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  • Latest from the blog

    The Voice of the People

    Roberts: Tempe voters say HELL NO to dark money. You listening, Gov. Ducey?

    Laurie Roberts: Nine out of 10 Tempe voters said no to dark money. But will Arizona's leaders listen?

    An astounding 91 percent of Tempe voters on Tuesday approved a charter amendment that would require disclosure of dark money in city elections.

    They don’t like the dark money that increasing is buying Arizona’s elections – the secret interests that state leaders have bent over backwards to protect.

    Are you listening, Gov. Doug Ducey?

    Did you hear them, Arizona Legislature?

    Meanwhile, Phoenix is working on a similar proposal.

    And a bipartisan group called Outlaw Dirty Money is gathering signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot.

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    Republicans push to nullify Arizona clean-energy ballot measure, benefit APS

    Lawmakers Wednesday approved a bill to nullify a clean-energy ballot measure that's barely gotten off the ground in Arizona by making the penalty for utilities violating such a rule as little as $100.

    Republican Sen. Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City introduced the "striker" amendment supported by fellow Republicans. Such amendments are a tactic used to introduce a new issue late in the session, often skipping part of the public-hearing process. It passed a committee vote 4-3 on party lines.

    Critics contend the amended House Bill 2005 undermines not only the current Renewable Energy Standard, where state utility regulators at the Corporation Commission require utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025, but also a ballot initiative recently filed in Arizona aiming for 50 percent renewables.

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    Tempe election results roll in

    Voters give strong 'yes' to 3 ballot measures

    Early unofficial results show Tempe voters overwhelmingly approved three ballot measures, with a proposal to add transparency to campaign spending getting the most support.

    A measure to make Papago Park a preserve was the next most popular measure, followed by a budget-related request. Here's a look at each:

    Campaign-finance reform: The proposed charter amendment would require the disclosure of the origins of so-called "dark money" used in Tempe. Any person or entity making an independent expenditure of more than $1,000 would have to disclose original and intermediary sources of the funding. Some praise the idea for increasing transparency while others raised concerns the state could push back because the local measure would go further than state law. 

    -Excerpt, Originally published as "Tempe election results roll in; incumbents show strong lead" by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy with the Arizona Republic, March 13, 2018

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    Letter: Dark money owns politics


    To the Editor:

    At the 2010 State of the Union address, then President Barack Obama stood in front of the Supreme Court justices and chastised them for allowing unlimited and untraceable dark money from trans national corporations, foreigners and governments to influence our elections with their 5-4 Citizens United decision.

    Those five justices form the Corporatist Wing of SCOTUS. Since then, dark money super PACs flood our body politic with unlimited and untraceable money to elect politicians who will do their bidding, enact legislation to their benefit, and foment propaganda, lies and misinformation that dupes Americans.

    Dark money groups are brilliantly uncovered in Jane Mayer’s book, “Dark Money.” Greedy billionaires led by the Koch brothers, Mercers and Adelsons have literally bought and paid for an entire political party and use “legalized bribery” to corrupt the system to their benefit. They have figured out the best investment in America is to buy a politician.

    The latest atrocity came in the form of a $500 million payoff from the Koch brothers to Speaker Paul Ryan (Koch’s haul is $2 billion a year in tax cuts, a 400 percent return on investment) for pushing through the GOP tax cuts for the rich, of which 84 percent of the $1.5 trillion tax cuts go to the top 1 percent and will be paid for by our children and grandchildren in the form of cuts to education, infrastructure, science, research and our Medicare and Social Security.

    The Koch brothers have allocated a $20 million advertising budget propaganda campaign to dupe America into believing in the virtues of tax cuts for the rich and corporations.

    They have begun their PR campaign of throwing a $1,000 bone to a few middle-class workers while CEOs and billionaires feed like pigs at the trough of trillion-dollar tax cuts and the added profits from the deregulation of our environmental, consumer, banking and labor protections.

    We have a choice. We can vote out the politicians who literally are owned by the 1 percent and get the corrupting influence of money out of politics ... or let the billionaires overturn and overrun our democracy.

    Please choose wisely!

    Peter Janko


    Originally posted by The Northwest Herald on 03/04/2018.

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