BY DAVID J. CANTELME
I knew personally many of the statewide
candidates, and I don’t remember any of
them sporting the horns and tails portrayed
by the Dark Money commercials.
Here is how Dark Money works:
No limits apply to how much an IEC can
Individuals or corporations donate to a
non-profit corporation recognized under
Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)( 4). A
“ C4” non-profit does not have to disclose
its donors. The C4 in turn donates to an
independent expenditure committee (IEC).
spend on campaigns.
The IEC has to report
the contribution from
the C4, but not the contributions made to the
C4. Thus, Dark Money
It was not always so in Arizona.
Ten years ago, a sturdy edifice of cam-
Arizona Campaign Finance
paign laws governed Arizona elections. The
four walls of this structure consisted of the
campaign registration, contribution disclo-
sure and limitation, public campaign
finance, and matching funds laws found in
A.R.S. §§ 16-901 through 16-961:
• The campaign registration laws required
candidates and committees supporting
or opposing them to register with the
Secretary of State.
Laws Are Teetering
DAVID CANTELME is a member of Cantelme & Brown PLC,
and has practiced in the area of elections law since 1981, first
with Lewis and Roca, later at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon PLC,
and for the last nine years at his own firm.
Anyone living in Arizona during the 2014 campaign season saw the
impact of so-called Dark Money on Arizona election campaigns.
Commercials funded by Dark Money were broadcast daily supporting
this candidate or opposing that one. Objectivity was never attempted.
The actual candidates probably would not consider voting for them-
selves if they came anywhere close to resembling in real life the carica-
tures of them portrayed in the commercials.
Campaign Finance Laws