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Arizona Federal Court Upholds Clean Elections System

July 8, 2004

For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 08, 2004

Contact Information:
Natalia Kennedy, 212 998–6736

Arizona Federal Court Upholds Clean Elections System
Ruling Preserves Public Funding for State Elections

New York, NY—Today, the United States District Court for Arizona denied a request for a ruling that would call a temporary halt to the states Clean Elections system. The Court held that Plaintiffs have not established that they are likely to succeed when they go to trial on the case and therefore are not entitled to hold up operation of the system. Judge Carrolls ruling ensures that Arizonas successful public funding program will remain in place for this years election. A motion by public funding supporters to dismiss the case in its entirely is still pending before the Court.

The case, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons v. Brewer, is the most recent challenge to Arizonas Clean Election system, which was adopted by popular initiative in 1998. Opponents of the system have tried and failed to derail the system five times before. This decision marks yet another victory that loosens the hold of big money over state elections.

This ruling is an important step in protecting the fairness of Arizonas elections. Arizona will continue to be a state where candidates with the most support, not the deepest pockets, win elections.

This decision represents an important victory for democracy, said Deborah Goldberg of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The Brennan Center and the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest represent the Clean Elections Institute and Steven Poe, a clean elections candidate running for state Senate. Arizonas public funding system has had a dramatic effect on the states elections, by reducing the importance of money and promoting healthy competition, said Ms. Goldberg.

For more information regarding this release, please contact Natalia Kennedy (212) 998–6736.

For additional information regarding Brennan Center clean election initiatives, please visit the Center’s Campaign Finance Reform webpage.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, founded in 1995, unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. Its mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.
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