The Citizens Clean Elections Commission claims they care about keeping special interests out of the political process by providing candidates with taxpayer funds to run for office.
But as was discovered in 2016 election cycle, politicians and political operatives know how to cheat the system and the unaccountable Clean Elections Commission just doesn’t seem to care.
An examination of campaign finance reports filed by publicly funded Clean Election Candidates in 2018 show over $100,000 being funneled to the state, county and local political parties, as well as to other political operations such as the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (ADLCC).
As was the case in prior elections, the democratic candidates running in the least competitive legislative districts are the biggest contributors to these electioneering efforts.
One of the worst offenders is candidate Lynsey Robinson from conservative legislative district 12 in the East Valley. She gave a staggering $22,590 to the Democratic Party Operations, which is over 50 percent of the total amount she receives from Clean Elections! If her intention was to win her race, sending over half her money to the Party seems like a poor strategy to do so.
Other giveaways to political groups include:
$21,442 from Jo Craycraft, candidate for Senate in LD 1
$18,980 from Hazel Chandler, candidate for House in LD 20
$18,500 from Chris Gilfillan, candidate for House in LD 20
$14,170 from Mark Manoil, candidate for State Treasurer
$12,400 from Kiana Sears, candidate for the Corporation Commission
$9,520 from Kathy Hoffman, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction
Interestingly enough, the largest benefactor of these public funds was the ADLCC, a Political Action Committee chaired by legislative democrats to elect democrats around the state of Arizona. Traditionally, victory PACs such as this provide money and support to candidates—they don’t receive money from them. This is because committees such as this fundraise for the express purpose of playing in election races. However, they do so independently of any candidate because it is against the law for organizations and PACs to coordinate with candidates on their election activities.
That makes the expenditure to the ADLCC even more suspicious. Either a candidate is giving them money to use in other more competitive races (which is wrong and must be stopped), or they are giving them money to provide services to their campaign (which is likely illegal.) Either way, the ADLCC’s taxpayer gravy train is an offensive abuse of the system and should be stopped immediately.
The unaccountable Clean Elections Commission has made it clear that they don’t care how our money is wasted, which is why voters must vote YES on Proposition 306. Prop 306 would prohibit candidates from funneling taxpayer funds to political parties and political special interest groups. If there was any question that the exploitation of the system would continue and proliferate – this year’s election season proves otherwise.
Voters should put an end to it by Voting Yes on Prop 306.