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4/23/2005 - ( CD - Anti-Immigrant Org ) Federation for American Immigration Reform under campaign finance violations...

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  • Al Soto
    Arizona Daily Star [4.23.05] ... passage of Proposition 200 in Arizona is being investigated for possible violations of state campaign finance laws. ... should
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2005
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      Arizona Daily Star [4.23.05]
      >Prop. 200 group under scrutiny
      >Immigrant advocates cite finance laws
      >By Lourdes Medrano
      >A national immigration reform group that played a key role in the
      passage of Proposition 200 in Arizona is being investigated for possible
      violations of state campaign finance laws.
      >At issue is whether the Federation for American Immigration Reform
      should have registered as a political committee and filed finance reports
      >last year's campaign to pass Prop. 200.
      >The main thrust of the successful initiative was to keep people who
      >living in the country illegally from receiving public assistance. FAIR
      >largely funded efforts to gather the signatures needed to put the
      >on last November's ballot.
      >On Friday, several Tucson immigrant-advocacy groups called
      on the
      >Attorney General's Office for swift prosecution of FAIR, saying the
      >engaged in a misleading campaign that helped persuade voters to
      >overwhelmingly approve the initiative.
      >"They at least need to play by the rules," said attorney Tom Berning,
      >filed a complaint with the Secretary of State's Office after receiving
      >FAIR letter before the election seeking financial support for Prop.
      >without stating state-required disclosures.
      >Berning's complaint resulted in a finding of reasonable cause that was
      >forwarded to the Attorney General's Office in March. Spokeswoman
      >Esquer confirmed the investigation but declined to disclose details.
      >FAIR headquarters referred inquiries to its Phoenix attorney, David
      >who said he is working with the Attorney General's Office toward a
      >resolution. He characterized the
      mailing - which also touted the
      >"pivotal role" in placing Prop. 200 on the ballot - as a mistake.
      >"There was no intent at all to do anything wrong," he said in a
      >interview. Abney said he didn't know how many such letters were mailed
      >how much money was raised.
      >In a February letter to the Secretary of State's Office, FAIR wrote
      >omission of the disclosures was not intentional, "as can be seen from
      >careful adherence to all disclosure requirements on a lot of the ads
      >helped sponsor."
      >It also wrote that "revenues not designated as membership
      >would be spent on behalf of the Yes on Proposition 200 Ballot
      Committee .
      >for whom FAIR was at the time a major contributor under Arizona law."
      >As such, FAIR wrote, the group did not need to register as a political
      >action committee as mandated
      by state law.
      >Final reports for the Nov. 2 election showed that Protect Arizona Now,
      >FAIR ally, listed total expenditures of $518,314. FAIR was a major
      >for the money spent on gathering signatures. FAIR also contributed to
      >separate Yes on 200 Committee, which spent another $256,895 on the
      >"But for FAIR, Prop. 200 would never have been approved," said Isabel
      >Garcia, who co-chairs the Coalici´┐Żn de Derechos Humanos, a
      >human-rights group. Noting FAIR's planned rally at the state's capitol
      >Monday, Garcia said the organization is "fanning the flames" of the
      >anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona and other states.
      >Added Alexis Mazon, an organizer with Defeat 200: "We're not surprised
      >find out that there are wrongdoings on FAIR's part, because it is
      >consistent with the disingenuous approach that they take to its
      >"In Arizona we have fallen victim to the falsehoods that FAIR has
      >propagated again and again about the contributions of immigrants to
      >? Contac t reporter Lourdes Medrano at 573-4347 or at
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      Buy Hydrogen or Hybrid Vehicles, not Hummers.  The government and the NEWS should reflect, not determine, the desires of the people.The news is to be reported not a melodrama of constant trivia. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties.  The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.)  Al Soto (c) 2005

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