Government Accountability

Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.

<p>Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.</p>

Phoenix -- Mark Twain once quipped, No mans life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. That certainly held true in Arizona this year. The 2007 legislative session was the worst for freedom in five years, according to the Goldwater Institutes fifth annual Legislative Report Card released today.

PHOENIX-A new Goldwater Institute policy report by Timothy Sandefur, Playing the Takings Game: How Government Regulates Away Property Rights, examines the impact of land use limitations on property owners. A "regulatory taking" occurs when government restricts or curtails the use of private property and thereby reduces its value. In these cases, poor judicial decisions let government escape compensating property owners as required by the constitution.

PHOENIX - The Goldwater Institute today filed an amicus brief in Granholm v. Heald, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that wine distribution laws in states such as Arizona and Michigan violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

PHOENIX -- The Goldwater Institute mourns the passing of Robert L. Bartley, editor emeritus of the Wall Street Journal and winner of the Institute's 2003 John Kolbe Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Phoenix-Arizona legislators scored poorly on the Goldwater Institute's 2003 Legislative Report Card, with averages for both the Senate and House of Representatives under 50 percent in an analysis of 191 votes in the areas of education, constitutional government, regulation, and fiscal policy. Votes were graded according to whether they promoted the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and individual responsibility.

Phoenix and its partner in a $97.4 million economic-development agreement will not have their legal fees reimbursed in a lawsuit challenging the agreement.

The city and CityNorth, a massive mixed-use project in northeast

Phoenix, had asked the court to approve their requests that the Goldwater Institute, which filed the lawsuit, pay their legal fees of almost $700,000.

The Arizona Legislature --including leaders from both parties -- received poor marks for controlling government spending.

The Libertarian Goldwater Institute graded state lawmakers on how they voted on a slew of spending, regulatory, education and tax bills during the 2007 session.

Both the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives received D grades. Only one Democrat in the state assembly received a grade above F grade from Goldwater, which is critical of increased state government spending and rules. State Sen. Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, received a D.

How many congressmen does it take to change a light bulb? 400.

That's how many members of Congress recently voted for a bill which will force American consumers to change the 50-cent incandescent light bulbs they're currently using and replace them with expensive new, $3 "energy-efficient" light bulbs. As Shane Cory of the Libertarian Party sarcastically put it, "If you outlaw light bulbs, then only outlaws will have light bulbs."