy to expand Medicaid coverage under the ACA, were able to provide health insurance for more people without additional costs.

          Studies have found that Americans have become less vulnerable to financial shocks related to health issues. Fewer people could not pay their medical bills or avoided getting medical care because of its cost. Medical debt and bills in collections have definitely declined. Prior to the ACA, a large percentage of bankruptcies were cause by catastrophic medical costs.

          The ACA required insurers to provide more comprehensive health coverage. Policies now cover services like maternity care and treatment for drug addiction with no annual cap in payments. Patients have increased access to mental health counseling, contraception, and cancer screenings.

          The ACA contains a mix of new spending and taxes, which, along with cuts to the federal Medicare program, should save us more than it costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the present law continues, it will save federal dollars, thus lowering the federal deficit, through at least 2025. Even with small changes to tax provisions under the law, an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, ran the numbers and corroborated the Congressional
          Budget Office findings. (2)

          FAILURES:
          The insurance marketplaces and Medicaid expansion are a good deal for people near the poverty line. However, for many of those with higher earnings which make them ineligible for subsidies, premiums are high and can cause a financial hardship, and deductibles are often much higher than those seen in typical employer-provided health plans. Many healthy young Americans are paying fines instead of enrolling in the ACA. Without enough younger, more healthy enrollees, the pool opting for the ACA is older, sicker, and less predictable in regard to health care needs. Therefore, insurers say they are forced to raise costs significantly or pull out of the ACA market.

          Even though insurance through the ACA is easier to shop for than when it was first enacted, it still remains quite complicated. Selecting the right health plan is often frustrating or, in some cases, impossible for too many Americans who are unsure of their health needs and/or are unable to understand jargon, such as “out-of-pocket maximum” or “in-network provider.” Patients, once insured, still often struggle to use their policies and can be hit with surprise bills and long negotiations with their carriers. In addition, in some parts of the United States, enrollees have only one or very limited insurers. The remaining insurance companies have also been shifting around their offerings each year. The number of doctors or hospitals available through their plans are becoming more limited. Therefore, enrollees find it necessary to change health plans, doctors, hospitals, etc. annually in order to find an affordable policy. (2)

          QUESTIONS NOT YET ANSWERED:
          It would probably take many more years before we can determine if the ACA is making Americans healthier. There is some encouraging, but too early evidence, that low-income people in two states with expanded Medicaid have reported improving overall health compared with neighboring states that declined Medicaid expansion. Research has indicated that more low-income Americans have visited a doctor and received basic preventive health services, including prescription contraceptives and treatments for diabetes. Twenty million people, however, is a small fraction of the nation’s population, and it will most likely take years to determine measurable results.

          There is no truly definitive evidence that the ACA has been the reason for the slowing of health spending. It is hard to separate the effects of the health law from forces like the great recession, rising insurance deductibles, and a slowdown in the development of new medical technologies. That is another area that would most likely take years to determine.

          Did the health law make medical care safer and more evidence-based? Have hospitals improved the quality of care due to the ACA? The law has contained many provisions to improve care received in hospitals. Whereas the health system is still too often a dangerous place for patients, fewer patients are contacting infections in hospitals, and fewer patients are leaving the hospital only to be readmitted within a few weeks. There is not definitive proof that these improvements are directly related to the ACA. Some trends were beginning before the passage of the health care act and, possibly, might have happened anyway. Certainly, requiring safety improvements and more oversight should prove beneficial and bring about continued progress. (2)

          SUGGESTIONS FOR FIXING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:
          The ACA marketplaces can only be successful if enough insurers participate. We must draw insurers into the markets, keep them there, and limit premium growth. One way that success can be achieved is by subsidizing plans more and by limiting their risk of loss. Medicare+Choice, now Medicare Advantage, in the early years went through similar problems to those being experienced by the ACA. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act—passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush—drastically increased payments to plans, and insurers flooded the market. Although members of both parties were concerned that the plans were overpaid and wasting taxpayer resources, by 2007, every Medicare beneficiary had access to at least one plan and the market stabilized, enrollment continued to grow, costs were controlled, and one in three Medicare beneficiaries was enrolled in a private plan. Increasing the subsidization of the ACA plans similarly, might reduce costs to patients and bring in both more consumers and insurers. (3)

          Part D, the Medicare prescription drug program, also runs entirely through private plans. Large losses are cushioned by a risk corridor program, which allows plans to stay in the market if they miscalculated the needs of the patients they attracted. The program allows them to keep premiums lower because they do not need to hedge against the full cost of potential losses. The ACA included a risk management program and a risk corridor program for marketplace plans. However, the risk corridor program expired at the end of 2016, along with a reinsurance program that compensated insurers for unusually high-cost patients. If Congress follows the model of Part D and makes the risk corridor program and the reinsurance program permanent, it could help stabilize the market places. (4)

          The original ACA allowed for a public option—a public health insurance plan that would compete with private companies and that would work with the ACA. In fact, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concluded in 2013 that a “public option” would reduce the federal budget deficit by $158 billion through 2023. The option, however, was removed from the ACA to get private companies on board.

          Putting a public option back in the ACA could fix the program by offering more options to consumers and would possibly bring down the cost of the insurance. The only real stipulation would be to make sure that the public option does not affect what private insurers offer but is attractive enough to compete with them.

          There are two types of public options:
          1. Weak options that just cover low income citizens or certain groups in
          certain areas.
          2. Strong options that would roll in other subsidy programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. They could also include aspects of a voucher system and could replace a lot of the bureaucracy of assistance programs. They could also be structured to keep them attractive to businesses and upper income consumers. (1)

          Another suggestion would be to require insurers to participate in broad regions. This “fix” would limit the private insurers from selectively working in more profitable areas and shunning others like rural areas. (5)

          Expanding Medicaid has been working well in states that have opted for this coverage. Expanding it throughout the country might prove beneficial. (6)

          There have been suggestions to lower the age of enrollment in Medicare to 55. This change would remove the older, possibly sicker people from the ACA. Insurers would carry less risk and costs would go down. This suggestion might reduce the number of enrollees in the ACA; however, it might help stabilize Medicare. (5)

          Finally, the penalty for eschewing coverage by the ACA is so low that many people are paying the fine instead of enrolling in the federal health care program. Again, copying Medicare’s policy which not only includes significant penalties, but grows those penalties the longer one waits to enroll for coverage, might encourage early enrollment. (5)

