The “Open and Honest” elections ballot initiative is overwhelmingly unpopular with voters when they learn that not only does the initiative fund politicians’ campaigns with taxpayer money, but also support a state bureaucracy to run the program.
According to the recent poll published by the Club, a compelling 79 percent of voters were less likely to support the ballot initiative after learning their tax dollars would contribute to more government. Almost equally disdainful to voters was the initiatives mechanism for extracting the tax dollars – surcharges on traffic citations and tax credits.
“It is clear of all the areas Arizonans wish to invest – education, the economy, infrastructure – Clean Elections is not one of them,” said Scot Mussi the Club’s President. “Voters are already dubious that their money is spent efficiently by government. Taxpayers should be reticent to give new money to a state bureaucracy, especially one doling out funds to politicians.”
The initiative would significantly boost the amount of tax dollars political candidates would receive. For legislative races, the average candidate would receive approximately $80,000 to run for office, nearly double the amount allowable presently. An expansion of the program would necessitate an expansion of the agency itself.
Voter hesitancy is well founded as ballot initiative’s legitimacy has been called into question. Considering the initiative references state statutes that don’t even exist, it is likely it will be challenged in court if it does get the requisite signatures. Given the confusion surrounding this ballot initiative, Arizonans would be well served by simply “declining to sign” and saying “no” to their hard-earned tax dollars going to politicians and more bureaucracy.