Arizona Advocacy Network

Government of, by and for the People


For Immediate Release

October 4, 2012
Contact: Sam Wercinski

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Advocacy Group to Review the 2012 Ballot Measures, Provide Updates on Clean Elections, and Provide a Special Showing of PRICELE$$

Phoenix, AZ - Arizona Advocacy Network will host a free community forum tonight (October 4). The advocacy group will provide a free showing of the documentary PRICELE$$. PRICELE$$ is a filmmaker’s personal journey across America to answer a burning question: why are some of our government’s most basic policis, like food and energy, so out-of-date, and can we do anything about it? Sharing the suspicion of fellow citizens, including a class of young civic students, that campaign money is involved, the filmmakers set out on a spellbinding --- and at times hilarious – ride from rural America to the halls of Congress to find out more, because democracy is a precious resource.

Following the film, Arizona Advocacy Network will lead a discussion about the film, and then provide a review of the 2012 ballot measures. Arizona Advocacy Network produces a non-partisan, bi-annual review of Arizona’s ballot measures.

The night will conclude with a discussion and explanations about the Affordable Care Act.

This event is free and open to the public.

WHAT: Free Community Forum regarding voting, campaign finances, and the Affordable Care Act

WHEN: Thursday, October 4, 2012

5:30pm – Check in

6:00pm – Film begins

6:30pm – Discussion and 2012 Ballot Measures Review

7:15pm – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

WHERE: Paradise Valley Community Center, 17402 N. 40th St., Phoenix


Norma Gutierrez

Torres Marquez Communications (TMC)

(602) 354-3430 ext. 2 / (480) 234-9326




In-culture and in-language voter guide and videos provide valuable information on Arizona ballot propositions and voter ID requirements


Phoenix, AZ, October 1, 2012 – The Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation (AZAN Foundation) – a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that works for full civic participation, especially for underrepresented and marginalized constituencies – has developed a first-of-its-kind Spanish-language voter guide and for the first time, produced bilingual videos on Proposition 115 and Voter ID laws to help Latino voters make an informed decision during this year’s Presidential Election on November 6.


“Making sense of ballot measures is challenging,” said AZAN Foundation Executive Director Sam Wercinski. “That’s why we have teamed up with to inform Latino voters of the nine statewide ballot measures so they can make an informed vote. These measures will have long-term consequences on Arizonans’ daily lives, our families and communities.”


Although Election Day is November 6, many voters will begin casting their ballots as early as October 11.


“The voter guide and video vignettes make it easy for families to sit around the dinner table and discuss the ballot propositions from the comfort of their own homes. Mamás, papás, abuelos, hijos – during this election cycle everyone will have the resources they need at their fingertips to make an informed decision,” said Francisco Heredia of Mi Familia Vota, a member organization of One Arizona. “Those who will be voting at the polls on November 6 can tuck the guide under their arm and use it as reference when they cast their ballot on measures that will affect their familias, Latinos and our diverse Arizona community.”


This first-of-its-kind, full-color edition of AZAN Foundation’s voter guide was produced in partnership with the One Arizona Table, the state’s leading C3 coalition. This non-partisan guide is in a culturally relevant and easy-to-understand format, presenting a summary of each ballot measure, the impact and who supports and opposes the measure. It also includes information about voting at the polls, required identification requirements and an educational panel on Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, our toughest anti-corruption law passed by voters in 1998.





Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, Page 2


“We want to protect every vote in 2012. Every American citizen who is eligible to vote should be able to cast their ballot in confidence on Election Day. That’s why we are including a list of ID requirements at the polls in the guide and video we’ve released,” added Wercinski.


As a project of AZAN Foundation and One Arizona, the guide will be distributed through community and Latino organizations such as Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition (PAFCO Education Fund), Border Action Network, churches and local businesses. A comprehensive guide in English and Spanish is also available in PDF format at


AZAN Foundation produced a video vignette in English and Spanish on Arizona Voter ID laws called “Get Ready to Vote” and it’s affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, Arizona Advocacy Network, produced one on Proposition 115 – Judicial Selection, to reach Latino voters and secondary audiences such as members of the faith community, the news media, and community leaders. The videos can be seen at:


“Get Ready to Vote” - English - Spanish


Prop 115 - English - Spanish


The videos can also be accessed at, Facebook and Twitter Pages.


