Illinois has given us just one more example of how allowing government to reward large contracts to private companies opens the door to corruption and abuse. This week, the state's auditor general issued a report finding that the agency responsible for cutting government waste instead spent lavishly and awarded multimillion-dollar contracts to consultants who might have had an inside track.
In spite of the evidence that government and business make poor bedfellows, groups such as the Arizona Technology Council continue to push for government ownership of private companies and targeted tax incentives.
If this is such a good idea, why does the Arizona Constitution prohibit such involvement? Because, as the Illinois case underscores, government needs a check on its enduring inclination to enter into sweetheart deals with private companies. Not only does permitting such involvement open the door to corruption, but it creates an unfair market advantage for those companies that win contracts. Given these arguments and the abundance of substantiating evidence, it's safe to say that any requisite changes to Article 9, section 7 of the Arizona Constitution will end up being a bad deal for taxpayers.