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Judge leery of Clean Elections referendum (access required)

A pending ballot referendum that would allow voters to decide the fate of publicly funded political campaigns in Arizona could be deemed illegal by a county judge, but a former lawmaker who has set his sights on Arizona’s Clean Elections system promises voters will have the last word.

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Ballot measure would ban ‘taxpayer money’ for political campaigns (access required)

The system that allows Arizona residents to use government money to campaign for political office is teetering after a federal judge ruled earlier this year that a major component of the scheme is unconstitutional. Many powerful special interest groups, nonetheless, are hoping to deliver the knockout blow at the ballot box this fall, rather than wait for it to collapse on its own.

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Lobbyist, lawmaker to resume Clean Elections clash (access required)

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has renewed a $6,500-per-month contract with lobbyist Mike Williams, setting up another battle over the fate of the public campaign-funding system. Todd Lang, director of the Clean Elections Commission, said hiring a lobbyist was necessary to protect a system he credits with increasing political participation of the public and encouraging people to run for office.

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