Public financing of campaigns
- 1 States
- 1.1 Arizona
- 1.2 Connecticut
- 1.3 Florida
- 1.4 Hawaii
- 1.5 Idaho
- 1.6 Iowa
- 1.7 Maine
- 1.8 Maryland
- 1.9 Massachusetts
- 1.10 Michigan
- 1.11 Minnesota
- 1.12 Montana
- 1.13 Nebraska
- 1.14 New Jersey
- 1.15 New Mexico
- 1.16 North Carolina
- 1.17 Ohio
- 1.18 Oklahoma
- 1.19 Oregon
- 1.20 Rhode Island
- 1.21 Utah
- 1.22 Vermont
- 1.23 Virginia
- 1.24 Wisconsin
- 2 External Links
- 3 References
Arizona participates in a "Clean Elections" program, whereby those candidates who chose to participate in the public financing option are subject to certain qualifications and spending limits, but are compensated with public funds for any amount in excess of the spending limit that an opponent raises in private contributions. This policy is codified in Title 16 Chapter 6 of the Arizona state statutes governing campaign contributions and expenses:
"Whenever during a general election period a report has been
filed, or other information comes to the attention of the commission, indicating that the amount a nonparticipating candidate who is not unopposed has received in contributions during the election cycle to date less the amount of expenditures the nonparticipating candidate made through the end of the primary election period exceeds the original general election spending limit, including any previous adjustments, the commission shall immediately pay from the fund to the campaign account of any participating candidate qualified for the ballot and seeking the same office as the nonparticipating candidate an amount equal to any excess of the reported difference over the general election spending limit, as previously adjusted, less six per cent for a nonparticipating candidate’s fund-raising expenses. The general election spending limit for all such participating candidates shall be adjusted by increasing it by the amount that the commission is obligated to pay to aparticipating candidate."
However, this a "fund matching" or "triggering" program was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that it limits the free speech of private donors. The case of Arizona's Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC et al. v. Bennett, Secretary of State of Arizona, et al. was decided on June 27, 2011. In the 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional. The majority ruled that public "fund matching" programs ultimately discourage non-participating candidates who chose to raise private donations from raising or spending campaign funds, and thus discourage political debate. Several other states have public financing programs similar to Arizona's, and are now facing the issue of being shut down on this precedent.
In 2010, the top 10 recipients of public campaign funds were:
|Jan Brewer, Governor||$1,768,577|
|Terry Goddard, Governor||$1,760,945|
|Ken Bennett, Secretary of State||$458,008|
|John Huppenthal, Superintendent of Public Instruction||$229,679|
|Brenda Burns, Arizona Corporation Commissioner||$229,113|
|Gary Pierce, Arizona Corporation Commissioner||$229,113|
|David Bradley, Arizona Corporation Commissioner||$228,711|
|Dean Martin, Governor||$200,501|
|David Lujan, Attorney General||$183,311|
|Andrew Thomas, Attorney General||$183,311|
Connecticut's public campaign financing program is funded through the Citizens' Election Program (CEP). This program provides grant money to candidates who raise a specified number of low-sum, "qualifying contributions" and who agree to abide by spending limits. Originally, the CEP was designed similarly to Arizona's laws in that it had a "triggering" provision, granting equivalent funds to participating candidates whenever privately-funded candidates out-spent them. However, on July 13, 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling on the case of Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield stating that this grant-matching provision was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated First Amendment rights to free speech. The court did also reverse a provision of the lower ruling that claimed that the CEP discriminated against minority parties. On June 28, 2011, one day after Arizona's grant-matching public finance program was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of the Connecticut law, thus affirming the lower court's ruling as well as the idea that public campaign financing is not inherently unconstitutional.
In 2010, the top 10 recipients of public funds were:
|Dannel Patrick Malloy, Governor||$8,460,089|
|Michael Fedele, Governor||$2,477,728|
|Denise Merrill, Secretary of State||$1,121,163|
|Kevin Lembo, Comptroller||$1,106,205|
|Jeff Wright, State Treasurer||$749,950|
|Denise Nappier, State Treasurer||$749,490|
|Jerry Farrell, Secretary of State||$744,900|
|George Jepsen, Attorney General||$740,381|
|Gerry Garcia, Secretary of State||$374,950|
|Michale Jarjura, Comptroller||$374,000|
- National Conference of State Legislatures: "Public Financing of Campaigns: An Overview"
- Common Cause: "Public Financing in the States"
- National Conference of State Legislatures: "Public Financing of Campaigns"
- Arizona Revised Statutes Title 16 Chapter 6: "Campaign Contributions and Expenses §16-952 B"
- Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett: Text of the Decision
- New York Times: "Supreme Court Rules in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett"
- Follow the Money: "Public Fund of Arizona 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield was changed to Green Party of Connecticut v. Lenge by the time it got to the Supreme Court in recognition of Garfield's retirement
- Green Party of Conn. v. Garfield: "Ruling of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals"
- The Campaign Legal Center: "Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Connecticut Public Financing Program"
- Follow the Money: "Public Fund of Connecticut 2010 Campaign Contributions"