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-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."

Should citizens foot the bill for lobbyists? One think tank says no.

The publics will and right to petition the government is being trampled by the growing number of taxpayer-funded government lobbyists, according to a new report issued by the Goldwater Institute.

A proposed hair-braiding business is being used as an example of how government regulation can impede business start-ups in Arizona.

The Institute for Justice Arizona filed a lawsuit this week against the Arizona Board of Cosmetology on behalf of Essence Farmer, a 23-year-old who wants to start a braiding salon but can't because she needs to obtain an occupational cosmetology license.

Are they a bunch of losers or what? Voters are sure to wonder after taking a look at the Goldwater Institute's 2003 Legislative Report Card. (See on opposite page.)

None of the 15 members of the Tucson delegation scored higher than a C+ and 11 got F's. Although the Legislature scored poorly as a whole-with both the House and Senate scoring under 50 percent-Tucson lawmakers had some of the lowest grades in the state.

Don't jump to the conclusion, however, that Tucson could use a good legislative housecleaning.

Goldwater Institute says two vote against individual liberties

A conservative think tank says some of Tempe's state legislators aren't making the grade.

A recent legislative report card released by the Goldwater Institute gave the Arizona Senate an average ranking of D+ and the House of Representatives an average ranking of D.

Two Tempe Democrats were on the lists of the five lowest-ranking ranking senators and representatives. Sen. Harry Mitchell received an F ranking, and Rep. Meg Burton Cahill received an F-.

Republican legislative leaders earned only marginal marks, and no Democrat received higher than a D-grade, from the Goldwater Institute in its analysis of 191 votes during the 2003 Arizona legislative session.

Not surprisingly, the fiscally and economically conservative Goldwater think tank gave the highest marks on its 2003 legislative scorecard to fiscal hawks such as state Sens. Thayer Verschoor and Jack Harper and House Majority Leader Eddie Farnsworth.

Compare the candidates

The Star's election reporters Rhonda Bodfield and Hipolito R. Corella have done a six-day series to examine the candidates and their stances on issues in the gubernatorial and congressional races.

For a time, it didn't seem that Arizona leaders had to worry too much about economic development.

The state saw unprecedented growth and job expansion. Budget surpluses were the norm.

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