          CONCLUSION:
          Americans have made it clear that they do not want to give up their health insurance. Republicans might gain a great deal of support if they followed actions taken by the Republican Congress and President George W. Bush in 2003 to fix problems with Medicare, and work with Democrats to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act, and in doing so make America proud while lowering the deficit and the overall exorbitant cost of health care in the United States.
          (1) May 15,2017, Money, What is the Public Option for Health Insurance, Alicia Adamczyk
          (2) February 5 2017, The New York Times, Grading Obamacare, Successes, Failures and Incompletes, Margaret Sanger-Katz
          (3) November 14, 2016, The New York Times, Politics Aside, We Know How to Fix Obamacare, Austin Frakt
          (4) August 17, 2016m Kaiser Family Foundation, Explaining Health Care Reform, Risk Adjustment, Reassurance and Risk Corridors, Cynthia Cox, Ashby Semonskee, Gary Clastor and Larry Levitt
          (5) October 26, 2016, The New Yorker, Three Ways to Fix Obamacare, John Cassidy
          (6) March 30, 2017, Brookings Institution, Want to Fix Obamacare, Henry J. Aaron

        • EMPLOYER HEALTHCARE
          Information about employer sponsored healthcare.

          Employer Sponsored Health Care:
          Who is covered as well as impact of the ACA and BCRA Sandra Collier, MA
          League of Women Voters of Northwest Maricopa County July 2017

          Unique among the industrialized countries, American access to private health care has historically been through employer sponsored insurance plans. Prior to the ACA (Affordable Care Act), employers were able to offer any type of plan, or none at all. The desire to recruit and retain the most qualified employees was a prime motivator for offering partially paid employer sponsored health insurance. Employee health insurance costs are tax deductible for the employer and tax free for the employee. The ACA expanded employer coverage by requiring most employers to offer health insurance benefits that included, among other items, the ten essential health benefits, no lifetime or annual heath care caps, and no discrimination for preexisting conditions.
          The ACA (often referred to as Obamacare) is under attack from Congress. Republicans have sponsored bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to dramatically change current health care legislation. The CBO’s (Congressional Budget Office) independent nonpartisan review of the proposed Senate plan highlights the $321 million in deficit reduction and the increase in the number of uninsured individuals in the U.S. to 49 million by 2026.
          1

          Public discourse has been focused on the contraction of federally sponsored medical insurance for low income Americans and the elimination of the taxes imposed on high income Americans. But what about employees? What impact will the legislative changes have on the majority of working Americans?

          The discussion below is divided into three sections. First, we will look at who has employer sponsored health insurance today, followed by a brief review of the impact of the ACA on employer sponsored plans and then the potential impact of the Senate sponsored BCRA (Better
          Care Reconciliation Act). The discussion is not intended to encompass everything that impacts employee health care, but, rather, aims to highlight some of the items that I find most relevant to the conversation.

          Who has employer sponsored health insurance today?
          The US Department of Labor, at March 31, 2016, found that 49% of private industry workers and 73% of state and local government workers participated in employer-sponsored health care (average 52% for all civilian workers).4
          Annually data is gathered from US employers for the National Compensation Survey conducted by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Excluded from this data are federal government workers, military, agricultural workers, private household workers and the self-employed. The 2016 survey represented 133 million workers in all industries and occupations. 2
          Employers sponsored health insurance is not the same across the United States. Coverage varies by employer size, industry, whether there is a union, and location. The selected statistics listed below are from the Department of Labor March 2016 Employee Benefits in the United States, News Release dated July 22, 2016. 2 Access to health insurance:

          For all workers

          Full time workers

          Part time workers

          70% have access, 52% participate

          88% have access, 66% participate

          19% have access, 12% participate

          Employer sponsored Health Care by Industry Type, Employer size and how workers in the highest wage rate quartile compare to the lowest rate quartile:

          Workers in goods-producing industries

          Workers in servicing providing industries

          Union workers

          Nonunion workers

          Workers in the lowest 25% wage rate

          Workers in the highest 25% wage rate

          Employers with 500 workers or more

          Employers with less than 50 workers

          84% access, 66% participate

          68% access, 50% participate

          94% access, 79% participate

          66% access, 48% participate

          36% access, 22% participate

          93% access, 74% participate

          89% access, 71% participate

          52% access, 37% participate

          Who pays the premium?
          Single coverage. For those employees in the lowest 25% wage level the employer pays 77% of the premium (employees pay 23%)while for the higher paid employees in the top 25% the employer pays 82% of the premium (employees pay 18%).
          2
          Family coverage. For those employees in the lowest 25% wage level the employer pays 61% of the premium (employees pay 39%) while for the higher paid employees in the top 25% the employer pays 72% of the premium (employees pay 28%).2

          For large companies employing more than 500 workers the employer pays 73% of the premium (employees pay 27%) and small companies employing less than 50 workers the employer pays 64% (employee pays 36%)
          2
          What does it mean?

          Health Care is not offered to all employees. The lowest paid workers are less likely to be offered access to employer offered health care insurance, less likely to participate, and will pay a larger % of the actual premium costs. For the lowest paid workers, who pay a larger % of the actual premium, it follows that employee deductions for health care are a much larger share of their compensation compared to the higher paid workers. In our society, it is expected that most skilled or professional positions have fringe benefits that include health care and larger incomes allow employees to participate. No participation can be due to a variety of reasons: health care coverage may be obtained for the family by another employed member, coverage is through a government program such as Medicaid, or health care coverage is declined because of the cost to the employee. If a large percentage (30%) of working people don’t have access to employer sponsored health insurance what do they do? Most individuals, working or not, are required under the ACA to carry health care insurance. Family members may obtain employer sponsored health insurance through the employer of another family member. Individuals and families can buy health insurance on the ACA Exchange where they have access to income based credits to help pay for the cost of the plans. Most users of the exchange are eligible for credits to offset the cost of the insurance. Not everyone complies with the law. There are many reasons working individuals without employer sponsored health care chose not to use the ACA exchange.

          Individuals may still purchase private health care insurance through brokers or directly from the insurance companies. Policies purchased privately are still subject to compliance with the ACA. Individuals without employer sponsored health care may have to make the emergency room their primary care provider. They are subject to tax penalties. For one group the lack of insurance is due to a lack of understanding about the health insurance exchanges work and the credits available to make the insurance affordable. Another set of workers have political motivation and, in principal, refuse to participate in Obamacare.

          Finally, some workers choose to purchase ACA noncompliant insurance and pay the penalty tax. For them the decision is financial and they believe they are savings thousands of dollars by purchased catastrophic insurance and paying regular medical expenses out of pocket.

