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Data Snacks: We don't make the rules

Updated: Jan 28

LD3 is a committee of the Democratic Party. By definition, it is partisan. Our role is to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. That’s what we tell donors we will use their money for.

By State Law, our resources can only be used to promote Nominees of our party. A.R.S. §16-915. Independent candidates can never become a nominee and therefore cannot be supported by party resources.

Nominees don’t exist until they’ve been selected from among the candidates at the primary, even if there is only one candidate. A.R.S. §16-901.38.

Every one of us has Independent candidates we would like to support as well as those running in Non-partisan contests like Town and City councils and School Boards. We may even have a Republican or two we support (probably not two). So what CAN we do?

It almost goes without saying that as individuals we can support and vote for anyone. When it comes to representing the LD, County or State Party as an elected or appointed member (a Precinct Committeeperson) of the party, we promote Democrats. When it comes to Non-partisan contests, things are a bit different. We promote Democrats, but with different accounting.

Arizona’s campaign finance laws prohibit political parties from making contributions to non-partisan candidates. A.R.S. § 16-915(C) A “contribution” is defined as “any money, advance, deposit or other thing of value that is made to a person for the purpose of influencing an election.” This includes making voter lists from VAN for candidates. After the primary, we can support our Democrats in non-partisan contests by charging them or reporting the contribution as an Independent Expenditure. The “Independent” part of Independent Expenditure means the activity was not coordinated with the candidate or candidate’s committee. Basically, we can support a Democratic candidate for a non-partisan contest if they pay us, OR if we do not coordinate with their campaign AND we report the expense correctly as an Independent Expenditure.

One of the best things you can do for your favorite candidate is to volunteer with their campaign. Use your own social media (which is free). Make a donation. Invite your friends to a meet and greet or coffee. You cannot use the LD’s logo or other resources.

Clean Elections candidates are another confusing category, but the effect is the same. We can support those who become the nominee.

Want to look back at past Data Snacks or share with friends?

Visit the Data Snacks blog on our website!

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