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$1.7 million raised by campaigns for and against Phoenix pension and light rail initiatives ahead of Aug. 27 special election

On August 27, Phoenix voters will decide Proposition 105 and Proposition 106 in a special election.
 
If approved, Proposition 105 would end construction of light rail extensions and redirect funds to infrastructure improvements in Phoenix. Building a Better Phoenix sponsored the initiative and argued, “Phoenix taxpayers are wasting BILLIONS on light rail expansion at the expense of other critical infrastructure. This is money that can be used to fix our streets and sidewalks, expand bus and dial-a-ride service, improve lighting and address other infrastructure improvements.” The Building a Better Phoenix committee reported $460,000 in cash contributions, $29,000 in in-kind contributions, and $394,000 in cash expenditures through August 10 (the last day covered by pre-election campaign finance reports). Top donors to the campaign were Mel Martin, Chris Hinkson, Rachel Palopoli, and Scot Mussi.
 
If approved, Proposition 106 would do the following:
  • require annual assessments of the city’s pension debt,
  • limit budget growth if pensions are not 90% funded,
  • earmark revenue over the budget limit to paying down pension debt, and
  • require city officials to reimburse the city for pension benefit employer contributions.
Responsible Budgets Inc. sponsored Proposition 106. Councilmember Sal DiCiccio (District 6) argued, “The City of Phoenix owes $4.4 BILLION on our pensions! Responsible Budgets takes the first steps to addressing Phoenix’s long term funding deficit[.]” The committee reported $197,000 in cash contributions, $101,000 in in-kind contributions, and $298,000 in cash expenditures. Top donors included Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, Morning in America, and Chuck Warren.
 
Opponents of the initiatives joined to form the Invest in PHX, No on 105 and 106 campaign. Concerning Proposition 105, the campaign argued, “Prop 105 stops all light rail construction and kills light rail plans already approved by voters three times. … It also sends billions in federal dollars to cities in other states.” Concerning Proposition 106, the campaign argued, “Prop 106 is dangerous, and would slash access to critical city services like parks, libraries, senior centers, and support for those experiencing homelessness, just as Phoenix emerges from the worst recession in generations.” The top donors to the Invest in PHX committee were Devil’s Advocate, We Build Arizona, and Greater Phoenix Leadership, Inc.
 
Both measures are citizen initiatives that required 20,510 signatures from registered city voters to qualify for the ballot. In Phoenix, initiative petition signatures must equal 15 percent of the voters who voted in the previous mayoral election.
 


Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina elections

Today’s Brew highlights Ballotpedia’s first-ever comprehensive local coverage of a state + looks ahead to the 2020 party conventions  
 The Daily BrewT
Welcome to the Monday, August 26 Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina local elections
  2. At this time next year, we will be between Democratic and Republican National Conventions
  3. Reminder: Phoenix voters will decide citizen initiatives on light rail, city pensions tomorrow

Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina local elections

There are 503 cities, towns, and villages across North Carolina holding elections for 1,900 positions this year, and for the first time ever, Ballotpedia’s sample ballot is expanding to encompass every election in a state. In addition to the municipal races, there are nine school districts holding elections for 23 school board seats and 17 special districts holding elections for 52 seats. This adds up to 529 localities holding elections for 1,975 positions in North Carolina this year.

Jurisdictions differ in how they structure their elections – there is no statewide mandated system. Local elections in North Carolina can follow four different methods during odd-numbered years:

  • In partisan elections where runoffs are possible, the primary is September 10, the primary runoff is October 8, and the general election is November 5. Primary runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 30% of the primary vote; however, the primary runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it. In 2019, only Charlotte and Sanford are following this method.
  • In nonpartisan elections where runoffs are possible, the general election is October 8 and the general runoff election is November 5. General runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 50% of the general election vote; however, the general runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it.
  • In nonpartisan elections with primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the primary is October 8 and the general election is November 5. If only two or fewer candidates file to run per seat, the primary is not held and the candidates who filed advance automatically to the general election. 
  • In nonpartisan elections without primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the general election is November 5. These are plurality elections in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins; the winner does not need to meet a certain threshold of the overall vote to avoid a runoff. Most North Carolina local elections in 2019 are following this method.

Across the state, there are 65 local positions where no candidates filed to run. This includes the mayor’s office in 19 municipalities, the city or town council in 43 municipalities, and board positions in two special districts. These positions will be filled by write-in candidates who have been certified by their county board of elections.

Three of the state’s largest cities—Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh—are among those holding elections in 2019. The mayor’s office is on the ballot in all three cities, and so are all 11 city council seats in Charlotte, three of seven city council seats in Durham, and all seven city council seats in Raleigh.

