Skip to comments.Arizona high court knocks 'Clean Elections' initiative off ballot
Posted on 08/12/2004 10:27:22 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
PHOENIX (AP) - An initiative to dismantle Arizona's system for publicly funding state campaigns was knocked off the November ballot by the state Supreme Court.
In a brief order Thursday, the justices upheld a lower court ruling that Proposition 106, the so-called "No Taxpayer Money for Politicians" initiative, violated the state constitution's ban on including more than one subject in a proposed constitutional amendment.
In a July 1 lawsuit, opponents of the initiative had argued it violated the single-subject ban by both prohibiting public funding of candidates and by depriving the state agency overseeing the system of funding for its other functions, including voter education and regulating campaign finances.
Supporters of the Clean Elections law say public financing reduces the influence special interests gain through traditional campaign funding, while opponents argue that public money shouldn't be used to finance politicians' campaigns.
"The big money special interests will be back," said Michelle Davidson, who managed the campaign against the initiative. "They still hope to turn back the clock to the days when all candidates had to rely on special interest money."
Nathan Sproul, a spokesman for supporters of the banned initiative, said it was unfortunate the Supreme Court had prevented the issue from reaching voters this year.
"This fight is a long way from being over," Sproul said. "We have every intention that in the not too distant future that ... the voters will have an opportunity to vote on this."
Arizona voters approved a system in 1998 that allows public funding for campaigns of candidates for governor, legislative seats and other state offices. It provided funding to candidates in 2000 and 2002.
Traffic and criminal fine surcharges fund most of the Clean Elections system, in which candidates can voluntarily participate.
Participating candidates must collect a set number of $5 contributions from voters to qualify for the public funding. Candidates can also receive matching funds if nonparticipating political rivals spend more money.
Through 2002, the system distributed $14.6 million to 198 candidates. In 2002, participants included Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, candidates for the Legislature and all statewide offices.
Maine also has a widely used public campaign financing system, while North Carolina and New Mexico are launching limited versions. Vermont's system is tied up in the courts and Massachusetts abolished its last year.
fyi - This is an Update and not a repost.
Public funding is just so stupid.
If each candidate gets 50 cents a piece a day and no free airtime, I'd support it. ;-)
Yes, get caught for speeding in Arizona and you end up funding a democrat for office against your will...
When the government gives money to something they usually seek to control it. Like when an apartment complex accepts a section 8 voucher and the government inspects all apartments in the complex. You want to have a government agent looking through your house move into one of those complexes
Michelle, honey, if you really want to get "big money special interests" out of politics, then you'll first have to get the politicians out of the regulating business.
When the power to tax is the power to destroy, "big money special interests" are a form of self-defense.
But, as a good little liberal, you have yet to understand that business isn't an enemy, and that government isn't a friend.
Under the American theory of government, judges exist to ENFORCE the laws, but not to WRITE the laws. The possibility that judges would get a burr under their saddles and start writing laws caused Thomas Jefferson to refer to the federal judiciary as "the most dangerous branch." Jefferson was right.
If you haven't already joined the anti-CFR effort, please click here.
OK, I'm sold. I'll flop,, ;-)
I see clean elections as political welfare. For every hard earned fund raising dollar raised by someone not using clean elections money, the clean elections candidate gets it matched -- paid by us. I still want to know why Indian tribes helping finance Napolitano's election aren't considered special interest group funding.