The Republicans in Arizona have long wanted to get rid of the Citizen's Clean Elections Commission (CCEC). But because it was voted into existence by the voters of Arizona, Republican politicians have not been able to attack it directly. Now, they have come up with a way to "gut" the CCEC's effectiveness, Proposition 306.
Prop 306 is being billed as "stop taxpayer money for political parties" which seems reasonable on the surface. But a second aspect of this proposition is to basically remove the Commission's ability to create rules regarding elections particularly how campaign contributions are reported. Commission rules will now have to be approved by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) or the State Attorney General. This allows politicians to make decisions about how our elections will be run. The goal was to limit any campaign contribution reporting requirements.
I have a problem with both aspects of this proposition. As much as possible we need to keep politicians out of the conduct of our elections. Republicans do not want transparency in campaign finance reporting. They also do not want clean election candidate funding going to political parties. But the reality is that often clean elections candidates can purchase legitimate services from their parties, such as voter data information, mailing lists, literature design services. Is there a possibility of abuse? Yes, but our state has strong campaign finance reporting requirements for candidates on how they spend their campaign funds.
Let's not put those candidates that decide to participate in the clean elections funding system at even a greater disadvantage by not allowing them to purchase very clearly defined services from their political party.
I'm voting NO on Prop 306.