          The Affordable Care Act
          The ACA was signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The ACA is comprehensive health care reform legislation intended to expand coverage, control health care costs and improve access through state exchanges.
          5
          Under the ACA most citizens are required to have individual health insurance or pay a penalty which ranges between $695 and $2080 and is computed based on family income. There are a few exceptions where individuals can decline coverage such as for religious reasons or when the lowest priced policy exceeds 8% of an individual’s income.5
          Employers with more than 50 employees are required to offer insurance or face a fine. Employers who offer insurance also face a penalty if they have employees who decline that insurance and purchase their own policies from the exchange and receive tax credits. Employees are eligible to decline
          employer coverage and use the exchange if the employee portion of the premium exceeds 9.5% of their income.
          3
          Employers with more than 200 employees are required to automatically enroll employees into health insurance plans, but employees can opt out of the plan if they choose.3
          Tax credits are available to small employers offset insurance costs and reinsurance reimbursement programs are offered to employers who offer health insurance to retirees over age 55. 3
          American Health Benefit Exchanges (for individuals and families) and SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program for employers with less than 100 people) programs were put into place. Coverage from Health insurance purchased on these exchanges is only available to US citizens or legal immigrants.
          States can also create a Basic Health Plan for low income individuals who would otherwise be eligible to
          receive premium subsidies.
          3
          Age ratings for individual coverage is limited to 3:1 for age and 1.5:1 for tobacco use. The base age is 21, therefore, the highest policy price for older individuals is 3x the amount charged for the 21-year-old.
          For employees, the HSA (Health Savings Accounts, pretax employee wages set aside to pay for qualified medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance) annual contribution is limited to $2500 per year, and the threshold for itemized deductions of unreimbursed medical expenses increases from 7.5% to 10% of adjusted gross income and the tax on distribution of HSAs not used for medical expenses increases to
          20%.
          3
          For employers who offer “Cadillac plans” there is an additional excise tax for policies that exceed target threshold value. 5 Cadillac plans annual premiums exceed $10,880 for an individual or $29,500 for a family. The excise tax is scheduled to start in 2020.

          The ACA created an “essential benefits package”; ten benefits that must be covered. These benefits include: outpatient care, hospitalization, emergency services, maternity, mental health, prescription drugs, rehabilitation services, laboratory services, preventive services, and pediatric services.

          Health insurance companies are required to rebate to their customers the excess of premiums over reimbursed costs when reimbursed costs are less than 80 -85% of the premium paid. The reimbursement percentage is based on company size.
          3
          No lifetime limits or pre-existing condition exclusions are allowed, dependent coverage is extended to age 26, waiting periods are limited to 90 days and a website was established to help individuals compare different policy options. 3
          The Medicare payroll tax deduction increases from 1.45% to 2.35% for those employees with earnings over $200,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. The ACA also imposes a 3.8% tax on unearned income for higher income taxpayers. 3
          Proposed Changes to the ACA by the Senate’s (BCRA) Better Care Reconciliation Act (as of July 11, 2017) that will have a direct impact on employers and employees. The BCRA will repeal the ACA compliant health insurance mandate (and the tax penalty) for citizens and legal immigrants.
          The Medicare payroll tax deduction increase for high earners and the tax imposed on pharmaceutical and the health insurance companies will be repealed. It will also repeal the Cadillac tax
          4
          Waiting periods will increase to 6 months for those individuals who haven’t had continual coverage. Short term nonrenewable policies, which can be priced based on health status, can be sold to cover this period. 4
          The CBCRA allows for a new small business health plan where the essential health benefit requirement is not applicable. 4
          The plan retains the 10 essential health benefits requirements, but makes it easier for state to waive those requirements. 4
          The limits on consumer HSA accounts are increased and the tax penalty for non-medical expense
          reimbursement withdrawal is decreased to 10%.
          4
          Maximum out of pocket limits remain but states can apply for waivers to increase those amounts. The same waiver process applies to lifetime limits. 4
          Change the maximum age rating limit from 3:1 to 5:1. This potentially increases the premiums for older individuals not yet eligible for Medicare by 67%.4
          The ACA income based tax credits will remain in place through 2019. Beginning in 2020 the credits will be reduced and the tax credits are disallowed for anyone who is offered an employer sponsored health plan (whether they can afford the plan or not). In addition, the eligibility for credits contracts from “individuals in the US legally” to “qualified aliens” only. This will exclude worker visas and student visas.
          6
          In summary
          Most Americans access health care through employer sponsored health insurance. We are the sole remaining industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee health care for the majority of their citizens. Several proposals over the decades have tried to move the US closer to a national health care system; none were successful.
          The ACA was signed into law March 23, 2010 in an attempt to make good health care insurance affordable and available to all US citizens and legal residents. Millions more Americans now have access to affordable health care. But medical costs have continued to rise and the ACA has not been popular with large swaths of the American population. One of the campaign promises made by President Trump was to repeal and replace the ACA; replace it with something that offered better care at less cost.
          The BCRA of 2017 is the current Senate proposal. The bill promises large tax cuts and decreased government spending. I hope that I have been able to demonstrate how the proposed BRCA could negatively impact the average employed American whether they have employer sponsored health care insurance or they purchase individual insurance policies through the exchanges.
          Missing from the public dialog is discussion of the impact the proposed changes could have on working middle class families. Proposed changes that include no longer requiring employers to offer health insurance, increased premiums for older Americans, and the individual state option to request waivers of the essential benefits, out of pocket limits, or the lifetime exclusion.
          And finally, although the majority of individuals received their health care insurance via employer sponsored plans there are still millions of people who do not have access to employer provided health care. Access to good health care should be available to all Americans.

          References
          (1) CBO, Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate, H.R. 1628 Better Care Reconciliation Act of
          2017, CBO, Washington D.C. released June 26, 2017, accessed through CBO.gov. Last accessed
          7/10/17
          (2) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Benefits in the United States –
          March 2016, USDL-16-1493; News Release, Washington D.C., July 22, 2016. Accessed through
          the Social Security website
          www.ssa.gov
          7
          (3) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Focus on Health Care Reform, Summary of the Affordable
          Care Act, Palo Alto, CA, modified April 23, 2015. Last accessed through the Kaiser Family
          Foundation website on June 27, 2016
          (4) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Compare Proposals to Replace the Affordable Care Act,
          Palo Alto, CA. Last accessed through the Kaiser Family Foundation website on July 10, 2017
          Field MJ, Shapiro HT, editors, Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Employment Based
          Health Benefits, Employment and Health Benefits: A connection at Risk. Chapter 2. Origins and
          Evolution of Employment Based Health Benefits, Washington DC: National Academies Press
          (US); 1993. Accessed through the
          www.ssa.gov website)
          Reed LS, Private Health Insurance in the United States: An Overview, December 1965;
          Washington DC; 1965. Accessed through
          www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v28n12p3.pdf

        • FUTURE
          The future of healthcare for women.

