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Proponents: Voter’s Right to Now act passage is a win for all in Arizona

Photo of Dark Money sign for Arizona general election
Prop. 211, which appears to have passed with widespread support, requires any group spending more than $50,000 on statewide campaigns or $25,000 on local campaigns to disclose the names of the original contributors who provided the money for the advertisement. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

Arizona Voter’s Right to Now is now approved by electorate

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

With extraordinarily broad support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents, Arizona voters have approved Proposition 211 to end “dark money” in political spending.

Unofficial results show 73% of Arizonians voted in favor of the proposition and the measure passed in every one of Arizona’s 15 counties. A multi-partisan coalition of Arizonans strongly advocated for Prop. 211.

They include Independent businessman David Tedesco, Democrat Terry Goddard, and Republican and former Town of Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker. Prop. 211 requires any group spending more than $50,000 on statewide campaigns or $25,000 on local campaigns to disclose the names of the original contributors who provided the money for the advertisement.

Mr. Goddard, a lawyer by trade and a longtime political advocate, including former mayor of Phoenix and Arizona Attorney General, spearheaded this, his fourth effort to end what is referred to by political aficionados as “dark money.”

Mr. Goddard, amongst a growing chorus of political operatives, believes a lack of disclosure for 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations that spend money on disseminating content using public communications is in direct conflict with American democracy.

Arizona voters agreed, unofficial results show.

The issue of “dark money” comes from a Supreme Court ruling essentially granting American corporations certain inalienable rights to free speech, legal experts opine. In its 2010 ruling of Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, the United States Supreme Court confirmed corporations are people and have the same rights as human beings to express its First Amendment right to political speech.

Mr. Goddard, a lawyer by trade and a longtime political advocate, including former mayor of Phoenix and Arizona Attorney General, spearheaded this, his fourth effort to end what is referred to by political aficionados as “dark money.”

‘Dark Money’ ends in Arizona

“The extraordinarily broad support for Proposition 211 demonstrates that Arizona can still come together and agree on important political issues, irrespective of ideology. It clearly says we do not want ‘Dark Money’ in Arizona any longer,” Mr. Tedesco said in a prepared statement. “Perhaps just as importantly, it sends the broader message that the vast majority of Arizona voters want a cleaner, more honest political process.”

Mr. Goddard called the effort “homegrown.”

“A broad coalition across the political spectrum supported Prop 211 including former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, my Republican opponent in the 1990 race for governor. Our campaign financial support was homegrown Arizonan,” he said.

“Our mix of supporters represents the broad range of opinions that are uniquely Arizonan. I can’t think of another effort that had support from such a widely varied group. We had thousands of grass roots volunteers collecting signatures along with corporate CEOs. Major Republicans and Democrats are standing shoulder to shoulder in endorsing and affirming that voters have a right to know who is trying to get them to vote one way or the other. Almost 2 million Arizonans voted Yes on Prop. 211 to demand transparency in our election financing.”

Mr. Parker expressed a sense of accomplishment.

“Conservatives and progressives rallied to this cause because both have seen firsthand how ‘dark money’ political spending has unfairly targeted both Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “They have seen how it has moved political ads further and further from a debate of ideas or qualifications towards baseless mudslinging.”

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