AZ Lege poor bashes with Clean Elections bill

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

clean elections

It looks like the GOP majority in the AZ Legislature has figured out what the real “dark money” problem in our state is. Apparently, it’s with the $5 qualifying contributions to Clean Elections candidates made in cash. Lord only knows where that money has been!

16-946. Qualifying contributions
A. During the qualifying period, a participating candidate may collect qualifying contributions, which shall be paid to the fund.
B. To qualify as a qualifying contribution, a contribution must be:
1. Made by a qualified elector as defined in section 16‑121, who at the time of the contribution is registered in the electoral district of the office the candidate is seeking and who has not given another qualifying contribution to that candidate during that election cycle.
2. Made by a person who is not given anything of value in exchange for the qualifying contribution.
3. In the sum of five dollars, exactly.
4. Received unsolicited during the qualifying period or solicited during the qualifying period by a person who is not employed or retained by the candidate and who is not compensated to collect contributions by the candidate or on behalf of the candidate.
5. If Made by check or money order, ONLY AND made payable to the candidate’s campaign committee, or if in cash, deposited in the candidate’s campaign committee’s account. A PARTICIPATING CANDIDATE AND THE CANDIDATE’S CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE MAY NOT ACCEPT CASH CONTRIBUTIONS.

Disallowing qualifying $5 contributions to candidates in cash is an ingenious way to make it more difficult for Democrats to use Clean Elections. Low income and young people are not likely to have a checkbook in their immediate possession and probably don’t have the time and energy to wait in line at a convenience or grocery store to buy a money order.

The committee ultimately submitted an amendment that appears to have stripped out the ban on $5 contributions made in cash (which doesn’t mean it won’t come back later) but instead makes it clear that you Democratic candidates and voters had better have your shit totally together:

F. THE COMMISSION SHALL ESTABLISH A RANDOM AUDITING PROCESS FOR REPORTING SLIPS THAT PROVIDES FOR A REVIEW OF A SAMPLE OF QUALIFYING CONTRIBUTIONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE CONTRIBUTIONS WERE MADE BY THE PERSON WHO SIGNED THE REPORTING SLIP. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROVIDE TO THE COMMISSION THE INFORMATION THE COMMISSION DEEMS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROCESS.

Well, of course Secretary of State Reagan will provide the “information” deemed necessary to determine if a Clean Elections contribution is legitimate or not. My guess is that you had better have some excellent handwriting and precise skills at filling out forms, Democratic voters. It’s like the poll test of yore, except fresher!

One response to “AZ Lege poor bashes with Clean Elections bill

  1. Clean Elections does help Democratics run candidates, but it seems to be more help in getting Tea Party candidates elected as Republicans when the business community would not support them. See Diane Douglas for an example. Wouldn’t we all be better off without this program in any form?