Arizona Secretary of State Believes “O.N.E.” Committee Violated Law Multiple Times in Failing to Report Source of Contributions
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party commented on the positive response he received from the Arizona Secretary of State that the party’s complaint against former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Johnson, who is trying to resuscitate a 2012 ballot measure for the 2016 election, would be referred for prosecution. The original 2012 measure would have eliminated the role of political parties in state elections, but failed by a 2:1 margin at the polls.
“This group of progressives led by a failed former Democratic candidate is at it again — bent on destroying our election system, not reforming it, and it’s just ironic that they can’t even come close to following the current laws regarding campaign contributions,” said Robert Graham, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. “This committee and its leadership has no credibility with voters, or with candidates, and their potential donors have got to be thinking twice about giving money to a group with total disregard for our election laws.”
The October 2015 AZGOP complaint called attention to the fact that the committee, Open Nonpartisan Elections, failed to report the source and amount of what was later discovered to be a $10,000 contribution. The AZGOP asked Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan to investigate the matter and “take action to protect the integrity of the campaign finance system.” Secretary Reagan’s staff investigated and found reasonable cause to believe the law was violated at least once, and referred the violations to the Arizona Attorney General for prosecution. The penalty for one such violation is up to three times the amount of the contribution, or $30,000.
“Political parties perform an important function in our system of government and elections, giving voters the ability to group together under common ground to support the nominee of their choice. If you remove parties from the process, you remove competition, and that will destroy the accountability so vital to our system of elections today,” added Graham.
The compliant filed by the AZGOP, with exhibits, is here: http://arizonagop.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/AZGOP-complaint-Open-Non-10-14-2015.pdf
The response from the AZSOS is here: http://arizonagop.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2015-1229-SOS-CF-002-AZGOP_ONE-Ltr.-Enclosing-Reasonable-Cause-Finding.pdf
The exhibits from the AZSOS are here: http://arizonagop.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2015-1229-SOS-CF-002-AZGOP_ONE-Exhibits.pdf