“The Latino community understands your vote speaks for yourself, your children and your community. America’s future is determined by those who vote,” said Wercinski. “We encourage every eligible citizen to join your friends and family in voting on November 6, and make your voice be heard.”


The Arizona Advocacy Network and AZAN Foundation work for electoral justice, political rights and full civic participation to achieve government for the People. Our work includes: defending, strengthening and expanding Arizona's Clean Elections system; advocating for full, immediate disclosure of contributions including corporate and "independent expenditures;" promoting anti-corruption and conflict of interest laws including gift bans; educating on ballot measures; guarding voting rights, voter registration and election integrity, including through the use of litigation, and protecting and improving Arizona's ballot initiative and referendum processes. More information is available at


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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Challenge to Arizona Voter Registration Barrier
Arizona Advocates continue to have national impact for Democracy
Phoenix, AZ – Late Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Arizona and national voting rights advocates a major victory. While less publicized than the decision overturning most of SB1070, justices upheld a lower court’s decision that Arizona’s law requiring a birth certificate or other documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote is illegal. The Court also denied Arizona officials’ appeal for the case to be heard before the justices, effectively putting this challenge, on-going since 2005, to rest.

Arizona Advocacy Network (AZAN), most recently known for successfully defending Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, organized this effort to overturn a law it realized violated the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), signed by President George W. Bush in 2002.  Sam Wercinski, Executive Director at AZAN said, “Thursday’s rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by Arizona officials’ and to remove this unnecessary and burdensome barrier secures a major voting rights victory for Arizona and all U.S. citizens eligible to register to vote.  Special recognition of my predecessor, Linda Brown, and past Board President, Michael Valder, is well deserved, for leading this effort from the start.”

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Arizona Advocacy Network and plaintiffs make national impact


Phoenix, AZ – Today, the U.S. District Court of Arizona issued an order overturning an unnecessary and burdensome barrier Arizona citizens faced in order to register to vote. “We’re extremely pleased Judge Silver acted so quickly once the U.S. Supreme Court rejected our state officials’ request to stay our victory in the 9th Circuit,” Dr. Marie Provine, president of Arizona Advocacy Network said. This is a major victory for Arizona and national voting rights advocates. While less publicized than the decision overturning most of SB1070, on June 29th, U.S. Supreme Court justices upheld a lower court’s decision that Arizona’s law requiring a birth certificate or other documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote is illegal.



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For Immediate Release                                                                                April 18, 2012

Contact:  Sam Wercinski, 602-297-2500, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phoenix, AZ. ­- In December, 2004, Arizona Advocacy Network (AZAN) brought together national and state resources to challenge Prop. 200, which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found yesterday violated Arizona citizens' right to register and vote.


Arizona Advocacy Network was instrumental, but not alone, in organizing this successful effort to protect every citizen's right to register and vote. "Just as we demonstrated in recent victories to protect Arizona's Clean Elections law, building a strong coalition is important to protecting the rights of citizens," Sam Wercinski for AZAN said. "Thank you and congratulations to all the plaintiffs, to Jon Greenbaum and Nina Perales who argued the case and to the scores of others who own this victory. It's another step to reclaiming government for the People."


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For Immediate Circulation        March 22, 2012    Contact:  Sam Wercinski, 602-228-4497

Another Victory for Clean Elections Supporters
Judge dismisses lawsuit, upholds individual and groups’ First Amendment rights.

PHOENIX, AZ.  Today, in a sweeping decision for supporters of Arizona’s voter approved anti-corruption law, the Citizen’s Clean Elections Act, Judge Mark Brian dismissed a frivolous lawsuit represented by the Goldwater Institute.  All of their claims against the Clean Elections Commission were discredited.

Judge Brian states in his order that “the Court is unaware of any other situation in which a person or entity has sought to preclude a government commission from communicating with the citizenry—that’s not how government works.” The Goldwater Institute requested the court prohibit Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation and Clean Elections supporters from communicating with the agency that enforces the Act while allowing opponents of this anti-corruption law continued access to lobby against it.

 “The most egregious request in this lawsuit, from our perspective, is Goldwater Institute’s attack on our First Amendment rights,” said Sam Wercinski of Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation.  “Their request was unprecedented and clearly unconstitutional.”

In October 2011, Wercinski and AZAN Foundation successfully won a court decision in which the Goldwater Institute represented opponents of Clean Elections also. AZAN Foundation’s victory removed an unconstitutional referendum from the 2012 ballot which the legislature had passed to deceptively weaken the Clean Elections law and prohibit a voter supported system that allows candidates to qualify and run with public funding rather than soliciting campaign cash from special interest groups and private donors.

