Tucson attorney John Munger officially ended his campaign for governor today, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to intervene in Arizona's Clean Elections system, which, we've come to find out, still may get its day in court despite this morning's decision.
"The Supreme Court's decision to leave in place the 'matching funds' provision of Arizona's so-called Clean Elections law presents an insurmountable obstacle to my campaign for Governor," Munger says in a statement issued today. "As I have previously stated publicly and in legal filings, these dollar-for-dollar taxpayer matching funds create an unequal playing field by discouraging financial contributions to traditionally funded candidates."
If you're buyin' Munger's Clean Elections excuse as the reason for ending his campaign, here's another one for ya: We just saw a herd of unicorns galloping down Central Avenue in Phoenix.
The latest poll numbers, following Governor Jan Brewer's recent surge of popularity within the Republican Party, shows Munger getting only 3 percent of the vote -- trailing all candidates by at least 15 percent.
Not to mention, if Munger's sole reason for ditching his entire campaign was based on this morning's Supreme Court decision, he may want to look at the decision a little closer.
According to SCOTUSblog, a well-respected blog that covers the Supreme Court, the reason justices refused to intervene in the Clean Elections case was based more on technical mistake than the merits of the case.
The Goldwater Institute, the organization that filed the lawsuit against Clean Elections and is attempting to get the Supreme Court to block the funds, confirms to New Times that its lawyers already have filed a second renewed emergency application to vacate the stay with the Supreme Court.
In other words, Clean Elections, as Sarah Fenske put it in a prior post, could still be "gone, baby, gone" in Arizona, and Munger -- if he's really bailing on the race because of "matching funds" -- may have wanted to wait until the high court actually makes a final decision.