State Capitol News
6:10 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Sovereignty Initiative Fails to Make Ballot

The proposal by Jack Biltis would have allowed legislators or voters themselves to override any federal laws and mandates they believe infringe on states' rights.

The owner of TAG Employer Services, he put about a million dollar of his own money into collecting about 320,000 signatures. But the verification process showed the effort fell short of the nearly 260,000 required. Biltis told Arizona Public Radio that, unlike the backers of the Open Primary initiative who would up in the same situation, he does not intend to sue.

"We could have gone the court route," Biltis said. "But we didn't really want to run everyone through that. We thought that if we rightfully qualify, we rightfully qualify. If we don't, we don't."

One of Biltis' main targets is the federal Affordable Care Act, informally known as ObamaCare. Biltis maintains the plan is unconstitutional despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. And he brushed aside a question of whether that million dollars could have been better used to elect candidates who share his views.

"I don't consider it an either-or situation, Biltis added. "I believe that the best hope for the country is to bring back the cause of federalism, bring back states' rights and have the states act as a natural check and balance against the federal government."

Biltis said he will try again in 2014, this time starting earlier to gather signatures before the deadline.