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Push for Open Primary Election Under Way Again in Arizona

Posted by Caitlin Kelly on July 02, 2015 at 3:05 PM

This article was published by Zachary Ziegler in the Arizona Public Media. 

Another push is under way for open primary elections in Arizona, with plans to put it before voters in 2016.

Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson

Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson is heading a campaign that would put all candidates on one ballot for primary elections, regardless of party.The two candidates receiving the most votes would face off in the general election.

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Paul Johnson: Should you be required to join a party to vote?

Posted by Kellie Ryan on July 02, 2015 at 12:12 PM

This editorial was published by Paul Johnson in the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent

President George Washington warned us about parties: “The common mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Washington and the founders believed that wise leaders focused on the public interest are most likely to appear if they avoid the divisiveness of “faction” created by political parties.

To any wise person, it is clear that we have moved far away from the ideal framed by our founders.

Today, political parties are not just the most visible players in our democracy, they write the rules, control the process and decide who can participate and who cannot.

And the public is not happy. Poll after poll reports the American people want elected officials to act in the public interest, not in their party’s interest.

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Former mayor: This partisan system is destined to fail

Posted by Kellie Ryan on June 24, 2015 at 2:17 PM

This article was originally published by Paul Johnson in the Arizona Republic.

My Turn: Our political system needs to cater to the needs of every American — not the parties to whom they may belong.

After the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, "What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Franklin's response is as true today as it was over 200 years ago. Our republic is always at risk.

Self-governance disappeared after the fall of the Roman Republic. It did not reappear again until 1776 when a small group of men declared, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

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