Arizona Clean Elections, Proposition 200 (1998)

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Arizona Proposition 200, also known as An Act Relating to a Campaign Finance Funding and Reporting System or the Clean Elections Act, was on the November 3, 1998 election ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute. It was approved.[1]

Election results

Clean Elections
Approveda Yes 481,963 51.2%


On January 20, 2010, federal judge Roslyn Silver ruled that portions of the law were unconstitutional.[2]

Twelve years after the passage of the act, the approved measure came under debate as the Arizona Legislature proposed SCR 1009, which was designed to alter the Clean Elections act. SCR 1009 held clauses designed to disallow the use of public money to fund political campaigns. Former Arizona Senator Jonathon Paton authored the proposal. However, the text of the resolution did not include the phrase "Citizens Clean Election Act," which was purposely done, in order to not completely kill the law. The measure was approved by the Arizona State Senate with a vote of 16-12, and was passed to the Arizona House of Representatives for their own vote.[3]

However, Senator Ken Cheuvront stated that the text should have included the act because voters should have been able to outright decide whether to keep or discontinue the program.[4]

The United States Supreme Court ruled during the week of June 11, 2010 that matching funds should be blocked in Arizona's clean elections law. This meant, according to reports, that the 130 candidates that had decided to run under the mandates of the clean elections law would not get money for their campaigns, as they had decided to forgo private donations. Since the Supreme Court had handed their ruling down, it was too late to run as candidates that were privately funded.[5]

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Would establish a five-member commission to administer additional alternative campaign financing system; provide public funding and additional reporting for participating candidates; reduce current contribution limits by 20% for non-participating candidates; set personal monies and spending limits for participating candidates; limit private contributions for participating candidates unless Commission declares emergency.[6][7]

Path to the ballot

112,961 signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot. 144,810 valid signatures wre filed, or 128% more than were required. About 50% of the signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot were collected by Derrick Lee's company at a price of about $50,000.[8]

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