AZ GOP To Charge Delegates $50 Each To Attend State Convention

Republican Executive Committee members were informed this week that delegates and alternates attending the state convention to elect delegates for the national convention will be charged $50 each to participate this year.

In an email sent out by Tim Sifert, communications director of the The Arizona Republican Party, committee members were informed of the new changes:

“Like all attendees, each Delegate and Alternate attending the state convention must buy a $50 ticket to attend.”

This is the first time elected state delegates have been asked to pay to participate in the selection of national delegates.

Some party members have raised concerns that this change will make it harder for young and low income delegates to be involved in the process when the state convention convenes in April.


Texas Republican attacks Libertarian voting rights

For Immediate Release

Republican state representative Drew Springer of Muenster, Texas has filed HB 464, a bill to require minor party nominees to pay filing fees.

Libertarian National Committee executive director Wes Benedict commented, “Republican Drew Springer’s bill is a poll tax on minor parties, including the Libertarian Party. It’s an injustice, and it’s unconstitutional.”

The bill would require all minor party nominees to pay fees to be allowed to appear on the November election ballot. The fees range as high as $5,000, depending on the office.

Kurt Hildebrand, chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas, said, “This law would effectively shut down third parties in Texas, and I believe that is the intent behind it.”

According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled twice that this sort of filing fee is unconstitutional.

On April 6, the Texas House Elections Committee voted 5-1 in favor of the bill. (Five Republicans voted yes, one Democrat voted no.)

Similar bills have been filed by Texas Republicans in past legislative sessions.

Benedict explained, “Republicans have claimed in the past that their bills make things ‘fair’ because Republicans and Democrats have to pay filing fees for their primaries. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Republicans and Democrats have to pay primary fees because their primary elections are financed by taxpayers. Political parties are private organizations, even though they are regulated by the state. Nevertheless, taxpayers are forced to hand over a lot of money to help the Republicans and Democrats pick their nominees. The filing fees pay for a tiny fraction of these costs.

“Libertarians and Greens, on the other hand, don’t use primaries. We don’t force the taxpayers to pay for our nomination process. So there’s no reason our candidates should be forced to pay any fees.

“If Republicans and Democrats are upset about their primary filing fees, they should just get rid of them. They control 100% of the seats in the legislature, so it should be pretty easy for them.

“The purpose of Drew Springer’s bill is simple: it has nothing to do with fairness, it’s just an attempt to shut all minor parties out of the election process. If this bill gets passed, there will be many more unopposed Republicans and unopposed Democrats in the 2016 elections.

“Representative Drew Springer has also filed a bill to prohibit school districts from offering same-sex couples the same benefits as opposite-sex couples. That gives us an idea of what ‘fair’ means to him.

“I urge legislators who support democracy to oppose this poll tax, which is designed to silence minority opinions.

“This is America. The people should decide who gets to run for office, not the incumbents. Libertarians stand for freedom on every issue, and we oppose bullies who would try to stop us from participating in the election process.”

Benedict added, “Texas isn’t the only place that Republicans are trying to step on voting rights. In New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee is trying to get involved in a lawsuit over the state’s petitioning law. The law was changed in 2013 to make it harder for small parties to get petition signatures to appear on the ballot. The Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit against the change, but the Republican National Committee is trying to intervene in support of the change.”

Wes Benedict is the executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, and he served as executive director of the Libertarian Party of Texas from 2004 to 2008.

Libertarian Barry Hess Endorses Terry Goddard For Secretary Of State

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The Republican assault on Libertarians and specifically Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Barry Hess is now coming back to bite them. Last week Hess officially endorsed Democrat Terry Goddard for AZ Secretary Of State and issued a statement warning Arizonans about the danger Republican candidate Michelle Reagan poses to voter choice.

Libertarian candidates across the country are currently fighting for survival as Republicans feel the only way they can win elections is by removing competition from the ballot. Michelle Reagan led that charge in Arizona with her push for HB2305 which would have seriously hindered third party ballot access.

The Barry Hess endorsement of Terry Goddard can be found here:

Hess Thwarts 2nd Republican Attempt To Bump Him From The Ballot

For Immediate Release
Date: 6-18-2014
Contact: Hess For Governor Campaign
E-Mail: AZGovernor@Earthlink.Net

Hess Thwarts 2nd Republican Attempt To Bump Him From The Ballot.

Arizona’s Republican leadership just got another black-eye, in their relentless attempts to keep Libertarian candidate for Governor, Barry Hess, off of the ballot. In a series of shady middle-of-the-night dealings last year, Republican leaders pushed HB 2305 to the Governor’s desk with exclusively Republican support; to make it almost impossible for Libertarian candidates to get on the ballot. In many instances, HB2305 required Libertarian candidates to gather more signatures for their nomination than there were members of the Libertarian party.

