The Arizona Republic reported on "dark money" playing a key role in Scottsdale's election, after a undisclosed corporation gave nearly $100,000 to support and oppose primary candidates.
These non-profit entities are becoming increasingly common in elections across Arizona and the country, according to David Berman, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, in a 2014 report titled "Dark Money in Arizona."
Cronkite News Service reported on the potential for the state's largest voting bloc – independents – flexing its muscle at the ballot box, but falling far short of that mark because of low voter turnout in elections, especially in the primaries.
Joe Garcia, director of communications for Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, said he believes the biggest problem is a lack of voter education, especially among independent voters.
The Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy put our heads together to come up with the next big idea for Arizona water, and here's what we came up with: How about we open it up to the great minds out there instead?
The Associated Press reported that Arizonans were bombarded by more than 19,000 campaign TV ads in the 18 months leading up to the primary election. Candidates and independent groups trying to win over Arizona voters spent $12.4 million – a 422 percent change in spending from the last midterm election cycle in 2010.
Twenty strangers who represent different demographic backgrounds gave up their weekend plans to dissect Proposition 487 for the Citizens’ Initiative Review, a project that helps registered voters better understand ballot issues, at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The Arizona Republic's Phoenix City Hall reporter Dustin Gardiner was among the news media covering the final day of the Citizens' Initiative Review, which was hosted and organized by Morrison Institute for Public Policy. An excerpt from his news blog reads:
An independent group of Phoenix residents tasked with evaluating Proposition 487 — a ballot initiative seeking to end the city's employee-pension system for new hires — has outlined what it sees as its most pressing potential consequences, both positive and negative.
“(The Citizens' Initiative Review) restored my faith in the democratic system and the voice that citizens can have. I think this is an effective process, and a good means of having citizens come together and get information out there that’s more neutral, to help other citizens in the process.”
Those were the words of Toni Spears, 45, a real estate agent and independent contractor who participated as a CIR panelist.