This was going to be a standard news release about filing nearly 286,000 petition signatures. But then came this…
The official response by Pro-Dirty Money “American’s for Prosperity” (a Koch Bros. enterprise) to the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign’s petition filing: “This would severely limit our ability to be involved in statewide initiatives or hold elected officials accountable.”
For Immediate Release
(Phoenix) — For months thousands of volunteers combed the state with their oversized clipboards asking Arizonans if they’d like to sign a petition to “Outlaw Dirty Money.” On Tuesday (7/5/18) those petitions were officially filed, with the signatures of the 285,768 citizens who said ”YES.”
And citizens really like the idea. The “Outlaw Dirty Money” language was used to create a City of Tempe disclosure ordinance that was approved by over 90% of voters. Pro-Dirty Money forces in the Arizona legislature quickly changed the law to block Tempe’s vote.
Pro-Dirty Money supporters have already surfaced to oppose the amendment. Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard repeats the standard line used to support Dirty Money. Responding to calls for political transparency, Mesnard, quoted in Arizona Capitol Times, said, “The end result is a registry and every person and who they donated to,” he said. “I think that is entirely dangerous.”
That is the Dirty Money supporter’s stock response, something they started calling “Donor Disclosure.”
Of course, under current federal and state law donors to political campaigns and the amount of their donations, including contributions to Rep. Mesnard, are already public. But that does not include the big Dirty Money operations funneling millions of dollars into campaigns. They escape being required to fully disclose who they are.
One of those Dirty Money operations is called “American’s for Prosperity,” a well known front group for the billionaire Pro-Dirty Money Koch Bros. They’ve wasted no time trying to fight for “Dirty Money.”
Over the weekend, they wrote to their Pro-Dirty Money supporters warning that if the Stop Political Dirty Money constitutional amendment is adopted, the Koch Bros. might have to stop spending money in Arizona. They call the amendment “Donor Disclosure.”
“Donor disclosure: This would require any expenditure more than $10k in a two year period to a candidate or a ballot measure to have to disclose their donors down the individual names. This would severely limit our ability to be involved in statewide initiatives or hold elected officials accountable.”
(Source: July 8, 2018 Email from Darla Gonzalez, Field Director, American’s for Prosperity)
Support for the “Stop Political Dirty Money” constitutional amendment this crosses political lines. Endorsers include conservatives such as former Republican Arizona Attorneys General Tom Horne, and Grant Woods, former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker in addition to Arizona progressives such as committee co-chair former Phoenix Mayor and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, former Phoenix Mayors Phil Gordon and Greg Stanton, Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego and independents such as former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson.