Tag Archives: dark money

‘Don’t be fooled by legislative flimflam’ – vote no on Prop. 306

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposed the citizens initiative to create the Citizens Clean Elections Commissions. They lost.  They have used their lickspittle lackeys in Arizona’s GOP-controlled legislature ever since to undermine the commission – with some success – with the goal to eventually destroy it.

Their latest effort is Prop. 306 which misleading claims to reform some clean elections rules. Don’t be fooled by the language of the ballot measure.

Mark Kimble, former editor of the now defunct Tucson Citizen, has an op-ed at the Arizona Daily Star which explains Prop 306 imperils nonpartisan Citizens Clean Elections Commission:

Twenty years ago, Arizona voters approved formation of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, to “improve the integrity of Arizona state government and promote public confidence in the Arizona political process.”

But on the November ballot, the Arizona Legislature, using Prop. 306, is trying to trick you into doing away with the nonpartisan Clean Elections Commission. They want you to turn the entire process over to a shadow group of political appointees, all of whom would represent only the party of the governor.

Legislators want to do all they can to make sure the sources of dark money in political campaigns remain secret. And they want your help.

Take a close look at Prop. 306 and understand what the real goal is.

The majority in the Legislature knew that if they put on the ballot a clearly worded proposition to do away with clean elections, it would be soundly rejected. So they resorted to obfuscation and misdirection.

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The corrupting influence of dark money in the Arizona Governor race

Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, is repeating the corrupting influence of dark money that he used to get elected in 2014 in his reelection bid in 2018.

This after Governor Ducey and his lickspittle lackeys in the GOP controlled Arizona legislature spent the last four years removing any remaining restrictions on “dark money” and blocking every citizen effort to force transparency and disclosure in campaign finances. The final insult to democracy was Ducey’s court packing scheme of the Arizona Supreme Court, which paid off with the court blocking the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative from this fall’s ballot for specious reasons enacted into law by his lickspittle lackeys in the GOP controlled Arizona legislature, the will of the voters be damned.

This is what GOP authoritarianism and its culture of corruption in Arizona looks like. It is grounds enough for you to vote them all out of office.

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A rare victory over ‘dark money’ in a divided Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts has dedicated his professional career to destroying the Voting Rights Act and destroying any and all campaign finance laws. He represents the millionaires and billionaires who want a corporatocracy to replace our democracy in a new Gilded Age. What a swell guy.

Last week, the Chief Justice granted an emergency application from Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategy, a nonprofit linked to American Crossroads, a “super PAC” started by Karl Rove, to stay the order of U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell which rejected a long-standing FEC regulation regarding disclosure, concluding that nonprofits like Crossroads Grassroots should be required to disclose any donors who give at least $200 toward any independent expenditures. See, Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog, Chief justice puts donor-disclosure ruling on hold. If allowed to stand, the ruling would be significant: Political nonprofits have spent over $700 million on “independent expenditures” since 2010.

Robert’s referred his temporary order to the full court, and the evenly divided Supreme Court denied the group’s application without comment or published dissent. The ruling means that the district court’s order invalidating the FEC’s regulation will go into effect for now.

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WATCH: New Ad From GOP Super PAC Tries To Tie Sinema To Sanctuary Cities (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

Kyrsten Sinema supports “sanctuary cities”, according to a new – and major – ad buy from One Nation hitting the airwaves today. That news might come as a surprise to many Arizonans. They remember a couple of years ago when the Congresswoman was one of just six Democrats to vote for a House bill to bar communities from receiving federal law enforcement monies if they refused to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

One Nation is a GOP Super PAC that has ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and heavyweight political consultant Karl Rove. It does not disclose its contributors, and is not divulging how much money it is spending on the ad posted below.* However, it purchased $93,000 worth of ad time on one Phoenix station (KPNX) alone.

The ad notes that Sinema voted twice last year against an amendment and a bill that would have penalized the cities (none in Arizona). Neither of those measures have been considered by the Senate. And, the ad closes by urging you to contact Sinema and ask her to vote for a similar measure recently proposed by members of the Freedom Caucus.

However, it does not mention that Sinema crossed the aisle to vote for the first such measure in 2015 – derisively referred to by one Democrat as “the Donald Trump Act” because it was rushed to the floor shortly after the then-candidate used the killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco to define his campaign.

(Ad can be seen after the jump.)

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Forces of ‘dark money’ block Outlaw Dirty Money initiative from the ballot, appeal filed

Our corporate overlords got their lickspittle servants in the GOP to enact a requirement in 2017 that all efforts by voters to enact their own laws by citizen initiative must be in “strict compliance” with each and every election statute, reversing more than 70 years of the courts applying the “substantial compliance” doctrine.

Our corporate overlords got their lickspittle servants in the GOP to enact a 2014 law that requires judges to toss signatures from circulators who don’t show up in court in response to a subpoena. Failure to show up in court in response to the subpoena means a judge must invalidate all the signatures collected by that individual – even if those signatures are valid.

These two provisions of law designed to undermine your constitutional right to enact laws through citizen initiatives were successfully used by the forces of “dark money” to prevent the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative from qualifying for the ballot. An appeal has been filed.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Court ruling, lack of signatures sink ‘dark money’ ballot measure:

A new court decision Thursday has left backers of a ban on “dark money” even further from their goal of getting the measure on the ballot.

In an extensive ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Teresa Sanders rejected arguments by attorney Kim Demarchi that Secretary of State Michele Reagan had improperly and illegally disqualified some petitions submitted in July. Sanders said Reagan acted within what the law requires when petitions do not conform with legal requirements, i.e., strict compliance.

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Outlaw Dirty Money initiative challenged in court

The same legal arguments being made by the GOP’s voter suppression team and its “dark money” allies (e.g., APS and “Kochtopus” tentacles) against the Invest in Education Act initiative and the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative were made against the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative on Monday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith last week, reviewing the Invest in Education Act initiative, ruled that state legislators acted illegally in enacting a requirement in 2017 that all efforts by voters to enact their own laws must be in “strict compliance” with each and every election statute.

But Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Kiley reached the opposite conclusion in reviewing the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative.

The conflicting rulings mean the Arizona Supreme Court will have to determine who is right — and soon as what the justices rule ultimately could determine what will be on the November ballot. Initiatives may not be decided at the ballot box but by seven justices of the Arizona Supreme Court.

Another issue the Arizona Supreme Court will have to decide is the constitutionality of the 2014 law that requires judges to toss signatures from circulators who don’t show up in court. Failure to show up in court in response to the subpoena means a judge must invalidate all the signatures collected by that individual – even if valid.

This 2014 voter suppression law is more directly at issue in yesterday’s review of the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative. The Arizona Capitol Times reports, ‘Dark money,’ renewable energy ballot measures in court:

The question of whether voters get to decide whether to outlaw “dark money” could depend on whether a judge voids a law that throws a hurdle in the path of initiative organizers.

GOP attorney Kory Langhofer who represents groups that now do not disclose the source of their funds contends that the Outlaw Dirty Money committee does not have sufficient valid signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. At a hearing Monday, Langhofer told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Teresa Sanders there are flaws with many of the signatures.

But much of Langhofer’s case rests on the fact that he issued more than a dozen subpoenas to people who circulated petitions, people who he contends were not legally qualified. These include people who Langhofer contends have felony convictions or did not provide a proper address.

None of those subpoenaed showed up in court on Monday.

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