What happens now that Phoenix passed an anti-dark-money measure?

Photo courtesy of Cindy Shebley


By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Voters in Phoenix overwhelmingly approved a measure to force non-profit entities that spend money to influence city elections to disclose their contributors in an attempt to shine a light on “dark money,” but the measure is in violation of a new state law and the stage is now set for a legal battle.

Earlier this year, Tempe voters resoundingly approved a similar measure, but state lawmakers quickly introduced legislation to make the law moot.

House Bill 2153, which was eventually signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, prohibits any city, county or state entity from forcing disclosure of donors to nonprofit groups. The bill was passed along party lines, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats voting against it.

Ducey also signed off on Tempe’s ordinance in May, though it came with a word of caution. The governor said that his approval was based on current laws, not ones that would go into effect in August, like HB2153.

Recently re-elected Arizona Representative Vince Leach, R-SaddleBrooke, spearheaded the bill along with the Goldwater Institute, which is currently involved in two lawsuits in Colorado and New Mexico targeting similar disclosure measures.


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