Arizona Governor Worried About Campaign Donors' Right To Privacy

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 4:53pm

Tucked inside the congressional tax reformation is a proposal to repeal laws that block churches from funding candidate campaigns. It could lead the way for churches to privately donate to political campaigns.

It was top of mind for Arizona’s former Attorney General Terry Goddard, who is fighting a local battle against dark money.

As he officially launched his signature drive to “stop political dirty money,” he put Arizona’s own problem in perspective.

MORE: Arizona Voters Could See 'Stop Dirty Money' Amendment On 2018 Ballot

“Arizona is the poster child for dark money,” Goddard said when looking at the amount of dollars spent as a proportion of all political money. “I don’t think there’s any state in the country that has had a bigger percentage of unattributed money going into our campaigns into politics.”

If his initiative were already law, voters would know who donated $8.2 million to Governor Doug Ducey’s race.

For his part, Ducey assured he followed the law and his campaign voluntarily listed its main donor, American Encore, on his website.

"I've always been a fan of more transparency,” Ducey said, but when thinking about Goddard’s initiative he voiced worries about it violating the right to privacy for donors.

“I think people have a First Amendment right as well to participate and to not be bullied,” he said.

Arizona law does not require a nonprofit organization like American Encore to list its founders, which OpenSecrets.org reported are conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.

With enough petition signatures by mid-July, Goddard said he hopes to give voters a chance to amend the state constitution and make all donations of $2,500 or greater made over a two-year span fully transparent.

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