Suit filed to block plan to restrict power of Clean Elections

By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

The author of Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act wants a judge to block vote on a plan by Republican lawmakers to take away some of the power of the commission that administers the program of public financing of candidates.

In a new lawsuit, Louis Hoffman contends the referendum put on the November ballot by GOP lawmakers asks voters to make two changes to the law on public financing of political campaigns. Attorney Danny Adelman, who represents Hoffman, said the Legislature illegally combined the two changes into a single take-it-or-leave-it measure for voters. And that, he said, violates a provision of the Arizona Constitution, which says all laws “shall embrace but one subject.”

What the lawmakers are trying to do, Adelman charges, is convince voters to accept the whole package — including sharp new restrictions on the Citizens Clean Election Commission — just because they may like the other half of the package which deals with how candidates can spend the public money they get. So he wants Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Teresa Anderson to block the measure from appearing on the November ballot.

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