PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has ruled that major parts of a massive rewrite of Arizona’s campaign finance laws enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in 2016 violate the state Constitution.
Wednesday’s ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David J. Palmer says parts of the law illegally strip power from the Citizens Clean Elections Commission created by voters in 1998. The power to investigate campaign finance violations and act as filing officer for candidates was handed to the secretary of state.
The rewrite also created large exemptions in what counts as a contribution, including allowing political parties to spend unlimited sums backing a candidate.
Palmer ruled that all those provisions violate the Voter Protection Act, a voter-approved constitutional provision barring lawmakers from substantially changing voter-enacted laws.