By Victor Ren
Phoenix voters will have one extra proposition on their ballot to consider.
A yes vote on Proposition 419 would require individuals and organizations to disclose any campaign donations valued at more than $1,000 that are intended to influence a Phoenix election.
The intent is exposing campaign donations sometimes called "dark money."
"Proposition 419 presents a chance for the City of Phoenix to push back against wealthy individuals, corporations and special interests who are flooding our elections with dark money," Phoenix mayoral candidate Kate Gallego said in a statement.
"Phoenix residents deserve to know who is trying to influence our elections so voters can understand the motivation behind the spending," Gallego said.
Several individuals submitted arguments in favor of the proposition to the Phoenix voter pamphlet.
"Phoenix can become a national leader in the fight for campaign finance transparency by approving Proposition 419," former Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard said in the pamphlet. "I know Phoenix citizens value open and transparent democratic debate. We don’t want secret groups influencing our city elections."
Phoenix mayoral candidate Daniel Valenzuela said in an emailed statement that this was a personal issue to him because he was attacked by dark money groups during his 2011 City Council run.
“I voted with a majority of my City Council colleagues to refer this reform measure to the ballot," Valenzuela said. "My hope is that these sorts of tactics won’t become a part of the mayoral race, and we will instead focus on the real issues facing our city."
No arguments were submitted opposing the measure.
However, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce on its website opposes the measure.
"It has the potential to open up the chamber's and other nonprofits' finances to groups that disagree with positions these groups take in regards to candidates or ballot measures," the organization website states. "Additionally, this effort will effectively suppress the business community's speech in elections."