No Taxpayer Money for Politicians v. Lang, et al.

Posted on November 21, 2011 | Type: Case
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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.

The lawsuit asked the court to find that the commission illegally expended public funds on self-promotion and attempted to influence the outcome of an election. In April 2012, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law more firm restrictions on the commission ability to use public funds for self-promotion.

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Case Closed: Court determined it should not accept jurisdiction; motion to dismiss is granted.


Key Issues

  • Eliminating wasteful spending
  • Guaranteeing fair elections

Case Documents

Complaint (11/21/2011)
Brief and Response to Motion to Dismiss (12/23/2011)
Reply (1/24/2012)
Reply Exhibit (1/24/2012)
Ruling (3/21/2012)

Case Timeline

November 21, 2011: Complaint filed by No Taxpayer Money for Politicians and Jonathan Paton against Executive Director Todd Lang, Commissioners, Education Manager, Deputy Director, and Chairman of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.
February 2, 2012: Hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court East Court Building, 9:45 a.m. to Noon, Judge Brain's courtroom #814, 101 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix.
March 21, 2012: Court determines it should not accept jurisdiction; motion to dismiss is granted.

The Legal Team

Clint Bolick is the Goldwater Institute’s litigation director. He has extensive success before trial judges and appellate courts. He was lead attorney for parents in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in 2002, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school vouchers were constitutional, and Kotterman v. Killian in 1997, in which the Arizona Supreme Court upheld private school scholarship tax credits under the Arizona Constitution.

Christina Sandefur has litigated to defend property rights, the integrity of contracts, and the right to earn an honest living.  Most recently, she won a victory for taxpayers in Friedman v. Cave Creek Unified School District, which established that voter approval of a bond measure for specific purposes forms a contract between the government and the voters. Christina has worked to advance liberty at the Pacific Legal Foundation and Mackinac Center for Public Policy. She earned her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law, where she served as notes editor of the law review and president of the campus Federalist Society.

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