Arizona State Representative Chad Campbell is facing a recall led by a group of Tea Party activists. A campaign finance loophole, however, could make it so that the recall effort works in favor of Representative Campbell, who is a possible 2014 gubernatorial candidate.

During election campaigns, politicians are bound by campaign contribution limits, but the same rules do not apply to committees formed to defend legislators from recall attempts. The content of the messages these committees can put out is regulated (they cannot urge people to vote for Representative Campbell, but can urge voters to oppose the recall), but there are no fiscal limits.

Ballard Spahr partner Joe Kanefield noted that it would be difficult to apply coordination laws to a recall committee before organizers officially apply for a recall.

“An independent expenditure is by definition a committee that expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate,” Mr. Kanefield said. “But there’s no candidate. There’s an argument to be made, I suppose, that you are a candidate. But it would be hard pressed to enforce the law against someone who is a candidate for an election that hasn’t been called yet.”

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