Richard Carmona Avoids Public, Courts Wealthy Donors

PHOENIX – Richard Carmona apparently takes the “riches” part of his “rags to riches” story very seriously, as the majority of his campaigning appears to be limited to posh upscale Phoenix and Tucson neighborhoods.

“The first thing Carmona did after President Obama called to recruit him was to plan exclusive high-dollar fundraisers in wealthy neighborhoods in Phoenix and Paradise Valley,” said Tim Sifert, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party. “He’s claims to be running to represent Arizona, but so far he’s sticking to a handful of wealthy zip codes.”

Some of Carmona’s recent fundraisers include:

  • The home of billionaire John Sperling on May 30 in the Arcadia area of East Phoenix.
  • The home of lobbyist Ron Ober and Gail Gordon on June 16 in Paradise Valley.
  • The home of media lawyer Dan Barr on June 20 in Paradise Valley.

Carmona’s campaign notes that in addition to these events, on June 16th he also “met with some of Arizona’s Hispanic leaders and many others at a burger joint in Phoenix.”

Richard Carmona Photos: http://carmonaforarizona.tumblr.com

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Our Family, Our Economy – Nuestra Familia, Nuestra Economía

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When Will Free Speech Be Free?

By Nick Dranias

You know things have gotten out of hand when a government agency can’t figure out its own rules. The Federal Election Commission recently was unable to give a grassroots group clear guidance on whether its proposed political advertisements concerning health care, regulatory, and fiscal issues were regulated under federal elections law. The group gave the Commission 11 proposed political advertisements for the presidential election season to review. In response, the Commission reached split decisions on two different draft opinions and then finally agreed upon a third opinion which declared that it could not reach a decision on whether five of the 11 advertisements were regulated under federal campaign finance laws.

The Federal Election Commission seems to be trying to dance around, or even ignore, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent free speech ruling in Citizens United. The central principle enforced in Citizens United is that the First Amendment means what it says—“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging freedom of speech.” Justice Anthony Kennedy emphasized in his opinion that there is no such thing as an insignificant denial of free speech. The opinion also underscored that the First Amendment is violated when complex campaign finance laws force people to hire lawyers and accountants before they can safely spend their money to engage in protected political speech.

Under Citizens United, the mere fact that the Federal Elections Commission could not reach a clear decision after three bites at the apple should be sufficient evidence of the unconstitutionality of the campaign finance laws it is charged to enforce. No one should be left with little more than casino odds to guide decisions about the legality of running political advertisements during election season. Fortunately, Goldwater Institute senior fellow Benjamin Barr and the Wyoming Liberty Group will soon challenge these laws, underscoring that free speech is not free so long as the meaning of campaign finance laws remains murky even to the Federal Election Commission.

Nick Dranias is the Director of Policy Development and Constitutional Government for the Goldwater Institute.

Learn more:

Federal Election Commission: Advisory opinion response (PDF)

Wyoming Liberty Group: In re Free Speech

Goldwater Institute: Citizens United Policy Report

Quayle Introduces Bill to Stop Obama’s Immigration Power Play

Ben Quayle

PHOENIX, AZ- On Monday, June 18, Congressman Ben Quayle introduced the “Prohibiting Back-Door Amnesty Act of 2012”. This bill prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from picking winners and losers and blatantly ignoring our laws.

“President Obama’s decision to alter our nation’s immigration laws undermines border security and our entire immigration system. It is disappointing that the President of the United States is so desperate that he has to launch backdoor amnesty orders in an attempt to pander to voters.”

“The American people want their border secured and that must be accomplished now, as I have insisted for two years. The president has refused to honor that plain duty of his office, and now seeks to exercise power he does not have for his own political purposes. His first obligation is to the Constitution, and all of the American people, and not to his re-election calculus.”

“My bill, the ‘Prohibiting Back-Door Amnesty Act of 2012’ will nullify the immigration policy changes outlined by President Obama and Secretary Napolitano. In addition to stopping these policy changes, the bill will also prevent any similar executive overreaches from occurring. It’s time to send a clear message to the President that his clear disdain for our nation’s laws and reversal on border security enforcement will not be accepted.”

