Tempe Arizona’s Mayor and Vice Mayor were pleased with the decision from the State Attorney General office that the “Keep Dark Money out of Local Elections “ initiative, which passed in 2018 with 91 percent of local support does not violate state law and can be “harmonized together” with state statutes.
The finding, sparked by a complaint from non-Tempe resident State Representative Vince “Dark Money is Good” Leach, is a victory against the forces that want to run the state and its towns and cities from the shadows.
In response to the Attorney General’s finding, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell commented on his Facebook Page that:
“I am pleased to announce that the AG’s opinion is in Tempe’s favor and has the effect of maintaining local decision-making over matters that are clearly within the purview of charter cities, such as election issues. This is great news for our residents who overwhelmingly supported the measure to establish greater transparency about who attempts to influence our local elections. We have always believed we took this action legally with our residents. I am gratified that we can confidently let our resident’s voices be heard and we can now move on.”
Tempe Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby commented that, based on past actions by the Attorney General, she was pleasantly surprised that he rendered this decision, noting that “ After all, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the method and manner of local elections are a matter for local jurisdictions. Tempe voters want transparency and the will of the voters (91.4%) has been upheld.”
The Vice Mayor also dismissed the opinion offered by another Arizona periodical that the decision effectively strips Tempe from enforcing its ordinances upon 501 C4’s, commenting that “The notion that nonprofits are playing in Tempe’s local elections is a “canard.” Given the Independent Expenditure groups that played in our past elections, Tempe’s enforcement capabilities are not “gutted” by the finding.”
While voicing some concern that a test case challenging enforcement may surface, Kuby believes that activists and voters should take heed and take the next step in embracing and approving at the ballot box the New Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative, again being led by former State Attorney General (and Gubernatorial candidate) Terry Goddard.
By passing the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative through the ballot, the citizens of this state, like those in Tempe and Phoenix, will be able to back Arizona from the tentacles of shadowy oligarchical and plutocratic interests that care only for their own interests. As with the upcoming Presidential, Congressional, State Legislative and other local races, voters need to turn out and vote for the good of Democracy and Arizona.