The Daily Courier: Letter - Clean Elections

By Linda Lutes, Prescott


A little history lesson: In 1998, Arizona voters approved the Citizens Clean Elections Act to curb the political influence by millionaires in our state. It passed by a 2-1 margin and became the model for other states to pass similar legislation. This was a shining moment in our state's history.

Fast-forward to 2014. HCR2004 and SCR1001, sponsored by Rep. Karen Fann and Sen. Steve Pierce, are being introduced in the Legislature to kill Clean Elections and siphon off the money into "education," specifically school maintenance and operations.

While funding for education sounds good, this is a flagrant attempt to kill Clean Elections prior to the next general election. As the saying goes, "If it smells like a skunk...."

These resolutions would open the door to unrestricted political donations by anonymous donors and destroy electoral integrity, the very tenants voters in Arizona overwhelmingly upheld.

The 1 percent sales tax passed in Arizona in 2010 to "fund education" never made it to most classrooms. This year, we see schools closing and consolidating in Prescott, as our state remains 48th in the nation for school funding.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Legislature is being sued for siphoning off funds for education to the tune of millions of dollars during the recession.

Obviously, education has never been a real priority in our state. In this case, the fox is seeking to raid the henhouse - a blatant violation of public trust.

If you find this to be an affront to your intelligence, I implore you to contact your legislators and Gov. Doug Ducey to voice your displeasure. These bills, in the name of honesty and fairness, must be defeated.

Linda Lutes, Prescott