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Congressman Ben Quayle was the first to introduce legislation to counteract Obama’s immigration edict. He continues to gain attention for his leadership on the issue of immigration enforcement and border security. The immigration enforcement advocacy group “Numbers USA” recently granted Rep. Quayle an ‘A’ grade, ranking him the highest in the Arizona delegation.

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Voters Still Waiting on Cardon to Explain Source of Campaign Funding

Jeff Flake

PHOENIX – The Flake campaign renewed its call, first made last week, for millionaire self-funding Senate candidate Wil Cardon to release his response to a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint, which could help clear the air over questions that he may be illegally funding his campaign with corporate contributions from his family’s fortune. 

“Cardon should release his response,” said Andrew Wilder, communications director for the Flake campaign. “As long as questions still linger over how his campaign is being funded, voters won’t trust him.”

In January, the Arizona Republic reported that Wil Cardon was the subject of a complaint filed with the FEC by Mesa resident Dave Smith, a plumbing contractor who is owed money by the Cardon family. The complaint questions whether he is illegally funding his campaign with corporate contributions.

Click here to view the entire FEC complaint against Wil Cardon.

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Congressman Flake Is Mr. Washington!

Mr. Flake Goes to Washington and Refuses to Come Back!

Congressman Flake's Washington Buddies Pay Up to Keep Their Washington Insider!

“The Club for Growth endorsed Flake immediately after he entered the race, and they’ve raised an impressive sum on his behalf, bringing in $100,000 in the first 24 hours after giving him their backing.” (Sean Sullivan, “Flake In The Millionaire’s Club,” National Journal’s Hotline On Call, 4/4/11)

Not only does the Club for Growth pay for lavish trips for Congressman Flake, they are also his largest campaign contributors.

Even more of Congressman Flake’s money comes from Political Action Committees (PACs)

Arizona can’t afford a U.S. Senator beholden to anyone other than the citizens of Arizona.

Jeff Flake says he’s watching out for Arizona, but in Washington he is beholden to lobbyists and special interests.

For documentation and an explanation, call Congressman Flake at 602.845.0333.

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Matt Salmon Posts Best Fundraising Quarter of Campaign in CD-5

Raises $238,216 to begin 2012, $721,155 total since announcing campaign for Congress

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 5th congressional district Matt Salmon today announced his campaign raised $238,216 during the 1st quarter of 2012, posting the strongest fundraising period to date for his campaign. Salmon begins the 2nd quarter with $468,641 cash on hand, and has amassed a total of $721,155 from over 1,650 individual donors since the start of his campaign to return to Congress.

Former Congressman Matt Salmon stated, “Raising money during these tough economic times is challenging for any campaign, so I cannot be more pleased to begin the 2012 election year with my strongest fundraising quarter yet. I am honored that over 1,650 hardworking Americans have contributed to my campaign and believe in my conservative message and proven leadership. As we near August’s Republican primary election, I’ll continue to work harder than ever to earn the trust and vote from every voter in my district.”

About Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon was first elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served until 2000, honoring his term limit pledge. A proud conservative, Salmon was rated in the top five among all 535 members of the House and Senate by Citizen’s Against Government Waste for all six years he was in office. He is a lifetime member of the NRA with an A+ rating and also earned a 100% rating by the National Right to Life. He was also the proud recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Top National Elected Official” award.

Matt Salmon has received the endorsements from Arizona Congressmen Trent Franks and David Schweikert, former Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Mayors Scott Smith (Mesa), Jay Tibshraeny (Chandler), Hugh Hallman (Tempe), John Insalaco (Apache Junction) and Gail Barney (Queen Creek), fourteen (14) Arizona state senators and fifteen (15) Arizona state representatives. Salmon has also been endorsed by South Dakota Senator John Thune, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49).

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Bob Worsley political donations

Screenshots of political campaign donations made by Russell Pearce foe, Bob Worsley courtesy of Open Secrets and the Arizona Secretary of State website. Nothing like a little disclosure.

