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Campaign Finance & Elections

Can the government play favorites when it comes to freedom of speech? The Goldwater Institute didn’t think so, and challenged Arizona's system of public campaign financing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The resulting victory struck down similar provisions in states across the U.S., preventing governments from gaming the political system in favor of government-funded candidates, and keeping elections free and open.

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  • Debate: Top-two primary would make elections "much, much worse"

    Posted on October 09, 2012 | Type: In the News

    Arizona voters would turn the state's electoral system upside down this fall if they approve an open primary in which all could vote and the top two, regardless of party, would compete in the general election.

  • Will Arizona's Proposition 121 Hurt or Help Political Parties?

    Posted on October 09, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Clint Bolick

    Proponents of Prop. 121, the “top two” Arizona ballot initiative, contend it will lead to the weakening of the two major political parties. But the opposite is true. In fact, it would strengthen them while killing third parties, all to the detriment of voter choices.

  • Prop 121's Dirty Little Secret

    Posted on September 12, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: Clint Bolick

    While most voters are focused on the national election, Arizona voters need to pay careful attention to a ballot measure that could imperil freedom in our state.

  • Save Our Vote v. Bennett

    Posted on August 10, 2012 | Type: Amicus Brief

    Although the language of the proposed initiative focuses almost entirely on primary elections, and the summary and title does so exclusively, in fact the proposed initiative makes profound changes to both primary and general elections. Arizona presently has what might be called a rectangular system of elections: a relatively open primary (independents may vote in Republican and Democratic primaries, and third parties may qualify to hold primary elections); and an open general election (qualified third parties and independents may appear on the ballot along with Republicans and Democrats). In both the primary and general elections, an unlimited number of candidates may appear on the ballot.

  • When Will Free Speech Be Free?

    Posted on June 20, 2012 | Type: Blog | Author: 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.

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