Paul Eckerstrom and I had a great conversation after a recent Drinking Liberally session about his role in the Election Integrity movement and getting the audit legislation passed. If you want to learn how grassroots politics works at its best, I encourage you to take the time to listen in. Download eckerstrom.wav
Paul (on the left in the picture) was the Chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party until 2006. He is very likely to be entering a primary contest against Barbara LaWall for Pima County Attorney in 2008, though he has not yet announced any definite intention. One of the many reasons Paul cites for possibly challenging LaWall is her office's position of, at best, non-cooperation in investigating charges of fraud and abuse in the Pima County elections system. LaWall's office has been far less than cooperative with the Pima County Democratic Party's two lawsuits related to possible election fraud.
Paul expected his record of fund-raising and professionalizing the Pima party to be his strongest legacy, but looking back on his term he now feels that the most important decision he made was in authorizing the formation of an Election Integrity Committee in the Pima Party. That decision created a movement within the party for pursuing election reforms that eventually led to formation of an Election Integrity Committee in the State Party, a burgeoning independent grassroots Election Integrity citizens' movement in Arizona, and election audit legislation passed by the Arizona legislature in 2006, championed by then-Representative Ted Downing.
For anyone interested in ensuring the integrity of their ballot and supporting fair and accountable elections, Paul Eckerstrom is the guy who had the foresight to put his weight behind the movement to get it off the ground, and who in office is certain to do his very best to ensure fair and open elections in Pima County.