"Dark money" is an equal opportunity destroyer. It contaminates the election process for all sides — Republican, independent and Democrat.
It's not partisan at all. And it must be stopped.
Read and watch Terry Goddard's interview here: http://snip.ly/EXWk
Protestors rally for The Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United v. FEC in Washington, D.C.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
So, it's Week Two of the Arizona Legislature and our leaders' priorities are quickly coming into focus.
No. 1 on the to-do list is already checked off: a graduation requirement to ensure that high school seniors can score 60 percent on a civics test that asks such penetrating questions as who was the nation's first president and who is the nation's current president.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to boost charter schools and private prisons. There are bills to make it more difficult for voters to mess with the Constitution and easier for legislators to mess with laws enacted by voters.
There are bills to make it harder for judges to retain their seats on Election Day and easier for legislators to fire the judges they don't like.
Then there are all the bills aimed at lifting the shroud on "dark money"…
Not so for Democrat Terry Goddard, who came up short against the new secretary of state, Republican Michele Reagan.
The 2014 election brought a flood of so-called "dark money" into Arizona campaigns.
Close to $15 million was spent by groups whose donors remained anonymous as of Oct. 28, 2014, according to Arizona's Politics blogger Mitch Martinson, who tracked the money behind campaigns throughout the year.
The rise in dark-money spending is not unique to Arizona; the spending by non-profits and corporations has happened across the nation in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens Uniteddecision.
I was very serious during the past campaign in saying that anonymous corporate cash, commonly known as dark money, must be stopped. In my view, dark money discourages voters, corrupts our elections and threatens our democracy. Stopping dark money was at the heart of my campaign, a cause embraced by many Arizonans across party lines. That effort should continue.
Yesterday the Arizona Legislature opened with the customary rhetoric and antics along with some serious hope that this Session will produce critically needed reforms. I spoke with many legislators, to point out that, after the way dark money corrupted the last Arizona election, driving it out of our state must be a priority.
Nearly 40 years ago, a small group of Arizona's most influential men ran the state's political world. They determined who ran for office, funded their campaigns and set their agenda once they won.
The Phoenix 40 included heads of the local media, legal, banking and development industries. They molded state politics in backrooms at the Phoenix Country Club and the Biltmore. Critics saw it as an exclusionary and self-dealing all-White-male club, but members said the homegrown group backed policies and politicians that moved the state forward.
As Arizona grew and prospered, the Phoenix 40's influence waned, and for 30 years no single group wielded comparable control over state politics.
Read more here: http://azc.cc/1IBCwVq
The Internal Revenue Service says it won't come out with new proposed rules for so-called dark money groups until late spring at the earliest, increasing the likelihood that no changes will take effect before the 2016 elections.
These groups — social welfare nonprofits that can engage in politics, but do not have to disclose their donors — have become a major force in elections, pouring at least $257 million into the 2012 elections. The Wesleyan Media Project estimates that dark money paid for almost half the TV ads aired in the 2014 Senate races.
WASHINGTON - Dark money in campaigns has become an issue nationwide but in the words of one expert, Arizona “really is a special place for dark money.”
The state, because of its laws or its culture, has become ground zero for a growing number of politically active tax-exempt organizations, said Robert Maguire, the political nonprofits investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics.
Anonymous interests spent at least $15 million trying to get their favored candidates installed in Arizona’s state and legislative offices in 2014. A look at the “dark money” major players, the spoils by state office, plus the top 10 lawmakers to benefit from - but not directly coordinate with those who spent - anonymous cash