Journalists’ Roundtable: 02-26-21: AZ Senate vs. Maricopa County, Gowan holds election bill, Push to boost jobless benefits, Legislature vs. Corporate commission

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This weeks Journalists’ Roundtable will discuss the senate’s battle with the county over ballot information, a push to increase Arizona’s jobless benefits and the legislature’s effort to control the Arizona Corporation Commission with Laurie Roberts from The Arizona Republic and Howie Fischer of Arizona Capitol Services.

This weeks Journalists’ Roundtable covered:

  • AZ Senate vs. Maricopa County
  • Gowan Holds Election Bill
  • Push to Boost Jobless Benefits
  • Legislature vs. Corporation Commission

AZ Senate vs. Maricopa County

Laurie Roberts: “Absolutely good enough, they have broad powers this is an issue a matter of public interest. It’s a very interesting ruling, he shot down The county every chance he got, but he also took a little slap at the senate as well saying it’s sort of sad and unreasonable that it got to the point of these two squabbling county and State entities we’re fighting each other and threatening  you know threats and the name calling and all of that, but in the end he said I have a narrow focus here on the law and not the politics and the Senate certainly has a right to investigate The election.”

Howie Fischer: “And what’s most significantly about the ruling is there’s been this suspicion probably boiling suspicion all along that the whole purpose of the subpoenas that started last December was really to help out Trump in an effort to overturn the election results here in Arizona, I mean it was very clear even Kelly Ward said once the Senate gets this stuff they’re gonna turn it over to Rudy Giuliani he’s going to use it to deny Biden the 11 electoral votes and the judge said well even assuming that’s true The fact is it serves a valid legislative purpose, they have the right to oversee state laws and he said at this point look it’s February nobody’s going to overturn the election So it really is moved at this point.”

Gowan Holds Election Bill

Laurie Roberts: “Right, he’s saying that Um, ultimately the legislature has The constitutional Authority this is what his thinking is, legislature has the constitutional authority to determine the manner in which presidential elections are chosen. Well in 1956, the Arizona legislature said The way we are going to choose our electors is we’re gonna go buy a popular vote whoever the voters choose is there presidential candidate that’s the person who gets the electors. Now he had this proposal and SCR which means it would go onto the ballot to propose they take that power back so you and I would still be able to vote for a presidential candidate but if the Arizona legislature disagreed with our selection as a state they would um have the right to override that, so In other words do whatever you want but in the end if you choose somebody we don’t want to be president we have the right to veto your vote.”

Howie Fischer: “ And what’s fascinating about this is, is the reason it had to go to the ballot is as you pointed out Laurie it’s the statutory authority of about who gets the vote but what they need is a change in the constitution to allow the legislature to come in immediately after the election, now here’s The fascinating part it would have to go to the voters in 2022 and as a couple of people pointed out to lawmakers Okay Great put this on the ballot put yourself on record saying you know better than the voters and not only will take care of that measure we’ll take care of you also. And I think that’s what ended up leading to David Gawon saying ahh maybe I really don’t want to push this.”



Laurie Roberts- Arizona Republic
Howie Fischer- Arizona Capitol Services

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