Loyal to the democratic process? You may want to vote in a Bar election before it closes Wednesday afternoon. I voted sticker dog

Loyal to the democratic process? You may want to vote in a Bar election before it closes Wednesday afternoon.

[Note: This post was corrected to indicate that voting is done not on the State Bar website but via a link and credentials emailed directly to each affected Arizona attorney.]

Many of you may have done your civic duty and voted on some high-profile statewide propositions. But did you know that if you are an Arizona-admitted attorney in certain counties, you should be voting in another election too—one that determines who will sit on the State Bar Board of Governors?

And that online election closes at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAs the State Bar says:

“An election will be held this year to elect one member each from District 1 (Apache, Coconino, Mohave, and Navajo Counties), District 3 (Gila, Graham, and Greenlee Counties), District 4 (Cochise County), and District 7 (La Paz and Yuma Counties). Three members from District 5 (Pima and Santa Cruz Counties) will also be elected. Each elected member will serve a three-year term starting this June.”

So, yes, there are some contested elections. You can read how the candidates described themselves and their values here in Arizona Attorney Magazine.

And for even more functionality in reading about and seeing the candidates, go to the Bar’s user-friendly website here.

Finally, in order to cast your ballot, see the email sent directly to you from State Bar CEO John Phelps. That email contains a link to the ballot and your specific credentials to do so.

(Click to enlarge the images below.)

A voter speaks ... and urges an indiscriminate no vote on all judges.

A voter speaks … and urges an indiscriminate no vote on all judges.

Much effort has been expended by many folks—including the State Bar of Arizona—to get voters in state elections to “finish the ballot.” The notion is that many people care deeply about the “top races,” but fatigue sets in as they move down their ballot and reach the judges.

I wrote about the issue here.

So what an unpleasant surprise this weekend to see a bumper-sticker in Phoenix that urged voters to do the same—but not in an informed way. Instead, the placard (depicted above) recommends that everyone vote no on all the judges all the time.

Always Vote No On Judges: It only gets worse close up.

Always Vote No On Judges: It only gets worse close up.

Somehow, I don’t think the indiscriminate and uneducated wielding of the no vote is what our nation’s founders had in mind. But that’s what we face, more and more.

Have a good week.

Denis Fitzgibbons is the new Pinal County representative on the State Bar Board of Governors, May 2015.

Denis Fitzgibbons is the new Pinal County representative on the State Bar Board of Governors, May 2015.

I previously told you about a unique election occurring for the Pinal County representative on the State Bar Board. Today, I share the result.

After one candidate used his campaign space to tout the abilities of his opponent, the conclusion is probably no surprise.

Besides announcing that Denis M. Fitzgibbons has been elected as a Bar Governor, the Bar also shared the name of the new Young Lawyers Division representative: Tyler Carrell.

Tyler Carrell, YLD representative to the State Bar of Arizona, May 2015.

Tyler Carrell, YLD representative to the State Bar of Arizona, May 2015.

You can read the Bar’s complete release here.

Congratulations to both attorneys.

You think elections have gotten personal? In Arizona, one candidate wields the wooden stake. (Happy Halloween!)

You think elections have gotten personal? In Arizona, one candidate wields the wooden stake. (Happy Halloween!)

Today is the Change of Venue Friday that precedes Election Day. And it’s also Halloween. So I am going to take a few scary risks: (1) This post could sway a major Arizona election, and (2) After reading this, your Halloween—and government—may be even more frightening than you had expected.

AZ Mine Inspector logo

The state race I’m discussing drills down to the core of who we are as residents of a Western state. Of course, I refer to the Arizona Mine Inspector race.

I must declare a conflict right away, as our own 18-year-old daughter has declared her own intent—just to her family and a few friends—of being a write-in candidate for this very race. With no actual mining experience or education, I do not expect her to prevail. #prouddad. But duly disclosed.

The pitched battle for Mine Inspector is being waged to unseat incumbent Joe Hart, who has been in the position since 2007. Here is some background on Hart from the official state page. And if that’s not enough, here is a Wikipedia page about him. (Yes, there is a Wikipedia page for Arizona’s Mine Inspector; if you don’t have your own page yet, you’re clearly not trying very hard.)

