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Arizona decides on ballot language for "No Taxpayer Money for Politicians" initiative

Michael Bryan at Political State Report: At Wednesday's [Arizona] Legislative Council hearing, the ballot language for the 'No Taxpayer Money for Politicians' initiative was decided. It was determined that the ballot language for the initiative would have to indicate an intent to repeal the Clean Elections system.

Arizona law says descriptions printed on petitions and ballots must describe the principal provisions of the initiative, be accurate, and be free from political argument. The description on the NTMP petitions failed to mention that the initiative will de-fund the Clean Elections system, de-fund the Clean Elections Commission and contained several political arguments about the voter-approved Clean Elections Act. NTMP advocates certainly wished to stay on message on the ballot, but the Legislative Council's decision precludes this. Clean Elections opponent and State Representative Randy Graf (R) reportedly commented that the decision was "a dagger in the heart" of the initiative. He is almost certainly correct.

A large majority of Arizonans support the Clean Elections system, therefore, clear language on the ballot, despite any misleading campaign advertising by the initiative's proponents, will greatly undermine chances of the initiative's passage. A majority of Arizona state office candidates are running under the Clean Elections system this cycle. The appeal of the system crosses partisan lines. There are actually more Republican candidates running clean than are Democrats. Many credit the Clean Elections system with enabling moderate Arizona Republicans to defy the far Right elements of their own caucus to pass a bi-partisan budget with Democrats this year. Of the 31 Representatives who voted for the compromise budget, 26 were Clean Elections candidates. Therein lies a possible motive for NTMP backers. -- Political State Report

I wonder if there is a connection between the support of the Christian Coalition for NTMP and the supposed moderating influence of the Clean Elections program?