the Commission strongly recommends those
candidates and other persons who participate
financially in state and legislative candidate
elections continue to make filings as required
by law, subject to enforcement under the
Clean Elections Act and Rules.
The Clean Elections Act requires any person who makes independent expenditures
related to a particular office cumulatively
exceeding $5,000 in an election cycle, with
limited exceptions, to file reports with the
Secretary of State identifying the office and
the candidate or group of candidates whose
election or defeat is being advocated and
indicating whether the person is advocating
election or advocating defeat.
12 Thus, any
person, whether a group or individual, wishing to influence a candidate election is obligated to file these disclosure reports regardless of how “political committee” is defined.
Moreover, other important campaign finance laws remain unaffected by the Galassini
decision. For example, the statute that limits
the amount of contributions that can be given
to candidates by individuals and political
committees remains in full force and effect.
Contribution limits often come to light when
reported on campaign finance reports, and
Galassini’s reach does not extend to candi-
14 And election officials,
including the Citizens Clean Elections
Commission, have the statutory authority to
compel disclosure of candidate records, in-
cluding authorization to issue subpoenas.
All who participate in the democratic
process are entitled to certainty and clarity in
the laws that govern them. However, the
Galassini decision has questionably invoked
this principle to justify striking down a core
campaign finance law that was clearly
enforced, applied, administered and understood for decades by the election officials,
candidates, political parties, political committees and participating citizens.
The Arizona Legislature should provide
clarity without delay by reinstituting the core
principle of disclosure in elections, which has
been embodied in Article 7, Section 16 of
the Arizona Constitution since statehood.
By doing so this session, the confusion
already caused by the Galassini decision itself
will be eliminated and hopefully forgotten
well in advance of next year’s statewide and
www.azbar.org/AZAttorney 35 MARCH 2015 ARIZONA ATTORNEY
1. ARIZ. CONST. art. 7, § 16.
2. Galassini v. Town of Fountain Hills, No.
CV-11-02097-PHX-JAT, 2013 WL
5445483 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2013).
3. Id. at 19, 24.
4. 588 U.S. 310, 366 (2010).
5. Id. at 366-67.
6. Galassini, 2013 WL 5445483, at 24.
7. Id. at 40, ll. 1-5.
8. Laws 2012, Ch. 361, § 16.
9. A.R.S. § 16-901( 19).
10. See Human Life of Washington, Inc. v.
Brumsickle, 624 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2010);
Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church of East
Helena, Inc. v. Unsworth, 556 F.3d 1021
(2009); Alaska Right to Life Comm. v.
Miles, 441 F.3d 773 (9th Cir. 2006).
11. Available at www.azcleanelections.gov/
12. See A.R.S. § 16-941(D).
13. See id. §§ 16-905, -941(B).
14. See id. § 16-901( 3), which separately
defines a “candidate’s campaign
15. See id. §§ 16-904(I); -956(a)( 7); Ariz.
Admin. Code R2-20-211.
Sylvia lost her cell phone at the airport.