Phoenix, AZ – A bill to allow the Secretary of State’s office to crack down on illegitimate, unlawful political spending has passed the Arizona Senate.
“I’m pleased our campaign finance bill (SB1516) to root out unlawful political spending has passed the Senate,” said Secretary Reagan. “Hopefully, If the bill passes the House and is signed into law by the Governor, our office will finally have the tools necessary to go after fly-by-night “convenience corporations” who show up in Arizona on Tuesday and start spending money on Friday in our elections.”
“The ability to differentiate between bad actors and perfectly legitimate companies exercising their basic right to speak is historic,” continued the Secretary. “It’s concerning to many that institutional groups like the Cattlemen’s Association, Planned Parenthood, Chamber of Commerce or Sierra Club would have to hand over the personal information of their members and supporters to a government agency. These provisions strike the right balance between holding wrongdoers accountable and protecting legitimate not-for-profits from big brother tracking the issues and causes they support and deciding what political speech they wish to regulate.
“In conjunction with our revolutionary, soon-to-be-released campaign finance reporting system, citizens will better able to educate themselves about the connections between the people who write checks and the politicians that cash them.”
Sponsored by Senator Adam Driggs, SB1516 is a comprehensive rewrite of Arizona campaign finance law. While provisions related to anonymous political spending are extremely important, the legislation also provides a clear, concise set of policies and procedures where citizens can easily find and understand the rules by which they can engage in political activity.