Re: the Feb. 11 column "Who needs ballot initiatives? We have a Legislature."
Jonathan Hoffman's recent Op Ed piece on why Arizona voters don't need ballot initiatives because "we have a legislature" seems remarkably naïve. Ballot initiatives have been a constitutionally protected form of legislative oversight in Arizona since statehood. While imperfect, for over a century initiatives have served a useful and necessary check against legislative hubris, abuse or inaction.
Similarly, Mr. Hoffman's platitude that "a legislator will hear from all sides of an issue, then, hopefully, take a few calming breaths and think it through" presumes the representative will give the issue a fair hearing. One need look no further than HB 2586, which if passed would amend Arizona’s anti-discrimination laws to make it illegal to fire someone from a job because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Except HB 2586 likely will die in the Judiciary Committee because Chairman Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, says he “disagrees” with the proposal. Is this the “representative government” to which Mr. Hoffman refers?
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.