By Lily Altavena | Arizona Republic
Ryan Humble, with the company AZ Petition Partners, transports boxes containing some of the 435,669 signatures for the InvestInEd ballot initiative at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on July 2, 2020.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has indicted a company commissioned by the Proposition 208 campaign to gather signatures for the measure.
The indictment alleges the company, AZ Petition Partners, awarded at least 50 bonuses to signature gatherers based on the number of signatures they collected. The bonuses ranged from $20 to $1,200.
Such payments would be a violation of a state law enacted in 2017, which made it illegal to pay gatherers per signatures. Violations are a misdemeanor, and if the company is found guilty, it would have to pay a fine of up to $20,000, according to a release from the Attorney General’s Office.
AZ Petition Partners is a separate entity from Invest in Education, the committee that backed Proposition 208.
“The allegation that Petition Partners paid its circulators an illegal bonus by the signature is absolutely false,” David Leibowitz, a spokesperson for the company, said. “The filing is a serious overreach by the Attorney General’s Office. This is a political prosecution, pure and simple.”
A spokesperson for the campaign declined to comment.