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Compromise could scrap ballot measure on Clean Elections

A proposed ballot measure to effectively dismantle Arizona’s system that provides public money for state election candidates’ campaigns would itself be scrapped under a compromise between the program’s supporters and opponents.

Legislation given tentatively approval by the Senate on Monday would eliminate one of the system’s funding sources and bar spending to promote the system while still allowing education efforts. Opponents of the system want those changes.

Arizona voters narrowly approved creation of the Clean Elections system in 1998. Candidates voluntarily participating in the program receive funding after submitting set numbers of $5 qualifying contributions from voters.

Proponents contend that public campaign funding reduces the influence of special interests in elections and government, while critics dispute that and say the system allows candidates without broad support to get funding.

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