In 1998, Arizona enacted the “Clean Elections Act” via ballot initiative. The law is a statewide tax financing program for political candidates. This case challenges the “matching funds” aspect of the Act. Under “matching funds,” a candidate who opts into the tax financing system will receive extra government subsidies if they face a privately-funded opponent who spends beyond a certain “trigger.” Independent spending in a race outside the control of candidates also triggers additional government subsidies.
Petitioners challenge the case under Davis v. Federal Election Commission, where the Supreme Court held that campaign finance schemes designed to level the playing field between candidates did not serve a compelling state interest.
In Jan. 2010, the U.S. Court for the District of Arizona ruled that the “matching funds” provision of the Act was unconstitutional and prohibited the state from distributing “matching funds” in 2010 campaigns. Arizona appealed this decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and that court reversed the district court’s ruling.
On Nov. 29, 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear oral arguments on the case and consider the appeal.
|Court Filings & Rulings|
|CCP Amicus Brief – U.S. Court of the District of Arizona|
|CCP Amicus Brief – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals|
|CCP Amicus Brief – U.S. Supreme Court (cert.)|
|Phoenix New Times: 10 Worst Ideas of the Decade||Phoenix Business Journal: Business lobbyists pushing Clean Elections repeal|
|Arizona Capitol Times: Senate tackles Clean Elections during busy floor session|
|Arizona Republic: Campaign-influence changes eyed||Capitol Media Services: Public financing of elections all but dead|
Online & Blogs
|CCP: Deconstructing the SCOTUS tax financing case
|CCP: Death by a thousand orders for tax finanincing in Ariz.|
|CCP: Rescue Funds ruled unconstitutional in Arizona|
|CCP: Lawmakers iffy on ‘clean elections’ in Arizona|
|CCP files brief challenging ‘matching funds’ provision in Arizona|
|CCP files brief in Ariz. campaign finance case|