Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.
Trust but verify. That's how Ronald Reagan described his philosophy of dealing with the Soviet Union on nuclear arms reductions. It should also be our philosophy when it comes to how government spends our money.
As taxpayers we are required to send our money to various levels of government through a plethora of taxes and we are asked to trust that the money is spent wisely and in our common interest.
Did the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office recent use of Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) funds to send staff members to Honduras violate the law-enforcement purposes to which such funds are limited?
Did the sheriffs highly publicized saturation patrolscomprised of nearly 200 deputies and posse memberstrespass the jurisdiction of the Phoenix Police Department? The feud between the Sheriffs Office and local police departments, bereft of coordination or agreement over priorities, threatens to devolve into law enforcement anarchy.
Arizona's racketeering or RICO laws generate millions of dollars each year for local police and prosecutors by allowing their offices to seize and keep money and property allegedly used in or generated by criminal activity. The RICO laws require prosecutors to meet only the most minuscule of legal burdens in court before being allowed to pocket the proceeds.
Two political rivals have united behind the idea of putting more information in the hands of taxpayers. John McCain and Barack Obama have joined with two other senators to introduce S 3077, the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008.
This follows on the heels of a law passed in 2006 that created the website, USASpending.gov, up and running right now and full of good information, as the Arizona Republic has pointed out.
Last week's ruling by Maricopa Superior Court Judge Robert H. Oberbillig in favor of Tom and Elizabeth Preston goes beyond rectifying their thwarted efforts to open a tattoo studio in Tempe. It vindicates every Arizonan who ever has been subjected to an arbitrary decision by a government official.
After spending a reported $180 million in taxpayer funds building an arena for a hockey team, will Glendale throw good money after bad to keep the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes afloat? Team CEO Jerry Moyes, who announced the bankruptcy Tuesday, apparently thinks so.
Arizona's founders envisioned a system where only investors would lose out from a private enterprise gone sour. Yet Glendale officials unfairly spread the financial risk to all City residents, and it seems likely the bailout will continue.
A bill that would require local governments to disclose how they spend our money passed the House Government committee a few weeks ago. One member who voted against HB 2615 said transparency was a good concept but the cost of posting information might not be worth the trade-off.
The Goldwater Institute has repeatedly met and talked with Glendale officials, including Mayor Elaine Scruggs, to try to resolve the constitutional conundrum raised by the city’s effort to subsidize the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. But the Goldwater Institute will not turn a blind eye to Glendale’s plan to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to prop up the Coyotes in violation of the state constitution.
Phoenix, AZ — Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dean Fink ruled Thursday that Glendale, Ariz.’s $425 million arena management agreement with the potential buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes did not violate the City requirement to competitive bid contracts over $50,000.