Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX - Backed by Arizona's secretary of state and attorney general, a lawmaker is pushing to require corporations established to influence elections to disclose where their money comes from.

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said it's important that the public know who is behind such efforts.

HB 2835 would require corporations, limited liability companies and labor organizations that influence elections to act as a political action committee does and file campaign-finance reports listing their sources of funding.

"This bill allows us to know clearly who's contributing and it's not done under a cloak of secrecy," Farnsworth said.

The bill is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which found that governments may not restrict political spending by corporations. The court found that such restrictions would infringe upon free speech.

Groups nationally have played around the edges of Citizens United, creating shadowy organizations that purchase adds supporting or opposing candidates without disclosing their backers.

For example, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is in charge of elections, said his office received complaints about several independent groups that organized as corporations to influence the recall election of former state Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, and the Phoenix mayor's race.

"Basically they were hiding all the sources of their money," he said.

Bennett said that while the bill isn't a direct result of either race, the elections highlighted challenges of dealing with the Citizens United ruling.

"They just happened to be the two after Citizens United," Bennett said. "We wanted to clarify before elections this year."

Attorney General Tom Horne joined Bennett at a news conference in support of Farnsworth's bill.

Similar bills addressing the Citizens United ruling have been introduced in California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Vermont, according to the government watchdog group Public Citizen.

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.