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Bender quoted in ‘Arizona Capitol Times’
Bender quoted in 'Arizona Capitol Times'
Professor Paul Bender
Professor Paul Bender weighed in on an article in the June 13 issue of the
Arizona Capitol Times
about whether government should play a role in the ballot initiative process.
In May, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced $42.6 billion in state transportation improvements would be paid for by the TIME initiative's proposed one-cent sales tax increase. Gov. Janet Napolitano, a key TIME supporter whose office helped draft the initiative, has defended the use of ADOT's Statewide Strategic Investment Strategy by the TIME committee.
In the article, "Napolitano, ADOT and TIME: Three's a crowd?," Bender told reporter Christian Palmer that governors or government agencies generally are expected to go to the Legislature to achieve a desired policy. However, an agency might be entitled to support a ballot initiative, providing its employees avoid actively promoting it, Bender said.
A citizens' group may use a public-policy agenda created with government resources, but government employees could not help draft a citizens' ballot initiative, he said.
"If somebody in the Governor's Office sat down and drafted the initiative and handed it to a bunch of citizens and said, `Hey, you're going to like this, so why don't you get a committee together to get this on the ballot;' I think that is crossing the line," Bender said.