          The Future of Health Care Coverage for Women
          Michelle Dorsey, MD
          League of Women Voters of Metro Phoenix
          June 2017

          Due to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the uninsured rates among all groups of women fell dramatically. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), between 2013 and 2015 the uninsured rates for all women fell from 17% to 11%, with rates for women <200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) falling from 31% to 22%, single mothers falling from 24% to 16% and Hispanics falling from 31% to 20%. The number of women who delayed care has also fallen among women ages 18-64, from 13% in 2011 to 9% in 2015 (KFF). Further, the number of women who did not get care due to costs has fallen, for example prescription drugs from 12% in 2011 to 8% in 2015 (KFF). Medicaid expansion under the ACA as well as federal tax credits and cost sharing subsidies played a pivotal role in the increase in health care coverage for women.

          Proposed changes to the ACA under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) have a disproportionate impact on the Medicaid population, by cutting $880B in funding. Women comprise the majority of Medicaid beneficiaries, as they are more likely than men to be low-income or poor due to the fact that they are more commonly head of a single parent household, work part-year or part-time, are paid less for similar work, or stay home to care for children or aging parents (KFF). Medicaid covers nearly 1 in 5 women (1 in 4 Latinas and African American women), pays for half of the births and . of all public family planning (KFF). In Arizona, 20-30% of women were on Medicaid in 2015 (KFF).

          Under the AHCA, the federal funds for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion are eliminated and a spending cap is instituted. 31 states and DC have expanded Medicaid under the ACA for those up to 138% FPL, with the federal government paying 95% of the cost (KFF). The AHCA would withdraw the enhanced federal funds for Medicaid expansion except for those enrolled as of 12/31/19 (grandfathered) who did not have a gap in eligibility for more than 1 month (KFF). As a result, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that some states would not continue their expanded Medicaid coverage and that no new states would adopt the Medicaid expansion. The eligibility requirements would likely return to levels seen prior to the ACA, with many states income eligibility levels set significantly below the FPL (KFF). As discussed previously, due to the fact that women make up the majority of Medicaid enrollees, they will suffer the greatest impact by these cuts to Medicaid.

          Subsides and credits are currently provided by the ACA to those with low income, seniors, and to those in areas with more expensive coverage. Under the ACA, premium tax credits are granted to those with incomes between 100-400% FPL (81% of Marketplace beneficiaries) and cost sharing subsidies are given to eligible individuals between 100-250% FPL (KFF). The AHCA eliminates the cost-sharing subsidies as of 1/1/20 and provides a flat tax credit based only on age, up to an income of $75,000, which would decrease aid to older and low income

          Marketplace enrollees (KFF). Because women are more likely to be low income, they will be affected by these changes to a greater extent.

          Under the AHCA, federal Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood (PP) would be prohibited for 1 year. A recent opinion poll shows that 75% of Americans favor continued federal funding for PP (KFF). Currently PP receives approximately $500M yearly in federal support by providing care to Medicaid patients as well as grant funds from the federal Title X family planning program. PP provides essential services to 2.5M patients each year, not only providing contraceptives but also sexually transmitted infection and cancer screenings. Under AHCA, defunding PP would result in almost 400,000 women losing access to preventative care and up to 650,000 having reduced preventative care according to an estimate from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). PP made up only 6% of the safety-net clinics providing family planning services in 2015, but served 32% of women who sought contraceptive care at those centers (KFF). This compares to federally qualified health centers which comprise 54% of clinics but saw only 30% of contraceptive clients (KFF). Community Health Centers would be given additional funds under the AHCA, but with no requirement to spend them on women’s services, and no current capacity to fill the gap left by PP (KFF). A study from the Washington University School of Medicine has shown that access to free birth control significantly lowers rates of unintended teen pregnancy and abortion.

          No cost contraceptive coverage is provided under the ACA to the majority of women with private insurance, including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Due to the ACA, the share of women paying any out-of-pocket cost on oral contraceptives fell from 20.9% in 2012 to 3% in 2015 (KFF). Currently “exemptions” to coverage are reserved for a house of worship only, in which case the employer is not required to cover contraceptives and employees and dependents do not have guaranteed coverage (KFF). “Accommodations” are granted to religiously affiliated nonprofit and closely held for-profit corporations where an employer must notify HHS, the insurer or third party administrator (TPA) of the religious objection to contraception (KFF). In these cases, the employer is not obligated to purchase contraceptive coverage, but the insurer or TPA must pay for coverage for workers or dependents. The AHCA does not specifically address contraceptive coverage, but President Trump’s Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty called on the Secretaries of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services to amend regulations to protect conscience-based objections, with the goal of “exempting” (rather than “accommodating”) any employer with a religious or moral objection from the contraceptive coverage requirement (KFF). If this were to occur, contraceptive coverage would once again be decided by employers, insurance plans and state policy (KFF).

          One of the big successes of the ACA was prohibiting the ability of insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions (guaranteed issue). This is particularly important for women, as pre-existing conditions can include pregnancy, prior C-section, sexual assault, domestic violence, breast cancer, and postpartum depression. 32% of mothers have had a C-section, 1 in 6 women are victims of sexual assault, and 30% have experienced some form of domestic abuse (Farber). The AHCA maintains the ban but if there is a gap in coverage of 63 days or more in the preceding 12 months, the AHCA allows insurers to charge 30% higher premiums for 1 year or allows states to request a waiver to allow insurers to medically underwrite (charge a higher rate for pre-existing conditions) for 1 year (KFF). So, while insurers cannot deny coverage, they can raise rates so that individuals with pre-existing conditions can no longer afford coverage. The ACA requires all plans in the Marketplace as well as the Medicaid expansion programs to cover 10 categories of Essential Health Benefits (EHB’s). According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, prior to the ACA, 62% of individual market consumers had plans that didn’t cover maternity care, 18% had plans that didn’t cover mental health treatment, 34% had plans that didn’t cover substance abuse treatment, and 9% had plans that didn’t cover prescription drugs. Particular victories of the ACA for women’s EHB’s were the inclusion of maternity and newborn care, preventive services, no-cost prenatal screening, breastfeeding supports, prescription drugs, and mental health. The AHCA repeals the EHB requirements for the Medicaid expansion programs, such that states could opt out of some of the EHB categories including substance abuse treatment and prescription drugs (KFF).

