Another Mills campaign piece has hit the Data Port mailbox. This time the object of his outrage is the Clean Elections Fund, which he would like to confiscate and use to balance the budget.
He is shocked…shocked…that taxpayer’s money is being used to level the financial playing field and broaden participation in the electoral process.
Well, he’s right about one thing, it is the taxpayers’ money. It is not the General Fund’s money.
The voters of Arizona voted to establish the Clean Elections Commission in 1998. According to the 2008 Commission Report the major funding for 2008 was as follows:
10% Surcharge on civil and criminal fines and penalties: $10,095,771
$5 Voluntary tax payer contributions via tax check-off on tax returns: $6,536,899
$5 Candidate qualifying contributions: $229,396
Far from being a drain on the general fund, Clean Elections has benefited it. In 2008 the Clean Elections Commission returned $15,000,000 to the state’s general fund. Since 1998 the total transferred to the general fund has been $27.8 million.
Clean Elections has clearly been successful in broadening the base of participation. In 2000, 26% of the candidates ran “clean” while in 2008 65% did.
Mills claims that “scarce taxpayer dollars” should be spent balancing the budget. Sorry, Buz, the money I’ve donated is supposed to be used to help folks run for office. If you want to balance the budget, raise corporate taxes.