A 2016 Arizona law that expanded the ability of some groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections without disclosing their donors was challenged in court Wednesday by a group of Democratic lawmakers, a union and a voter advocacy group. The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court seeks to overturn parts of the law allowing corporations and some non-profit groups to avoid disclosure. It also seeks to overturn the removal of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission from enforcement authority over some outside campaign spending, and to invalidate another part that allows political parties to pay for lavish fundraisers for candidates.
The lawsuit says they violate the state Constitution because they illegally change the 1998 Clean Elections Act, which created a public campaign financing system, rules for disclosing spending even if candidates don’t participate and enforcement by the commission.
The provisions were part of a massive rewrite of campaign finance laws pushed by Secretary of State Michele Reagan last year. Reagan spokesman Matt Roberts says they’re reviewing the lawsuit, but will continue enforcing the challenged provisions until a court orders otherwise.