Campaign Finance & Election

Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.

<p>Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.</p>

Anti-immigration conservatives are subjecting U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain to blistering attacks over their pivotal role in the comprehensive immigration bill currently on life support in Congress. But if they get their way and the bill dies, so too may Republican electoral prospects for the foreseeable future.

PHOENIX- On the heels of having its earlier campaign finance system declared unconstitutional, the Albuquerque City Council is sending the "Open and Ethical Elections Code" to a citywide ballot.

If adopted, the law would create a system for publicly financing mayoral and council campaigns.

What's in a name? Everything, if it's on the ballot.

In 1998, Arizona voters narrowly approved a measure called Clean Elections. After all, who wants "dirty elections"? Only 8 percent of voters knew the measure would force taxpayers to pick up the tab for politicians' campaigns. Fortunately, Arizona voters will get a second chance. This week, the aptly named committee "No Taxpayer Money for Politicians" started gathering signatures to qualify a proposal for the 2004 ballot to end this unjust law. Where do we sign up?

My Turn

At its Presidents' Day rally, the Clean Elections Institute celebrated the legislation that it claims has worked like a charm, fulfilling fairy tale dreams about ridding politics of "big money" and special interests.

In reality, clean elections is an upside-down fairy tale, where Robin Hood steals the people's cash to line the princes' pockets.

Even though it seems we just finished the 2000 election, rumblings of the 2002 election have already begun. And next year when the political tidal wave of TV ads, mailers and roadside placards hits us, it will be boosted by $14 million-taken from Arizona residents largely without their consent, and used to subsidize politicians.

Phoenix--Out-of-state activists from a group calling itself "By Any Means Necessary" (BAMN) are interfering with the right of Arizona voters to place an initiative on the November ballot prohibiting racial preferences in government education, employment, and contracting.

Phoenix -- Today the Goldwater Institute called the ruling on the TIME initiatives ballot description unbelievable. In a ruling issued late Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Burke said that including the amount of the tax increase and the corresponding percentage increase in the ballot description of the TIME initiative would confuse voters.

In essence, the ruling says that less information and less context provides more clarity, which is a logical absurdity, said Clint Bolick, litigation director at the Goldwater Institute.

PHOENIX-In an unexpected ruling today, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Downie ruled that the No Taxpayer Money for Politicians Act violates the "single-subject" rule of the Arizona Constitution (Article XXI, Section1), a decision that could stop the initiative from appearing on the November ballot. The defenders of the initiative are rightly filing a special action with the Arizona Supreme Court, requesting review of the lower court decision.

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