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Proposition 203 and the blind eye of the Arizona judiciary(revised - 2nd edition)

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Cigarette taxes in Arizona and the unjustness of proposition 203 which passed in 2006

(2nd edition - January 2007) by A.O. Kime
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Proposition 203 and the blind eye of the Arizona judiciary
by A.O. Kime

While much can be said about the egregious nature of tobacco taxes and smoking regulations across America… we already have, and extensively. These taxes and regulations are fundamentally wrong for several reasons and their orchestration brimful of deceitfulness. It is of a madness not seen since the Salem witch hunts in 1692.

In order to fully appreciate the degree of injustice and the extent of deceptions - of historic proportions and dangerously audacious - first read our overview and in-depth analysis which would apply to most states including Arizona.

A review of Arizona's audacious proposition 203

Updated January 7, 2007

While the dust may not have settled over Proposition 203 just yet, specifically because of the possible legal challenges to the legal opinions of Terry Goddard (Arizona's Attorney General), angry smokers are beginning to kick-up more than just a little dust. On the horizon lurks an ominous storm. While this would seem a slow reaction to an injustice, being it has been some 60 days since the election; opposition often takes awhile to solidify. People first like to know the extent and degree their disgust is shared.

Meanwhile, the State of Arizona has turned a blind eye to the injustice of proposition 203.

Unbeknownst to the State of Arizona it seems, smokers are also citizens who, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and federal law are entitled to equal treatment. Smokers should not be the whipping boy for la-la-land do-gooders or majority rule. Of greatest concern however is majority rule... that which caused the tax hike of 80 cents for a pack of cigarettes. It is a deplorable situation. If proposition 203 is allowed to stand, or similar propositions, then all minorities are in danger. It need not be a racial distinction… any group, profession or religion could be targeted.

The following WAS an excerpt from "Majority Rule, Minority Rights" on the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs website... but since moved or deleted:

Minorities -- whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate -- enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.

As to the legal challenges to proposition 203… by now every Arizonan has heard about the decimal point snafu. The ballot stated the tax hike would be 8/10 of one cent… not 80 cents as its backers claim, although Terry Goddard deemed it to be the latter. Since some voters were surely misled, purportedly the tobacco companies are looking for an Arizona attorney to challenge Goddard's ruling.

Quick facts concerning Arizona’s proposition 203:

While the Arizona Constitution* bars the legislature and governor from changing approved ballot measures, but because a proposition can infringe upon the rights of a minority… it is imperative it be amended whereby no group can be targeted. Majority rule is fundamentally wrong since it seldom reflects justice... except do-gooders don’t know it because of their fairyland mentality.

From the Arizona Daily Star article "Mrs. Basha wants 80 cents tobacco tax for kids”, this excerpt:

“Mathis Basha acknowledged she chose the tobacco tax for political reasons: It raises the right amount of money and "this is what we know will pass." Campaign consultant Steve Roman said other options, like higher sales or income taxes, did not poll as well.”

Since Mrs. Basha is also a member of the state Board of Education, her attitude should be surprising. After all, she should have known what scholars have known for centuries… majority rule is often inequitable and why it is often referred to as the ‘tyranny of majority rule’. Clearly, she should have known proposition 203 was discriminatory. Whether she was also victimized by advocacy science (external link) is another matter.

Our Board of Education should find people more educated and more committed to minority rights. After all, board members influence what teachers teach and by example she has demonstrated equality doesn’t matter. Justice is the most important thing one generation can pass to the next.

The following is an excerpt from Conflict and Interaction (external website) by Joseph P. Folger, Marshall Scott Poole, and Randall Stutman of the Conflict Research Consortium (summary written by Mariya Yevsyukova):

Destructive conflicts often seek the defeat of one another. They tend to have a win-lose orientation. The authors caution that the use of voting to settle conflicts can trigger a win-lose mentality, and so may promote destructive conflict.

In response to the article in the Star’s comment page the following are a few excerpts on what smokers are saying...

“What happens to their undefined programs funded with their hate tax when the money doesn't materialize?”

