On July 4, an army of volunteers will fan out across Arizona. They will attend parades, picnics and fireworks shows with clipboards and petitions in hand hoping to revolutionize Arizona politics.
Shoehorned into a Phoenix storefront, the Outlaw Dirty Money Campaign renews its crusade to rid Arizona elections from the influence of big money anonymous campaign contributions.
By every measure, it's a long shot. "Let me start out by saying it's never been done before," campaign co-chair Terry Goddard says.
For starters, the ODM needs to gather 357,000 signatures from Arizona registered voters. It will take a Herculean effort. So far there are 2,000 volunteers who have signed on to get the signatures.
Using volunteers, instead of paid and often times out of state petition circulators, limits some of the new restrictions the state legislature imposed on getting citizen petition drives on the ballot. It also reduces the risk of court challenges from special interests who support the spending of dark money in political campaigns.
"They did an amazing job of checking every single signature. We know in advance this time we're going to get the same kind of attacks so we're being very careful," said Goddard.
So far the Outlaw Dirty Money campaign has collected 30,000 signatures. The hope by capitalizing on the Fourth of July holiday and the symbolism it brings will boost the effort.
"They understand this is a direct democracy effort, Goddard says. "I'm not going to say they embrace it. There's still a lot of concern, suspicion if you will, about this kind of petitioning. But hopefully on the 4th of July people set that aside and say I want to have my voice heard."
The Outlaw Dirty Money campaign has until July 2, 2020 to submit the signatures it will need to put the initiative on the 2020 ballot.