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.

<p>Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.</p>

PHOENIX — Clint Bolick looks like any other high-powered lawyer, for the most part. But glance down at his index finger, which sports a scorpion tattoo, for first-hand evidence of his unconventional streak. 

Arizona Republic Editorial

Nothing against the practice of advertising your product, mind you -- institutionally speaking, we strongly endorse it -- but perhaps you too have wondered, as we have:

By Paul Atkinson, KJZZ
11/22/2011

You may have heard or seen one of the advertisements…

TV ADVERTISEMENT:  “Clean Elections, everybody wins…"

In its lawsuit, Goldwater Institute attorney Carrie Ann Sitren cites the Clean Election Commission’s own marketing plan that says it ‘Needs to raise its profile and begin laying the groundwork to counter charges that the system doesn’t work.’

The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission was established to provide public funding for election campaigns. The commission, however, began using its funds to promote itself in a series of advertisements, in violation of state law.

The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of No Taxpayer Money for Politicians – the ballot committee supporting a constitutional amendment to end public funding for political candidate campaigns.

PHOENIX -- A lawsuit filed today claims that the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission’s acts of self promotion – done in the name of voter education – violate state statute.

The suit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court by the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation on behalf of No Taxpayer Money for Politicians – the ballot committee supporting a constitutional amendment for the November 6, 2012 election to end public funding for political candidate campaigns.

From the complaint:

The Goldwater Institute's Starlee Rhoades appeared on KPNX's Sunday Square Off along with former candidate for attorney general Felecia Rotellini, and Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, where they discussed campaign finance, pensions, and CPS.

The Goldwater Institute was one of three locations around the country that got to take part in the CNN Republican debate and ask questions of the candidates.

The proceedings leading to the instant application are a prime example of the defiance of law, logic and evidence that can be expected to grow if the Ninth Circuit’s decision in McComish is allowed to stand. To protect the rule of law in the wake of Davis and Citizens United, and in view of this Court’s June 8, 2010 order staying the Ninth Circuit’s decision (McComish Pet. App. 81), the undersigned amicus party wholeheartedly agrees that preliminary injunctive relief should be granted to Appellants.

Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Commission is dirtying up politics. Afraid of a proposal on next year’s ballot that would end the commission’s funding, the commission is using taxpayer money to run ads against the ballot measure.

This ad campaign means that taxpayers who actually support ending funding for the commission could end up paying for the “no” ads – not exactly clean or fair politics.

PHOENIX – A Superior Court Judge ruled yesterday that school districts may not use bond money in ways voters have not approved.

In a case watched by school districts throughout the state, the court ruled that Cave Creek School District violated its contract with the voters when it diverted bond money to unapproved projects, and the statute permitting a few districts to break their agreements is an unconstitutional special law.

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