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Arizonan becomes first US lawmaker sacked for campaign finance violations

[JURIST] Arizona [JURIST news archive] state legislator David Burnell Smith [official website] became the first US lawmaker removed from office for violating a state’s public campaign financing rules when the Arizona Supreme Court [official website] declined Thursday to stay an earlier court order [text] directing him to step down. The Citizens Clean Elections Commission [official website] set the stage for a five month court battle when it voted to oust Smith [Arizona Republic report] in March. Smith overspent during his 2004 primary race, exceeding Arizona’s $25,000 spending limit by $6,000. Arizona’s 1998 Clean Elections Act makes candidates who voluntarily participate collect a set number of $5 contributions from voters to qualify for public funding, and in return, candidates must follow the spending limits set by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and North Carolina have similar campaign finance systems. AP has more.

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