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.
PHOENIX — A federal judge has agreed to hear arguments that she should immediately block a key provision of the state’s system of publicly financing campaigns.
During the 2008 presidential primaries, Citizens United released Hillary: The Movie, a film critical of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But a federal court prohibited the organization from releasing the movie because it was during a blackout period in which certain types of political speech are banned before an election under the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
Phoenix--On August 27, 2009 federal Judge Stefan R. Underhill permanently blocked the State of Connecticut from enforcing a taxpayer-funded campaign finance system, including matching funds provisions that mirror those of Arizona's "Clean Elections" law.
In the 138-page decision, Judge Underhill ruled, "Like the proverbial sword of Damocles, which need not fall for its impact to be felt, the threat of [Connecticut's Matching Funds] provisions alone is sufficient to prospectively chill First Amendment-protected expression."
Phoenix--During the 2008 presidential primaries, Citizens United released Hillary: The Movie, a film critical of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But a federal court prohibited the organization from releasing the movie because it was during a blackout period in which certain types of political speech are banned before an election under the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
Each year, American public officials spend millions in taxpayer funds to pay for broadcast ads, billboards, and glossy brochures under the umbrella of public service announcements. These officials often feature prominently in the ads, yielding increased name recognition and favorability ratings — objects of exceptional value — for them.
Phoenix--This year's election season is unlikely to be "cleaner" than previous seasons, according to a new Goldwater Institute report, Campaign Promises: A Six-year Review of Arizona's Experiment with Taxpayer-financed Campaigns.
The Goldwater Institute's Nick Dranias appeared on CBS 5 News to talk about politicians using taxpayer money to distribute publications that prominently display their names and faces. The action essentially amounts to backdoor electioneering. The Goldwater Institute shed light on the practice in its policy brief Shameless Self Promotion.
Phoenix--A new Goldwater Institute report, "Shameless Self Promotion: How Politicians Use Your Money to Get Re-elected," shows Arizona's elected officials spent more than $4 million in public funds between 2006 and 2008 to showcase their names and images in publications and on billboards and television. The report's author, Shawnna L.M. Bolick, calls on the Arizona Legislature to stop this misuse of taxpayer funds.
The Goldwater Institute has partnered with the Institute for Justice to bring an end to the use of matching funds as part of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act. Narrowly passed by voters in 1998, the act uses taxpayer money in an attempt to level the financial playing field between candidates for state offices.
Phoenix--Today a diverse group of candidates filed a lawsuit challenging the matching funds provisions of Arizona's Clean Elections Act. The suit contends the matching funds provisions violate the free speech and equal protection rights of candidates who do not participate in the taxpayer-subsidized campaign finance system. The candidates are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent matching funds from being distributed before the September primary.