FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phoenix, AZ—Last night’s election results show that the Arizona Clean Elections system is strong, popular, and the next legislature must work together to make sure it will be in place in 2012, according to the Arizona Advocacy Network. “Amid a host of legal issues and turmoil surrounding Clean Elections, 84 of 197 statewide and legislative candidates participated in the system this year,” said Linda Brown, executive director of Arizona Advocacy Network. “These candidates, along with the people of Arizona, understand the importance of Clean Elections in our state.”
According to preliminary analysis with some races still too close to call, Clean Elections candidates have won six of nine statewide seats and 32 of 91 legislative races this year.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court threw the Arizona Clean Election system into turmoil when, halfway through an election, blocked the release of trigger funds that candidate rely on to stay afloat against privately financed candidates. Many members survived, but not without the help of outside independent expenditures working to replace the trigger funds.
“Voters in Arizona approved Clean Elections over a decade ago because they wanted elected officials to be accountable to the people—and not big donors or special interests,” said Brown. “The next legislature must work together to ensure candidates and voters continue to have a strong and viable alternative to pay-to-play campaign financing for years to come.”
To make sure the popular system remains viable, and lives up to its goals, the legislature must address the legal issues and push for a system that relies on matching funds based on a candidate’s own fundraising—similar to the federal Fair Elections Now Act currently before Congress.