Arizona Advocacy Network

Government of, by and for the People

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This editorial appeared Monday in the Washington Post:

Since the late 1990s, candidates for state office in Arizona have had two options: privately finance their campaigns or accept only public funds (it's called Clean Elections).

Candidates who opt for the public system receive an initial lump sum. They receive additional funds if their privately funded opponents exceed a specified spending limit; expenditures by independent groups that support privately funded candidates may also trigger increased funds.

Critics contend that candidates relying on private funds know that the more they spend, the more their publicly funded opponents gain. They have challenged the law in a case the Supreme Court heard Monday. Detractors make some valid points.

But the law should be upheld. The provisions in question were enacted in an effort to reduce the corrupting influences of big money and special interests.