Dirty money won, and citizens lost
You should go immediately to the website of the Outlaw Dirty Money group, where your brother and sister citizens are trying to do something the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey refuse to do: Shine a light on dirty money. Dirty. Filthy. Money.
It’s a simple thing, really.
Not long ago, 91 percent of voters in Tempe passed an ordinance that said if you’re a non-profit organization that spends more than $1,000 to influence the outcome of an election, you have to say who put up the money.
The good people of Tempe weren’t saying a person or group couldn’t donate to a campaign. They just wanted you to be open about it. To own it. So they tried to shine a little light on the “dark money.”
The city of Phoenix was on track to do the same thing.
But then the Republican-controlled Legislature passed House Bill 2153, which stifled these efforts by prohibiting cities, counties or the state from requiring dark-money groups to disclose who is behind them.
That put the issue on Ducey’s desk. He could have vetoed the bill or signed it — siding with power brokers. Ducey chose darkness.
In an op-ed for The Arizona Republic, one of the leaders of the Outlaw Dirty Money group, former state Attorney General Terry Goddard, wrote, “We believe Arizona voters have the right to know who is paying for political ads and to make voting decisions based on complete information.
“If this is hard, it is because someone spent a ton of money on expensive lawyers to find clever ways to hide their participation in Arizona elections from you and me. To wipe their fingerprints off the knife. To keep us in the dark.
“Our Outlaw Dirty Money (outlawdirtymoney.com) initiative takes a simple approach. It cuts through the deceptive mumbo jumbo. Our measure will force the person who spends money (more than $10,000) to influence an Arizona election to tell us where that money came from. And to tell us the ‘original source’ of all contributions more than $2,500.”
In order to get their proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot, the Outlaw Dirty Money group must gather more than 300,000 valid voter signatures by June 5. It’s not easy.
But it’s necessary.
At least, if you believe rich people and corporations should not be able to spend unlimited money to influence elections and not have to reveal their identities. These are the people who fund things like attack ads. Shouldn’t they own up to it?
It’s not a lot to ask.
The amendment doesn’t say people can’t donate, only that they must admit it. Likewise, the politicians who take the money must admit from whom they’re taking it.
What are they afraid of?