Just received my second Fed Ex letter from Clean Elections informing me that they found “no reason to believe that a violation occurred” in the most recent complaint against me. I’m thinking of starting a collection.
I thought you might want to know about this, since the Arizona Republic and the Tribune didn’t bother to report on the dismissal of the complaint. Somehow when the Democratic Party filed this frivolous complaint alleging with no evidence that I had “broken the law,” both papers found that extremely newsworthy. Only the Associated Press reported on the dismissal, and neither paper bothered to carry the AP story in their print editions.
The Clean Elections system is rife with problems. Any political opponent can file a complaint alleging anything. So an accusation is not at all like a criminal law case, where you have a “probable cause” standard employed by neutral law enforcement officers before charges are filed.
I don’t believe there should be any media coverage of any Clean Elections issue until there is an actual finding of wrongdoing and a fine imposed. And even then, the coverage should be minimal. Why? Because as even Janet Napolitano’s lawyer argued, the law is vague and difficult to follow even for those who are well-intentioned. There are many gray areas where candidates have no guidance from the Commission beforehand, but can be fined for a ruling after the fact.
So long as the media is willing to write stories about frivolous complaints and ignore it when the complaints are tossed out, we will have to put up with frivolous complaints.
As I instructed our staff at the beginning of this campaign, we will continue to do our very best to follow the letter and the spirit of the Clean Elections law.