Arizona Free Enterprise Club violated election law

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- State officials say the Arizona Free Enterprise Club has broken election laws by not declaring itself a political committee.

State Elections Director Christina Estes-Werther said Friday that there was "reasonable cause" indicating the corporation failed to report all campaign contributions and expenses.

Fountain Hills resident Paul Ryan filed a complaint against the group in July.

Ryan alleged the Free Enterprise Club claims it's a nonprofit corporation but has spent more on candidate advocacy.

According to state law, any entity can influence elections without disclosing donors if their revenue primarily is spent on social welfare.

The matter will now go to Attorney General Tom Horne's office for review.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club describes itself as a free market policy and lobbying group focused on promoting the state's economy.

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