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>

Phoenix, AZ-The Goldwater Institute and News 5 will co-host a gubernatorial candidate forum in Phoenix the evening of Wednesday, October 30, 2002. The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Ritz-Carlton Phoenix, 2401 East Camelback Road, and will be televised the afternoon of Sunday, November 3, 2002.

Phoenix, AZ -- Goldwater Institute scholar Robert Franciosi applauds the unanimous decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which ruled yesterday that coercive public funding of campaigns is unconstitutional. Franciosi, who directs the Institute's work on electoral reform, also congratulates Rep. Steve May (R-Paradise Valley) and the Institute for Justice on an important victory in their two-year fight against coerced funding of political speech.

"In a free state," says Franciosi, "citizens should not be forced to finance politicians' campaigns for office."

A Goldwater Institute report identifies three dozen government contracting, hiring and university programs in Arizona that give preferences based on race and gender.

The report coincides with a proposed state ballot measure that would prohibit government entities from giving education, hiring and procurement preferences to women and minorities.

Ask Arizona politicians about tax cuts during an election year and with few exceptions the answer is predictable - they're for them. As the Nov. 7 election approaches, the three candidates for governor do, indeed, look favorably upon the idea of allowing Arizonans to keep more of their money. The difference among the candidates, however, lies in the depth and timing of tax reductions, not whether they support them.

Libertarian Barry Hess offers the most basic and boldest plan. If elected, he would kill the income tax as soon as possible, he said.

Where have all the cowboys gone?

In 1964, one of Arizona's own ran an energetic and inspiring bid for President. Now we have Congressman Jeff Flake. He, like Senator Barry Goldwater, is not afraid to buck party leadership and stick to principles.

A June 24th article ("Rep. Flake takes stand against 'pork'") notes that Flake took a controversial stand and promised never to ask for federal funding during the rest of his House career. Arizona's 6th Congressional District should feel honored to have such a maverick and principled representative.

GOP gubernatorial candidate found himself $615,000 behind eventual winner Janet Napolitano right after primary

The Clean Elections system stole the Arizona Governor's Office from Republican Matt Salmon and handed it to Democrat Janet Napolitano.

So says Clint Bolick, a lawyer for the Institute of Justice, a group that mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge aimed at abolishing the public election funding system.

In one of the closest gubernatorial races in state history, Napolitano beat Salmon by fewer than 12,000 votes.

PHOENIX (AP) - Leading candidates for Arizona governor came out swinging Wednesday evening, exchanging jabs during the last scheduled joint appearance of the general election campaign.

Democratic nominee Janet Napolitano, the current state attorney general, said Republican candidate Matt Salmon "inherits a legacy" of failed Republican leadership in a state government that has neglected health care and education.

ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWSWIRES

With four states now offering public funds to help people run for office, the effort to take private money out of politics is getting its biggest test yet this fall.

Hundreds of candidates are running so-called clean election campaigns, with Arizona's race for governor leading the way - five of the 10 candidates in Tuesday's primary have opted for public financing.

Yet the outcome of this campaign finance experiment is still unclear.

By Rhonda Bodfield and Hipolito Corella

Results from Tuesday's primary election are sparking debate about whether taxpayers are getting their $18 million worth of reforms out of the state's new law that provides public campaign financing.

Voters narrowly passed Clean Elections in 1998 after supporters painted it as a law that would reduce the effect of special interests while giving a wider range of candidates a valid shot at public office.

The law was supposed to generate more lively debate and boost long-sagging voter turnout numbers.

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