Originally Published: June 23, 2018 6 a.m.
In the May 10 Courier there was an article by Howard Fischer, entitled “Bid to block dark money.” The article was confusing. He wrote:
The proposal being pushed by former attorneys general Terry Goddard, Tom Horne and Grant Woods, the first Democrat and the other two Republicans, would put a “right to know” provision in the Arizona Constitution, requiring public disclosure of the names of anyone who puts at least $10,000 into any campaign, whether for public office or a ballot measure.
That’s already required now.
But there’s an exception: Groups organized under the Internal Revenue Code as “social welfare” organizations can refuse to disclose their donors.
Readers asked me, “If disclosure is required now, what is the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign’s goal, what are the proponents asking voters to approve and how is the Amendment relevant considering the ‘social welfare’ IRS exemption”?
Yes, Arizona law obligates candidates to disclose individual donors like you and me. But once this passes, big donors (over $10,000 in a two-year cycle) will have to disclose the identity of the original source of “major contributions” (more than $2,500 in a two-year cycle).
The Amendment will require disclosure by those now shielded by the IRS while not preventing contributions to Dirty Money organizations. A new class of Dirty Money donors will have to disclose the original source of funds. It’ll open the books to give us information we need to evaluate the credibility of messaging coming out of the “social welfare” organizations. The Amendment is non-partisan; all political sides will have to comply.