In September of last year, Hess led the largest and most diverse coalition in Arizona history to send HB2305 to the ballot, instead–by Citizen’s Referendum. It was the first successful such effort in almost 30 years, with almost as many attempts.
Republicans were set back on their heels and scrambled to repeal their own legislation in an effort to hide the issue from the Voters in November.

Last week, the GOP funded a challenge to 37 of Hess’s nominating signatures which would have left him 5 short of the required number needed to appear on the ballot to represent the Libertarian Party. Hess’ legal teams immediately found no less than 12 of the disputed signatures were in fact valid, and today, the County Recorders weighed in to verify 20 of the disputed signatures as valid. The suit was dismissed.

Hess commented, “We were never concerned about the numbers not being there, but now we’re concerned about the obvious frivolousness of the challenge, and the potential of fraud on the Court having been committed by only identifying the ‘throw away’ member of their club who agreed to be the Plaintiff; and not the real party behind the scheme.

It seems the goal is to shield GOP candidates from having to actually address the issues, and defend their positions on the campaign trail. Maybe the problem is my polling ahead of most of their candidates; whatever the case they must have wanted me off the ballot pretty badly to put up big money for a frivolous suit. What surprises me the most is that Snell & Wilmer would lend their credibility to these grade-school attempts to avoid having to compete for elected office.”

Arizona Libertarian Party Response To Republican HB2305 Press Release

The Arizona Libertarian Party
Contact: Barry Hess (602) 843-3827
Communications Director

Hess calls BS! On Republican-led disinformation campaign Re: HB 2305.

A Response to the Deceptive Republican “News” Release Regarding HB 2305, on 7-25-2013

PHOENIX: Barry Hess, Vice-Chair of the Arizona Libertarian Party spoke in Response to the Republican Press Release, (Transcript of Hess’ speech follows)

“HB 2305 is not as simple as it may seem so bear with me, it’ll take a few minutes to respond adequately.

The Republican Party is in full-spin mode as it tries to defend the indefensible actions taken by 16 of its members, in an overt attempt to subvert and control Arizona’s elections to their benefit. The unexpected backlash is already so severe that they had to put up party flaks to take the heat, and try to shield the guilty legislators from the inevitable repercussions that will come in the next election cycle.

Unfortunately, they’ve chosen to do so, by misleading the public as to what HB 2305 is, or where it came from—and by neglecting to mention the ‘real’ reasons their corrupt Washington D.C. bosses ordered them to push the Amendments they wanted through, whether by hook or by crook. (The Republican National Party is trying the same tactic in 17 or 18 other States, as well.)

The attempt to re-frame the argument is…fascinating, for lack of a better word. The fact is, HB 2305 in its original, 3-page form, was a pretty innocuous bill that arguably would make life a little easier for County Recorders, in regard to signature and circulator validations. ‘This’ is the tiny part the County Recorders supported—they were unaware that their reputations would be tied to a 32-page, uh, Amendment; full of very bad, over-reaching, and unethical provisions that serve only to give all the different groups that oppose HB 2305 (the Amendments) a different reason to object. That’s the reason some of the County Recorders have already come forward to clarify their support was ONLY for the original bill. If it had been left as a ‘clean’ bill, without Amendment; nobody would even get up off the couch to oppose it–but that’s not what happened.

There were five different Republican-sponsored bills; each of them an attempt to control various aspects of elections. All failed to get any support. One of them, Dial’s bill, was effectively the same as Prop 121. Prop 121 would have made it impossible for Independent candidates, and ‘Third Parties’ to get on the ballot, and would have removed Voter choices at election—other than the Republican-Democrat team choices. Prop 121 was opposed by…everybody, and it was soundly rejected by Arizona Voters, in last November’s election.
I don’t know this Graham character, but from his quotes, I am quite certain I’m not deprived.

The Release Headlines claim, “Graham Supporting Effort to Protect Ballot Integrity Law”, and, “Graham Opposes Democrat-led Referendum, Supports Law to Protect Voters from Interference, Fraud”.

First off, calling HB 2305 a ‘Ballot Integrity Law’ is a slap in the face to every Arizonan, and anyone who is capable of thought; and second, the Democrats are a part of, but NOT ‘leading’ the referendum effort (by election-time Republicans will wish it was, ‘just’ the Democrats), in fact, the provisions of the Amendments to HB 2305 are so outrageous, and egregious that it has brought together every other element of the political spectrum, in support of sending the measure(s) to the ballot—to let the People decide. The Republican Party is on its own, because HB2305 (as Amended) doesn’t “Protect Voters”; it limits Voter choices, and nothing else.

