Arizonans love Clean Elections and the Citizens’ Initiative because these two statues allow the voters’ voices to be heard. That is exactly why these two rights of Arizona voters are under continuous attack by the Republican Party.
HB2724 is a direct assault on the autonomy of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and is the natural next step for right-wingers after the passage of the anti-Clean Elections Prop 306 in Nov. 2018.
HB2724 is politically targeted and costly over-regulation of a popular commission. HB2724 allows every rule created by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission to be challenged by anyone in the state and thus start an official investigation. This bill could spark multiple unnecessary investigations by the Governor’s regulatory agency. No other state agency suffers from this oppressive oversight. This is heavy-handed regulation aimed at suppressing the voices of candidates who choose to say no to big money politics.
There might be some journalistic rule against three exclamation points in one headline, but I’m excited.
On Monday, I submitted 249 $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contributions and 750 signatures to get on the August 28, 2018 primary ballot and on the November 6, 2018 general election ballot. Thanks so much to everyone who canvassed with me, who signed my petition, who donated seed money, and who donated $5 to Clean Elections to support my re-election campaign.
If you have paper petitions or still want to sign my petition, you will have a chance in May. I know that I have volunteers out there with petitions; don’t worry. I plan to turn in additional signatures before the May deadline.
I love the Clean Elections system. I use it because I believe that big money politics has corrupted our election system. I see big money politics in action everyday. At the Capitol, bills are routinely brought forward that benefit one donor or one corporation. That is not fair to the people of Arizona.
It is a significant amount of work to collect hundreds of $5 donations, but Clean Elections funding frees me from making hours of fundraising phone calls to rich donors. My focus, as a Clean Elections candidate, is on connecting with and serving the voters.
Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called herself a “Mama Grizzly” because she said she would fight like a Mama Grizzly to protect her children.
Although “Mama Grizzly” was a catchy marketing slogan for the folksy rural mayor from Alaska, the Republican Party has never embraced the idea of protecting children after birth or helping families. Unfortunately, this week Congressional Republicans took their disregard for middle class families one step further by voting for billions of dollars in tax cuts for big corporations and for the richest Americans– while saddling our children and grandchildren with massive debt to pay the bills in the future.
Hmmm… let’s see… what to do… pass legislation that would actually help millions of Americans– like equitably funding public education across the country or fixing the Affordable Care Act (to make it affordable) — OR cut taxes for your rich donors? Cut taxes, of course! With party-line votes to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congressional Republicans have shown that they are far more interested in enriching the billionaire class than in improving the lives of everyday Americans. Universal healthcare? Food Security? World-class public education? Safe roads and bridges? Financial stability for the middle class? Meh. Congressional Republicans don’t care about pursuing the People’s To-Do List.
Although the majority of Americans see the tax cut bill as unfair, Republicans are on course to deliver the biggest Christmas present… ever… to the 0.01%.
In my opinion, the passage of this massive wealth transfer bill underscores the need for a few new progressive action items…
What is Clean Elections all about? Why would anyone choose to run for office using Arizona’s Clean Elections system– rather than run a “traditional” political campaign fueled by as much cash as you can rake in? How does the Clean Elections system work? What are the advantages and disadvantages to running a publicly funded campaign vs a privately funded campaign?
Please join former Arizona Senate Minority Leader Phil Lopes and I at the PDA Tucson Clean Elections Forum, Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ward 6 office (Facebook event here.) Phil ran clean and won every election. I ran clean and won in 2016, and my 2018 re-election campaign is also a clean campaign.
If you think that big-money politics and special interests are destroying our democracy, come on down and learn about Clean Elections. Have you been toying with the idea of running for office but can’t stand the idea of making hundreds of fundraising phone calls to raise the cash the consultants say you need?
Clean Elections is a grassroots system of organizing and funding a political campaign; it was created by the Citizens Initiative process. Candidates are required to collect a designated number of $5 qualifying contributions from people who can vote for them, plus collect signatures like other candidates. Once Legislative candidates have collected a minimum of 200 valid $5 contributions, they qualify for public funds and agree not to take any donations from corporations, special interest PACs, or dirty money from secret sources. With public funds, seed money, and family money, Clean Elections candidates receive approximately $45,000 to run for office. Is $45,000 enough money to run for office? Yes! If you look at campaign finance reports, there are current Legislators who won their offices with $1000 or less! Campaign finance is all over the map. In 2016, my average seed money donation was $25. (The maximum donation for a clean candidate is $160; the maximum donation for a privately funded candidate is $5000. A stark contrast.)
Legislative candidates in LD9 (Victoria Steele, Jim Love and me), LD2 (Senator Andrea Dalessandro and Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon), and LD3 (Senator Olivia Cajero-Bedford and Betty Villegas) are running clean– along with several statewide candidates for department of education and Arizona Corporation Commission. You can support them by clicking here to donate $5.
If you want to get big money out of politics and you like Arizona’s Clean Elections system, it’s time to speak up to save it. Irregularities in the 2016 election prompted proposed rule changes by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. (There are three versions of R2-20-702 and a new rule R2-20-703.01 – here. You can send your comments to email@example.com or go to this link and submit comments by June 19, before the commission votes at its next meeting on June 22, 2017.)
Below is the back story and a detailed explanation of the proposed rule changes.
After collecting the requisite number of petition signatures and $5 qualifying donations from people who can vote for them, Clean Elections candidates (like me) receive lump sums of $16,000 for the primary and $24,000 for the general election– in exchange for vowing not to take big money donations. With seed money and family money, the total for a Clean Elections candidate is roughly $45,000 for a Legislative campaign. All unspent CE funds must be returned to the CE commission, and all unspent seed money or seed money overage must be returned to the individual donors.
During the 2016 election, two Democratic Party Clean Elections candidates turned over all or most of their CE funds in a lump sum to the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC) of the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) to run their campaigns, provide paid staff, and purchase/design/mail their printed materials. ADLCC provides these services to many traditionally funded candidates and offered them to CE candidates as well in 2016. A problem arose with at least two CE candidates because the party didn’t provide individual invoices for specific services rendered.
Yesterday, I received my official notice that my $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contributions had passed muster. In other words, the Pima County Recorder’s office has reviewed my 277 $5 contributions and verified that more than 250 registered LD9 voters gave me $5. Yay!
This is a huge milestone for my campaign because it means I will receive my primary funds of $16,044 early next week. If — or I should say when — I win the primary race, I will receive another $24, 066. Clean Elections candidates also can raise seed money of $4011 and family money of up to $720. That is a grand total of $44,841 to run for the Legislature.
In these days of dark money, ~$45,000 is not a lot of cash to run a campaign, but I believe with targeted strategies, social media, volunteers, and a lot of hard work, we can do this. Obviously, there are many things that privately funded candidates purchase with campaign funds that I won’t be able to afford or that I I won’t be able to buy because of Clean Elections law.
I won’t be hiring someone to sit next to me and force me to call hundreds of wealthy people and ask them for $5000 (the new maximum Legislative contribution, thanks to the dark money darlings in the Arizona Legislature). Actually, my campaign has just about reached the seed money/family money limit. As of this date, I can accept only another $165 in seed money and another $200 in family money (if any of the Hannley’s or the Powers’ are reading this.) Mine is definitely a campaign run on small donations and people power. Not counting the 277 $5 Clean Elections contributions or the $160 that my husband and I each donated to my campaign, I received 95 individual seed money donations, mostly from people who live in Tucson. Fifty-eight percent of my seed money donations were $25 or less, and only seven donations (4%) were the maximum donation of $160. Thank you so much! Clean Elections candidates live on seed money until they get their public funds.