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Campaign Finance & Elections

Can the government play favorites when it comes to freedom of speech? The Goldwater Institute didn’t think so, and challenged Arizona's system of public campaign financing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The resulting victory struck down similar provisions in states across the U.S., preventing governments from gaming the political system in favor of government-funded candidates, and keeping elections free and open.

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  • Chief Justice Roberts to Arizona: Take Your Thumb Off the Scale!

    Posted on June 27, 2011 | Type: In the News | Author: Stephen M. Hoersting

    This morning, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his opinion on behalf of a 5–4 majority in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, Nos. 10-238 and 10-239. You may have heard the case called “McComish,” after the plaintiff now listed second in consolidated court filings. The Supreme Court struck down the matching-funds provisions in the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act. (Campaign “reformers” learned long ago not to call such statutes the “Taxpayer Subsidies to Candidates Act.”)

  • Channel 3 profiles the Supreme Court victory against matching funds

    Posted on June 27, 2011 | Type: Video

  • District needs schooling in Arizona election law

    Posted on June 08, 2011 | Type: Blog | Author: Christina Kohn

    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.

  • Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation v. Bennett (protecting citizens' right to vote)

    Posted on May 24, 2011 | Type: Case

    In April 2011, the Arizona Legislature passed SCR1025 which allows voters to decide on a constitutional amendment that would ban taxpayer money to fund political campaigns. A month later, the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation and several other organizations filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep the referendum from being placed on the ballot or to narrow its application if passed. The Goldwater Institute—believing the Legislature has a right to refer constitutional amendments to the ballot and citizens have a right to decide them—has intervened on behalf of "No Taxpayer Money for Politicians," a ballot measure committee that was formed for the purpose of advocating for a 'yes' vote on the referendum.

  • School District Agrees Not to Spend Leftover Bond Money Until Judge Decides Legality

    Posted on May 16, 2011 | Type: Press Release

    PHOENIX—The Goldwater Institute is pleased to announce that the Cave Creek Unified School District has agreed to stop spending bond money on projects voters did not approve until a judge can decide if spending the money is legal. Both the Goldwater Institute and CCUSD signed an agreement that will expedite a ruling in this legal challenge.

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