Although Graham says that there were ‘nefarious’ and ‘fraudulent’ activities carried out in the last election—he is unable to point out any single instance where it was.

If there’s anything ‘fraudulent’ or ‘nefarious’ afoot, it’s in the Republican Party, and with the 16 arrogantly ignorant Republicans who tried to feed Arizona more ‘used grain’, in the form of HB 2305. What else could you call these repugnant Amendments that were snuck in, and ‘passed’, in the middle of the night, when only a few legislators were still present to vote? What else would you call it when the Republican core felt the need to ‘take election matters into their own hands’; even though traditionally, even the smallest of changes to election law are routinely sent to the ballot for Voter approval?

What the Voters Graham doesn’t tell, is that HB 2305 FAILED ON ITS ‘FINAL READ’, even under conditions designed to let it slide right through. After the vote, there was a lot of foot-stompin’ and butt-kissing going on in the Senate; even a tape of Senator Mesnard trying to encourage support for the whole noxious package by clearly stating this bill was to ‘keep the Libertarians off the ballot’. He childishly asserted that Libertarians, Independents, and the Greens, were ‘spoiling’ “their” races. Evidently, no one told him that the one, who ‘spoiled’ the race–was the winner. These Republican Party hacks actually think they can force Voters to support them, by excluding all the competition! That wouldn’t be a ‘win’—that would just be a common cheat—and all they’ll gain is more opposition.

Then, in an allowance that is as frequent as a unicorn sighting happened—it was given something called a ‘second read’–that’s where the voo-doo went down, and HB 2305, with all its Amendments, squeaked through, and of course, Brewer quickly signed it.
HB 2305 is a thinly-veiled, Republican desperation move to try to remain relevant in a political environment they don’t understand. How does one ethically account for shamelessly trying to subvert the will of the People, and limit their choices at the polls?

Consider this; 16 Republicans, took it upon themselves to overhaul Arizona’s election laws and force the MOST EXTENSIVE changes in Arizona’s history; and all without any input from the People of Arizona, or any group…except Republicans. What makes their nefarious plan even more outrageous is in knowing that these 16 party hacks, took it upon themselves to reverse the vote of the People on Prop 121.

Mr. Graham’s attempt to paint the referendum effort as a “Democratic Party” led coalition–is not going to work. There is no definitive “leader” of our coalition. It is primarily, a Libertarian thing, but we’ve come together with a growing coalition of good people. We may all have completely different ideas, as to how political things should be done—but every one of these people has the character to stand up for every other individuals’ uninfringeable right to have equal access to the political process, and to participate in their government. They see well-beyond their own interests.

For instance, as a libertarian, it falls to me to stand up for the Green Party, and for every individual who wishes to participate in our citizen-owned government, and especially those who have chosen not to affiliate with any political party—Arizona’s Independent Voters. Otherwise, they would have no access to the political process, no voice, and no soapbox to offer their ideas.

I am very proud of the people who saw what HB 2305 was from the very start, and joined our ‘Protect Your Right To Vote’ coalition. While we don’t all agree in our politics, we do all agree that this matter needs to be turned over to the Voters of Arizona. Why do you suppose the Republicans, wouldn’t want to give the Voters that opportunity? There’s only one reason…

On the other hand, our coalition has already garnered the support of Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute; former Phoenix Mayor, Paul Johnson (I); former Sheriff Richard Mack (R)/Tea Party; Former Sen. Karen Johnson (R); Sen. Steve Gallardo (D); Charlie Powell, Seniors coalition/Tea Party; Alice Stambaugh, The League of Women Voters; Angel Torres, Chair/Green Party; J.D. Quinlan, Democratic Party; Warren Severin, Chair/ Libertarian Party; several Tea Party People (HB 2305 was aimed at them, too–so they couldn’t interfere with the Republican Party); Frank Commacho, Valley TV personality; Attys. Michael Keilsky, Dave Hardy; Chairman Jim Ianuzzo, Maricopa County Libertarian Party; Richard Winger, Election Integrity Consultant/Activist; many Conservative Groups and more coming on board all the time. The only thing all these people have in common, it that we all insist that Arizona’s elections be open, honest and fair.

Just our partial list of supporters represents the most diverse coalition in Arizona’s history—if there was anything in HB 2305 that would benefit Arizona, why would all these people object? The obvious answer sends a loud, clear message; Arizona voters have already made their will known–that ‘every’ political voice needs to be heard, in fair and honest elections. We do not want to see Arizona’s elections turned into a joke by HB2305. This is a blatant attempt to control the electoral process, and thereby control the elections. It should go back to the People.

