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Arizona: Supreme Court allows parties to soliticit corporate contributions

The Arizona Republic reports: State political parties can once again solicit corporate donations for administrative expenses, as long as the funds aren't "earmarked" to influence any particular campaign, the state Supreme Court said this week.

The court reversed a 2004 Appeals Court decision that said the Arizona Democratic Party violated state law by soliciting more than $100,000 from corporations and using it for administrative expenses in 1998, a practice the party engaged in for at least four years. The court not only vacated the earlier ruling, but ordered the state to pay the party's legal fees, which are estimated to be between $75,000 and $100,000.

While state law prohibits corporations and labor organizations from contributing money to influence elections, "nothing in the statute prohibits a political party from accepting such contributions and using them to pay overhead expenses," wrote Vice Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch. -- Court reverses contribution ruling