A citizens' initiative campaign that aimed to strengthen Arizona's public campaign-finance system on Wednesday dropped its bid to get on the Nov. 8 ballot, blaming big business in part.
Clean and Accountable Elections had gathered about 100,000 signatures out of the more than 150,000 needed to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot. A cushion of 10 to 20 percent is usually needed to guard against invalid signatures. Petitions are due Thursday, July 7.
Samantha Pstross, who chaired the committee pushing the idea, blamed "dirty tricks" by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the state's largest utility, Arizona Public Service Co., for blocking their efforts to hire a local petition-gathering firm, forcing them to turn to an out-of-state firm.
The campaign announced its effort in April, saying its goal was to give average citizens a greater voice in elections by increasing the amount of public campaign dollars to counteract big-money contributions from private interests.