We’re well on our way to gathering the needed 87,000 valid signatures necessary to refer this issue to the Voters of Arizona, but we can anticipate the Republican leadership will try to do what HB2305 does–knock the Referendum off the Ballot, and deny voters any say at all.

Graham says that ‘they’ witnessed “nefarious techniques by leftist groups”—harassing people to vote, and overwhelming election officials, but oddly enough, he couldn’t point to any specific instance…because he was making it up. The best part was the desperate grasp at re-characterizing a 15-year-old’s running disabled Aunt Sally’s ballot down to the polls to drop it off for her, as something ‘bad’. As usual, the non-creative Republican spin team went back to their usual tactic of inventing a Bogeyman, and then claiming they killed it.

Graham attempts to sell the idea that because there were “too many” ballots cast near the closing bell on Election Day, that there was a ‘problem’ that needed to be solved. He didn’t mention any attempt to make the counting easier or more efficient; just that having ‘too many’ ballots to count, was an ‘inconvenience’ that delayed results for the Media. According to that logic, election officials should be able to end voting any time they can’t keep up in counting…

Graham callously claims some sort of ‘stewardship’ over the election process—he even steals our coalition’s tag line—“To ensure that every vote is counted; every choice is offered; and that every voice is heard.” Good-Golly, do these folks have no shame?
There’s a real good reason the Republican Party is losing members faster than any other party or group; and it’s because the out-of-touch Republican Party ‘leaders’, don’t actually oppose fraud in our elections—they want to institutionalize it…and you can quote me on that.”
Hess went on, to explain the provisions of the Amendment to HB 2305 that are at the heart of Republican intentions. The ‘real’ intent of HB 2305 is to force all opposition off of the ballot at the Primary stage, (The same tactic used by Barack Obama.) in hopes of ‘inheriting’ Independent and Libertarian votes, as a “lesser evil”, in the General Election.

I’ve received over 45 contacts from Republicans regarding HB 2305. Essentially, all vocalize the same thought: They will Not vote for any Republican, under any condition. These people have a sense of dignity, and refuse to participate in a rigged game…even if it is rigged in ‘their team’s’ favor. To win by cheating, is not winning–it’s just cheating.

The lack of uniformity in setting different standards for different races, reeks of an ‘Equal Protections’ challenge, and cause for legal action but, the ‘big’ biggie; is the disenfranchisement of each and every Arizona voter, and their right to participate in their government. Republicans have made an overt attempt to subvert Arizona’s elections, by eliminating Voter choices.

Here’s how it does that; it raises the signature requirements of smaller political party candidates to match those of the two state-owned parties—to get on their own primary ballots! Under HB2305, in many of the political subdivisions and districts, for political office, smaller party candidates need to gather far more signatures, than there are registered members of their own party! In several cases, smaller-party candidates would be required to get the majority of their signatures, for their own Party’s nomination–from non-members of their Party!

The Libertarian Party won the right to hold a closed Primary in Federal Court, due to the potential for predatory influence from non-members. HB2305 ‘forces’ the Libertarian and Green Parties to ‘open’ their Primary elections to non-members; risking those same predatory influences–just to get enough signatures…to get on their own ballot, and that’s absurd on its face. HB 2305’s provisions clearly conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court’s well-reasoned decisions like Storer v. Brown , 415 US 724 (1974), and every similar case that’s come before it. In Storer the Court held unequivocally for the ‘percentage of membership’ standard.

Republican flaks are already making pitiful attempts to suggest that the Amendments to HB 2305, “levels the playing field” by requiring that ALL candidates meet the SAME signature requirements to get on their own Primary Ballot.

At first blush, that might seem ‘fair’ or ‘equal’; but not if we consider a few things; first let’s understand that a Political Party is formed of people of like-mind in principles, platform and a purpose. In order to maintain the values and principles on which that Party was founded, only members of that Party can determine which candidate best reflects their principles, platform and purpose, right?

To allow non-members to participate in the choice of candidates who will represent a Political Party leads to an instant loss of any principles, platform or purpose the Party’s name has come to represent. We are all familiar with the terms, ‘RINO’, and ‘DINO’, right? Smaller, and new Parties are born of dissatisfaction with what is essentially a single State ‘Party’ with no principles to which its leadership adheres, and a phony platform that changes every day. It’s one where decisions are made in back-room deals with no purpose, other than to preserve its grip on Arizona’s political arena, and legislative purse strings…

Primary Elections are just that; Primary elections. Their purpose is to determine which candidate will represent each recognized Political Party in the General Election–and nothing more. The Primary Election is NOT to determine ‘if’ there with be a representative from each recognized Political Party; it is not to determine ‘viability’ in the General Election, nor to demonstrate “broad appeal” amongst all voters; it is simply to determine ‘whose’ name will appear on the General Election Ballot to represent the recognized Political Parties.

