Sunday, August 28, 2016

Backers of minimum-wage file financial reports. Opponents mum about spending.

It's worse. Opponents clearly are spending money on legal fees to keep Proposition 206 off of the ballot. But according to Howard Fischer's report in the Daily Star, Backers of minimum-wage increase in Arizona have raised $1.4 million, the opponents have not even filed as a political committee. This is Rule #1 in campaign finance: if more than one person forms a group to influence anything on a ballot, that group must file as a political committee with the office of the Secretary of State. But ...

... the Secretary of State’s Office said Friday that it has yet to get a spending report from foes. In fact, spokesman Matt Roberts said foes have not even filed to form a campaign committee, a legal prerequisite for spending any money for or against ballot measures.

There clearly has been some spending.

The restaurant association hired attorneys and filed suit on July 14 in a legal bid, unsuccessful to date, to have the measure removed from the November ballot. And the report due Friday is supposed to cover all expenses through Aug. 18.

Neither Steve Chucri, president of the restaurant group, nor Chiane Hewer, its spokeswoman, returned repeated calls seeking comment.

Roberts said his office has no legal opinion on whether the money spent in court over ballot measures has to be reported. But the legal expenses incurred by initiative supporters are listed, with their report saying the group paid $70,000 to the Torres Law Group to defend them in the lawsuit brought by the restaurant association.

We should not be surprised. The restaurant owners are the same bunch that is running a law suit against Prop 206 in which the main legal point is the definition of the word "day".

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