AZ legislature fails to remove invalid statutes from its ARS web page

“Because the [right] to rule is rather the appearance of justice rather than justice itself, the appearance of injustice defeats every [right] to rule.”[1]

While the SB 1454/HB 2371 redux bills SB 1482 and HB 2695 appear to be dead this session, there is still no bill to repeal the amended statutes in Sess. L. Ch. 254 (2013);[2] those declared unconstitutional and invalid by the Arizona court, and agreed to in a settlement agreement with the Arizona Legislature.[3] The Legislature is intentionally misleading the public as to the legitimacy of the Arizona Revised Statutes in what appears to be a slap at the separation of powers doctrine – we will ignore the ruling of the court.

The following was sent to the Arizona legislative leaders (March 19, 2014 email).

“Dear Legislators,

 “I cannot understand why the SB 1454 statutes declared invalid, and agreed to in a settlement agreement, are not being repealed?  ARS show them as valid laws, without any annotation, which misrepresents their validity to the public.

 “I cannot understand why the HOA HB 2371 redux bills this year, HB 2695 and SB 1482, provide for their repeal contingent on the passing of these omnibus bills?  There is no ‘standalone’ bill to set the record straight.   These invalid statutes cannot remain on the books for another year!”

 

The following was sent to Secretary of State Bennett.  (March 21, 2014 SOS form).

 “Sess. Laws Ch. 254 (2013) was declared unconstitutional in court and certain statutes were found to be invalid. See Staropoli v. State of AZ, CV2013-009991.  An agreement with the AG representing the Legislature was signed and accepted by the court.

“Yet Ch. 254 shows the invalid statutes and there is no annotation that certain statutes are invalid. THIS MISLEADS THE GENERAL PUBLIC!

 “I believe Session Laws and ARS must be corrected to reflect the true status of the statutes.”

 

In HOA SB 1454 progeny: passing SB 1482/HB 2695 would be an act of tyranny by the AZ Legislature (February 25, 2014), I wrote:

“No choice to repeal statutes found unconstitutional

“These statutes were declared unconstitutional by agreement with the AG, representing the Legislature, and an order by the court accepting the settlement agreement.  However, the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) still shows these statutes as if they were valid and enforceable laws, which is deceptive to the public accessing the official Legislature’s website, ALIS. There are no annotations to advise the public otherwise.

“The repeal of these unconstitutional statutes is conditioned upon bill approval. A failure to pass both bills will still leave these statutes on the books. There is no stand-alone bill that repeals these unconstitutional statutes as would be expected by a legitimate legislature acting with integrity as representatives of the people, and not as representatives of the special interests. Apparently the defiant eight-hundred pound gorilla, the special interest HOA stakeholders (CAI, AAR, AACM and AHBA),  has flexed its muscle, and the sponsors have reacted accordingly.”

This is incredulous! It is unthinkable that legislative leaders would succumb to the shadow government of the HOA stakeholder special interests, and openly mislead and misinform the public! Furthermore, after being given sufficient notice, the failure to correct ARS can only be viewed as intentional.

What other rational explanation can there be? Perhaps the participating legislator – special interest organization ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) was involved? People for the American Way[4] describes ALEC as,

The American Legislative Exchange Council, is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify and cultivate friendly state legislators and then work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced and passed.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, serves as a voice for corporate special interests in state legislatures across the country. Its corporate executives, lawyers and lobbyists, along with member legislators, draft, lobby for, and secure passage of a wide array of bills designed to promote corporate interests.

For more information about ALEC see United States of ALEC. (Bill Moyers 30 minute video in 2012 on ALEC. AZ is right up front.)

References

[1] W. B. Allen, “Machiavelli and Modernity,” The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli, p. 108.

[2] http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/51leg/1R/laws/0254.htm&Session_ID=110.

[3] http://pvtgov.org/pvtgov/downloads/order-final.pdf.

[4] http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/alec-arizona-voice-corporate-special-interests-halls-arizonas-legislature.

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It is easily possible to create alternative sub sites that will appear google searches by bill or ARS citations, and websites that will embarrass the legislature. For example ARS700.mywebsite.com will get top billing on a search for ARS700. By posting the available information with documents your argument becomes a mosquito with constant drone. I see no reason why a site with corrective references cannot be “unofficially” created under the anti-SLAPP laws as well (just don’t allow any commercial presence). Finally, you can notify westlaw (and others) and make your case for annotation or footnote. The web is far more powerful than any government if used responsibly, and some companies who are in the business of accurate information are commercially obliged to consider the truth of a matter.

    As a practical matter websites comparing the law of different jurisdictions on a specific subject are in the public interest, and it is almost obligatory to support comparison with commentary.

    Finally, there may be (I’ve never looked) some Federal rule related to the proper operation of the legislature and its proper publication of law.

    If all of that fails, I’m sure you will find a treaty to which we are a party that would allow you to make a claim with the United Nations against Arizona. Such a complaint could cost the legislature a lot of money and I would not want to be the AG or the reps who were involved. These things stick like mud to a political career.

    The real problem is the press is failing society. They are simply too unfamiliar with the law, history, and principle to be effective. On the other hand, as Matt Drudge has proven, it does not take much to influence the establishment.

  2. […] [2] See in general: A lesson in HOA reforms and power politics in AZ; AZ legislature fails to remove invalid statutes from its ARS web page. […]

  3. From: dm h (dmholmes5@webtv.net)

    This sender is in your contact list.

    Sent: Mon 4/07/14 4:50 PM To: gronberg@heraldsun.com (gronberg@heraldsun.com); doug (dmholmes@webtv.net)

    I would be in favor of legislation to stop HOAs and local governments from passing rules, regulations, and ordinances to prevent an owner from maintaining his/her property any way he/she sees fit. This would restore personal freedom in an area where it has been chipped away. Nothing under the guise of “public safety” or “beautification” would trump it. There’s nothing ugly about a vacant lot. Must everything be “developed”? We’re not the only creatures on earth that need habitat! Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 23:37:16 +0000 To: dmholmes@webtv.net

  4. Special interest groups have pretty much taken over the Arizona State Capital. Our current “lawmakers” seem to have no ethics, no morals and no scruples.

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if ALEC had something to do with this conspiracy. Our Arizona legislators snub the feds, and now seem to be telling the judiciary too go fly a kite.

    These invalid statutes should have been removed from the books the second the “stipulated agreement” was signed.

  5. “It is unthinkable that legislative leaders would succumb to the shadow government of the HOA stakeholder special interests, and openly mislead and misinform the public! “

    How long have you been doing this? I think most of your readers find nothing “unthinkable” about it, and would actually be surprised if this wasn’t happening.

    “Perhaps the participating legislator – special interest organization ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) was involved?”

    Do you have any evidence that ALEC was involved, or is this just speculation? I wouldn’t be surpised if they were, but I’m just wondering.

    • As I wrote, “What other rational explanation can there be?” ALEC looks like a good area to investigate. While CAI apparently has adopted the same approach as ALEC, I don’t think it has the clout to cause the legislature to thumb its nose at the judiciary and the people.

  6. […]  See AZ legislature fails to remove invalid statutes from its ARS web page […]


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