Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Special Session Ideas

Since the Governor is lousing up the Reapportionment special legislative session with additional issues starting on September 6th(ahem, my birthday) I thought I would throw in a few suggestions for other things that could be taken up.

First on my list is going to a system of open primary elections in this state.  Since the number of independents or decline to states is growing so strongly then lets give them a voice on the candidates they will vote for coming out of our primary election processes.  These new primary voters could vote for anyone they choose, and so should the Democrats and Republicans.  Make these usually closed and stifled elections really meaningful by giving everyone a shot at voting.

Next on my list is asking the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment doing away with the Public Regulatory Commission.  This could possibly only take five minutes of time in each of the legislative houses.  Just do it.

Pass an additional 10 cent gasoline tax and put the additional revenues into mass transit.  Any city with more that 50,000 people should get a share for good bus systems and perhaps decent intercity bus service.  That would be a real legacy.

We can dream.


Anonymous said...

Like the primary idea. Absolutely agree on the PRC. 10 cent tax, don't think so.

Abq Dude said...

Jim, your first two are good ideas: As an independent, I would welcome open primaries. Abolishing the PRC is good since they only rubber stamp everything and are drowning in scandal. Raising gas taxes is a bad idea with with gas prices already so high, and a lot of people barely making it as it is.

Donald F. Schiff said...

I strongly oppose letting members of other parties vote in primary elections. That leads to chaos. I might be persuaded to let DTS voters vote in the primary of their choice, but not members of other parties, even minor ones. Otherwise, you might as well not even register voters by party at all.

Party matters. If you want to have a say about who the eventual nominee for a party is, join that party. It's easy! Minor parties and DTS voters have chosen not to participate in the major parties' primaries. I think that's appropriate.

Full disclosure: I am a Democratic Party Ward Chair in Albuquerque. I don't want Republicans distorting my Democratic voters' choice of candidates.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schiff, you just worry about losing a position of no importance as a precinct operative. i think wide open primaries where non affiliated can vote for anyone is a great idea. As for the gas tax....America's infrastructure is failing and we must raise money to update and repair it. lets raise it 15 cents.

Anonymous said...

Schiff worries about chaos? That is what we have now in case you hadn't noticed.

Donald F. Schiff said...

@Anonymous: If my ward chair position had no importance, why would I worry about losing it? That makes no sense. My Democratic neighbors in 15 precincts elected me to the position, and I work hard for my party and its candidates. What I'm worried about is members of other parties (i.e. Republicans) determining the candidate of my party. I think that's bad policy. A majority of states have closed primaries. As a partisan, I prefer that system.

Democrats should decide who their nominee is. Republicans should decide who their party's nominee is. If you want a voice in whom a party nominates, join that party. I'm a Voter Registration Agent, so I can help you change your registration myself. Since you have so little trust in my integrity, I could simply give you the form to send in yourself. You can also register to vote at any state office, including the MVD.

FWIW, "Anonymous" is making a logical fallacies known as Argumentum ad hominem, an argument "against the man." S/he ascribes selfish motives to me which I do not have, and ridicules me personally on that basis. This kind of inflammatory rhetoric has no legitimate place in rational discourse. Disagreeing with your position is not unethical. Attacking me personally is cowardly. At least have the courage to vilify me to my face, "Anonymous!"

As for chaos, isn't that exactly what Rush Limbaugh proposed that Republican voters in FL do in 2008 to keep Democrats from nominating Barack Obama? Limbaugh even called it "Operation Chaos." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rush_Limbaugh_Show (see section 10). Maybe I'm not so deluded after all.

Anonymous said...

If independants want to vote in the primary, form an Independant party. The primaries are for distinct political parties to nominate THEIR candidate.

Rodney said...

I don't agree with totally abolishing the PRC. There needs to be regulation of certain industries within the state as demonstrated by abuses by both the "regulated monopolies" and other regulated industries (transportation). The PRC was a huge improvement over the old State Corporation Commission, however there should be some means of holding commissioners more accoutable and the number/types of regulated businesses could probably be reduced.