Business & Job Creation
Businesses need a friendly and fair business environment so they can compete, innovate, and create jobs. We’re keeping politicians from playing favorites by offering special deals and tax breaks to the favored few.
In the Mel Brooks play, The Producers, a planned swindle would only succeed if a joke of a Broadway play was a monumental flop. The play, Springtime for Hitler, ended up being a success against all reason. Right now the Arizona Legislature is planning a similar heist: the Decades Music Theme Park.
Score one for the little guy.
It's been a rough time for regular folk. You know what I mean. Nobody listens. (Think about the last time you reached an actual person who could do anything when calling a government office ... I know. Me neither.)
These days, you can't afford to buy gas, you dare not buy tomatoes and you're worried about whether you'll have a job next month. That's assuming you still have a job this month.
No one said it was easy to fight The Man. But in the latest skirmish in its battle to stop corporate welfare in Arizona, at the least the Goldwater Institute doesn't have to go it alone.
Last year, I told you about the libertarian think-tank's bold play to stop corporate welfare in Arizona -- a lawsuit challenging the city of Phoenix's $97 million subsidy of an upscale shopping center. The Goldwater peeps hoped to use the case to show that such subsidies violate Arizona's constitution.
The City of Phoenix and a developer are asking that the Goldwater Institute be whacked with $687,000 in attorneys' fees and court costs for challenging the city's $97 million subsidy to the CityNorth shopping center.
The institute lost at the trial court and is now appealing.
The outsized fees request should alarm everyone, irrespective of how you feel about the Goldwater Institute or retail subsidies.
The claims of the developer would actually be amusing if the potential consequences weren't so dangerous.
The Goldwater Institute says toll roads are the best solution to Arizona's increased traffic congestion.
"More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in Arizona," is the title of a policy report released by the think tank on Wednesday. The study suggests that privatized toll roads are the fastest, most economic way to solve traffic problems.
"Arizona should actively pursue a toll road policy, which would make it possible to build needed roads now rather than decades from now," Byron Schlomach, an economist for the institute, said in the report.
Developer has incentive deal with Phoenix
The Goldwater Institute thinks it may have a good chance of blocking an incentive agreement between Phoenix and the CityNorth development in the Arizona Court of Appeals.
"A lot of the applicable law was developed in the Court of Appeals," said Clint Bolick, attorney for the institute.
"Trial judges often are reluctant to strike down laws."
Phoenix--The Goldwater Institutes Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation announced it will promptly appeal todays ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Miles that a $97.4 million taxpayer subsidy for the upscale CityNorth shopping mall is constitutional.
The ruling creates such a gaping loophole in the Arizona Constitution that you could drive a Mack truck through it, declared litigation director, Clint Bolick, in this case, a Mack truck filled with taxpayer dollars.
I've always been taught that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's really a giant hog in disguise that, if cooked properly, becomes a juicy steak to feed all of your hungry constituents... That is, if you're a good politician. This time, this method of spin is being administered by a city government seeking to escape the confines of its own state constitution. Under-handed dealings and money-shuffling disguised as acts of public interest are oozing out of the budgetary offices in Phoenix, Arizona.
The walls in Clint Bolick's office at the Goldwater Institute are bedecked with icons of the conservative movement in America, leaving no doubt who his ideological idols are. Ronald Reagan is represented. Next to him is a photo of Clarence Thomas being sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. There is also a framed enlargement of the Ayn Rand stamp released in 1999 by the U. S. Postal Service. And, of course, a pair of Barry Goldwater mementos: a signed photo of the longtime Arizona senator and a Goldwater for President poster from his 1964 campaign.
The battle over state legislation to regulate mobile phone contracts is already heating up, just two weeks into this years session.
State Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix, has introduced a bill (SB 1010) called the "Cellphone Users Bill of Rights," that would limit wireless phone contracts to 12 months, allow subscribers to cancel a contract during the first month without a penalty or cancel it if the company changes rates or plans that would negatively impact the customer.