Dirty Money Hates Clean Elections (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley and Edward Cizak

Today’s video is about Clean Elections and about saving Democracy. It also addresses the drama over voting rights legislation in the US Congress. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, you were in the Arizona Legislature. You know how radical Arizona Republicans are. PLEASE save our state from voter suppression and a flood of dirty money trying to buy our elections.

The voters of Arizona created the Citizens Clean Elections Commission in 1998 as a reaction to corruption and bribery scandals in the Arizona Legislature in the early 1990s. I moved to Arizona 40 years ago and remember the AZScam scandal very well. Clean Elections funding was meant to be a system where candidates with good ideas (but no connections to rich people) could successfully run for office. It was a good system that was used by Republicans and Democrats.

Every year that I have served in the Legislature, the Republicans — particularly Rep. Leo Biasiucci from Mohave County — have proposed and passed bills to diminish clean money in elections. Prop 306 in 2018 hurt clean elections greatly. There has been a dramatic reduction in candidates running clean since that passed.

Campaign finance reports were due on January 15, 2022. There is already a lot of money sloshing around in November 2022 election races. Income and expenses for candidate committees, political action committees and independent expenditures for and against candidates can viewed and downloaded at the Arizona Secretary of States website. For number nerds like me, Arizona’s campaign finance database can provide hours of fun and insight.

It is very sad to see a system that the voters like and that the voters created be killed by the Republican Party. It is even worse to see our senior US senator protecting voter suppression in Arizona. The We the People Act included a nationwide clean elections. What is Sinema afraid of? She likes big money, and she’s protecting big money politics. In defending the filibuster as a “tradition,” she’s dissing the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King and protecting structural racism.