Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commissioner

Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commissioner


>>>CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR STATE OFFICE HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE CITIZENS CLEAN ELECTION COMMISSION. THOSE DOLLARS COME FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES TO INCLUDE COURT FEES AND FUNDS THAT CANDIDATES RAISE FROM PEOPLE NOT COMMITTEES. THE COMMISSION IS A VOTER-CREATED BOARD THAT HAS FUNCTIONED INDEPENDENTLY FROM THE GOVERNOR OR THE LEGISLATURE AND PROVIDES FUNDING FOR QUALIFIED CANDIDATES AND ENFORCES CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS FOR ALSO SUPPORTING VOTER EDUCATION LIKE LAST YEAR’S PUSH TO REGISTER MORE YOUNG VOTERS. COMMISSIONER MARK KIMBLE JOINS US TO DISCUSS THE ISSUES THAT HAVE THE BOARDS ATTENTION AHEAD OF THE NEXT ELECTION.>>YOU’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE LATE 90s AND HOW DO YOU SEE OTHER AVENUES THAT YOU’VE LOOKED AT.>>QUITE A BIT HAS BEEN DONE BY CLEAN ELECTIONS TO MAKE FUNDING SOURCES MORE TRANSPARENT. I WISH WE COULD DO A LOT MORE. THERE IS STILL TOO MUCH DARK MONEY INVOLVED IN CAMPAIGNS BUT THE ARIZONA LEGISLATURE HAS PUT UP SOME ROAD BLOCKS TO PROTECT SOME INFORMATION ON THE SOURCES OF DARK MONEY. SO THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS FRUSTRATING. I THINK PEOPLE OUGHT TO KNOW WHERE ALL OF THE MONEY THAT GOES INTO THE CAMPAIGNS, WHETHER IT IS FOR CANDIDATES OR ISSUES, COMES FROM. WE SHOULD DO MORE ABOUT THAT. BUT THAT IS UP TO THE LEGISLATURE. I THINK IT HAS GIVEN CANDIDATES A CHOICE. CAN YOU GO OUT AND RAISE A LOT OF MONEY FROM PRIVATE DONORS OR YOU COULD RAISE A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SHOW THAT YOU’RE A VIABLE CANDIDATE AND THEN HAVE YOUR CAMPAIGN FUNDED BY MONEY FROM CLEAN ELECTIONS.>>YOU TALK ABOUT DARK MONEY, WHAT REALLY CONSTITUTES THAT AND HOW EXACTLY IS IT STILL FILTERING INTO CAMPAIGNS?>>WELL DARK MONEY IS MOSTLY MONEY THAT YOU JUST DON’T KNOW WHO DONATED IT. AND IT OFTEN GOES TO GROUPS THAT HAVE VERY VAGUE NAMES. LIKE ARIZONANS FOR GOOD STUFF OR SOMETHING AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEIR — WHAT THEY’RE REPRESENTING. AND PEOPLE CAN GIVE MONEY TO THAT GROUP AND THEIR IDENTITY COULD BE SHIELDED. AND THEN THAT GROUP COULD GIVE MONEY TO ANOTHER GROUP. AND YOU WOULDN’T KNOW WHERE THAT MONEY CAME FROM. AND IDEALLY WE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO TRACE EVERY DOLLAR BACK TO WHERE IT CAME FROM. SO THE VOTERS ARE EDUCATED ABOUT WHO IS SPENDING ON CANDIDATES OR ON ISSUES. WE’RE NOT THERE YET. WE’RE NOT THERE YET NATIONALLY. AND WE’RE NOT THERE IN ARIZONA.>>ASIDE FROM DARK MONEY, THE COMMISSION IS ALSO CONCERNED WITH THE EFFECTS OF PROP 306, VOTERS PASSED THE INITIATIVE LAST NOVEMBER TO PROHIBIT CANDIDATES FROM TRANSFERRING PUBLIC FUNDS TO POLITICAL PARTIES OR GROUPS. AND IT PUTS THE COMMISSION’S RULE-MAKING UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF A COUNCIL APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR. KIMBLE SAID SOME OF THE CHANGES NEED TO BE IRONED OUT IN COURT.