Tucson Businessman Dave Sitton Achieves “On the Radar” Designation

March 19, 2012 (Tucson, AZ) – Businessman Dave Sitton has achieved the “On the Radar” designation from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) it was announced today. The designation, the second step in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, gives congressional candidates encouragement to build up their campaigns to meet additional benchmarks which will allow them to win. The achievement of the “On the Radar” designation means that the Sitton campaign has met certain financial and organizational standards. Dave is one of three candidates to have received this designation in this election.

“We are extremely pleased to have been designated by the NRCC with the status of ‘On the Radar’ for their ‘Young Guns’ program,” stated Dave Sitton. “This designation is really recognition that we have been prepared, both financially and organizationally, with a plan for winning since day one. And while we met the criteria some weeks ago, we’re pleased to see this recognition now.”

The NRCC issued its own release: “We are looking forward to working with Dave Sitton, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program that will position his campaign for victory,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). “Dave Sitton’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Arizona families and small businesses know has failed.”

For more information visit www.davesitton.com

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New Polling Numbers for Matt Salmon in Arizona CD-5 Race

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2012
CONTACT: Adam Deguire

MEMORANDUM

In the race for the Republican nomination in Congressional District 5, former Congressman Matt Salmon continues to pull away from his only remaining opponent in every major element of the campaign – polling, fundraising, and endorsements. Since announcing his bid to return to Congress, Salmon has waged an aggressive campaign that has highlighted his experience, proven record and conservative principles as a public servant. As a result, two previous candidates have since dropped out of the race and Salmon has increased his lead over his remaining opponent according to the most recent poll. Furthermore, Salmon’s surge of momentum has also allowed him to outperform his opponent in fundraising by a 3 to 1 margin, and earned him several more endorsements from community officials, conservative leaders and pro-business groups.

Polling 

Arizona Opinion conducted a telephone survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters in the newly drawn Congressional District 5 on February 8-9, 2012. Here are the findings:

  • Head to head: Salmon maintains a commanding 30 point lead over his opponent in the race for the Republican nomination, with 43.0% of respondents supporting Salmon versus 13.8% supporting his opponent.
  • Name awareness: Salmon maintains a significant name ID advantage over his opponent, with 57.7% of respondents recognizing and responding to his name versus 24.7% recognizing and responding to the name of his opponent.
  • Trusted to balance the budget: By over a 2 to 1 margin, 30.8% of respondents believe Salmon is better prepared to balance the federal budget, versus 13.5% for his opponent.
  • Trusted to repeal Obamacare: By over a 2 to 1 margin, 31.8% of respondents believe Salmon is better prepared to repeal Obamacare, versus 13.5% for his opponent.
  • Trusted to secure the borders: By nearly a 3 to 1 margin, 32.3% of respondents believe Salmon is better prepared to secure the borders, versus 10.8% for his opponent.
  • Trusted to fight against special interests: By nearly a 3 to 1 margin, 32.0% of respondents believe Salmon is better prepared to stand up to Washington insiders, versus 11.0% for his opponent.

Methodology 

Arizona Opinion is an Arizona-based consulting firm with survey and other data-based research and focus groups and experience dating back to 1978. Dr. Margaret Kenski has served as a pollster for the Arizona Republican Party, Senator Jon Kyl, Congressmen Mo Udall, Jim Kolbe, and Jeff Flake, Governors Jane Dee Hull and Fife Symington, and numerous other state and local candidates. The survey had a margin of error of ±4.8% and over 85% of those surveyed said they were certain to vote in this August’s primary election.

Fundraising

  • Superior fundraising: Salmon has now raised a total of more than $500,000 for his campaign to return to Congress, out raising his opponent the past two consecutive quarters (3rd and 4th of 2011), including out raising him $152,515 to $52,434 according to the latest finance report.
  • COH advantage for the primary: Salmon currently has over $305,000 cash on hand, giving him a nearly $85,000 advantage over his opponent in money available to spend on the primary election.
  • Gaining momentum among donors: Salmon has now received contributions from over 1,200 individual donors, with more than 500 of those contributing in the last three months of 2011.