          The AHCA also allows states to apply for a waiver to define their own EHB’s for the individual and small group health insurance markets beginning in 2020 (the MacArthur Amendment). This would allow states to exclude any of the current EHB’s from coverage, potentially allowing states to remove or scale back maternity services (KFF). Larger employers with employees in multiple states could then choose to adopt the EHB definitions of a state that does not include maternity benefits as it’s EHB for employees in all states.

          An additional advantage of the ACA Medicaid expansion is that it currently provides a pathway to coverage for postpartum mothers. By defunding the Medicaid expansion, some postpartum mothers would lose coverage once the 60-day postpartum period ends and would become uninsured (Health Reform Tracker (HRT)). The Manager’s Amendment has a Medicaid work requirement which would allow states to revoke Medicaid coverage from new mothers who haven’t found a job within 2 months after giving birth (HRT).

          The ACA requires all private plans, Medicaid expansion programs and Medicare to cover preventive services without cost sharing, including all of the services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and services recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration (KFF). Covered are such services as breast and cervical cancer screening, osteoporosis screening, pregnancy related services (breastfeeding counseling and equipment rental, folic acid supplements, tobacco cessation, alcohol misuse), well woman visits, contraception, interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling. The AHCA maintains the preventive services requirement for private plans but repeals them for the Medicaid expansion population (KFF). This allows states the option to eliminate these critical services for low income women.

          Both the ACA and the proposed AHCA will maintain dependent coverage up to age 26 and ban the practice of gender rating (charging women higher premiums than men).

          Despite the current Congressional agenda, there is majority support for the ACA’s women’s health provisions per a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in March of 2017. 95% believe private health insurance companies cannot be allowed to deny coverage to pregnant women. 95% believe private health plans must cover mammograms and cervical cancer screenings with no out-of-pocket costs. 93% believe private health insurance companies should not charge women more than men for the same policy. 78% believe private health plans must cover the costs of birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. 83% believe the federal government should provide funding for reproductive health services, such as birth control and family planning, for lower income women. While the ACA’s coverage isn’t perfect, it does a much better job of covering the scope and breadth women’s health needs than the proposed AHCA. Instituting the AHCA has the potential to seriously limit women’s care and roll back the positive gains achieved under the ACA.

          Sources:
          Kaiser Family Foundation “10 ways that the House AHCA could affect women” by U. Ranji, A.
          Salganicoff, L. Sobel, and C. Rosenzweig. May 8, 2017.
          **THIS IS AN EXCELLENT RESOURCE AND
          SHAPED MUCH OF THE CONTENT OF THIS SUMMARY**
          Kaiser Family Foundation “The future of Contraceptive Coverage” by L. Sobel, A. Salganicoff, C.
          Rosenzweig. Jan 9, 2017.
          Health Reform Tracker, A Project of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and
          Health Policy “MacArthur Amendment to the AHCA: Executive Summary,” “Manager’s
          Amendment to the AHCA: Executive Summary,” “Executive Summary of AHCA.”
          XXFactor “The AHCA would force new moms on Medicaid to find work 60 days after labor” by
          C. Cauterucci, March 22, 2017.
          ThinkProgress “These are the people who will suffer under Trumpcare” C. Quinlan, March 7,
          2017.
          Fortune, “How the GOP Health Care Bill Hurts Moms, Rape Survivors, and Poor Women” by M.
          Farber, May 5, 2017
          The New York Times Editorial Board “The Health Care Bill’s Insults to Women” May 12, 2017.

        • PREVENTION
          Health means more than healthcare

          Health Means More than Healthcare
          or
          What Prevention Elements are Necessary for a complete Arizona Health Care Plan
          Mary Ellen Cunningham MPA, RN
          Arizona League of Women Voters-Metro Phoenix
          June 2017

          As Congress examines and modifies health care insurance, it is important to understand that the desired outcome of these strategies and policies is health for the Nation. According to the World Health Organization, health is ‘not just the absence of illness but mental, social and physical well being’.1 Optimal health requires preventive efforts, not solely acute care.

          The nation’s public health agencies; national, statewide or local, work to prevent population level disease outbreaks including Zika or measles as well as supporting individual prevention efforts which could include obesity or unplanned teen pregnancies. Congress has long funded public health prevention efforts. Many of these efforts were folded into the Prevention and Public Health Prevention Fund (PPHF), which later became a part of the Affordable Care Act. In Arizona, this funding is used to help support immunizations for children, infectious disease prevention and control programs and projects, Arizona’s public health lab, childhood lead poisoning prevention and programs for prevention of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and smoking.

          The Affordable Care Act also recognized the importance of wellness by including the requirement that Essential Health Benefits are included in policies. By including these elements in every health plan, families or individuals would not have to make hard choices because of cost when they selected insurance plans, for instance having to elect to not include maternity care or behavioral health services. The essential benefits captured the services that families needed to be able to access care and at the same time stay solvent if and when they were faced with a life event like a pregnancy or an injury that required rehabilitative services. Many people do not consider, especially in their youth, that they will ever be faced with a catastrophic injury or illness.

          States were given the freedom to select their package of required benefits. Arizona chose to use the state employee health plans as a model. The mandated Essential Health Benefits include (1) ambulatory patient services; (2) emergency services (3) hospitalization; (4) maternity and newborn care; (5) mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment; (6) prescription drugs; (7) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; (8) laboratory services; (9) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and (10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care. 21
          Preamble to the Constitution of WHO as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19

          The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, Information on Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Benchmark Plans. Retrieved from: https://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/data-resources/ehb.html

          Beyond the risk of loss of the Essential Health Benefits, both of the newest health care proposals from the US House and Senate also completely eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). It is important to know that some of these funds date from the late 1980’s. The nature of a block grant means states choose their own priorities based on the data and direct funding and programs towards those priorities. It would be fair at this point to ask why is this important? Why should we care? That may be more clear after we look at some of the leading causes of death and disability in Arizona and where some of these essential health benefits and prevention efforts would make a difference. The following is a short description of some of the health statistics for Arizona including teen birth, infant mortality and the leading causes of death for major age groups. According to Arizona Department of Health Services, Teenage Pregnancy Arizona Report 2015, Arizona’s teen pregnancy rate decreased from 32.7 in 2005 to 15.9 in 2015, a decrease of 51.3 percent. The pregnancy rate for the youngest teen, from 15-17, decreased from 39 in 2005 to 14.1 in 2015, a decrease of 63.9 percent. That means a decrease of 4,790 to 1,887 pregnancies of teens between 15-17 years of age in that decade. 3

          There are several factors attributed to the decrease in teen pregnancies from the downturn in the economy to the effects of prevention programs and the availability of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC), accessible during a preventive health visit. 4