Read Judge Brian’s decision at

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Join Sam Wercinski and Bill Buckmaster on Wednesday, November 2nd at 12:15PM. They will discuss the recent Arizona court victory and new efforts to protect Clean Elections and Tucson's Clean Money anti-corruption laws against Big Money attacks.

Stream Buckmaster every Monday thru Friday with the KVOI Live Stream






For Immediate Release         Date: October 28, 2011         Contact:  Sam Wercinski, 602-228-4497

Court’s favorable ruling believed to be too narrow.
Clean Elections on solid constitutional ground.

Phoenix, AZ – After discussing the court’s favorable ruling with their attorneys, plaintiff Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation believed that the Arizona Supreme Court might issue an even broader ruling if given a chance to hear their arguments.

The case is known nationally as Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation vs Bennett. The plaintiffs challenged several aspects of the unconstitutional repeal measure, winning on one of their arguments. Paul Eckstein, a partner at Perkins Coie, who represented the plaintiffs, stated, “We are pleased with Judge Fink's ruling invalidating S.C.R. 1025 under the separate amendment rule, based on the fact that the measure would have seized Tucson's taxpayer funds for the state's coffers.  We continue to believe that repealing Clean Elections at the state level and gutting charter cities' home-rule authority over the conduct of local elections creates an independent and significant separate amendment rule problem. That may be a fight for another day and as it stands, this anti-Clean Elections measure will not be on the ballot in November 2012."

Speaking for Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, Sam Wercinski added that “This may be the real reason why the losing side on this unconstitutional effort won’t appeal the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. We could get a much broader decision.”

Clean Elections continues to have strong support among likely 2012 voters with a 77% approval rating after being provided a factual explanation of the program and how it works. Capitol insiders say that the unconstitutional repeal measure was going nowhere in the State House until corporate interests weighed in and began arm-twisting. A new repeal measure will likely meet resistance among lawmakers, some of whom feel bruised by voting for a measure they were told was constitutional and would hold up in court. Supporters want to work with legislators to improve Clean Elections as an anti-corruption tool during the 2012 legislative session.

“Clean Elections was passed by voters in 1998 because they recognized the corrupting nature of Big Money, just as we saw in AZSCAM and this year surrounding the Fiesta Bowl scandal. Legislators now have an opportunity to strengthen a law passed by voters and still supported by voters,” Wercinski concluded.

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Phoenix, AZ - Today the court agreed with  Arizona Advocacy Network  and declared unconstitutional an effort to repeal Arizona’s popular 1998 anti-corruption law known as Clean Elections.  The unconstitutional measure, pushed by state and national big money interests was put on the 2012 ballot by the legislature in May after much arm twisting.“The legislature overreached again with this unconstitutional measure and trying to deceptively take money from Tucson residents is an abuse of power. I’m glad the court stopped their attempt to logroll voters,” said Tucson voter, Carol West.


Speaking for the lead plaintiff, the Arizona Advocacy Network, Sam Wercinski stated, “Voters won today against big-money self interests.  In 1998 after the AZSCAM scandal, the public recognized the corrupting influence of big money in elections and policy making. That’s why voters passed Clean Elections and continue to support it today, with a 77 percent approval rating.”


Governor Brewer, Terry Goddard, Secretary of State Ken Bennett,  Corporation Commissioners and one third of the state legislature qualified as Clean Election candidates in 2010. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of Clean Elections as a tool to fight the corrupting influence of money in politics.


Many believe Clean Elections has helped advance Arizona’s renewable energy standards and our state’s growing solar manufacturing industry by protecting corporation commissioners against lobbying attacks from utility and coal interests. Wercinski highlights that all three declared 2012 candidates for Corporation Commission are currently trying to qualify under the Clean Elections system.


“As the Fiesta Bowl political corruption scandal continues to unravel, Arizona legislators have an opportunity to strengthen Clean Elections and government for the People, not corporations. We’re here to help them achieve this,” added Sam Wercinski.


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Phoenix, AZ—Today the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act but sided with big money interests by declaring triggered matching funds unconstitutional.  Arizona voters passed the Act in 1998.  At issue was whether candidates participating in the Clean Elections program would continue receiving limited triggered matching funds when they were outspent by opponents funded by private, lobbyist and corporate money. 

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