Goose and gander: Firm charges lawmakers hourly rate to gather signatures

By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times

A handful of incumbent Arizona legislators aren’t happy that the most prolific signature-gathering firm in the state is treating them the way they treat citizens who propose or challenge laws via the ballot.

Andrew Chavez, the owner of Petition Partners, said he’s holding accountable GOP lawmakers who voted for HB 2404, a measure approved in April that ended the practice of paying circulators per signature for statewide ballot initiatives and referendums. The law, approved on party line votes by Republicans who claimed it would stamp out signature-gathering fraud, does not apply to lawmakers, some of whom pay to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot every two years.

That didn’t sit well with Chavez, who’s now using his prerogative as a business owner to deny legislators the option to pay per signature.

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