If more evidence was needed to support the idea of donor privacy and anonymous speech in elections, the reaction by the left against the ‘Invest in Ed’ and ‘Outlaw Dirty Money’ court rulings should settle it.

It’s been two weeks since the Arizona Supreme Court barred both ballot measures from appearing on the ballot, and the backers of both measures are now waging a campaign to target and harass anyone that supported the legal challenge.

Angry activists and various labor unions began a coordinated effort to protest outside of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and any other private group that participated in exposing the legal flaws and signature issues with both measures. Appropriately named “Fightbacknews” chronicles on their website how these protests were designed to go after not just the private non-profit entities, but to “out” every business or individual that dared to oppose their agenda.

Social media groups supportive of Invest in Ed and Outlaw Dirty Money have been openly discussing strategies to expand their intimidation campaign, both now and in the future. And since the issues they are championing—education funding and donor disclosure—are generally supported by the establishment/liberal media, news outlets have ignored the deployment of these thug tactics to target political free speech. This is especially ironic, since anonymous speech has been the cornerstone of almost all reporting (and even entire books) by the mainstream media since Donald Trump became president.

None of this is really new. Efforts to target people for their political beliefs has intensified in recent years, often with an assist from government officials and politicians. Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich was forced to resign after furious attacks against him for his support of Prop 8 defining marriage between one man and one woman. Prosecutors in Wisconsin launched a corrupt investigation targeting conservative donors that was finally shut down by the Supreme Court last year. And no one should forget the IRS targeting of conservative groups that finally ended with a large payout to victims and an apology from the agency.

That is what makes efforts such as Outlaw Dirty Money so dangerous. Private citizens should have a right to support causes and issues they believe in without fear of harassment, intimidation or retaliation. Donor privacy is crucial to free speech, and is essential to promoting open dialogue on critical issues. If government or angry social media mobs are allowed to dictate the terms of “debate”, it will lead to far worse outcomes than not knowing the identify of a donor to an organization with whom you might disagree.

Rather than looking to target individuals or businesses engaging in political speech, a better approach would be to encourage more speech and let voters make decisions for themselves.  Since corporate and individual political spending is evenly split between the two parties, it’s not as if either side has an unfair advantage. Let’s look to promote our 1st Amendment rights, not target people who try to exercise it.

 

Currently politicians can receive taxpayer funding for their political campaigns through a program operated at the Clean Elections Commission.

Last election cycle it was discovered that politicians financing their campaigns with public funding quietly channeling those funds to political parties instead of spending the money on their campaigns.  In 2016, over $100,000 was funneled to the state Democrat Party by candidates throughout the state!

Instead of fixing the problem, the Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) passed a rule codifying the abuse! Even worse, they expanded the rule to allow publicly financed candidates to give their money away to political special interest groups like labor unions, the NRA or the Sierra Club.

If Prop 306 is approved, it would:

  • Prohibit candidates that finance their campaign with taxpayer money from giving any of those funds to political parties
  • Prohibit taxpayer money going to political special interest groups that attempt to influence elections
  • Increase transparency and accountability by requiring the Clean Elections Commission to follow the same rule making process as every other state agency

Since the CCEC has embraced the idea of public funding for political parties and special interest groups, we urge voters to vote YES on Prop 306

 

 

Budget analysts have completed their projections of the tax increase Proposition 207 will trigger by eliminating inflation indexing, and it’s not a pretty picture for low income families and seniors. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates that Arizona taxpayers will pay $1.25 billion more in taxes over the next 10 years if the annual inflation adjustment is repealed under Prop 207.

Arizona’s income tax brackets were indexed to inflation to protect taxpayers from unfairly paying more due to wage inflation and cost of living adjustments that occur over time. Without indexing, taxpayers will see more and more of their paychecks eaten away by inflation. Based on the JLBC numbers, the Arizona Tax Research Association calculates that the average household earning $50,000 will lose over $1,200 in the next ten years as a result of the inflation tax.

Combined with the 98% tax increase on small businesses and the hidden $300 million conformity tax hike, Prop 207 has been revealed as a poorly drafted measure that will inflict long term damage on Arizona’s economy and our most vulnerable taxpayers. The only real winners appear to be big corporations and fortune 500 companies that were exempted from the tax increases in Prop 207 and will now have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Voters need to send a message to the Washington DC labor unions funding Prop 207 to keep their special interest tax policy out of Arizona.



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The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is a free market policy and advocacy group dedicated to promoting a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.
  • That is because it is anonymous speech, 501(c)5 groups don't disclose their donors. I'll let you in on a secret--un… https://t.co/m9RgOhFueN
  • This is an intentionally skewed chart that excludes all labor union spending, which are 501(c)(5) non-profit organi… https://t.co/Au3gEelgp5
  • Reaction to Recent Supreme Court Rulings Prove Why Donor Privacy is so Important - https://t.co/R9Ggdckcj8
  • Vote Yes on Prop 306 to Stop Taxpayer Money for Political Parties - https://t.co/DckBAyyUUF
  • Arizona has work to do. It's nice that we are beating California (which isn't that hard to do), but we are behind N… https://t.co/c1InEqbvax