SEN. McCAIN EMBRACES CLEAN ELECTIONS IN ARIZONA BIG BOOST TO PUBLIC FINANCING SEEN
Washington, D.C. - The country's most prominent advocate for campaign finance reform, U.S. Senator John McCain, has announced his support for Arizona's Clean Elections law, one of the country's most comprehensive public financing systems, by taping television and radio public service announcements that will be broadcast in Arizona starting Sunday June 16.
In the ads, McCain says, "For years, special interests and big money have had a negative influence on our local, state and national elections. Clean Elections changes that. In 1998, you voted for the Clean Elections Act and restored voter confidence in the electoral process. Clean Elections works well to overcome the influence of special interests. It gives Arizonans the power to create good government. Keep supporting Clean Elections."
Nick Nyhart, Public Campaign's executive director, hailed McCain's announcement, saying, "This is a big boost to the nationwide Clean Elections movement. Arizona is one of four pioneering states with Clean Elections, where candidates can run for office with full public financing. Having the nation's most prominent reformer vocally supporting the nation's most comprehensive reform system is a huge step forward."
"We are pleased to have Senator McCain stand with us in support of this voter-approved law," said Cecilia Martinez, executive director of the Arizona Clean Elections Institute. "Senator McCain has spent the last decade working with his colleagues, national reform organizations and advocates to insist that Congress stand up against special interests and unfair campaign tactics. Senator McCain's support for Clean Elections in Arizona sends an important message: our system is working well and is a model for the rest of the country."
The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by Arizona voters in 1998, provides full public funding of campaigns to candidates who are willing to abide by campaign spending limits and forgo the use of private money in their campaigns. In 2000, 16 Arizonans were elected to office using Clean Elections funds. Participation in Clean Elections has since grown to more than 100 candidates this year including more than 80 percent of candidates for statewide office and nearly 50 percent of legislative candidates.
The Clean Elections Institute's public service announcements featuring Senator McCain will air on several Phoenix and Tucson television and radio stations in addition to Arizona CNN and FoxNews cable broadcasts. The Institute is requesting free public service broadcasts often granted to non-profit organizations with IRS 501(c)3 tax-deductible status in addition to purchasing a moderate number of advertising spots to ensure the PSA will be viewed during local newscasts. The announcements can also be viewed and heard on the Institute's website at www.azclean.org.