• Partners with causes that will amplify the voices of Arizona's citizens.
  • Prepares a new generation of effective leaders and organizers.
"VPA Arizona envisions an Arizona where the voices of Terry Goddardour citizens are loud, proud and impossible to ignore."

- Terry Goddard

Twitter: @VPAArizona

  • Latest from the blog

    The Voice of the People

    'Arizona Election Show': What you need to know about money in politics

    In this episode of the "Arizona Election Show" we examine big money in politics.

    Winning public office, especially at the federal level, has gotten more expensive in recent election cycles. Arizona could set a record for outside spending in the state’s open Senate race this year.

    Often the people bankrolling this torrent of political advertising are identified in campaign finance records for those willing to look through them. In some cases, the public can only wonder who is truly behind the ads bombarding their mailboxes, TVs and Web screens.

    In 2012, the last time Arizona had an open Senate seat, outside groups spent $23 million trying to influence that race. Most of that spending happened in the last three weeks of the election.

    A week after the August primary that year, outside groups had spent $19,000 in that race. By that time this year, outside groups had spent $2 million. 

    It’s unclear how effective the outside money is in shaping the final votes, but there is little doubt that well-financed efforts to do just that will only intensify.

    Originally posted and written by The Arizona Republic on 09/20/2018.

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    Supreme Court Orders Disclosure For Dark Money

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday insisted that many donations to predominantly conservative political nonprofit groups — what's often called dark money — be disclosed, seven weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

    The ruling closes, at least for now, a loophole that has allowed wealthy donors to finance aggressive ads while staying anonymous. Crafted by the Federal Election Commission nearly 40 years ago, the loophole flourished after the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

    The court set aside an order issued by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday. The social welfare group Crossroads GPS, a defendant in the lawsuit, had fought to stall disclosure while it prepares to appeal. It failed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and then appealed to the Supreme Court.

    The disclosure requirement is expected to apply to explicitly political ads by nonprofit groups for the remaining weeks of the campaign season.

    The decisions came in a 2016 lawsuit against Crossroads and the FEC, by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., last month ruled in CREW's favor. She gave the FEC 45 days to replace the regulation, which it didn't do.

    CREW's executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said the Supreme Court ruling "is going to affect spending in the 2018 elections. Groups that run these kinds of ads — ads that tell you to vote for or against another candidate — are going to have to disclose their contributors, and that is incredibly important."

    The Supreme Court's decision comes less than a week after a new research report by the government reform group Issue One, which puts some dollar amounts on what these unreported donors are giving. The report, which took a year of research, finds that the top 15 politically active nonprofits raised and spent more than $600 million on campaigns between 2010, when Citizens United boosted secret fundraising, and 2016.

    The secret giving is made possible by a regulatory loophole at the FEC. The groups, usually organized as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations or 501(c)(6) business associations, don't register as political committees with the commission. With the loophole, the FEC wants donor disclosure only when a donor earmarks the money for specific ads.

    The top four spenders identified by Issue One are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the mainstream conservative Crossroads GPS, the Koch network's Americans for Prosperity and the National Rifle Association. Issue One says that collectively, the four groups pumped at least $357 million into elections between 2010 and 2016.

    "Opaque organizations are using contributions from opaque donors and secretly funding election campaigns and ads that are urging viewers to vote for or against candidates," said Michael Beckel, research manager at Issue One. "And it remains very difficult to track back the true sources of dark money groups."

    Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity has launched AFP Action — a superPAC that will regularly report its donors to the FEC, sidestepping the disclosure controversy.

    Originally written by Peter Overby. Posted by NPR.org on 09/18/2018.

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    Rockin' Democracy!

    Please join VPA in welcoming Dr. MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains. This book centers around the decades old campaign to suppress voting, defund education, destroy unions, and ultimately rewrite the constitution to serve the ultra-rich. Dr. MacLean will provide strategies to fight this well funded attack on our democracy. Join us on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd!

    Speakers include Democratic Candidate for Governor David Garcia, Outlaw Dirty Money founder Terry Goddard and more.

    Live music will be provided by The Harvest! Event RSVP Here!

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VPA Arizona is an Arizona nonprofit dedicated to amplifying the voices of Arizonan voters through participation in the electoral processes. VPA Arizona will work to increase ballot petition efforts, voter registration and leadership development.

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