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>

A handful of taxpayers in a small community north of Wickenburg, Arizona are being targeted by the local school district in a lawsuit that asks a judge to declare they have no right to request public records, sue the district, or complain to outside agencies.

The Congress Elementary School District has a history of violating Arizona public records law and other state and federal laws that guarantee parents the right to see school records about their children. These violations have been documented by the state attorney general and the state ombudsman. The violations were brought to attention of state officials over the past decade because of actions by parents and taxpayers such as Jean Warren, Barbara Rejon, Cyndi Regis and Renee Behl-Hoge. At different times, these taxpayers have requested to see various documents widely considered to be basic public records, including agendas and minutes of school board meetings. Rejon, Regis and Behl-Hoge also have asked to see records about their children when they attended school in the district. However, Behl-Hoge’s family no longer lives in Congress and she hasn’t requested to see any school district records in more than six years.

The Goldwater Institute sued the City of Phoenix after the City refused to turn over public documents related to a special tax deal it was making with the Wyndham Hotel. Channel 12 has been covering the story closely and has the latest.

Watch it here

Goldwater Institute attorney Carrie Ann Sitren went live on Channel 3 to explain why the Goldwater Institute sued the City of Phoenix for the release of public records related to a deal the City is making with the Wyndham Hotel in downtown Phoenix.

Watch it here

After arguing in court for the City of Phoenix to release public documents regarding a deal it is making with the Wyndham Hotel, the Goldwater Institute's Carrie Ann Sitren talked to Channel 12 about the lawsuit.

Watch it here

Case Background:

In late 2009, several media stories announced that the City of Phoenix was offering a sizable tax break to the Wyndham Hotel through a sales-lease back arrangement.

Goldwater Institute attorney Clint Bolick appeared on Horizon to talk about the Arizona Supreme Court's decision in the CityNorth case.

PHOENIX--After four months of inaction and waiting for the City of Glendale to comply with multiple judge's orders to promptly produce public records relating to negotiations between city officials and owners of the Coyotes hockey team

The Goldwater Institute's Dr. Byron Schlomach joined KKNT's James Allen to discuss Climate-gate.

Listen to it here.

Facing a second legal battle with the Goldwater Institute, Tempe has amended its deal with the developers of Sea Life Aquarium to spell out what the city will get in return for a $218,000 tax incentive.

Tempe City Council voted to approve the new deal at Thursday's council meeting. The move came one day after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge said she would set a speedy hearing to weigh the institute's allegation that the incentive violates state law and state Constitution.