Today the Arizona Free Enterprise Club released a legal analysis on the proposed ‘Clean Elections’ initiative, a ballot measure that would dramatically increase the amount of taxpayer funding politicians would receive to run their campaigns.

The analysis shows that this poorly drafted initiative contains multiple defects, most significant of which is the fact that the initiative attempts to change and amend state statutes that no longer exist. Since the proposed changes are not based on existing law, the initiative is defective and will be kept off the ballot.

“After careful review, it is clear that the proponents of taxpayer money for politicians were sloppy and failed to draft their initiative based on current law.” Club President Scot Mussi said. “The campaign finance reform amendments that rewrote state statute were passed back in March. Clean Election supporters have known this for months, yet they didn’t modify their language to take this into account.”

Even if the proponents collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, there is extensive case law that initiatives cannot amend non-existent statutes and that this is grounds for kicking it off the ballot.

Mussi continued, “Even if they are successful in their signature gathering efforts, the petitions will likely be rejected, either by the state or by a challenge in court.”

The deadline to submit a new initiative application and submit signatures is July 7th. The analysis can be viewed by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016…today The Governor signed HB 2447 which eliminates the requirement for new businesses in Maricopa and Pima Counties to purchase advertisements in newspapers to publish their articles of incorporation.

This bill has been tried for the last 15 years without success; this year the Arizona Free Enterprise Club took the lead in fighting for its passage. Despite the newspaper industry hiring an army of lobbyists to protect their corporate welfare, good public policy ultimately prevailed over entrenched special interests.

The Club’s President, Scot Mussi celebrated the victory, “HB 2447 was a win for Arizona businesses.  This is one less cost and impediment to small businesses starting and growing in our state.  We appreciate the members of the legislature and Governor Ducey for supporting the bill.”

Arizona joins the 21st Century and 46 other states in abolishing this archaic requirement of new businesses.  Formation documents instead, will continue to be filed and published on the Arizona Corporation Commission’s website, accessible at no cost to the public and no additional cost to the businesses.

Arizona has always been a leader in water planning, and in many respects is decades ahead of our neighboring states in water management. For example, California would be Exhibit A on how NOT to manage your water resources.

A major reason that Arizona is so effective at water management is our requirement that landowners in Active Management Areas (AMAs) prove they have a 100 year water supply to the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) prior to developing the property. These well crafted stipulations have been in place for decades, are state managed and enforced, and have received little to no federal interference. Until now.

The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decided to file a lawsuit in Sierra Vista, a medium sized town in Southern Arizona, declaring that a subdivision that both ADWR and the town approved “may” jeopardize BLM’s claim for groundwater in the area.  This is despite the fact that BLM currently has no legal right to the water—they are making a claim to water in a yet to be decided water adjudication settlement.  An administrative law judge has already ruled against the federal agency.

None of this matters to the BLM, since the real goal is to get the courts to redefine Arizona water laws and allow the federal government to take control of our state’s water resources and water management. It is also why radical environmental groups like the Center of Biological Diversity are assisting BLM to stake claim to our water.

This power play needs to be stopped, and is why Governor Ducey should sign Senate Bill 1268. The legislation would modify Arizona’s water laws to protect state oversight of our water resources and block BLM’s radical lawsuit from moving forward.  It would also ensure that local jurisdiction still have oversight on development and planning in their area.

SB 1268 is a reasonable response to federal overreach and prevents BLM from taking Arizona’s water. The Free Enterprise Club urges support for this common sense measure.



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The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a free market policy and lobbying group dedicated to promoting a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.