As we wrote recently, before we launch the huge task of gathering thousands of signatures, we want to be as sure as possible that we got the Outlaw Dirty Money proposition right. The dirty money forces will attack every misplaced comma. Therefore, we want the maximum possible number of critical eyes to view the Outlaw Dirty Money text before it is filed. Once we file with the Secretary of State, the text cannot be changed.
You will see right away that this Initiative Measure is a petition to amend the Arizona Constitution. It will require a minimum of 225,963 valid signatures of Arizona voters! Outlawing Dirty Money is so important, and the majority in the Legislature and most state officials are so hopelessly committed to protecting Dirty Money, that we decided the extra effort was needed. Let’s put this into our Constitution, where they cannot fiddle with it!
The basic idea is very simple: we have the right to know where all the money in politics came from. Period. This Arizona Constitutional Amendment requires that the person who spends over $10,000 trying to influence an Arizona election must disclose the original source of the money. Not just who wrote the last check in a long series of transfers designed to hide the real contributor, but who wrote the first check from their own funds. We have the right to know!
Please read the draft petition text on our Voice of the People website with a critical eye, considering all the implications. Please let us know your comments or corrections by returning this email before next Monday, November 20th. From finding typos (hope there are none!) to finding possible unintended consequences or unnecessary duplicate disclosures, we need your input. Either approve or improve it.
Attachment: Outlaw Dirty Money Review Version
My sincere apologies for going so long without communicating. Rest assured there has been a lot going on. Over the summer, we have been working hard on a new effort to stop Dirty Money in Arizona.
A lot of time and effort has gone into research and drafting the new initiative and on getting a campaign apparatus ready to circulate petitions. We are particularly fortunate that the Save Our Schools (SOS) petition drive engaged so many quality volunteers so effectively. Their success is not just an inspiration, but many SOS leaders and actives understand how dirty money is threatening public education and are ready to help.
On the campaign messaging side, you probably noticed I used the term “Dirty Money” instead of “Dark Money.” The reason is simple: The amount of anonymous campaign funding by individuals and groups trying to influence our elections has exploded. This type of spending isn’t occasional anymore – it is the rule and growing, with campaign methods that are, well, just dirty.
Yesterday, we had a spectacular response from the activists attending the ‘We The People Summit’. They were ready to hit the streets with petitions that afternoon! But, we have one important step before that can happen.
Before we commit to the huge task of gathering thousands of signatures, we want to be as sure as possible that we got it right. The next time you hear from me will be very soon with a draft of the initiative to look over. I hope you will help by providing your input.
We are preparing a petition to outlaw the use of dark money in Arizona elections. If we can get enough signatures, we will put it on the 2018 ballot. Please stay tuned for updates on our progress and when the petitions will be ready to circulate. We should be ready in early 2017 in order to have the maximum time for circulation! Thanks for staying interested and involved in protecting democracy in Arizona.