>>WHAT EXACTLY DID 306 MEAN. THERE WERE PROS AND CONS FOR THE FUTURE.>>WELL 306 CAME UP BECAUSE CLEAN ELECTIONS ALLOWS SOME CLEAN MONEY TO BE DONATED — TO BE GIVEN FROM CANDIDATES TO POLITICAL PARTIES FOR CERTAIN SERVICES. VOTER LISTS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. THE PEOPLE BEHIND 306 DIDN’T WANT THAT. DIDN’T WANT ANY MONEY TO GO TO — TO POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS. BUT THEY ALSO SAID THAT CLEAN ELECTIONS OUGHT TO FALL UNDER A GROUP — THE GOVERNOR’S REGULATORY REVIEW COUNCIL THAT IS FULLY APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, INSTEAD OF AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION, IT OUGHT TO ANSWER TO THAT AND THIS ORGANIZATION, THE GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL OUGHT TO LOOK AT CLEAN ELECTION RULES AND SAY, NO, WE DON’T LIKE THESE NEW RULES THAT YOU’RE — THAT YOU ARE PROPOSING TO PUT IN PLACE SO WE ORDER YOU TO STOP. WE DON’T KNOW YET IF THAT IS AN — SOMETHING THAT COUNCIL CAN DO. SO — SO IT IS STILL BEING IRONED OUT.>>ANY DATA THAT VOTERS ARE LOOKING AT CAMPAIGNS DIFFERENTLY IN THE LAST TWO YEARS GIVEN SO MUCH MORE ATTENTION FOCUSED ON POLITICS?>>WELL, I’M NOT SURE THAT I KNOW OF ANY DATA SPECIFICALLY TO THAT POINT. VOTERS ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY FOR SOME UNBIASED SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND THEY’RE LOOKING FOR FACTS, NOT JUST SOUND BITES FROM POLITICS. AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT WE HOPE IN CLEAN ELECTIONS WE COULD FOCUS ON, IS GETTING PEOPLE TO TALK TO VOTERS MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES AND NOT SPENDING ALL OF THE TIME IN FUNDRAISING EVENTS, IN HOUSE PARTIES, IN THINGS LIKE THAT. SO I WISH MORE CANDIDATES WOULD RUN AS CLEAN CANDIDATES, BUT IT IS THEIR CHOICE. AND IF THEY DON’T RUN AS A CLEAN ELECTIONS CANDIDATE, THEY COULD RAISE FAR MORE MONEY. BUT THEY ALSO HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME, A LOT OF MONEY RAISING THAT MONEY.>>THERE IS A PERCEPTION THAT WHOEVER HAS THE MOST MONEY ULTIMATELY WINS ON ELECTION DAY. ARE YOU SAYING THAT IS NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE CASE OR IT IS LIKELY THAT COULD CHANGE AS MORE PEOPLE BECOME INTERESTED IN THE SYSTEM?>>MONEY IS CERTAINLY THE GREASE THAT RUNS POLITICS. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE THE MAJOR SOURCE. AND THERE ARE INSTANCES WHERE CANDIDATES THAT HAVE RAISED LESS HAVE WON. CANDIDATES THAT HAVE RUN AS CLEAN ELECTION CANDIDATES ARE WINNING. SO I GUESS THE MAIN MESSAGE IS WE WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE A CHOICE. WE WANT THEM TO HAVE — BE ABLE TO MAKE A CHOICE BETWEEN EITHER RUNNING AS A CLEAN CANDIDATE OR A TRADITIONALLY-FUNDED CANDIDATE.>>OKAY. MARK KIMBLE, THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.

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