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Despite GOP lawsuit, judge's ruling seems to favor city-wide elections

The shark has just poked his head out of the waves and watched the Pima County Republican Party sail over his head on water skis. The party that refused to mount a full-fledged campaign and has called city elections "Jim Crow" oppression now wants to sue incumbents Paul Cunningham and Shirley Scott out of a job.... Read more»

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9 comments on this story

Nov 16, 2015, 11:52 am
-0 +1

Ironically, Former Councilwoman Dunbar lost her own ward in 2001 and would not have been elected under the system she is advocating.

Nov 16, 2015, 1:02 pm
-0 +1

@Tom Prezelski,

Friday, Dunbar was carrying a newspaper clipping that noted the circumstances of her election (a Blake Morlock report for the Citizen, no less), along with a clipping of a contemporaneous letter to the editor saying that she shouldn’t have been allowed to serve because she lost her ward.

Nov 16, 2015, 1:33 pm
-1 +0


The “stamp” is called franking and a copy of a court document stamped in that way is called “franked”.  It doesn’t change the legitimacy of the document; it merely proves it was accepted by a clerk of a court.  That may not even be the right clerk or the right court.  In other words, it’s just a stamp.

The rest of this meandering piece appears to ply three different themes, none of them conclusive in any way except for the final conclusion that yes—this will cost CoT to defend the lawsuit.

Judge Kozinski is awesome (except for Garcia v Google which the en banc 9th district overturned) and his analysis spot on. 

The City will have to change how it runs the nomination process.

The losers in this election are *STILL* and *ALWAYS* the losers in this election.  They cannot be made to take the job by court order.  At best they could hope to invalidate the election and have a redo of the process.

One would think if you’ve been writing about this stuff for fifteen years, perhaps somewhere in the two or three years before that you could have learned how it works.

Nov 16, 2015, 1:44 pm
-0 +1

@Mark Parity,

Blake’s point was that, absent a stamp on the document, he wasn’t positive the copy he received was the final one submitted to a court. But it’s the one that the candidates provided.

If you’ll read the companion news report, you’ll see that the document included errors, such as stating that Burkholder was the winner of the Democratic primary.

Nov 17, 2015, 3:51 pm
-0 +0

I will agree that these candidates asking for a retroactive victory under these circumstances is bizarre, to say the very least. But, can’t anyone see that this court ruling is a victory for common sense? This “hybrid” election system was devoid of all logic and reason, and no one could ever give me a good answer as to why it even existed in the first place. Either have wards or don’t have wards.

Nov 17, 2015, 4:21 pm
-1 +0

@Bret Linden - totally agree.  It makes zero sense from a fairness or constitutional point of view.

I can only imagine (in a weird gerrymandering-conspiracy sort of thing) that at some point in the past it behooved the incumbents to set it up this way to preserve their coveted office.  I have no proof of this, just a natural liking of the self-preservation political officeholders have with the utmost of disregard for their alleged constituents.

Enough big words.  It’s getting near 1700! :)

Nov 17, 2015, 7:04 pm
-0 +0

ONE T—I actually think the hybrid system was more or less okay but I see Kozinski’s logic too. A ward-only system would probably better represent the various parts of the city. I would too see them more competitive so R’s have a chance at power—is the thing. My only caveat is that we’re pretty balkanized as it stands. This is a 60-40 call to me. I see the value of citywide elections, too.

Nov 17, 2015, 8:04 pm
-0 +3

@Bret Linden,

The argument for the hybrid system is that it creates a tension between two masters that keeps members of the Council accountable. They each have to represent the interests of their wards, or they’re unlikely to be nominated. But they can’t be too parochial, or the entire city won’t vote for them in the general. So, at least in theory, it balances the need for focused representation in each ward with the interests of the city as a whole.

Nov 18, 2015, 1:52 pm
-0 +0

Set up in 1929 when the East Side was Tucson Boulevard. Tend to agree though that incumbents would prefer to select voters than the other way around.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Lawton and Burkholder announced their suit on Friday.


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