Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sen. Steve Gallardo statement on clean elections defunding

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Sen. Steve Gallardo responded to the effort by Senators Steve Pierce and Scott Bundgaard to pass SCR 1025, a deceptive ballot referendum that could result in voters unwittingly repealing Clean Elections. The measure does not mention Clean Elections.

“SCR 1025 is completely dishonest,” said Sen. Steve Gallardo. “Backers of this measure are afraid to debate Clean Elections on its merits because they know voters overwhelmingly support the popular program. Instead they are hoping to deceive voters into killing the Clean Elections by defunding it and that’s shameful.”

SCR 1025 would effectively end Clean Elections in Arizona by constitutionally barring the use of “public funds” for candidate campaigns. In order to achieve this, the amendment slated for the 2012 ballot redefines “public funds” to include the 10 percent surcharge on lawbreakers that comprises the Citizens Clean Elections Fund.

“If they want to repeal Clean Elections, why not be honest about it?,” said Gallardo. “Voters have made it clear that they are sick and tired of sneaky and deceptive ballot measures. These legislators keep proving that they are out-of-touch with voters.”

When voters passed Clean Elections they provided a funding mechanism separate from the General Fund. The Clean Elections Fund regularly contributes excess money to the General Fund, so passage would result in more cuts to the General Fund.

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