Deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections one step closer to the ballot


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Back in 2010, then Sen. Jonathan "Payday" Paton had a purposefully deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections by technically leaving the Citizens Clean Elections Act approved by voters in
1998 in place, but leaving no money in the fund for candidates
in the 2012 election. Public financing of elections all but dead | The Sierra Vista Herald:

Sen. Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, a foe of public financing, conceded
that he fears the public, confronted with a measure that asks to repeal
the “Clean Elections” system, would not see it the way he does.

This bill, said Paton, gets around that political problem. More to the point, it offers a carrot to convince voters to go along.

It has an excellent chance of passing,” he said. Paton said the
measure provides voters with the choice of “funding junk mail and yard
signs or funding our classrooms.”

Evil Tea-Publican plots never die, they just get recycled year after year until they get their way. This year, "Tempe Normal" graduate student Rep. Paul Boyer (R-Phoenix) is the water-carrier for this purposefully deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections. You can bet that lobbyist "Payday" Paton, the Goldwater Institute, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce — longtime foes of Citizens Clean Elections — are in the shadows behind this purposefully deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections.

The Arizona Republic reports that Clean Elections’ funding could be returned to ballot:

A state lawmaker wants voters to decide whether to strip the Citizens
Clean Elections Commission of its funding and give that money to the
Arizona Department of Education.

Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, said he authored House Concurrent
Resolution 2026 because the money would be better spent on students than
on what he considers a failed system for publicly funding political
campaigns. [Sure he did.]

“If we really want to direct that money towards a public good, I
believe that public education through charters and also through the
district schools are the best use of that money,” Boyer said. “I’m
always looking for ongoing funding for education, and I view this as an
ongoing funding stream.”

Sure you do, kid. Who do you think you are dealing with? You are just a water-carrier for the Goldwater Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, and "Payday" Paton.

Todd Lang, executive director of the Citizens Clean Election
Commission, said that although he doesn’t doubt Boyer’s commitment to
education, he believes that the true target is Clean Elections.

“You just have to look at the context of what he’s saying,” Lang
said. “His whole presentation that day and his whole presentation when
it was in the House are consistently critical of Clean Elections,
critical of the name ‘Clean Elections,’ critical of the whole program
and supportive of getting rid of it.”

Lang said that by building the argument around education, funding
supporters can avoid attempting to simply repeal Clean Elections,
something that opinion polls suggest would likely fail.

Barbara Klein, president of the League of Women Voters of Arizona,
told the committee that the resolution set voters up to make a choice
that shouldn’t really be a choice at all.

“We would be appalled if we were asked to vote, ‘Do you want
breakfast, or do you want dinner?’ ” Klein said. “It’s obvious that this
attempt — at least it’s obvious to us — that this attempt is simply to
kill Clean Elections by putting it up against lollipops and puppy dogs.”

This purposefully deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections is one step closer to appearing on the 2014 ballot.

The Clean Elections Commission has received an average of about $10.5
million annually over the past three years from a 10 percent surcharge
on civil penalties and criminal fines; civil penalties paid by
candidates, and the $5 contributions candidates must collect to

* * *

Boyer’s proposal would divert that money to the Department of
Education for maintenance and operations. If passed by the state
Legislature, it would appear on the 2014 ballot.

The Senate Education Committee narrowly endorsed Boyer’s proposal
along party lines last week, forwarding it to the floor by way of the
Rules Committee. It passed the House by a vote of 31-27, also largely
along party lines.

Final Senate approval of this bill will send this purposefully deceptive plot to kill Citizens Clean Elections to the 2014 ballot.


  1. He’s a republican. Of course he is always looking for money for “charters…and also district schools.”

    So how do we explain that Arizona Republicans have cut education dollars more that any other state?