“It's time for we smokers to join forces and let our voices be heard and I don't mean by a proposition, we should form a smokers group and make all kinds of noise about this new tax “

“Nadine Basha is an incorrigible busybody and do-gooder, a grinch who always knows what's good for the rest of us.”

“Oh, by the way, does Basha's sell cigarettes?”

“If it's a sin tax then it’s a tax based on the religious beliefs of one group to tax those of another group.”

“I pay no taxes on cigs, just a $3.90 duty, which makes a carton cost about $21, in Naco.”

“Jerry, you left out that this huge but unorganized group contains many members who can't be bothered with voting. All those working class people who didn't bother going to the polls were the ones who assured that the tax would pass.”

“For the record, I voted against the $.80 tax. I disagree with the principle of sin taxes.”

“The really frightening thing is that people don't realize that once they start chipping away at certain groups rights, someday it will be their turn next.”

“Mrs Basha has perhaps replaced GW Bush as my least favorite person in America.”

“An 82 cents a pack differential should just about do the trick for most people to go find the nearest on-res tobacco store and buy by the carton.”

“Before I quit in 85 or 86 I was rolling my own and saving a lot of money at the time. Have the tax nazis covered that loophole now?”

“This one is easy.. buy a carton in Mexico once a month $15, might as well pick up some tequila while you're there.”

“What really irritates me now more than ever are the endless advertisements on television telling people of the dangers of smoking, but there is NOT an equivalent level of advertising informing people of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption?”

“Again, when we all buy our cigarettes from reservations out of state, what will they tax to support these programs AZ cigarette taxes are supporting?”

“Here is an idea, everybody quit smoking and drinking and just let the state government founder.”

“Impose the tax on alcohol and see who starts screaming loudest. Betcha it will be all these non smoking alcoholics.”

“The recent proposition to ban smoking in bars didn't make much sense to me either. I can understand banning it everywhere else, but protecting drinkers from secondhand smoke is too much.”

“I've tried to quit smoking and I'll be trying again, it's like a ball and chain that goes everywhere with me. It's a very difficult thing to do and my problem with quitting is that I haven't had any health problems and I enjoy it very much. But one thing I know, increasing the price with more taxes doesn't make any difference in the amount I smoke or make me want to quit. Instead, it has me looking at alternate sources for getting my smokes.”

“I switched to Little Cigars over a year ago from the reservation, $12.50 a carton or $1.50 a pack. I hardly notice the difference.”

“If anyone should be getting this tax money it's the smokers. Have you seen the price of treatment centers to stop our addiction, I mean the real cures not some Drug store 15 plan at $45.”

For a guest article by Jay Werbinox Taylor… see Health Nazis

* ARIZONA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE IV. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
PART 1. INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM

(6) (A) [Veto of initiative or referendum] The veto power of the governor shall not extend to an initiative measure approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon or to a referendum measure decided by a majority of the votes cast thereon.

(6) (B) [Legislature's power to repeal initiative or referendum] The legislature shall not have the power to repeal an initiative measure approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon or to repeal a referendum measure decided by a majority of the votes cast thereon.

If there are no other means in which to protect the rights of a minority from majority rule, then it is imperative (6a) & (6b) be amended to read that if an initiative or referendum violates the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights or federal law, then (6a) & (6b) shall have no effect. As it is, (6a) & (6b) does not take into account these cherished documents or federal law. As it is, (6a) & (6b) outlaws the ability to stop a voter-approved yet discriminatory initiative from becoming law... and proposition 203 is clearly discriminatory.

So, the question remains... will the State of Arizona voluntarily correct the matter or will it wait until forced to do so by the federal government? Time will tell Arizona's dedication to equal rights. In the meantime, there seems several legal avenues open and some countermeasures could prove ingenious. If the State of Arizona won't neuter Proposition 203, then, at least, we smokers will.

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Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2007)
A.O. Kime is the author of two books plus 70+ articles on ancient history,
spiritual phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which
can be seen at http://www.matrixbookstore.biz
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Last modified: 03/07/16