Changes to Clean Elec­tions are nixed

Judge: 2016 law il­le­gally lim­ited power of panel

The Arizona Republic - - Front Page - Dustin Gar­diner

A judge has ruled that Ari­zona law­mak­ers vi­o­lated the state Con­sti­tu­tion on mul­ti­ple fronts when they passed a sweep­ing over­haul of cam­paign-fi­nance laws in 2016.

Those changes il­le­gally limit the power of the voter-ap­proved Cit­i­zens Clean Elec­tions Com­mis­sion to po­lice cam­paign-fi­nance laws and il­le­gally cre­ate loop­holes for spend­ing lim­its, the rul­ing states.

Mari­copa County Su­pe­rior Court Judge David Palmer ruled that the changes are un­con­sti­tu­tional and can­not be en­forced.

The rul­ing is the lat­est twist in a fight over Se­nate Bill 1516, a ma­jor re­write of cam­paign-fi­nance laws that the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture and Gov. Doug Ducey pushed in 2016.

At the cen­ter of the dis­pute is the voter-ap­proved Clean Elec­tions Act of 1998.

Vot­ers ap­proved the act to limit the in­flu­ence of money in pol­i­tics. The act cre­ated the Clean Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, which runs a pub­lic fi­nanc­ing

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