State Capitol News
9:21 am
Wed January 13, 2010

Governor campaign aides trying to stop judge from voiding campaign funding law

Phoenix, AZ – Brewer is taking advantage of a 1998 law which lets candidates
get public funds if they don't take outside cash. But they've got
to live within the amount they're given. The only exception is if
a private-financed foe spends more. Then candidates with public
money get a dollar-for-dollar match. What's happened is some
politicians who don't like public financing have challenged that
matching fund provision. And they've already gotten a preliminary
ruling from a federal judge the match is unconstitutional because
it means every time they spend money, their foes get more. On
Friday, Judge Roslyn Silver will decide whether to ban matching
funds for this year's election. But Grant Woods and Mary Peters,
Brewer's campaign chairs, filed an affidavit with the court
urging Silver not to do that. The problem is that Buz Mills, who
is challenging Brewer in the Republican primary, already has put
$2.1 million of his own cash into his campaign. Without a match,
Brewer will get only about $700,000 in public funds. Brewer could
change her mind and seek private donations. But state law
precludes the governor and lawmakers from getting donations from
lobbyists -- a prime source of campaign cash -- during the
legislative session. And given recent history, the session could
run well into May if not beyond. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.