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Maricopa County Libertarian Party

Taxpayer Funded Campaigns Hurt Third Parties

September 27, 2008 - 12:00am
Jim Iannuzo by Jim Iannuzo


Arizona's "Clean Elections" system is not a benefit to voters. Instead, it is a way to further consolidate government control on the political process.

Taxpayer funded elections (aka: Clean Elections) are a Ponzi scheme where Arizona taxpayers are left holding the bag. A closer look into the funding sources makes this clear. The so called voluntary contribution on your state income tax return is a $5 tax credit which subsequently balloons into a larger overall tax increase due to uncontrolled deficit spending. Keep in mind that Arizona's estimated 2009 budget deficit will grow to 1.7 billion dollars. Add to that a 10% surtax on criminal and civil penalties and the funds start increasing rapidly. Better yet, politicians can get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit not to exceed 20% or $530, whichever is higher on their Arizona tax return and turn around and get that money back when they run as a "clean" candidate.

Clean Elections favors candidates who believe in increased government spending while hurting limited government candidates. There are three parties with continuing ballot status in Arizona - Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats. Of these, the Libertarian Party is the most taxpayer friendly. We believe in self-ownership of person and property where no one has the right to forcibly take them from you. Governments therefore are instituted to protect your individual rights. With this in mind, most Libertarian candidates reject Clean Elections funds outright. This is consistent with the Maricopa County Libertarian Party's position on rejecting all forms of taxpayer financed political campaigns.

"The closer your are to the Constitution, the farther you are away from Clean Elections."

The most insidious aspect of clean elections is the direct control the state has on all taxpayer financed political campaigns. As a matter of fact, even candidates who reject public monies are subject to new rules and regulations. The state believes that once you accept Clean Elections funds, they have a right to limit the content and context of individual political speech. Any type of unorthodox campaign that resonates with third party voters would immediately raise suspicion. This concept would eventually permit the state to censure politically incorrect speech. Ask yourself a question. Do you think we will see the state removing elected officials from office based on a Clean Elections reporting errors? Well it’s already part of the Clean Elections law. The clock is ticking, dump taxpayer funded elections and let candidates rise or fall solely on their own personal merits.

Related Content:

Supporting Clean Elections and Empowering Corrupt Politicians - Jim Iannuzo
Arizona Propositions - Nick Coons
Property Tax or Rent? - Richard Sutton

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