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>

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Arizona wine consumers are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to buying wines they enjoy. A bizarre set of laws makes purchasing many wines impossible, despite the fact that such wines are widely available on the Internet.

In a November 2003 Goldwater Institute policy report, Mark Brnovich made the case for removing restrictions on the purchase and shipment of wine.  As a follow-up to that report, this policy brief demonstrates how practical application of existing laws impedes consumer choice and hampers the free market.

PHOENIX - The Goldwater Institute received today a generous grant of $25,000 to establish the Ronald Reagan Fellows Program. The gift will allow the Goldwater Institute to provide internships to nine Reagan Fellows annually. Mr. Dean Riesen, sponsor of the new program, stated, "I am honored to present the Goldwater Institute with this gift. It is a tribute to President Reagan's faith in future generations and will help those generations carry on the great work he began."

PHOENIX-In a policy report released today, Goldwater Institute constitutional studies director Mark Brnovich urges Arizona to lift its ban prohibiting direct shipment of out-of-state wine to Arizona consumers. In his report, Trading Grapes: The Case for Direct Wine Shipments in Arizona, Brnovich explains how Arizona's ban violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, raises prices, and hurts Arizona's domestic wine industry.

An old proverb holds that half a loaf is better than none. But what do you do with less than half a loaf?

Special to the Tribune

The East Valley's legislators scored well on the Goldwater Institute's 2003 Legislative Report Card, which grades legislators according to their commitment to free markets, limited government, rule of law, individual liberty, and individual responsibility.

In fact, East Valley Districts 18, 19 and 22 had the highest averages for the state. With one exception, none of those districts produced a legislator with a score lower than 60 percent, which translates to an "B-" on the Institute's (rather generous) grading scale.

"If you give a mouse a cookie," a popular children's book says, "he'll want a glass of milk."

Simply put, this is standard behavior for legislators: Afforded an inch of responsibility by voters, they soon seize a foot of authority.

 

Who can keep track? With state legislators introducing nearly 1,000 bills each session, it's almost impossible to keep an eye on what our representatives are up to.

That just changed. On Monday, we release the Goldwater Institute's 2003 Legislative Report Card, analyzing legislative votes on 191 bills. We rank legislators from A to F according to their commitment to school choice, responsible fiscal and regulatory policy, and respect for the Constitution.

Editor's note: At the Goldwater Institute's annual dinner Saturday night, Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb introduced Wall Street Journal editor emeritus Robert Bartley as the recipient of the Kolbe Excellence in Journalism Award. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

A few years ago, George Will introduced that year's Goldwater Award winner, Bill Buckley, as the most consequential journalist of our age.

Dear Laura:

In the hearings conducted at the Legislature, almost all that attend and testify are individuals who represent agencies and departments of government. This appears to be a violation of the separation-ofpowers doctrine that is supposed to be for the preservation of liberty of citizens. What impact do such activities have on legislation? And are we, the citizens, paying for government lobbyists to work for the interests of these same agencies and departments?

- Ken from Mesa

Dear Ken:

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