Secretary Bennett unveils new campaign finance Website
Opens the books on spending and fundraising by candidates, PACs and other groups
Wondering how much an individual candidate has raised this cycle? Or what independent groups have spent to support or oppose that candidate? Curious which PACs have spent the most in the run-up to the election?
It's all at your fingertips with a newly revamped campaign-finance Website unveiled this week by Secretary of State Ken Bennett. The database – available at www.azsos.gov/cfs – allows members of the public and media to track campaign spending and fundraising by candidates, PACs, ballot committees and other political organizations. The Website also allows for a side-by-side financial comparison of candidates by race, political party and election cycle. No more hunting down campaign-finance reports for individual candidates.
“Transparency and disclosure are my top priorities when it comes to documenting spending and fundraising by candidates and other political groups,” Secretary Bennett said. “This Website is one-stop shopping for anyone wanting to follow the money with regard to elections in Arizona.”
The online database also tracks the independent expenditures of corporations, LLCs and unions that choose to advocate for and against candidates. A new law spearheaded earlier this year by Secretary Bennett ensures next-day reporting anytime a corporation, union or LLC spends more than $5,000 on an independent expenditure in a statewide race, $2,500 for a legislative race or $1,000 for a local race. With the new database, viewers can see how much has been spent for and against individual candidates through independent expenditures, and which groups were doing the spending.
The ability of these groups to spend from their general treasury in directly advocating for and against candidates was made legal earlier this year by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC. The Supreme Court in its decision noted the continued importance of financial disclosure to ensure that campaign spending is not made anonymously or without public knowledge.
“Campaign spending and fundraising is one more slice of information that voters need to have available in order to make an informed decision about candidates and ballot committees,” Secretary Bennett said. “This Website is part of a larger effort by this office to make as much public information as possible accessible through our Website at www.azsos.gov.”