Political Notebook: Prop. 205 supporters file lawsuit against city over memo

Tucson resident Dan Winright shows off an anti-impeachment sign to drivers on Swan Road during a “Stop the Madness” ant-impeachment rally outside Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick’s office at 1636 North Swan Road Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 8, 2019. “[Tucson] used to be a nice town till the Democrats took over,” Winright said.
/Josh Galemore / Arizona Daily Star

By Joe Ferguson | Arizona Daily Star reporter

The backers of the “sanctuary city” initiative are taking the city of Tucson to court, arguing city leaders are trying to influence voters on the issue.

The lawsuit was filed just days after a six-page memo with the subject line “Prop. 205 Q & A” was sent out by various city officials. It answers nine questions related to the ballot initiative known as Prop. 205 signed by City Manager Mike Ortega, City Attorney Mike Rankin and Police Chief Chris Magnus.

The memo details how the measure, if passed, would affect the city, including federal funding and police activities.

The backers of the “Tucson Families Free & Together” measure, the People’s Defense Initiative, argued in a recent filing with Pima County Superior Court that the memo, along with several other instances where city staffers violate a section of state law that forbids using its “resources … or any other thing of value of the city or town, for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections.”

The lawsuit names Ortega, Rankin and Magnus, but also singles out City Councilman Steve Kozachik.

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