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THE SAGA OF DAVID BURNELL SMITH
David Burnell Smith, an attorney from Carefree, Arizona, won election to the state house in 2004. He opted for public financing --even though this antigovernment Republican insisted that he was opposed to Arizona’s Clean Election law. Perhaps to show his disdain, Smith carelessly exceeded the spending limit that the law imposes. In 2005, the Clean Elections Commission investigated his case and ordered Smith out of his legislative seat, ruling that he had acquired it by cheating. Smith imperiously asserted that he was now a sitting legislator and thus immune from the commission’s reach. Unfortunately for him, a string of courts, including the Arizona supreme court, disagreed with the little potentate, and he was booted.
Defiant, Smith ran again last year for the same seat, this time spurning public funding and pledging to kill the whole program. “I’ll win my re-election,” he spewed out. ”I’ll be stronger than ever. And I’m going to do what I can to rid this state of socalled clean elections….”
Alas, voters disagreed. Mr. DBS lost in the Republican primary last September, running third. He was last seen wrangling with the Clean Elections Commission to lower his fine. “They got their pound of flesh,” he said. “You’d think I could negotiate something.”