North Carolina’s local filing deadline passed on July 19, 2019. However, municipalities were permitted by the state government to extend their filing deadline by one week. There are also some exceptions to the statewide filing deadline; in Catawba County, Hickory Public Schools and Newton-Conover City Schools both have their filing deadline on September 6.

At Ballotpedia, we are excited to debut this full, comprehensive, statewide coverage in 2019. We hope it will continue to extend to other states in future years. Stay tuned!

Learn more

        

Stay tuned for new journeys launching soon!

Explore the nine journeys you can take now→

At this time next year, we will be between Democratic and Republican National Conventions

In just under a year, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will hold its presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 13 to 16. A little over a month later, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, from August 24 to 27. At both conventions, delegates will select their party’s presidential nominee and vote to adopt a platform outlining the party’s priorities and values.

Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses will begin with the first caucus event taking place in Iowa on February 3, 2020. New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina will also hold primaries in February.

Super Tuesday—the day when the largest number of states and territories hold a presidential primary or caucus—will be March 3, 2020. Sixteen Democratic and 14 Republican nominating events are scheduled for that date. States with more than one-third of the U.S. population are expected to vote on Super Tuesday. The last primary elections of the cycle will be held at the beginning of June 2020. 

In 2016, the RNC held its presidential nominating convention in Cleveland from July 18-21, 2016, and the DNC held its convention in Philadelphia from July 25-28, 2016.

Learn more→

Phoenix voters will decide citizen initiatives on light rail, city pensions tomorrow

Phoenix voters will decide two citizen initiatives in a special ballot initiative election tomorrow that would amend the city’s charter. 

Proposition 105 would:

  • end construction of light rail extensions;
  • redirect funds from light rail projects to other transportation infrastructure improvements in Phoenix; and
  • prohibit funding other light rail development, with an exception for PHX Sky Train—an automated electric train that serves the area around Phoenix International Airport.

Proposition 106 would:

  • require annual assessments of the city’s pension debt based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the 10-year average return on investment;
  • limit budget growth if pensions are not 90% funded;
  • earmark revenue over the budget limit to paying down pension debt, with exceptions for police, fire, and first responder services; and
  • require city officials to reimburse the city for pension benefit employer contributions.

Learn more about the measures on Ballotpedia and follow along on Ballotpedia News for results on Wednesday.

Learn more→

 



Pennsylvania state employee files class-action lawsuit for refund of agency fees

On Aug. 7, Pennsylvania state employee Catherine Kioussis filed a class-action lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union Local 668 seeking restitution for agency fees paid to the union in 2017 and 2018.

Who are the parties to the suit?

Kioussis, the plaintiff, works for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. She is represented by the Liberty Justice Center, a nonprofit public-interest law firm that represented Mark Janus in Janus v. AFSCME (2018). The defendant is the Service Employees International Union Local 668, which represents public- and private-sector social service workers at both the state and municipal levels of government. According to a federal disclosure report, SEIU Local 668 comprised 16,507 dues-paying members and 361 agency fee payers as of Dec. 31, 2018.

What’s at issue?

Kioussiss alleges “SEIU should have known that its seizure of [agency fees] from non-consenting employees likely violated the First Amendment.” Kioussiss seeks a refund of all agency fees she and other non-member employees paid to the union from Aug. 7, 2017, to June 27, 2018, the period permitted under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. According to the Liberty Justice Center, should the case be decided in Kioussiss’ favor, approximately 2,000 workers could receive as much as $1 million in restitution.

What are the reactions?

  • Brian Kelsey, an attorney with the Liberty Justice Center, said, “It’s unfortunate [Kioussiss’] constitutional rights were violated. We’re going to make sure she can get her money back now, or at least as much as we can gather that she paid over the last couple years.”
  • SEIU Local 669 President Steve Catanese said, “The Liberty Justice Center, along with other anti-union organizations such as the Fairness Center, is being funded by millions of dollars in dark money donations from billionaires and corporations. The sole purpose of these organizations and investments in them is to file frivolous litigation against labor unions and undermine the ability of workers to have a voice at the workplace.”

What comes next?

The case is pending before Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. President George W. Bush (R) appointed Jones in 2002. The case name and number are Kioussis v. Service Employees International Union Local 668, 1:19-cv-01367.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 102 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map August 23, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart August 23, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart August 23, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

No legislative actions have occurred since our last issue.



Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina local elections

There are 503 cities, towns, and villages across North Carolina holding elections for 1,900 positions this year, and for the first time ever, Ballotpedia’s sample ballot is expanding to encompass every election in a state, even in the smallest villages. In addition to the municipal races, there are nine school districts holding elections for 23 school board seats and 17 special districts holding elections for 52 seats; no counties are holding elections. This adds up to 529 localities holding elections for 1,975 positions in North Carolina this year.
 
Local elections in North Carolina can follow four different methods during odd-numbered years:
 
1.) In partisan elections where runoffs are possible, the primary is on September 10, the primary runoff is on October 8, and the general election is on November 5. Primary runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 30% of the primary vote; however, the primary runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it. In 2019, only Charlotte and Sanford are following this method.
 
2.) In nonpartisan elections where runoffs are possible, the general election is on October 8 and the general runoff election is on November 5. General runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 50% of the general election vote; however, the general runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it. In 2019, only Atlantic Beach, Cary, Dobbins Heights, Dunn, Elizabeth City, Erwin, Henderson, Monroe, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Statesville are following this method.
 
3.) In nonpartisan elections with primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the primary is on October 8 and the general election is on November 5. If only two or fewer candidates file to run per seat, the primary is not held and the candidates who filed advance automatically to the general election. In 2019, only Asheboro (and Asheboro City Schools), Bermuda Run, Burlington, Durham, Fayetteville, Flat Rock, Fletcher, Goldsboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, High Point, Jamestown, Matthews, Mooresville, Mount Airy, Pleasant Garden, Powellsville, Ramseur, Shelby, Southern Pines, and Windsor are following this method.
 
4.) In nonpartisan elections without primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the general election is on November 5. These are plurality elections in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins; the winner does not need to meet a certain threshold of the overall vote to avoid a runoff. All other North Carolina local elections in 2019 are following this method.
 
Across the state, there are 65 local positions where no candidates filed to run. This includes the mayor’s office in 19 municipalities, the city or town council in 43 municipalities, and board positions in two special districts. These positions will be filled by write-in candidates who have been certified by their county board of elections.
 
Three of the state’s largest cities—Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh—are among those holding elections in 2019. The mayor’s office is on the ballot in all three cities, and so are all 11 city council seats in Charlotte, three of seven city council seats in Durham, and all seven city council seats in Raleigh.
 
North Carolina’s local filing deadline passed on July 19, 2019. However, municipalities were permitted by the state government to extend their filing deadline by one week. There are also some exceptions to the statewide filing deadline; in Catawba County, Hickory Public Schools and Newton-Conover City Schools both have their filing deadline on September 6.
 


Mississippi Republican gubernatorial runoff between Tate Reeves and Bill Waller Jr. takes place Tuesday

The Republican nomination for governor of Mississippi will be decided by a primary runoff between Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. Tuesday. Reeves and Waller were the top two finishers in the August 6 primary but neither won the majority of the vote necessary to win outright.
 
Reeves, who is in his second term as lieutenant governor after serving two terms as state treasurer, says that his experience in state government would make him an effective chief executive. He says that he is the more conservative of the two, and has criticized Waller for supporting Medicaid expansion and an increase in the state gas tax.
 
Waller calls himself a conservative Republican but says that he would win more support from Democratic and independent voters than Reeves would in the general election. He has criticized the tone of Reeves’ campaign, saying that Reeves is more focused on attacking him than on proposing policies to address the problems Mississippi faces.
 
Both candidates have secured new endorsements since the August 6 primary. Reeves, who already had the endorsement of term-limited incumbent Phil Bryant (R), was endorsed by a series of state officials including former Gov. Haley Barbour (R) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). Waller was endorsed by third-place primary finisher Robert Foster (R). Foster and Waller received a combined 51.1% of the primary vote to Reeves’ 48.9%.
 
Campaign finance reports filed Tuesday show that Reeves spent $1.9 million and Waller spent $315,000 between July 28 and August 17. During the same period, Waller raised $550,000 to Reeves’ $300,000. The two met for a final debate Wednesday night.
 
Mississippi has open primaries, so the runoff is open to registered Democrats and independents who did not vote in the Democratic primary on August 6. The winner will face Attorney General Jim Hood (D) in the November 5 general election. In order to win the general election, a candidate must both win the statewide vote and carry a majority of the 122 state House districts. If no candidate does both, the state House will decide the winner. No Democrat has won election as governor of Mississippi since Ronnie Musgrove (D) in 1999.
 


Tucson Democrats vie for spot on general election ballot in partisan primary for mayor

Tucson is holding partisan primary elections for mayor and three of seven city council seats on Tuesday. Six of the city council seats are elected at large, and the mayor occupies the seventh seat. The general election is scheduled for November 5, and the filing deadline passed on May 29.
 
