60 Plus Anything But a “Non-Partisan Seniors Advocacy Group”
PHOENIX – In an op-ed for the Tucson Weekly, Terry Goodard highlights how Dark Money organizations like the 60 Plus Association are structured to deceive voters.
60 Plus describes itself as a “non-partisan seniors advocacy group,” but as Goddard points out, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“The 60 Plus Association, in fact, is a Koch Brothers-backed front group that floods our airwaves with political ads paid for with anonymous corporate cash designed to distort our elections and deceive voters,” Goddard writes.
The only priority 60 Plus has when it comes to seniors, Goddard writes, is “to advocate for the privatization of Social Security.”
Further, 60 Plus – along with scam artists who prey on seniors through fake charities – has benefited from the removal of the requirement that charities register with the Secretary of State’s office. That requirement forced transparency on both charitable organizations and the Dark Money groups structured as charities.
“Only in the twisted world of Dark Money does it makes sense that a ‘non-partisan seniors advocacy group’ would want to privatize Social Security and make it easier for fraud to be committed against seniors,” Goddard writes. “Dark money is a fraud on Arizona voters and we must work together to stop it.”Read more
When I was Attorney General, people would frequently ask me to investigate charities they had reason to believe might be ripping off consumers. While my budget didn’t allow me to investigate each case, I could at least tell people to check whether the charity was registered with the Secretary of State as a good indicator of legitimacy. If it was not registered, chances were good it was a fraud!
Until 2013, it was a crime in Arizona for a charity to raise money in our state without first registering with the Secretary of State. But, not anymore!Read more
Terry Goddard, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, says only a ballot initiative could require 'dark money' groups to disclose their donors.
October 13, 2014 3:00 pm • Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX — Both Republican Michele Reagan and Democrat Terry Goddard say they believe something needs to be done about “dark money” influencing elections in Arizona.
But the two candidates for secretary of state differ in their approach. And they don’t even agree on what the state can legally do.
The issue has taken center stage as outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into TV commercials and mailers in an effort to influence the race. And with a few exceptions, they are not disclosing the original source of the money because many are organized under the federal Internal Revenue Code under section 501(c)(4).
That designation is reserved for social welfare organizations, which also are allowed to lobby and influence elections. And they need not disclose names of members or donors.
But Goddard, a former attorney general, said he believes Arizona has a right to demand more from them, despite that federal loophole.Read more
September 28, 2014 5:30 am
There are dark money campaigns.
And then there are campaigns about dark money campaigns.
In Arizona this fall, voters will be exposed to both -- the two candidates for Secretary of State are each proposing dark money reforms.
The dark money - spending by groups mainly from outside Arizona that are not required to identify their contributors - is already pouring in. Estimates in Arizona's 1st Congressional District alone have the money topping $6 million by the time Nov. 4 arrives. Nationally, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that $228 million has already been spent by outside interest groups, the most ever in a midterm election.
The influx of money is due to the Supreme Court's 5-4 Citizens United decision in 2010 that allowed unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions. In the 2008 presidential year before Citizens, outside groups spent $144 million; in 2012, they spent more than $1 billion.Read more
by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:16 a.m. MST July 21, 2014
(Photo: Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg)
So-called dark money — contributions from groups that are not obliged by law to disclose their donors — is showing up in political campaigns and fueling the debate about transparency in politics.
The Republic asked the candidates: As secretary of state, what, if anything, would you do to address dark money?Read more
One of the biggest threats facing voters in this election is the influence of 'dark money'. These donations where the actual donor remains hidden are already coming into the Republican Secretary of State race. I was recently asked by the Arizona Republic about what the Secretary of State can do to control 'dark money'. Bottom line: we must stop this deplorable practice. Arizona voters have the right to know who is trying to buy our votes. Below is my Republic answer.Read more