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Stripped of matching funds, Clean Elections loses appeal to candidates (access required)

With the linchpin of Clean Elections gone, participation in Arizona’s once-vigorous campaign financing system has nosedived to levels not seen since the program’s infancy.

Only 72 candidates have signed up for public financing this election cycle, compared to 121 in 2010.

The reason: Clean Elections suffered a devastating blow in the middle of the 2010 campaign season, when the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the state from distributing matching funds.

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Commerce Authority backs off controversial ‘stipends’ (access required)

The Arizona Commerce Authority announced late Friday afternoon that it will not be awarding the $5,000 stipends it had earlier promised to15 companies eliminated from a competitive grant program.

The Goldwater Institute’s Clint Bolick sent a letter to the ACA earlier this month, warning that the awards for unsuccessful semifinalists in the agency’s Innovation Challenge could be a violation of a constitutional provision banning government gifts to private companies, unless the money creates a tangible public benefit.

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