April 26, 2019

Clean Elections Commissioner Concerned about Dark Money in Arizona

A discussion with Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commissioner Mark Kimble.

Candidates running for state office have access to public funds from the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. Those dollars come from a variety of sources to include court fees and funds that candidates raise from individuals, and not committees. Commissioner Mark Kimble discussed issues that have the board's attention ahead of next year's elections, like the prevalence of so-called dark money in Arizona.

"The Arizona Legislature has put up some roadblocks to protect some information on the sources of dark money. So that is something that I think is frustrating. I think the people ought to know where all the money that goes into campaigns, whether it's for candidates or issues, comes from," Kimble said. "I think it has given candidates a choice. You can go out and raise a lot of money from private donors, or you can raise a small amount of money to show that you're a viable candidate and then have your campaign funded by money from Clean Elections."

Aside from dark money, the commission is also concerned about the effects of Proposition 306. Voters approved the measure last November. It prohibits candidates from transferring public funds to political parties or groups. It also puts the commission's rulemaking under the authority of a council appointed by the governor. Because the commission was created by voters to function independently from the Legislature or governor, Kimble said the court will have to "iron out" whether the board can fall under the purview of the governor's office.

Arizona 360
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