AZ Supreme Court Delivers Crucial Ruling on Voting Measure That Affects Dark Money in Politics


OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion


Temper tantrums are still unfolding over the concept of transparency in election influence as the state of Arizona pushes to enact legislation titled -The Voters’ Right to Know Act- which would require anonymous, dark money political donors to disclose to the public their legal names and how much they donate to attempts to influence campaigns and elections.

Arizona voters just moved one step closer to finding out who is trying to buy our elections. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has rejected a plea by the dark money crowd to block the VotersRight to Know Act from the November ballot,” Laurie Roberts, columnist for the Arizona Republic, reported about the recent update. 

“Score one for Sunshine. Arizona voters just moved one step closer to finding out who is trying to buy our elections.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Wednesday rejected a plea by the “dark money” crowd to keep us, well, in the dark.

Judge Joseph Mikitish wasn’t buying any of the phony baloney arguments aimed at denying voters the right to decide whether deep-pocketed donors should be able to secretly fund campaigns to get their picks elected to run this state,” Roberts reported.

Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that the “Voters’ Right To Know Act” will appear on the ballot this November, despite strong opposition to the bill from the leftist-liberal Democrats, according to media reports.

“The act would require any organization spending more than $50,000 on a statewide election or $25,000 on a local campaign to disclose the names of individuals who contributed $5,000 or more. Opponents of the initiative challenged the act in court, arguing that some of the signatures collected by petition circulators must be disqualified because the circulators failed to properly qualify with the Secretary of State,” Fox Business reported.

The court ruled the registration process “prevented compliance with the statute” and agreed with a lower court’s ruling not to disqualify any signatures.

The Voters’ Right To Know Act is largely led by Terry Goddard, the former Democrat mayor of Phoenix and Arizona Attorney General.

“This Voters’ Right to Know Act secures for every Arizona voter the right to know who is trying to influence an Arizona election using paid, public communications,” the application for the ballot initiative reads. “Major contributors will no longer be allowed to hide behind dark money corporations.”

“Late last month, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down a proposed ballot initiative that, if approved by voters, would have revoked a handful of election-integrity laws passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature,” Martin Walsh reported for Conservative Brief.

“Titled Proposition 210, the now-failed ballot initiative had the potential to completely overhaul Arizona’s election laws, several of which the state legislature recently passed. The 26-page proposal is very similar to the federal HR 1, the legislation previously introduced by congressional Democrats that would have resulted in a federal takeover of elections,” The Federalist reported.

The outlet added: “Among the proposed changes to Arizona election law were same-day voter registration, a repealing of ‘Arizona’s ballot harvesting ban,’ and ‘voter registration with minimal identification, such as a pay stub.” Other provisions in the initiative would have disqualified “electors who don’t choose the president selected by Arizona’s presidential election,’ eliminated ‘the 30-day residency requirement in order to vote,” and made it “harder to cancel voter registrations of inactive voters,’ among others.”

Last year, the Arizona legislature passed a law that “requires the state to remove infrequent voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, turning it into an ‘active’ early voting list.”

“GOP Gov. Doug Ducey also signed a bill earlier this year requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship in order to vote in federal elections, which has been subject of a lawsuit filed against Arizona by the Biden Department of Justice,” Walsh wrote.

According to the Associated Press, the state Supreme Court’s decision “upholds a lower court ruling issued hours earlier, in which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Mikitish rejected thousands of signatures and said the initiative fell 1,458 signatures short of the 238,000 required to qualify for the ballot.”

“The judge’s Friday ruling reversed his own decision from a day earlier after the Supreme Court asked him to explain how he concluded that the initiative had enough valid signatures to qualify,” the AP report says. “When the judge upheld the measure the day before, [Chief Justice Robert] Brutinel had refused to accept it, saying [the] court was unable to determine exactly how Mikitish came to his determination that backers had collected enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on November’s ballot.”

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club applauded the ruling, saying it “vindicates what we knew all along: the radical Free and Fair election initiative lacked enough lawful signatures to qualify for the ballot.” “The other side knew it too, and that is why their lawyers tried to get the court to adopt a rigged methodology to calculate the final number of valid signatures that would sneak their disqualified measure onto the ballot,” they added in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Send this to a friend