Saturday, July 25, 2015

The battle over dark money in crAZy

Here is a longish post from AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona. Even Meanie's often harsh critic "Steve" lauds Meanie for an excellent account of the fight between the Clean Elections Commission and the Secretary of State's office. So if you want to get up to speed on what that fight is all about, Meanie's post is a very good place to start.

Let me take a crack at boiling it down. Michele Reagan ran for SoS on a platform of dark money reform. Meanie warned us at the time that she was lying. Turns out to be exactly that way. She says her office cannot do anything about dark money (even though she claims it is the only agency authorized to deal with dark money regulation). Enter the Clean Elections Commission.

In Arizona we have the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, enacted by a citizens initiative, something we know that Republican office holders hate after having tried to kill the Citizens Clean Elections Commission for years.

The Commission says it has the authority to regulate "dark money" disclosures and is proposing a rule to do something about it.

So the SoS office, claiming dark money turf, has entered into a cold war with the Commission that is now heating up.

Secretary of State Michele Reagan, who refuses to do anything about "dark money" campaign disclosures says "Uh-uh, no way! I am the Queen of elections in Arizona! I am the law!" So it looks as if we are headed for a battle royale over "dark money" campaign disclosures in Arizona.

Among the other players is ex-AG Terry Goddard. He was the honest candidate for SoS last year and is now on a crusade to do something about dark money disclosure.

Still lurking out there is Terry Goddard’s "dark money" campaign disclosure initiative by VPA Arizona yet to be filed.

There's much more to this "cold war" and the contestants in it. For example, the logic of the SoS office justifying their not doing anything about dark money but arguing that the Commission should not do anything either is a fun read. Do check out Meanie's post.

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