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—NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Tuesday night accused the Goldwater Institute of blocking a scheme under which Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer would receive a greater than $100 million taxpayer subsidy to buy the Coyotes. The independent taxpayer watchdog organization is not party to the arrangement but has attempted to obtain public records related to the deal to determine its legality.

Saturday afternoon I learned from a reporter that the City of Glendale intends to file a lawsuit against the Goldwater Institute. We have not yet been served, but if the City files a lawsuit against the Institute, it will be frivolous and unsuccessful. The Goldwater Institute’s efforts to obtain public records and to determine the constitutionality of the Coyotes deal advance the public interest and are fully protected by the First Amendment.

Let me be clear: the Goldwater Institute will not stop this investigation.

Maybe The Arizona Republic was hoping the second time would be a charm last Saturday when it published the editorial "Back off, Goldwater Institute," asking the Institute to promise not to sue over a deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale.

A financial consultant used by Glendale, Ariz., to justify the city’s $197 million plan to keep the Phoenix Coyotes is accused of helping to defraud investors in a separate deal by producing overly optimistic revenue projections for a hockey arena in Prescott Valley, Ariz., according to a federal lawsuit.

PHOENIX – Law enforcement agencies across the Southwest already wrestling with border-related crime now must also confront new waves of corruption within their own ranks.

During the 1990s, New York City achieved stunning drops in crime from the “broken windows” community policing strategy adopted by Police Commissioner William Bratton. In two years, murder declined by 39 percent, robberies by about 33 percent and burglaries by 25 percent. New York’s approach completed the evolution of community policing from a reactive model into a proactive one, focusing on aggressive, effective crime-reduction that maintains order and holds police officers accountable. Aspects of this approach have been successfully adopted by a number of cities, including some in Arizona. Sustaining these gains requires embedding high-performance policing throughout a department to shield police agencies from the potentially corrupting influence of drug cartels - especially as the chaos in the border areas of Mexico threatens to spill over.

The Goldwater Institute's Byron Schlomach weighed in on a CBS 5 News story about a City of Phoenix housing program that appears to be wasting taxpayer dollars.

Watch it here

The Goldwater Institute expresses grave reservations over the forthcoming issuance of bonds by the City of Glendale to help finance the private purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes. The City appears to be taking an extreme and possibly illegal gamble with taxpayer money. The Institute plans to provide a formal evaluation of the deal in the near future, but releases this statement in light of the bond ratings issued Wednesday by Moody’s Investor Service in connection with $116 million in bonds the City plans to sell next week.

KFYI's Barry Young spent some time talking about Goldwater Institute investigative reporter Mark Flatten's new report about the difficulty in firing a problem government worker.

The Goldwater Institute's investigative reporter Mark Flatten appeared on CBS 5 News to talk about his investigation, Undisciplined Bureaucracy, which explores the difficulty in firing a problem government worker.

Watch it here