Ending Dark Money in Arizona
30 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2020
Date Written: 2019
According to an NYU study, Arizona saw "by far the biggest surge in dark money" in the four years following the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United During the 2014 election cycle, for example, Arizona had approximately $10.3 million coursing through its political veins -- more than any other state examined by the study. In most states, little can be done to inhibit dark money in politics. (Why would a politician benefiting from these tax-exempt super-donors want to encumber his cash flow?)
But Arizona isn't like most states. Article 7, section 16 of the Arizona Constitution requires the state legislature to "enact a law providing for a general publicity...of all campaign contributions to, and expenditures of campaign committees and candidates for public office." This article argues that several of Arizona's pro-dark-money statutes are unconstitutional under this "General Publicity Clause."
The political philosopher Ronald Dworkin once said, "Our politics are a disgrace, and money is the root of the problem." My hope is that this article will contribute, in some way, no matter how small, to reigning in dark money in Arizona.
Keywords: campaign finance, dark money, Arizona, Arizona Constitution
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