Arizona Democratic Party challenges ‘No Labels’ party, ballot status

In a press release, the Democratic Party claims that No Labels doesn’t follow the rules required of a political party.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 12:55 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:28 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Arizona Democratic Party on Thursday morning challenged the most recently recognized political party in Arizona, the No Labels Party. The organizers claim it to be a politically moderate organization, and on March 7, it was recognized as a political party in Arizona, guaranteeing it a spot on election ballots. This would make it the fourth political party in the state that could pull voters away from Democrats.

In a press release, the Democratic Party claims that No Labels doesn’t follow the rules required of a political party. The lawsuit, obtained by Arizona’s Family, says that No Labels is not registered as a political party with the Federal Elections Commission. It also says the group is organized with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(4), a non-profit, social welfare organization — commonly referred to as a “dark money group.” This means No Labels is not required by law to disclose how much money it receives, who donated the money, and has no limit for how much money it can accept from anyone.

“No Labels is not following the rules for political party recognition, while attempting to be placed on the ballot alongside actual, functioning political parties who do,” said Morgan Dick, Executive Director for the Arizona Democratic Party. “That is why the Arizona Democratic Party is filing a lawsuit challenging their political party recognition. Arizonans deserve better and voters deserve to know who is behind this shadowy organization and what potentially nefarious agenda they are pushing.”

Other claims in the lawsuit are much more about challenging the signature affidavits, the document signed off by state electors. One section of the suit claims that No Labels continued to collect signatures for the petitions months after it was signed off by an elector. Another section claims that the affidavits have to specifically say on them “that the signers thereof be recognized as a new political party,” but the documents turned in by No Labels say “that the signers of the attached petitions be recognized as a new political party.”

The suit also admits that No Labels recognition as a political party means the Arizona Democratic Party would have to work much harder to elect Democrats.

In a press release, No Labels chief strategist Ryan Clancy responded to the complaint, saying, “This undemocratic and outrageous lawsuit is a national disgrace. Next time you hear this crowd talking about protecting democracy, remember what they are really doing is protecting their turf. No Labels is confident that the court will uphold the Secretary of State’s decision to certify No Labels in Arizona.”

The lawsuit names Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and all 15 Arizona county boards of supervisors. Arizona’s Family reached out to Secretary of State Adrien Fontes for comment. His office said it received the complaint and said, “Due to pending litigation, we will not be offering further comment at this time.”

Arizona’s Family also reached out to the board of supervisors in Maricopa and Pima counties and both say they have no comment.