September 13, 2013 •
No Aggregate Contribution Limitations
A new law in Arizona raising the limits of political contributions to candidates took effect today. Individuals and noncertified political committees will now be able to give $2,000 to candidates running for legislative and statewide offices who do not participate in the state’s Citizens Clean Elections Act campaign financing system. Contributions made to candidates running for local office may be made in amounts up to $2,500. Contribution limits by committees certified by the secretary of state have also been increased.
Additionally, the new law removes aggregate contribution limitations for individuals and some political committees.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new law, which was brought by the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and others from the state, is pending in Maricopa County Superior Court.
June 27, 2011 •
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona campaign finance law that offered extra public funding to state political candidates who faced increased opposition spending.
The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by voters in a 1998 ballot initiative, gave candidates extra money if they face well funded opponents that opted out of the state election financing system.
Candidates also could qualify for greater public financing based on political spending by independent political groups that ran advertisements opposing their candidacy or supporting other candidates.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “laws like Arizona’s matching funds provision that inhibit robust and wide-open political debate without sufficient justification cannot stand.”
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