          Access to reproductive health planning and in fact access to preventive health visits (Ambulatory services) afford care providers the opportunity to discuss a woman’s reproductive plans and address any chronic health issues.5 Discussing a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant is referred to as preconception or interconception health. Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. When a woman becomes pregnant without planning she can start that pregnancy with undiagnosed or unmanaged diabetes or STDs for example. Unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk of delivering preterm or low birth weight babies. 6 Prevention funds in the ACA have also supported Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs in Arizona and nationally. 3 Teenage Pregnancy Arizona 2005-2015, Arizona Department of Health Services.
          Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/tp/2015/tp2015.pdf
          4 Patten, E., Livingston, G. (2016, April 29). Why is the teen birth rate falling? . Retrieved from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/29/why-is-the-teen-birth-ratefalling/
          5 Women’s Health.gov. Preconception health. Retrieved from:
          https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-get-pregnant/preconception-health
          6 Dean,S. , Elizabeth Mary Mason, Christopher P Howson, Zohra S Lassi, Ayesha M Imam, and Zulfiqar A Bhutta. Reprod Health. 2013; 10(Suppl 1): S3. Published online 2013 Nov 15. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-S1-S3PMCID: PMC3828587Born Too Soon: Care before and between pregnancy to prevent preterm births: from evidence to action. Retrieved In 2015, Arizona’s infant mortality rate was 5.6, a decrease of 9.9 percent from 6.2 in 2014.7 According to the Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report, the leading causes of death to Arizona’s infants were congenital malformation and prematurity, followed by suffocation, often related to an unsafe sleep environment.8 Arizona’s Safe Sleep program helped reduce the rate of unsafe sleep-related deaths ten percent from 82 deaths in 2014 to 74 deaths in 2015. 9 These efforts included a media campaign and the concerted efforts of physicians, nurses, home visitors and care providers to educate families about safe sleep practices. Arizona’s prematurity rate decreased from 10.8 in 2005 to 9.0 in 2015, below the Healthy People 2020 goal. 10 Maternity care allows pregnant women to access the services they need to support a healthy pregnancy, which increase the chances of a healthy baby. Time with a care provider also allows for education of critical newborn care including safe sleep practices. This education is also reiterated during newborn care visits. The Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report tells us that the five leading causes of death for children from 1-14 from 2005-2015 were accidents or unintentional injuries including motor vehicle accidents and drowning, cancer, congenital malformations, homicide, and suicide. 11 The five causes of deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 over the same decade were unintentional injuries including motor vehicle accidents, intentional self harm also referred
          to as suicide, homicide, cancer and heart disease. 12 from:
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828587/
          7Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/chptr2a_2d.pdf
          8 ibid
          9 Arizona Child Fatality Review Program Twenty Third Annual Report, November 15, 2016. Retrieved from:
          http://www.azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/womens-childrenshealth/
          reports-fact-sheets/child-fatality-review-annual-reports/cfr-annual-report-
          2016.pdf
          10 Healthy People 2010 MICH-9.1 Reduce total preterm births Target 11.4 Retrieved from:
          https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/maternal-infant-and-childhealth/
          objectives
          11 Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/text_children.pdf.
          12 Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/2c11.pdf.

          In 2015, 768 children under 18 years of age died in Arizona. Arizona has had a Child Fatality Review program in existence for over 20 years. By statute, the death of every child from birth to age 18 is reviewed by multidisciplinary teams to identify trends in preventable child deaths. According to the Twenty Third Annual Report,13 almost 40 percent of these deaths were preventable. The leading causes of preventable deaths were prematurity, suffocation, generally related to unsafe sleep for infants, drownings, motor vehicle crashes and firearm injury. Early childhood home visiting programs, funded through the ACA, provide education and support to young families not only about early brain development but also about home safety including drowning prevention, automobile safety and gun safety. Again, when these trends are identified pediatricians and primary care providers also educate and reinforce messaging about what families can do to prevent avoidable child deaths. The leading causes of death among our young adults, aged 20-44 included accidents, suicide, cancer, heart disease and assault or homicide. 14 For middle aged adults, aged 45-64, the leading causes of death were cancer, heart disease, accidents, chronic liver disease and chronic lower respiratory disease.15 Finally, the leading causes of death for Arizona’s elderly, aged 65 and older included heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. 16
          The preponderance of these leading causes of death, except for accidents, homicide and suicide, can be considered chronic disease and can be manageable. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management and Prescription drugs are included in the Essential Health Benefits and the Prevention and Public Health Prevention Fund supports programs to address chronic diseases. Arguably Mental health services and addiction treatment, a part of the essential health benefits at risk, would affect the loss of life or injury due to accidents, homicide and suicide. Loss of these services will leave more of our families either without access to care or exposed to catastrophic bills.

          Finally, in 2016, the death of 790 people in Arizona was a direct result of opioids. There has been a 74% increase in deaths attributed to opioids in Arizona since 2012. 17
          According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 13 Arizona Child Fatality Review Program Twenty Third Annual Report, November 15, 2016.
          http://www.azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/womens-childrens-health/reportsfact-
          sheets/child-fatality-review-annual-reports/cfr-annual-report-2016.pdf
          14 Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/2c15.pdf .
          15 Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/2c19.pdf.
          16Arizona Health Status and Vital Statistics 2015 Annual Report. Retrieved from:
          http://pub.azdhs.gov/health-stats/report/ahs/ahs2015/pdf/2c23.pdf
          17 2016 Arizona Opioid Report. Retrieved from:
          http://www.azdhs.gov/documents/audiences/clinicians/clinical-guidelinesrecommendations/
          prescribing-guidelines/arizona-opioid-report.pdf
          2014, while 15.7 million adults reported having a major depressive episode within the past year, almost one third did not seek professional care. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (SNSDUH) data also shows that of the over 21 million people over age 21 who needed treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, only about 2.5 million people received this treatment. 18
          The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s 2009 report Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People which is referred to in the SAMHSA.gov/prevention web page tells us that for every $1 we spend on prevention of substance abuse and mental illness we could save $2 to $10 on treatment. 19 A poignant reminder from the report introduction reads: “As a society, we suffer from a collective health care myopia: we have not figured out how to balance rescue ___which is after-the fact treatment___ with the less dramatic but often far more cost-effective and socially desirable prevention of a problem.” 20
          After reviewing the causes of death and disability for Arizonans, it is clear that ensuring access to care, which includes the elements of the Essential Health Benefits and prevention funding can ensure more general wellness for our families; helping to reduce premature birth and death or disability from a treatable chronic disease. This will lead mental, social and physical well being for all Arizonans.
          18 SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatments and Services. Retrieved from:
          https://www.samhsa.gov/treatment
          19Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. Retrieved from:
          https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention
          20 O’Connell, M.E., Thomas Boat, and Kenneth Werner, Editors. Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders among Young People: Progress and Possibilities. Committee on the Prevention of Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse among Children, Youth, and Young Adults: Research Advances and Promising Interventions. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2009). Retrieved from:
          https://www.nap.edu/read/12480/Chapter/1

        IMMIGRATION

        • DACA
          The League Statement on DACA Reversal

          The Trump administration announced their intention to reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, leaving the fate of 800,000 immigrants in jeopardy. The League of Women Voters president Chris Carson issued the following statement.

