Saturday, June 27, 2015

AZ Secretary of State Michele Reagan Reverses Her Campaign Rhetoric on "Dark Money" Contributions

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has given up on digging up the roots of so-called "dark money."
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It's a reversal from the stance she had as a lawmaker and as a statewide candidate, when she championed disclosure by non-profit corporations that get involved in campaigns.

 In recent interviews, Reagan talked about her evolution on the issue and why she's now focusing on beefed-up technology, not more regulation, to highlight campaign spending
Technology, she said, will provide more transparency through centralizing political filings from across the state in her office, from local governments to statewide campaigns.

She believes her office is the only one that should oversee independent expenditures, something that's at the heart of a dispute with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission. The commission has fined a political non-profit, the Arizona Legacy Foundation Action Fund, $95,000 for not disclosing its donors during the 2014 campaign, something Reagan objects to.

 She said her turnaround on the dark-money issue, which dominated last year's Secretary of State race, is based on hard-won experience that disclosure is hard to wring out of 501(c) 4 corporations, which are social-welfare non-profit groups. It has nothing to do, she said, with the fact that her victory last fall was aided by a $304,000 last-minute attack on her Democratic opponent by the 60 Plus Association, a political non-profit. Read More