Endorsements 

  • Endorsed by local leaders: Salmon has been endorsed by East Valley mayors Scott Smith (Mesa), Jay Tibshraeny (Chandler), Hugh Hallman (Tempe), Gail Barney (Queen Creek), John Insalaco (Apache Junction), 4 Mesa Councilmembers, 2 Chandler Councilmembers, 7 East Valley state legislators, and Arizona Congressmen David Schweikert and Trent Franks.
  • Widely supported by conservatives: Salmon has received endorsements from nationally prominent conservatives including Senators John Thune (South Dakota), Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49), Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and nationally recognized conservative groups like Club for Growth PAC and Team America PAC.
  • Backed by pro-business organizations: Salmon is supported by numerous pro-business organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, and the National Association of REALTORS.

Conclusion 

Former Congressman Matt Salmon remains in strong front-runner status to win the Republican nomination for Arizona’s Congressional District 5. His remaining opponent suffers from severe disadvantages in polling, fundraising and endorsements, and these challenges will be further exacerbated as other competitive primary elections begin to dominate the Arizona political environment. Without the ability to outspend Salmon dollar for dollar in voter contact, we believe that Salmon’s opponent will be unable to make up a 30 point deficit in the polls and overcome the name awareness disadvantage he currently holds among Republican primary voters.

In the remaining months before the primary election, Salmon will continue to aggressively campaign throughout the district utilizing a strong grassroots and earned media operation, and continue to showcase his superior fundraising abilities. Given these resources, Salmon can expect to continue his surge towards the all-important “50% plus 1″ formula for electoral victory.

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Matt Salmon Reports Another Strong Fundraising Quarter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2012
CONTACT: Adam Deguire

Campaign raises a total of $470,439 in 2011 from over 1,200 individual contributors

EAST VALLEY – Former Congressman and candidate for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District Matt Salmon today announced his campaign raised $152,514 for the 4th quarter of 2011, ending the year with $304,875 cash on hand. To date, over 1,200 individual donors have contributed a total of $470,439 to Salmon’s campaign to return to Congress.

Former Congressman Matt Salmon stated, “With government spending continuing to rise, Americans need strong, conservative and principled leadership in Congress and I am honored that so many believe enough in me to send me their hard earned money.

During the last three months of 2011, when holidays traditionally slow down fundraising efforts, my campaign received contributions from over 500 new individual donors. My message of restoring fiscal responsibility, accountability and conservative values to Congress is certainly resonating and I am excited to see my campaign carry this strong momentum into 2012.”

About Matt Salmon

Matt Salmon was first elected to the United States Congress in 1994 and served until 2000, honoring his term limit pledge. A proud conservative, Salmon was rated in the top five among all 535 members of the House and Senate by Citizen’s Against Government Waste for all six years he was in office. He is a lifetime member of the NRA with an A+ rating and also earned a 100% rating by the National Right to Life. He was also the proud recipient of the American Cancer Society’s “Top National Elected Official” award.

Matt Salmon has received the endorsements from Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, former Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Mayor Scott Smith (Mesa), Mayor Jay Tibshraeny (Chandler), Mayor Hugh Hallman (Tempe), Mayor John Insalaco (Apache Junction), Mayor Gail Barney (Queen Creek), Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs (LD22), State Senator John McComish (LD20), former State Senator Chuck Gray, and State Representatives Eddie Farnsworth (LD22), Jeff Dial (LD20), and Bob Robson (LD20). Salmon has also been endorsed by South Dakota Senator John Thune, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49).

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WATCH: Lobbyist Matt Salmon Gives Money to Liberal Democrats

Friends,

Our campaign has a great creative team focused on sharing our message of principled, conservative leadership while using the FACTS to highlight contrasts with my opponent. Yesterday, we released our newest video Lobbyist Matt Salmon gives money to liberal democrats, the first in a new series. In this video, we asked conservatives what motivates them to give to political campaigns and why my opponent contributed to liberal democrats like Congressman Joe Baca and Ed Pastor.

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Our video has already been featured by Small Business Against Big GovernmentTucson Citizen, andWestern Free Press.

So take a few minutes and check out the video here and share it with your friends!

Also, for the latest from the campaign subscribe to our Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Kirk Adams for Congress

Babeu raises $263,302 in 68 days from 1,100 donors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2012
CONTACT: Chris DeRose

Has $235,072 cash on hand for Congressional campaign

San Tan Valley – Sheriff Paul Babeu today announced his fundraising totals for the first 68 days of his campaign for Congress, which included Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve and ended January 1st, 2012.

While in the exploratory phase, without a single fundraising event, and without a final Congressional district, Sheriff Babeu raised $263,302 from 1,100 donors. This represents an estimated 300 new donors. The Sheriff has over 8,000 unique donors, meaning a significant reservoir of support not yet tapped for the Congressional race.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the generosity of my supporters,” Babeu said. “People agree it’s time for a new Sheriff in Washington. I pledge to represent them with honor and integrity in the next Congress.”

Babeu officially announced his candidacy on January 4th.

Paul Babeu is America’s Sheriff of the Year, as voted by his colleagues in the National Sheriff’s Association. As Sheriff, he reduced his budget by 10% while decreasing response times to emergencies by 50%. As a police officer, he was awarded two medals for saving lives, and served as President of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association. A retired Major in the United States Army National Guard, he commanded Task Force Yuma, which reduced illegal border crossings by 94%, and served a tour of duty in Iraq. 

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Huntsman Fails to Qualify for AZ Ballot

He has stated he will challenge, but as of now, Jon Huntsman will not appear on February’s ballot.

http://decoded.nationaljournal.com/2012/01/huntsman-fails-to-qualify-for.php

So as of now, here’s where ballot failures stand:

  • Virginia: Huntsman, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum
  • Missouri: Huntsman, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum
  • Arizona: Huntsman
  • Illinois: Huntsman

more to come…

 

Arpaio Officially Announces Campaign for Maricopa County Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2012
CONTACT: Chad Willems

$6,000,000 Raised for Re-Election Campaign

PHOENIX, AZ – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio formally announced his campaign today for another term as Sheriff of Maricopa County.

Through December 31st of last year, the campaign has raised a record $6 million for a sixth four-year term as Sheriff of Arizona’s most populous county. The campaign committee will continue to actively fundraise between now and the November election.

Arpaio stated, “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as Sheriff of Maricopa County. I am running for a sixth term and will continue to protect the citizens of Maricopa County by enforcing all the laws.”

The Sheriff had considered seeking another office, such as the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl, but determined there was still much work to be done as Sheriff.

Despite recent criticism and brazen political stunts carried out by his perennial detractors, Arpaio remains committed to serving as Sheriff by unapologetically enforcing the rule of law and being tough on crime.

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Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Concludes Fiesta Bowl Probe, Issues Recommendations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2011
CONTACT: Jerry Cobb

PHOENIX, AZ (December 21, 2011) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced the conclusion of an 8-month criminal investigation into whether public officials illegally accepted or failed to report gifts from members of the Fiesta Bowl organization and its representatives. While the investigation did not find evidence leading to criminal liability for those investigated, it did identify areas where Arizona law does not meet legitimate public expectations for transparency in disclosure of the receipt of gifts.

“Despite the public’s legitimate expectations that current laws ensure a reasonable degree of open and honest government, Arizona’s statutes governing receipt of gifts and reporting requirements fall short of meeting those expectations,” Montgomery said. “A combination of inconsistent laws, vague reporting requirements, and a ‘knowing’ standard of conduct created significant hurdles for our investigation in establishing the required mental state to prove criminal liability,” he added.

As a consequence of the difficulties encountered in conducting the investigation, the County Attorney will make the following recommendations to both houses in the State Legislature:

  • Create a single reference point in law for lobbyists and legislators that clarifies what, if any, types of gifts are permissible, and establishes consistent definitions of gifts and items that require disclosure.
  • Establish an outright ban on gifts, or a minimum value threshold above which reporting and disclosure is mandatory for anything received above the set value (e.g. $25).
  • Establish an increased frequency of reporting, no less than quarterly, to eliminate record-keeping, memory and accuracy issues that can arise with annual reporting requirements. A web-based reporting system is also recommended to facilitate the public’s ability to review officials’ disclosures.
  • Adjust penalties for violations of reporting requirements, making “knowing and intentional” violations a felony offense instead of a misdemeanor.
  • Establish a “reckless” standard that carries misdemeanor or civil penalties that are significant enough to encourage accurate and timely reporting.
  • Remove legislative staff attorneys from the role of providing campaign finance disclosure recommendations, training and advice in order to preclude any claim of attorney-client privilege on these matters.
  • Amend lobbying disclosure forms to include a certification of having read the instructions, as required on campaign finance disclosure statements. Add an expenditure reporting category for Principals/Public Bodies to the Principal/Public Body Annual Report of Lobbying Expenditures.

