Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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Church State Issues

Marge Thornton is right. Government is controlled by special interest groups

Mar 15, 2014

Arizona Republic

Marge Thornton is right. Government is controlled by less then 1 percent of the population.

Roughly half the population are children, which means only 50 percent of us can vote and thus 25 percent of the population plus one is all it takes to pass a law.

Only half the people eligible to vote, actually register to vote, which means only 25 percent of us are registered voters and thus 12.5 percent of the population plus one is all it takes to pass a law if every registered voter actually showed up at the polls and voted.

In a typical election, only 5 percent of the registered voters actually show up and vote, which means only 1.25 percent of us actually vote in a typical election and thus a measly .625 percent of the population plus one is all it takes to pass a law.

Last but not least government bureaucrats frequently have a financial interest in the out come of elections and thus show up and vote because it means money in their wallet.

The city of Phoenix has about 3,000 or 3,500 police officers. Whenever the city of Phoenix has items on the ballot which will create more jobs or more income for these cops, I suspect they all show up and vote, because if the vote passes it will mean more money in their wallets.

And when a measly 5 percent of the registered voters, actually go to the poles and vote, the 3,000 to 3,500 Phoenix cops can swing the election if a large number of them show up and vote.

A different, powerful 1 percent

Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:52 PM

Thank you very much for publishing Michael J. O’Neil’s very informative column in Viewpoints Sunday, “An explanation for SB 1062 and Legislature’s crazy priorities.” What a public service it is for us to understand why the Legislature does not reflect public attitudes.

O’Neil’s explanation of how only 1 percent of registered voters (35,500) can control the legislative agenda is important for us all to know. The fact that in Arizona there are so many “safe” districts in which the candidate is chosen in the primary and that many fewer people vote in the primary clarifies how this can happen in our democracy.

— Marge Thornton, Tempe