Arizona Flag SignYesterday in a 17-13 party-line vote, Arizona Senate Republicans passed House Bill 2593, which solves a crucial problem in Arizona’s politics: low campaign contribution limits made it harder for the wealthy and special interests to exercise their God-given right to buy the elections. Before this bill, campaign contributions to statewide/state legislative candidates were limited to $488 per individual donor, $1,010 per political committee, and $2,000 per certified political committee for the entire cycle. Individuals were limited to $5,610 in aggregate contributions to state candidates per cycle. Here are some of the changes:

  • Individuals and political committees may contribute $2,500 for a primary election and another $2,500 for a general election, totaling $5,000/cycle.
  • Certified political committees may contribute $5,000 for a primary election and another $5,000 for a general election, totaling $10,000/cycle.
  • Removes the aggregate total limit for contributions per cycle.
  • Raises the limit for non-legislative local elections from $390 per cycle to be the same as legislative/statewide limits.
  • Removes the aggregate total limit for political committee contributions. Previously $16,150 for legislative, $10,020 for non-legislative local, and $100,100 for statewide.

The relatively low contribution limits for state legislative races in the past meant that candidates actually still focused on retail politics. Many would go door-to-door throughout the district, personally meeting as many voters as possible. This new bill means that candidates are going to have to be more like federal ones, spending most of their time fundraising and less time actually meeting with the voters they are trying to represent.

The bill is currently awaiting signature by Gov. Jan Brewer.