          “This administration’s decision to rescind the ‘Dreamers’ program is shameful and does not serve national interest.

          As a country of immigrants, we are made stronger by our diversity. Yet time and time again, this administration has discriminated against immigrants and communities of color.

          Reversing the DACA policy will have a devastating impact on our economy Ending this program will increase unemployment.

          Thousands of the Dreamers protected by DACA were brought to this country as babies and have no memories of their birth country. These individuals are paying taxes, contributing to Social Security and are Americans in everything but the name.

          The League of Women Voters is opposed to the deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants and we urge congress to pass a clean Dreamers Act to protect, not turn away, the 800,000 young people who were brought to the United States as children.”

        CLIMATE CHANGE

        • WECAN REPORT
          Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network Report


          Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change

          Women’s leadership and solutions are heard while COP23 is underway. Front line and indigenous women are being impacted first and worst by climate change. We must halt climate change and protect our lands. Women need to connect more deeply. We need to lift up women, while working in collaboration with male allies. Women will not stop speaking out until we leave 80% of fossil fuels in the ground, stay below 1.5 degrees rise in global temperature, stop polluting oceans. We fight for mother earth. Pledges to cut carbon emissions are too small. Even under Paris Accord, temperature will rise 3 degrees. We need socially just change. There will be no effective change on climate until women’s ideas area acknowledged. Trump administration has been catastrophic on climate action. Deleted climate change from white house webpage. Appointed climate change deniers and is backing coal. We must fight systems of oppression. Front line communities and indigenous people need to be at the forefront of solutions. Women are 80% of climate refugees. Women are 20M out of 26M displaced by climate disasters. We are not just victims-we are solutions. Through collective ownership and localizing economies we can disrupt monopolies. Women will rise ever more boldly in defense of what we hold dear. Women bring emotional and spiritual intelligence to the conversation which is needed to break down barriers.

          Panel 1-Women Speak from the Frontlines of Climate Change
          Reefs are being destroyed. Climate genocide is fueled by corporate greed. It has crippled our democracy. In Maldives, oil industry is taking over a protected mangrove forest to build a corporate airport. Shamelessly destroying the environment. Time is not on our side. There is no room or role for fossil fuels. In the Amazon they are “developing” oil. Indigenous people have not been asked what development means for them. Fresh air, clean water, fertile soil, living in community is their proposal-“the living forest” proposal. Looking for legal protections of living forest areas-respect not exploit. Indigenous people have a spiritual connection to the forest. People’s lives and stories are behind all the climate statistics. Climate change disproportionately effects women. Multiple intersecting inequalities, and climate crisis is exacerbating preexisting inequalities. Women’s labor provides 80% of food in Africa, but 22 out of 25 women live in poverty in Africa. Many women are hungry. Sexual exploitation is rampant in the fishing industry. Migration is a challenge for women on the forefront of climate change. Women forced to move from homes. Many cannot move across country boarders. After cyclones etc, countries have to borrow more money to rebuild. Further perpetuates poverty. In 2012 explosion in Richmond CA at refinery. Sent many people to hospital due to air quality. Company lied about toxicity of smoke. Native Americans started a movement “Idle no More”. Refinery healing walks-walked to refinery towns in solidarity with indigenous peoples (refineryhealingalks.org, indigenouswomenrising.org). Walked for clean environment, safer jobs, to speak for the animals impacted. Sacrifice zones-cities around refineries-usually low income and people of color.

          Keynote Patricia Gualinga, leader from Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador
          1400 people in her community, no roads, can only get there by river or flying in small airplanes. It is in the middle of rainforest, the most biodiverse place on the planet. Even though small, they have expelled oil companies from their territory. Took case to international court and won case for violation of human rights. No fossil fuel extraction allowed (oil and mining) which was a decision by women in their territory. Women want to defend life and mother earth. New oil concessions proposed-they are resisting and proposed a new solution. Living Forest proposal-from their vision and reality. Current solutions are based on market mechanism, not based on visions of indigenous people. Promote regeneration and protecting ecosystems. New category of conservation-no industrial extraction on their territories. Must be protected for future generations. Not willing to negotiate, they are here to protect life. This is the women’s time to mobilize and resist.

          Panel 2-Women’s strategic analysis, policy and advocacy for systemic change and climate justice
          We are part of a justice, economic, and social revolution. Need to speak to the fury and the possibilities. Need to go to the core of the problem and demand something different. Need to be authentic in our truth telling. Need to have diverse bodies participating in the room. System is unjust-don’t qualify for loans to clean up messes from climate change that they didn’t cause. Concentrate on our own governments, need to push them to places they need to be. Need to speak about loss and damage, adaptation funds. We are in an economic crisis caused by greed. Need a UN binding treaty between countries and corporations. Women in congress-20%, only 15 female world leaders-8 of which were first in their countries. Women are only 4% of fortune 500 CEO’s. Loss of human dignity in climate disasters. Mass burials, someone buried on sidewalk after laying dead for 5 days after Katrina. Need gender equity and climate justice. Clean coal is a hypocrisy-impacts health, destroys property and planet. Time to mobilize and win. Nissan plant in Mississippi-exposing women to chemicals, getting breast cancer. Women have to do sexual favors to get advancement. Teachers being exposed to mold. Mental health spending cut and instead spending more on private prisons. Leadership is disconnected from frontline communities. New sustainable economy, recycling, local and cooperatively owned. Jackson-zero emission and zero waste city by 2020. Build green cooperatives, and have a just transition to solar and thermal energy. Human rights budgeting. Get folks on our side, in order to make the change we want to see. UNFCC Women and Gender Constituency-working on gender equality, climate justice, gender justice. Encourages participation. Gap decision-added language on just transition. Have agreed to incorporate gender. Key demands: adopt a robust gender action plan, deliver on finance, plan for real ambition via the 2018 facilitative dialogue, effectively address loss and damage, implement rights-based national policies, create a rights-based platform for indigenous peoples and local communities, develop rules for community consultation and consent, break free from fossil fuels, move the money and more (womengenderclimate.org).

