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Judge Strikes Down Arizona Campaign Finance Law

AZ Capitol Times

A federal district court judge has struck down part of an Arizona campaign finance law. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, if the ruling stands, some political donors will not have to identify themselves for the time being.

Any group of people that spends more than $250 on an Arizona election wouldn’t have to report their activities under the new ruling. In the decision, the Judge called the state’s current donor laws “unconstitutionally vague”. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is hoping for a stay in the court’s decision to allow the state legislature time to re-write the law.

“We don’t want to leave a situation where there’s just nothing required of political committees to disclose their donors like state law intends that they should,” said Bennett.

Bennett also says the ruling doesn’t apply to so-called “dark money donors” which are classified as non-profits. Tom Collins, executive director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission says clean election laws are unaffected by the ruling.

“Folks should understand that independent expenditures will still have to be reported under the clean elections act, and candidates will still be limited in the amount of contributions that they can take,” said Collins

If a stay of the court’s decision isn’t granted, Bennett says the state will appeal.

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