Campaign Finance & Election
Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.
Like most states across the country, Arizona has long suffered from abysmally low voter turnout in local elections. In the state’s two largest cities – Phoenix and Tucson – voter turnout rates for the most recent local candidate elections hovered at a mere 30 percent.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case with huge ramifications for Arizona—and for federalism.
Shelby County, Alabama is challenging the constitutionality of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was designed to bring into line states and local governments that were likely to resist the Voting Rights Act.
Arizona Students’ Association student directors from the UA on several occasions have criticized the recent Goldwater Institute report entitled “Welcome to the Real World” of being factually incorrect.
Arizona voters would turn the state's electoral system upside down this fall if they approve an open primary in which all could vote and the top two, regardless of party, would compete in the general election.
Would such a system improve or degrade the existing process? Arizona Week asked two key protagonists to discuss Proposition 121.
Paul Johnson, a former Phoenix mayor and chairman of the Open Government Committee, which is pushing the proposition, and Clint Bolick, vice president of litigation for the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, faced off.
Proponents of Prop. 121, the “top two” Arizona ballot initiative, contend it will lead to the weakening of the two major political parties. But the opposite is true. In fact, it would strengthen them while killing third parties, all to the detriment of voter choices.
In the culmination of what's been a vigorous challenge to the credibility of Arizona's Clean Elections Act, Judge Aceto has ordered David Burnell Smith to leave office because of campaign finance violations. The judge found "that Representative Smith has usurped, intruded into and unlawfully holds or exercises the office of District 7 state representative."
While most voters are focused on the national election, Arizona voters need to pay careful attention to a ballot measure that could imperil freedom in our state.
If school districts were graded on respect for laws governing taxpayer elections, the Cave Creek School District would flunk. Its latest transgression involves a May 19 press release about a school district budget override election that the district posted on its website. This release raises serious concerns about the district’s compliance with a state law that bans the use of school district resources to influence the outcome of elections.
A meme has developed that “right-wing extremists” have disproportionately benefited from public campaign financing in Arizona. But the Goldwater Institute’s Legislative Report Card shows this supposition is far from the truth. In fact, public financing has empowered substantially more big government believers than principled proponents of limited government.