But what has been a sleepy and relatively uncontested race has been changed this year by a write-in candidate committed to … ridding Arizona’s mines of vampires.

Ian Kobe is the fellow’s name, and his campaign may make you chuckle and creep you out all at the same time. You can see more about his wooden stake-based campaign on his Facebook page.

Here are a few images/status posts from his page:

 

Ian Kobe State Mine Inspector 2

Ian Kobe State Mine Inspector 3 Facebook post

Ian Kobe State Mine Inspector 1 skull and crossbonesI must add that I’ve been surprised at the small (or no) coverage given to this unique approach to mine safety (which, let’s admit, is a pretty good fake and comic campaign). But it seems that Kobe has cornered the market on Dracula-free tunnels.

Have a great—and oh-so-frightening—weekend.

State Bar of Arizona Officers, 2014-15: (L to R): Alex Vakula, Bryan Chambers, Richard Platt, Lisa Loo, Geoffrey Trachtenberg

State Bar of Arizona Officers, 2014-15: (L to R): Alex Vakula, Bryan Chambers, Richard Platt, Lisa Loo, Geoffrey Trachtenberg

At its regular annual meeting at the State Bar Convention this afternoon, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors confirmed its slate of officers for the coming year. The new roster includes the newest officer, Secretary/Treasurer Geoffrey Trachtenberg, elected today:

  • President: Richard T. Platt
  • President-Elect: Bryan B. Chambers
  • First Vice President: Lisa Loo
  • Second Vice President: Alex Vakula
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Geoffrey Trachtenberg

Following board bylaws, the new slate of officers assume their positions at the close of the annual meeting.

Follow more news via this Convention Daily and on Twitter, hashtag #azbarcon

The new Board of the State Bar of Arizona, June 10, 2014, Westin La Paloma, Tucson

The new Board of the State Bar of Arizona, June 10, 2014, Westin La Paloma, Tucson

State Bar of AZ newsboy election results

Late Friday, results were announced from what had to be one of the most-contested elections of the State Bar board in decades. Fueling the interest was a recent dues increase passed by the board (more information is here).

To read the complete results of the election, go here (as the Bar says, the results still must be certified by the board at its June 10 meeting).

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAnd this all caused me to wonder:

  • Did you find yourself more engaged than in the past with a board election? If so, why? (or why not)
  • Do the past year’s events (including the election results) lead you to want to be more engaged, less engaged, or about as engaged as you’ve always been?

Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

legislative maps arizona

Like to draw? Get along well with others? Apply by June 10.

Looking for a unique opportunity to influence public policy in a state you care about?

On this Change of Venue Friday, I point you toward the fact that a new Redistricting Commissioner is being sought. There are a variety of qualifications to meet, and your deadline is Monday, June 10.

Below, I have included the language describing the position and including a link to the application.

If you read the newspaper, you know that the job is not without its, um, challenges, shall we say. The opening was created by the resignation of the Vice Chair. You could read more about that here.

Still interested, aren’t you? That’s what I like about attorneys: the dogged commitment to effective public policy!

Here’s the detail. Have a great weekend.

“Applications are currently being accepted by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments for a vacancy on the Independent Redistricting Commission, which is charged with mapping Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts. This vacancy was created by the resignation of Commission Vice Chair Jose M. Herrera.”

“Residents of all Arizona counties are eligible to apply. To be eligible, applicants must be registered Arizona voters who have been continuously registered with the Democratic Party for the last three years. People who have held or run for a public office (other than a school board), served as an officer of a political party or a candidate’s campaign committee, or worked as a registered paid lobbyist during the past three years are not eligible.”

Application forms are available here, by calling (602) 452-3311, or at 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ.”

“Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 10, 2013.”

“Redistricting Commission members are barred from seeking or holding any public office in Arizona or for registration as a paid lobbyist during their term on the commission and for three years following.”

“The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review the applications and nominate a pool of three candidates. Representative Chad Campbell, Minority Leader in the Arizona House of Representatives, will appoint the new member of the Redistricting Commission.”

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