          Keynote Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
          Women have always been on the frontlines, now it is time to be at the forefront. Hope is for less struggle for women, with more leading from the front. Leadership is not without risks-161 killed this year alone defending water/land rights, indigenous people’s rights. Stand in solidarity in the face of these challenges and lend a hand to women who are in need. Fiji decided gender is one of the top priorities at this COP which is new. Much progress has been made to get women this recognition. Gender Action Plan adoption is next step at this UNFCCC. Commitment to gender action is now established. Need to build on progress, and implement our plan. Not yet making enough progress on gender balance on committees and bodies-need more female members. Must bring women in the front lines into the climate decision making in both Bonn and Bula. Local communities and grassroots voices need to be heard. Too much is happening behind closed doors. Give indigenous communities a seat at the table. Many women have impediments to participation-family, money to get to meeting, visas, access to information. Empowering women is critical for effective participation. Women’s participation will make for more transformative climate action. Be the change you want to see in the world.

          Panel 3-Women’s leadership and solutions in facing impacts of climate change.
          Women are most powerful in communal settings. People in Africa are on perpetual food aid. It’s not the way they should be living-they used to sustain themselves. Need to be able to feed themselves and rejuvenate their land. Africa feels the effects of climate change-hunger, flash flooding. Need to rebuild the soil, bring carbon back into the soil. Need strategies to scale up solutions-grow locally, a regenerative agriculture. Climate change has destroyed people’s homes, displaced thousands, results in suicides. Need fossil fuel divestment-to stigmatize the industry. Economic boycott of an immoral industry. Have started divestment campaigns on a number of college campuses in US. Now going global. Started as a youth movement, awaken new generation to stand together and fight for a world that works for people and not for the fossil fuel elite. Climate change is everywhere, including Uganda. Oxfam initially encouraged her to tell her story. People are dying in Uganda. No wood, no food, people go to sleep hungry including children. Drought has been present for a long time. People consume bad food and end up dying. Children are beaten for stealing food, killed. Water is contaminated. They go talk and lobby the government, go door to door. They have started with tree planting and kitchen gardens. Climate change finance should go to the people. Change is a process, and together we can. Germany still doing coal mining-many people are protesting. 42% of electricity is from coal in Germany. People are being marginalized, oppressed-must fight patriarchy and capitalism. Civil disobedience has become their mechanism-lay in front of coal trucks. Climate justice is about gender justice.

          Report from International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn
          Nov 7-8 in Bonn, 60 presenters, judges, and an audience to put on a trial to have rights of nature in law. Turns legal system upside down. Recognize earth and respect natural laws. Ecquador and Boliva have rights of nature laws in their constitutions. Rivers and regions have been given rights in various places. Tribe in US is going to outlaw fracking on tribal lands. It’s time for the rights of mother earth to be represented.

          Call to Action for the Protection and Rights of Defenders of the Land
          What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now. Group photo (look for me in the back!)

          Bianca Jagger, Activist and former wife of Mick
          Women hold few positions of power. But women do a majority of the work at home. Women do 3 out of every 5 hours of unpaid labor. Projections show the gender pay gap won’t be closed for another 170 years. Must do everything we can to promote gender equality. Empower women and girls, eliminate violence, effect change, eradicate poverty. Women are the hard-working, invisible backbone of society. Yet their voices are not heard. The time has come for us to be heard. Women are more vulnerable to climate change. Women are 14x more likely to die or be injured during a weather disaster. In addition, they suffer loss of homes, livelihood, with increasing workload after the event. Poor women suffer the most. We need to see indigenous people as powerful agents of change. They are a critical part of the solution. They account for 50% of world population and care for 80% of planet’s biodiversity. Indigenous women are taking action on climate change. They need a seat at negotiating table at COP. UNFCCC has not equally represented women on its bodies. We need to achieve gender equality, advance human rights based policy and action. It is urgent for us to act now.

        END OF LIFE

        • End of Life Planning
          by Care Lengel

          End of Life Planning
          by Care Lengel

          Recently, a beloved family member passed away. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was still hard. I have to ask, what would have made it easier for our family to make decisions in his behalf. And the answer is simple. What was in writing, we knew. What wasn’t in writing, we didn’t. No one can address all possibilities, but if we think, talk, and write out our end-of-life choices, it can provide guidance to loved ones and to medical professionals faced with making decisions in our behalf.

          Talk about Plans & Put Them in Writing

          Whatever ones personal views on the subject of living and dying, it’s important to think about those views and to provide family and friends with direction for many possibilities. Clearly, an open discussion with loved ones is the place to start. Saying what one wants, and does not want, for one’s care helps us to
          address a variety of circumstances beforehand. But to ease one’s own concern and the stress imposed on one’s decision-makers, it is critical to put such planning into writing. The best way is to consult an attorney to draw up exactly one’s wishes, but there are less expensive ways to formalize end-of-life care plans.

          Arizona Helps

          The Arizona Attorney General’s Office provides information and
          forms to use for end-of-life-planning. While not comprehensive,
          https://www.azag.gov/seniors/life-care-planning offers a packet of forms to download, including Medical Powers of Attorney, Living Will, and guidance on a Do Not Resuscitate Order. What is not included is a General Durable Power of Attorney so one
          can allow another to conduct business. Though highly individualized, these forms are available at any care facility, financial institution, or through any attorney. Arizona also provides a Registry for Advance Directives so that any individual may place end-of-life documents on file and allow loved ones and medical professionals immediate access. This service comes with an Arizona Advance Directive Registry wallet card.
          <
          http://www.azsos.gov/adv_dir/Default.htm>.

          A Good Death

          My family agrees about making our end-of-life choices known.
          Four generations of women in my family had Alzheimer’s. A good death for me would be to have the greatest quality of life for as long as I can with the most comfort, and then the easiest death at the least cost. I am pretty extreme in those views, and so was my mother, a life-long LWV member. So I belong to both Compassion and Choices and the Alzheimer’s Association .

          But because I’m a boomer, and because there are So Many Boomers all getting old at once now, every family should have conversations about what’s a good death and what one’s end-of-life choices are. We are all more prepared for the inevitable if we address living and dying together, as individuals, as families, as states, and as one nation.

        LWV Metropolitan Phoenix Contact Information

        Phone
        480-231-6426

        Mailing Address
        1155 S. Power Rd.
        Suite 114-58
        Mesa, AZ 85206

        Email
        infoLWVMP@gmail.com