KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

2022 Arizona 'dark money' law survives 1st federal court challenge

A federal judge has upheld a law passed in 2022 by Arizona voters that is aimed at reducing the impacts of “dark money.”

The federal judge rejected arguments that Proposition 211 infringes on the free speech rights of political donors.

Prop. 211 requires the names of original sources of expenditures of at least $50,000 to statewide campaigns or half that on local ones.

In the 30-page ruling, Judge Roslyn Silver said funders have identified ways of avoiding meaningful disclosure often by passing money through obscure committee names.

This is the third challenge of the 2022 ballot measure that has failed.

However, those other challenges were brought up in state court. This is the first attempt at the federal level. The group bringing the challenge, Americans for Prosperity, was founded by the Koch brothers. 

The challenged law, approved by a 3-1 margin, requires public disclosure of anyone who has donated at least $5,000 to influence candidate elections and ballot measures. More to the point, it requires the group that does the ultimate spending to trace the funds back to — and identify — the original donor, no matter how many hands through which the cash has passed.

Get more Arizona politics news

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.