By John Papagiannis, Public Campaign
Yesterday the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that the legislative referendum asking Arizona voters to decide whether to abolish Arizona's public campaign finance systems can't go on the state's 2012 ballot.
"The referendum violated the single-subject rule by going further than just abolishing the public campaign finance systems of the state and the city of Tucson. It crosses the line by also transferring money from Tucson's public campaign finance system to the state," said Judge Dean Fink.
This is welcome news, but the fight in Arizona is by no means over.
From the Arizona Republic story: "Clint Bolick, an attorney for supporters of the referendum, said he wasn't sure whether they'd appeal Fink's ruling. He said supporters may ask the Legislature to simply approve a new version without the provision transferring the Tucson money."
Even if there isn't an appeal to this ruling, Public Campaign, along with Clean Elections supporters in the state, including the Arizona Advocacy Network, are preparing for another legislative effort to put a repeal back on the ballot. With big money backers like the Arizona Chamber of Commerce leading the fight for repeal, this fight will not be easy. But Arizonans continue to show strong support for Clean Election, with 77 percent backing the law.
With that support, and the ongoing Fiesta Bowl scandal, efforts to strengthen the law will continue. This is a great victory, but there remains a lot of work to do.