Arizona Republic: No, Clean Elections IS doing its job

No, Clean Elections IS doing its job

By Louis Hoffman, Scottsdale

Opinion Re: "Clean Elections butts in where it doesn't belong," Monday editorial.

As the drafter of the Clean Elections Act, I can assure you that the citizen authors sought not only to allow an option for candidates to run without being beholden to big donors, but also to have more timely and complete reporting of campaign money.

Far from being "buried deep in a complex ballot measure," the original act had full sections about reporting and voters knew it. The act still says that anyone paying to influence Arizona elections must disclose who they are and what they paid. Thus, it's your editorial "that's bunk," not the commission director's history lesson.

As for the bogeyman of inconsistent enforcement, no one can enforce the Clean Election Act except the commission, plus commission procedures seek to avoid conflict with other officials if they wish to enforce the weaker reporting laws under their jurisdiction.

Indeed, your editorial was triggered by a lawsuit in which the official withdrew from enforcement for conflict of interest. The commission is the only non-partisan election commission in this state, and your editorial is misguided in calling for further political interference with its duty to enforce the disclosure part of the Clean Elections Act.