“Clean” Elections trigger provisions: Makes strange bedfellows for a good cause

Arizona elected officials file amicus curiae brief in Connecticut public funding case

The U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit, will be scheduling oral arguments in Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield, the case challenging Connecticut’s public funding law.

You know it better as “Clean” Elections — which we contend is anything but.

The Green Party previously won the case in U.S. District Court and the state is appealing.

Yesterday, three Arizona elected officials filed this amicus brief in support of the Green Party‘s position. The 24-page amicus, or friend of the court brief, argues against the “trigger provision” in the Connecticut law.

The Connecticut law requires that if a candidate who doesn’t qualify for public funding still manages to raise private funds exceeding the expenditure limit for an opponent who is receiving public funds, the publicly-financed candidate is permitted to receive substantial additional public funding.

The three Arizona elected officials are Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin, State Senate President Robert Burns (R-Dist.9), and State Representative Rick Murphy (R-Dist.9). They are also plaintiffs in an Arizona lawsuit challenging the Arizona public funding “trigger provision.”

In August 2008, U.S. District Court (AZ) Judge Roslyn Silver, preliminarily ruled that a similar provision violates the First Amendment, relying on the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in Davis v. Federal Election Commission. The case is McComish v. Bennett (formerly McComish v. Brewer). The judge declined to stop the program because an election was nearing and the case remains pending.

But it really doesn’t get much clearer than this: “Plaintiffs have established that the Matching Funds provision of the Act violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” (Page 7, lines 18, 19)

H/T to Campaign Freedom.

8 Responses to “Clean” Elections trigger provisions: Makes strange bedfellows for a good cause

  1. Seen It All says:

    Who’s going to vote against something so smartly named as Clean Elections? The opposite must be Dirty Elections, right? WRONG!!
    Thanks to those who are attempting to expose this and the matching funds — which are a miserable provision.

  2. Blackbeard says:

    Be aware that Clean Elections commissioners are unelected but have the authority to remove elected officials from office and impose huge fines, without a trial and minus any criminal charges.

    These “Gods” rule the election universe and have a bent to removing Republicans. What a shock!! This entire process is a criminal racket and should be shut down.

  3. Army of One says:

    Treasurer Martin, Sen. Burns and Rep. Murphy are to be congratulated for stepping out on this. Seeing Red AZ said it right: “Clean Elections is anything but.”

  4. Doc says:

    Here’s a piece of trivia for ALL…$16.50 is mandated by state law to be given to the “Filthy Elections Tax” a.k.a “the clean elections fund” from EVERY photo radar ticket that is paid.

    Photo radar was homeland insecurity chief (SEIG HEIL!) napolitano’s deal. It has NEVER survived a vote of the citizens ANYWHERE, EVER. Yet our legislators REFUSE to get rid of it. “It’s all about the safety”…yeah, right…whatever. It’s all about the federal reserve notes, buckko.

    Governor Brewer was against it entirely before she was appointed. Then, she put redflex lackey jay heiler in as her “transition team mgr”. Then she signed more punative measures for it into law in July, ’09. Now she’s hangin’ out with grant woods & jay…seems kinda’ convieniant to me.

    Follow the money, & you’ll find the problem. Clean elections…it’s an oxymoron. Again, like “senate intelligence committee”…

  5. Night Owl says:

    Or jumbo shrimp?

    Good points, Doc!

  6. Janelle says:

    Going back to a discussion on Clean Elections, I am afraid that I am about to lose my conservative ID card, however, a little realism into this emotional issue is called for.

    To start off on a good note, Clean Elections needs to be reformed. However, never forget that Clean Elections is the single most important reason that conservatives have a stronger influence in the legislature than ever in history. Conservative, grass-roots aligned candidates do not have the support of the lobbyist/chamber/big money interests. We have Lesko, Pratt, Stevens, Burges, Montenegro, Hendrix, Gowan, Seel, Kavanagh, Verschoor, Harper, Pearce, Huppenthal, and Melvin because of the resouces brought to their campaigns through Clean Elections. Even Murphy would not have won his first campaign without Clean elections funds.

    Let me restate that Clean Elections needs reform, but if we go back to a system that only allows “traditional” funding options, we will get more legislators like Carolyn Allen, Michelle Reagan, Tom O’Halleran, Jennifer Burns, Pete Hershberger, Bill Konopnicki. Do not forget that the Big Money interests will always fund candidates through their PACs and lobbyists to protect their special interests. The grass roots has no ready source of similar funds.

    Anyone that believes that all the evil resides in Clean Elections should look at our federal office holders (Now that is what I call evil) where there is no Clean Elections option. A Clean Elections option would allow for viable challenges to McCain, Kyl, Shadegg, Flake, etc.

  7. Ricky Lujan says:

    Speaking of Dean Martin–Why hasn’t he announced for reelection to the office of Treasurer? He has never had to “resign to run” for REelection.

    That only leaves…woohoo!


    The idea of “clean elections” is antithetical to free markets – period!

    If you uphold freedom, free choice of an individual to place his dollars where he sees fit and for that which he values, then the idea of forcing State revenues from pluralistic taxpayers, is not freedom, it’s coercion.

    It is up to the candidate to get his or her message out there, build support and gain financial resources for the election process. If the people value the message, they will contribute, if they do not, so speaks the free market.

    If the people keep voting in candidates who are corrupt then they obviously send the message they don’t care about integrity and character.

    Art Laffer said it best when BO was elected, “peopple get the government they voted for”.

    It is the personal responsibility of every person who votes, to inform himself in order to place an educated vote – we see how that turns out.

    Utilizing government through legislation to control outcomes because someone doesn’t like prior outcomes, is the antithesis of our foundations.

    Unfair & greed – are not synonyms for legislation.

    America lacks nothing but the development of personal responsibility.