News Release

Victories for Campaign Finance Reform in Two States Likely to Inspire Grassroots Efforts Nationwide

Statewide ballot measures for campaign finance reform won approval Tuesday in Arizona and Massachusetts. Activists say those victories will inspire a groundswell of efforts around the country to clean up the elections process at the grassroots.

“This sends a message nationwide,” said Kaia Lenhart, political director of Arizonans for Clean Elections. “There’s no doubt about it.”

While Arizona voters were narrowly approving a campaign- reform provision Tuesday, voters in Massachusetts were passing a similar measure by a wide margin.

Leaders of both campaigns are available for interviews:

KAIA LENHART
The political director of Arizonans for Clean Elections, Lenhart said: “We received remarkable support for the clean elections initiative here in Arizona. Legislation to clean up campaign financing never got out of committee in the legislature, so people got the signatures to put it on the ballot and we survived several legal challenges.” Lenhart added: “This is a comprehensive model of public campaign financing which is voluntary. If a candidate agrees, there’s an absolute cap on spending; to receive money from the clean elections fund, the candidates have to demonstrate broad public support by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. The clean elections fund is financed from a 10 percent surcharge on civil and criminal penalties, an increase in the fee levied on lobbyists, and a voluntary tax checkoff.”
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DAVID DONNELLY
The campaign manager for Mass Voters for Clean Elections, Donnelly commented: “Voters overwhelmingly said no to a special- interest-driven system, and yes to Question 2 and clean elections. They said that they want special-interest money out of politics and they want good people to be able to run for office without relying on big money.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan (541) 484-9167