Four candidates filed in the mayoral race. Three of the four candidates—Randi Dorman, Steve Farley, and Regina Romero—are competing in the Democratic primary. The fourth candidate, independent Edward Ackerley, will face the Democratic primary winner on the general election ballot. No Republican candidates filed to run. Incumbent Jonathan Rothschild (D) announced in December 2018 that he would not seek re-election, ensuring a newcomer will take the office. Rothschild was first elected mayor in 2011 and re-elected in 2015.
 
Tucson City Council Wards 1, 2, and 4 are also on the ballot. In Ward 1, incumbent Regina Romero chose to run for mayor rather than for re-election. Four Democrats filed to run for her seat. In Ward 2, Democratic incumbent Paul Cunningham is running for re-election against Republican Ewart Williams Jr. Ward 4 incumbent Shirley Scott did not file to run for re-election. Democrat Nikki Lee and Republican Michael Hicks are running for that open seat.
 
Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona and the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Primary results certified in Seattle races

In Washington state, vote totals for Seattle and King County’s nonpartisan primaries were certified on August 20. The primaries were held on August 6, but the state uses a vote-by-mail system that delayed when the results would be counted and finalized.
 
The primaries included seven of Seattle’s nine city council seats, two of nine King County Council seats, and two of five Port of Seattle Commission positions. The general election is scheduled for November 5, 2019.
 
Here are the results of the Seattle City Council primaries:
 
District 1: Incumbent Lisa Herbold, first elected in 2015, advanced to the general election with 50.6% of the vote. Attorney Phil Tavel advanced with 32.3%.
District 2: Community organizer Tammy Morales and Seattle Police Department crime prevention coordinator Mark Solomon advanced to the general election with 50.1% and 23.2% of the vote, respectively. Incumbent and council president Bruce Harrell did not file to run for re-election.
District 3: Incumbent Kshama Sawant, first elected in 2013, advanced to the general election with 36.7% of the vote, as did Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce director Egan Orion, who received 21.5% of the vote.
District 4: Alex Pedersen, who previously worked as a legislative aide for former councilmember Tim Burgess, and journalist Shaun Scott advanced to the general election with 40.4% and 23.3% of the vote, respectively. Incumbent Abel Pacheco did not file to run for a full term on the council.
District 5: Incumbent Debora Juarez, first elected in 2015, advanced to the general election with 45.1% of the vote, and attorney Ann Davison Sattler advanced with 26.7% of the vote.
District 6: Dan Strauss, policy advisor to councilmember Sally Bagshaw, advanced to the general with 34.1% of the vote, and former councilmember Heidi Wills advanced with 21.2%. Incumbent Mike O’Brien did not file to run for re-election.
District 7: Assistant City Attorney Andrew Lewis advanced to the general with 31.7% of the vote, as did former Police Chief Jim Pugel with 24.8% of the vote. Incumbent Sally Bagshaw did not file to run for re-election.
 
Here are the results of the other four primaries:
 
King County Council District 2: Incumbent Larry Gossett, last elected in 2015, advanced to the general election with 36.7% of the vote, as did Girmay Zahilay with 56.1% of the vote.
King County Council District 8: Incumbent Joe McDermott, last elected in 2015, advanced with 83.9% of the vote, along with Michael Robert Neher, with 11.0%.
Port of Seattle Commission Position 2: Sam Cho advanced to the general with 31.1% of the vote, and Grant Degginger advanced with 24.5%. Incumbent Courtney Gregoire did not file to run for re-election.
Port of Seattle Commission Position 5: Incumbent Fred Felleman, last elected in 2015, advanced to the general with 72.4% of the vote, as did Garth Jacobson with 20.0% of the vote.
 
Primaries were canceled for two King County Council seats, assessor, elections director, superior court judgeships, and special district races since two or fewer candidates filed to run per position.
 
Seattle is the largest city in Washington state and the 22nd-largest city in the U.S. by population. King County had a population of 2,149,970 in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.
 
 


10th Circuit Court of Appeals rules Colorado signature distribution requirements constitutional

Colorado voters approved Amendment 71 (sometimes referred to as the Raise the Bar initiative) in 2016. Amendment 71 required initiative petitioners to spread out signature gathering efforts across all of the state’s 35 senate districts, making it more difficult to collect enough signatures to qualify a constitutional amendment for the ballot.
 
Amendment 71 also enacted a 55% supermajority requirement for any constitutional amendment other than those designed to only delete language.
 
ColoradoCareYes and the Coalition for Colorado Universal Health Care, proponents of the defeated Amendment 69 of 2016, filed litigation against Amendment 71 in U.S. District Court on April 24, 2017. Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R) was named as the defendant.
 