All recognized Political Parties are entitled to place as many candidates as qualify from within that Party, on the Primary Election Ballot; to determine who will represent them in the General Election. Under the Amendments to HB 2305, there aren’t enough registered Greens to nominate two Primary candidates, even if every Green Party member signed one! (A voter cannot sign more than one petition for nomination.)

HB2305 essentially knocks smaller Political Party candidates out of their own Primary Elections, and turns the Primary Election into a grossly-mal-formed “Semi-General Election”. If that’s the case, why do we need a ‘General’ Election at all? Okay, I was making a point. I should have been asking, ‘Why do we need a Primary Election at all?’ If we allow HB2305 to make a sham of our elections; why not save the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, and require each Political Party to determine ‘who’ represent them on the General Election Ballot, in any way they choose?

HB2305 radically raises the signature requirements for smaller Parties, and when I say ‘radically’, I mean it; it requires they gather as many as 45 times as many signatures than, before HB2305.

The truth is, the requirements were ‘fair’ before HB2305. Signature requirements to get on the Primary Election Ballot were measured, by the number of registered Party members there were in a particular political sub-division or district. It was the SAME percentage for every Political Party, so it couldn’t get any more ‘fair’. What is ironic about HB2305, is that it amounts Republicans crying that their Political Party is “too big”, and it makes them work ‘harder’ to secure a place on their own Primary Ballot. Does Arizona really need more whiny politicians?”

All of the information regarding HB 2305 is on the legislative website ( a direct link is provided below, as well as to a Horizon segment on the subject:


Why I Cannot Support Adam Kwasman For CD1

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Oro Valley State Representative Adam Kwasman recently formed an exploratory committee to run for Arizona’s Congressional District 1. Kwasman is slowly but surely shaping up to be the chosen Republican frontrunner. Behind the scenes, the National GOP is quietly paving the way for his expected close race.

Along with the promise of extra support and funding in CD1, the National organization has also pushed Arizona Republicans behind the scenes to pass election law changes that eliminate competition and destroy third parties in Arizona. These changes were recently signed into law by Governor Brewer.

According to, Kwasman makes no effort to hide his strategy to use these new election changes to his advantage. If what they say is true, he clearly expresses that he has no trouble trampling anybody who gets in the way of his desired victory:

“To underscore the political ramifications of HB 2305 and its effect on minor-party candidates, Pierce said an angry state Rep. Adam Kwasman, R-Oro Valley, confronted him after the bill failed. Kwasman said he needed it to pass because he plans to run in CD1 next year, Pierce said.

Kwasman did not return a call seeking comment.”

I don’t trust AZCentral or Steve Pierce so I will leave a little bit of room for Adam Kwasman to explain himself and deny this. Kwasman has thrown up several red flags already (worked for the RAND Corporation etc.) but this one, if true, is unforgivable.

As I have reported in the past, Republicans still blame Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters for Jonathan Paton’s loss to Ann Kirkpatrick in the last election cycle. They say the Libertarian candidate robbed them of their votes. There are a lot of entitlement mentality Republican crybabies who actually think that they own your vote. These politicians believe you’re too stupid to check the right box so they should do it for you by deleting those distracting other options.

My post here will not make me any friends in the Republican party (it will probably make me quite a few enemies) but I believe in integrity and fighting for what’s right above all else.

If Kwasman really is banking on these changes to the law to help him win then he will never have my support.


Arizona State Rep. Adam Kwasman

Arizona voter registration 3.2 million

Phoenix, AZ – The latest voter registration figures have been released and according to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Arizona has 3,218,450 registered voters, a decrease of 2,683 since the last report in January.

Of the state’s 3.2 million voters, 1,139,469 are Republicans, 977,217 are Democrats and 1,072,513 have either registered with independent parties or not designated a party preference.

Libertarians make up a little less than one percent of the state’s total registration with 23,877, while 5,108 voters are currently registered as members of the Green Party. Additionally, the Americans Elect Party has enrolled 266 voters since joining the state’s other recognized political parties in 2011.

“Important choices lie ahead,” said Secretary Bennett. “Whether citizens are registering for the first time or have just re-registered, they have taken the first step toward exercising one of our most fundamental rights. The right to vote.”

The latest voter registration figures compiled by county, congressional district and legislative district are available on the Secretary of State’s website, or by calling 1-877-THE-VOTE.