Today the Free Enterprise Club released our Judicial Retention recommendations for the 2018 ballot. Under Arizona’s merit selection system, judges periodically appear on the ballot for voters to determine if they should be retained. A ‘YES’ vote retains the judge, a ‘NO’ vote removes the judge from the bench. All of the judges that the Club recommends for retention have met Judicial Performance standards to remain on the bench.

Arizona Supreme Court

Justice Clint Bolick—YES

Justice John Pelander—YES

Arizona Court of Appeals

Peter Swann—NO

Peter Eckerstrom—NO

Philip Espinosa—YES

Christopher Staring—YES

Maricopa Superior Court

Bradley Astrowsky—YES

Alison Bachus—YES

Cynthia Bailey—YES

Janet Barton—NO

Mark Brain—NO

Gregory Como—YES

David Cunanan—NO

Sally Duncan—NO

George Foster—NO

Warren Granville—NO

Jennifer Green—YES

Michael Herrod—YES

Samuel Myers—NO

Erin Otis—YES

Susanna Pineda—YES

Laura Reckart—YES

Howard Sukenic—YES

Danielle Viola—YES

Joseph Welty—NO

With early ballots scheduled to be mailed later this week, the Free Enterprise Club has released our recommendations for each of the statewide initiatives on the November ballot. There are a total of five measures on this year’s ballot, three of which are proposed amendments to Arizona’s constitution.

We believe that our recommendations are consistent with the Club’s mission of promoting economic freedom, limited government and a strong and vibrant economy in Arizona.

Prop 125–Vote YES

Amends the state constitution to allow for additional legislative reforms to the Correctional Officers Retirement Plan (CORP). While they are limited in scope, the proposed legislative reforms will reduce future liabilities and pension debt for taxpayers.

Prop 126–Vote NO

Would amend Arizona’s constitution to prohibit any future changes to Arizona’s tax code related to service taxes. While the Club opposes higher taxes, we do not support locking our sales tax code in the constitution into perpetuity. Additionally, taxpayers are already protected from future tax increases under Prop 108 (which requires a 2/3 vote to raise taxes).

Prop 127–Vote NO

Tom Steyer backed initiative that would insert a 50% renewable energy mandate into Arizona’s constitution. The Club opposes sweeping changes to our Constitution that will raise costs and picks winners and losers (SRP and other government utilities are exempt from the mandate).

Prop 305–Vote YES

Referendum that will expand Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to allow parents to send their child to a private school of their choice. The ESA program is capped at 30,000 students and includes transparency and accountability measures in the program. The Club supports expanding choice and opportunities for parents and students, and Prop 305 is a step in the right direction.

Prop 306–Vote YES

In 2016 it was discovered that candidates that finance their campaign with taxpayer money funneled over $100,000 of those funds to political parties. Instead of fixing the problem, the Clean Election Commission codified the abuse, and even expanded the rule to allow public funds to go to political special interest groups as well. The Club urges a YES vote on Prop 306, which would prohibit any taxpayer funded candidate from giving those funds to political parties or special interest groups.

Budget analysts have completed their projections of the tax increase Proposition 207 will trigger by eliminating inflation indexing, and it’s not a pretty picture for low income families and seniors. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates that Arizona taxpayers will pay $1.25 billion more in taxes over the next 10 years if the annual inflation adjustment is repealed under Prop 207.

Arizona’s income tax brackets were indexed to inflation to protect taxpayers from unfairly paying more due to wage inflation and cost of living adjustments that occur over time. Without indexing, taxpayers will see more and more of their paychecks eaten away by inflation. Based on the JLBC numbers, the Arizona Tax Research Association calculates that the average household earning $50,000 will lose over $1,200 in the next ten years as a result of the inflation tax.

Combined with the 98% tax increase on small businesses and the hidden $300 million conformity tax hike, Prop 207 has been revealed as a poorly drafted measure that will inflict long term damage on Arizona’s economy and our most vulnerable taxpayers. The only real winners appear to be big corporations and fortune 500 companies that were exempted from the tax increases in Prop 207 and will now have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Voters need to send a message to the Washington DC labor unions funding Prop 207 to keep their special interest tax policy out of Arizona.

Latest Tweets

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a free market policy and advocacy group dedicated to promoting a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.