“I trust that members of the legislature sharing my concern for upholding the integrity of our respective offices will address these recommendations in an appropriate manner,” Montgomery said.

The County Attorney’s Office began its investigation in April 2011, after receiving the case from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office which had declared a conflict of interest in the matter. Over the course of the investigation, a team of experienced prosecutors and investigators from the County Attorney’s Office reviewed thousands of pages of documents and conducted interviews with multiple legislators, lobbyists and Fiesta Bowl employees. The investigation looked at 28 legislators and 3 non-legislator elected office holders. The Attorney General also declared a conflict on two Fiesta Bowl-related cases involving three lobbyists, which also became part of the County Attorney’s investigation.

Legislators investigated:

  • Paula Aboud
  • Chad Campbell
  • Linda Lopez
  • Russell Pearce
  • Kirk Adams
  • Rich Crandall
  • David Lujan
  • Gary Pierce
  • Linda Aguirre
  • Sam Crump
  • Lucy Mason
  • Michelle Reagan
  • Ken Bennett
  • Adam Driggs
  • John McComish
  • Pete Rios
  • Robert Blendu
  • Steve Gallardo
  • Robert Meza
  • Andrew Tobin
  • David Bradley
  • Laurin Hendrix
  • John Nelson
  • Steve Tully
  • Bob Burns
  • John Kavanagh
  • Ward Nichols
  • Thayer Verschoor

Non-legislator elected officials investigated:

  • Joe Arpaio
  • Ben Arrendondo
  • Elaine Scruggs

Lobbyists investigated:

  • Charles Coughlin and Doug Cole as part of the lobbying firm, “HighGround”
  • Kevin Demenna

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Does “transparency” trump the First Amendment

by Nick Dranias
Goldwater Institute

Almost two years ago, in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibited the government from forcing any corporation, union or other association to channel their money through a political action committee in order to make independent expenditures. Arizona responded by thumbing its nose at the decision.

Under the guise of requiring disclosure of independent expenditures, the state enacted a law that effectively forces any corporation, union or limited liability company that exists “primarily” to influence elections to channel its independent expenditures through a political committee. Now, in the name of transparency, the Arizona Secretary of State is engaged in a headlong effort to enforce compliance with this unconstitutional regulatory regime.

Independent groups are right to resist. Applied to independent expenditures, Arizona’s political committee regulations are essentially the same as those struck down in Citizens United. Both threaten civil or criminal penalties merely for raising and spending money to talk about politics.

To avoid such sanctions, both sets of regulations require forming and registering an elaborate political organization, complete with segregated accounts, appointed officers and responsibility for regular financial reporting, as well as exposure to audits by governmental agencies. This forces groups who want to engage in political speech to develop an expertise in volumes of campaign finance laws, related regulations, and agency interpretations of regulations.

As a result, both sets of regulations minimally impact well-funded, politically-connected groups, but heavily impact the least sophisticated, the least connected, and the most underfunded.

Neither the federal government nor Arizona have the constitutional authority to require such high regulatory hurdles for independent groups engaging in free speech. The First Amendment does not allow “transparency” to become a banner under which the government silences independent voices.

American citizens have a constitutional right to spend money expressing their support or opposition for candidates. That right is not forfeited when they organize a corporation, union or limited liability company to serve as the means of pooling their resources.

Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance Regulations

A.R.S. § 16-902 (2011): Arizona Political Committee Regulations

A.R.S. § 16-901 (2011): Arizona Statutory Definitions

A.R.S. § 16-919 (2011): Criminal Sanctions for Contributions other than to Independent Expenditure Committee