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Tempe dark money rules statement

Post Date:03/13/2019 8:52 PM

City of Tempe statement about resident-approved dark money rules 

The City of Tempe will fully cooperate with any Arizona Attorney General’s Office examination of the legality of the city’s March 2018 voter-approved measure to require greater transparency in our local elections.

“Tempe voters want greater transparency about who is trying to influence our local elections and they voted overwhelmingly to create that openness,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We are dedicated to honoring the will of 91 percent of Tempe voters to require disclosure of dark money contributions used to influence local elections.”

The city believes disclosure obligations maintain the public trust, eliminate potential corruption and fraud in elections, and improve transparency and integrity. They do not prevent free speech. Governor Doug Ducey rightly signed our Charter amendment into law in May 2018 and it should remain in effect for Tempe elections.

Tempe voters also approved with 88 percent of the vote in March 2016 a city Charter amendment to lower campaign contribution limits for Mayor and City Council elections. Our residents regard local elections as theirs to decide. Governor Ducey properly accepted those election results as well.

Affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court in 2017, Charter cities in Arizona – like Tempe – have the right to regulate their local elections. The court wrote that these matters are “not a matter of statewide concern.”

Once again a state legislator who represents southern Arizona has taken issue with Tempe’s efforts to govern and uphold the will of its residents. These challenges unnecessarily use taxpayer resources. However, we look forward to demonstrating that this objection is invalid.

The city will not have any other statements or information at this time.

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