Shawnna L.M. Bolick, a 16 year veteran in the education reform movement filed a complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office against the Quality Education and Jobs (QEJ) political committee citing an illegal $120,000 contribution from Arizona Students Association (ASA). ASA is a non-profit 501(c) (4) organization.
ASA contributed $120,000 in cash to the QEJ political committee on May 22, 2012, and June 18, 2012, according to QEJ’s campaign finance reports. It appears certain board members and executive officers of ASA may have violated the organization’s bylaws and/or breached their fiduciary duties when they approved funding for QEJ, according to Bolick’s complaint. The purpose of her letter is to seek an order pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-924(A) requiring QEJ to return the $120,000 to ASA.
Upon filing her complaint Bolick stated, “I am adamantly opposed to special interests illegally misappropriating student fees. When I was an undergraduate I chose to have my student fee reimbursed from a special interest group to whom I disagreed with their political speech. It was a cumbersome process and not well-advertised, but I felt compelled to make a statement.”
Duly noted in Bolick’s complaint, funding for ASA comes from a mandatory $2 fee assessed on all public university students’ tuition dues each semester. According to QEJ’s campaign finance reports they are in possession of misappropriated corporate funds. This money belongs to Arizona’s public university students and it may not be used for political purposes without their consent.
“The Yes on 204 campaign should not prey on unsuspecting college students. Misappropriating their student fees is not only unconstitutional, but it clearly violates their freedom of speech. This is not a lesson that special interests should be involved on the college campus,” Bolick added.