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.
The only thing “overwhelming” about the vote was the silence of 900,000 Phoenicians who did not vote.
60,000 of a total adult population of about one million voted in favor of Phoenix’s seven bond issues this week.
And yet, the Arizona Republic and Phoenix leaders called the vote a “resounding” and “overwhelming” victory for Mayor Phil Gordon, who now has now gotten the approval to spend some $2 billion of taxpayer money on a series of projects and the debt to pay for them.
What role should so-called special interests play in elections? During a recent NPR roundtable, I argued that special interests are vital to ensuring the health of our democracy.
Every four years, the Electoral College is attacked as an affront to genuine democracy. What typically starts as a low level complaint before the election eventually becomes a full-scale grievance. These attacks miss the point of the design of our Constitutional Republic.
The process of qualifying voter initiatives for the ballot has grown so anarchic that some likely will appear before voters that shouldn't, while at least one that probably should be on the ballot is not.
A republican form of government assumes that laws should be difficult to pass, and initiatives are no different. Our state Constitution mandates a large number of voter signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot.
The TIME initiative crumbled after a lawsuit proved its supporting signatures were rife with forgery and fraud. Normally that would be the end of the story, but the Arizona Capitol Times reports that both proponents and opponents of the initiative are now demanding reform.
In June I asked readers of the Goldwater Institute daily email to stay tuned for more information about how a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision would impact Arizona's Clean Elections system. Theres good news to report.
Two weeks ago the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit challenging the matching funds provisions of Clean Elections. Last Friday Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that the Matching Funds provision of the [Clean Elections] Act violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it opens up new avenues for possible corruption in the electoral process.
In a state with subsidized elections and draconian limits on campaign contributions, every advantage counts. One in particular is a whopper: self-promotion by elected officials at taxpayer expense.
The abuse is ubiquitous and transcends party lines. Publications and public-service announcements that happen to prominently bear the name and likeness of an elected official are all too frequent.
The Arizona Republic quotes Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas as saying criticisms of his office spending millions of taxpayer dollars on publications and advertising bearing his name and photo are the product of an alliance of politicians and critics in the media who oppose my policies on illegal immigration. Not true.
Two months ago, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that "the Matching Funds provision of the [Clean Elections] Act violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." The Court, however, was unwilling to stop the flow of matching funds in the final days of the primary election. In response, the Goldwater Institute immediately asked the Court to halt matching funds during the general election.
Advocates of the Arizona Clean Elections Act promised a bountiful yield of political diversity by seeding the campaign trail with millions of taxpayer dollars. But a new report finds there has been no increase in non-traditional candidates.