It's painful to watch.
Two equally committed supporters of public education will end up voting differently on Prop 123 and each will cast their vote with deep misgivings about it. It really is a lose-lose choice. If you vote "yes", you are in favor of cash for kids now at the potential cost of cutting into the principal of the state land trust several years from now. If you vote "no", you postpone, perhaps indefinitely, much needed funds for K-12 but you make a principled statement namely that the legislature should do the right thing.
Yesterday I blogged about the negative views of previous state treasurers. Today, in this blog, Linda Lyon defends a "yes" vote on 123. The thing about voting "yes" on Prop 123 is that you have to believe, as Linda does, that Prop 123 is just a first step toward a larger solution in the long haul. That will happen, as she says, if we vote in a very different legislature and different governor.
Tim Steller weighs in, again, in his column this morning on how cash and conscience might play a role in the special election on Prop 123.
... Gov. Doug Ducey and the state’s power structure are behind the ballot measure. Led by the Paradise Valley-Scottsdale crowd, contributors have given $3.7 million to the “yes” campaign. The “no” campaign reported receiving $617 at the last deadline, though that figure has since reached $4,000 to $5,000, chairman Morgan Abraham told me.
And yet, there’s life in the “no” campaign. On Thursday, former Congressman Ron Barber became one of the more high-profile Arizonans to come out in opposition to the proposition.
“It is my belief Prop. 123 will do far more harm than good,” Barber said in a video. “The issues I have with Prop. 123 include numerous triggers that will allow the Legislature to keep money from public education, the fact that it changes our constitution, and the real concern that it depletes our state land trust by eating into the principal.”
I’ve come out in grudging favor of the proposition, which would resolve a lawsuit over school funding against the state Legislature and allow some additional spending for next school year. I think it’s the best we can expect from our current elected officials, and we need to change them if we want better.
But there is certainly merit in the arguments against, arguments that are embraced by many Republicans as well as Democrats. And the more people come out against the measure, the more it opens the door for others to have the political courage to do the same.
If you are one of those emboldened by the "no on Prop 123" arguments, remember that however you vote, there will be consequences for public education. One will be political gain by Ducey. If Prop 123 fails in the special election he will take credit for having tried to do something for education and will point to the unwillingness of the electorate to do more.
Before you vote, read Linda Lyon's post in this blog.
Like I said - it's painful to watch.