Plaintiffs argued that the distribution requirement provisions of Amendment 71 violate the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit stated, “Voters in one district can thwart the will of a far greater number of voters in another, and prevent a popular initiative that might win majority support in the general election from appearing on the ballot.” Specifically, plaintiffs argued that Amendment 71 gives greater weight to rural voters than urban voters and therefore violates the one-person-one-vote principle.
 
On March 27, 2018, a federal judge ruled in favor of plaintiffs and overturned the provisions of Amendment 71 that established a distribution requirement for initiated constitutional amendment petitions. That ruling was appealed, and the distribution requirement was left in effect for the 2018 election cycle.
 
On August 20, 2019, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to reverse the U.S. District Court’s ruling, leaving the distribution requirement in place. The majority wrote that “[n]o equal protection problem exists if votes are cast in state legislative districts that were drawn based on Census population data.” The majority based its decision on U.S. Supreme Court Case Evenwel v. Abbot in which justices ruled unanimously that a state or local government could draw legislative districts based on population.


Alabama House special primary runoff on Tuesday

On August 27, a special primary runoff is being held in District 74 of the Alabama House of Representatives. Republicans Charlotte Meadows and Michael Fritz are competing in the primary runoff after advancing from the June 11 primary with 46.7% and 19.1% of the vote, respectively. Rayford Mack ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The general election is scheduled for November 12.
 
The seat was vacated when Dimitri Polizos (R) died of a heart attack on March 27. Polizos had represented the district since 2013. He last won re-election in 2018 with 60.5% of the vote.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 75-28 majority in the Alabama House with two vacancies. Alabama has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 
As of August, 73 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 


Michigan GOP sues to block Proposal 2, arguing the member-selection process violates the party’s associational rights

On August 22, 2019, the Michigan Republican Party filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan seeking to block Proposal 2, which transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to a 13-member independent redistricting commission. Voters approved Proposal 2, with 61 percent voting in favor of the constitutional amendment.
 
Laura Cox, chairperson of the state Republican Party, said Proposal 2 violated the party’s freedom of association as the amendment prevented parties from selecting their own members to serve on the redistricting commission.
 
Proposal 2 requires applicants for the redistricting commission to attest under oath regarding their partisan affiliation. However, Proposal 2 does not require the state department to confirm individuals’ partisan affiliation. As of 2019, voters in Michigan do not have an option to declare their partisan affiliation on voter registration forms.
 
Proposal 2 was designed to allow the legislative leaders from the two major parties to strike up to five applicants each (between the leaders, 20 strikeouts total) from the pool of 60 Republicans, 60 Democrats, and 80 non-affiliated applicants. Thereafter, a random selection from each partisan pool takes place, with four Republicans, four Democrats, and five non-affiliated applicants being selected.
 
The Michigan GOP’s legal complaint said applicants could self-affiliate with the Republican Party “without any involvement or consent of the applicable political party and without any specific consideration of the applicants’ past or current political activity, expression, or involvement.” The process, according to attorneys Gary Gordon and Charlie Spies, could allow Democrats to self-affiliate as Republicans “in an effort to alter the party’s selection process and weaken its representation on the commission by individuals who genuinely affiliate with MRP.” Stu Sandler, general counsel for the Michigan GOP, said, “In every other system that’s been created like this, political parties or legislative leaders have had the ability to select, or there’s been a strong history of voter registration so that you can tell who’s been a part of the party and who hasn’t.”
 
As of August 2019, six states have enacted laws for independent redistricting commissions for congressional districts. In Arizona, California, Colorado, and Idaho, registered voters can select to affiliate with a political party on their voter registration forms. Like Michigan, Washington does not have a party-affiliation option on voter registrations. The Washington process involves legislative leaders of the two major parties each selecting a member of the redistricting commission, and the four leader-appointed members appointing a fifth member.
 
Responding to the Michigan GOP filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said, “Our position on this matter has not changed. Our office will continue to vigorously defend Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the legality of the redistricting commission, preserving the will of the people and their right to adopt amendments to Michigan’s Constitution at the polls.”
 
The Michigan GOP’s lawsuit is the second to be filed against Proposal 2. Another—Daunt v. Benson—argues that Proposal 2 unconstitutionally restricts who can serve on the commission by prohibiting individuals who, during the six years prior, were partisan candidates; partisan elected officials; officers of political parties; paid consultants or employees of candidates, officials, campaigns, or political action committees; state legislative employees; lobbyists; other specified state employees; and the parents and children of aforementioned persons from serving on the commission.