State Capitol News
1:53 pm
Mon March 1, 2010

State senators vote to change Clean Elections system

Phoenix, AZ – The system put in place in 1998 allows candidates for statewide
and legislative office to get public dollars if they agree not to
take private money. The measure dubbed the Citizens Clean
Elections Act was approved by voters despite stiff opposition
from business groups and some other special interest. This
measure technically would not ask voters to repeal the system.
Instead it seeks a ban on the use of public dollars for political
campaigns. Jonathan Paton, who crafted the measure before
quitting the Senate to run for Congress, said he purposely wrote
it that way.

(I'm attacking the idea of giving money to politicans. It's that
simple. And that's the problem with Clean Elections. It gets
clouded with the fact that it's called Clean Elections. They have
an entire branding and marketing campaign. They spend taxpayer
dollars to promote this so it can never be eliminated.)

But Sen. Ken Cheuvront said that back-door approach is dishonest.

(It's a roundabout way of killing Clean Elections. I'm not a big
fan of Clean Elections. But let's honestly put it up for a vote
by the people of Arizona whether they want to continue this
program or not.)

The measure now goes to the House and, if approved there, will be
on the November ballot. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.