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>

What takes an average of more than 700 days and costs $250,000?  If you answered, "getting permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fill your wetlands," you'd be right. Fortunately, a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling may reduce the Corps' reach on private land.

Excerpted from "Coyotes Ugly," Phoenix Magazine, October 2012

 

Darcy Olsen is a casual hockey fan at best. Mention the term “crease violation,” and she will think of poorly-ironed slacks, not an errant attacker who wanders too close to the goal. Blue lines? Laser skin therapy will take those out.

In her 20th veto of the year, Governor Napolitano rejected commonsense limitations on when employees may sue former employers for wrongful termination. 

Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based group that describes itself as a conservative watchdog, has taken on all types of government corruption and waste.

Last week the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in the Goldwater Institute’s favor that the First Amendment protected a tattoo business from being shut down by the City of Mesa, Arizona. The Court held that tattooing is a form of protected communication, just like painting or writing. Just as booksellers and art dealers are protected by the First Amendment, so too are tattoo businesses. The decision illustrates that there is often no real distinction between economic liberty and free speech.

Arizona Republic Editorial

For at least 43 years, personal adornment has been deemed constitutionally protected free speech. It goes back to when the U.S. Supreme Court concluded you could wear a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War and the principal couldn't stop you.

Arizona wine consumers soon may be calling up their favorite wineries to order vintages that are currently off-limits. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule in early spring whether to overturn Arizona's monopoly wine distribution system.

Prospective Arizona homebuyers face a double-whammy: escalating prices compounded by skyrocketing fees imposed by voracious local governments.

Chandler recently raised its development impact fees nearly 50 percent, adding nearly $6,000 to the price of a home. Avondale's fees nearly doubled with an $8,000 increase, bringing the total burden to a whopping $18,000 per home.

Even though campaign finance laws interfere with constitutional rights of free speech and association, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the government may impose regulations on financial contributions to campaigns if it has a good enough reason to do so.­ The Court has recognized only one justification for curtailing the right to engage in political activity without governmental interference. ­That justification is combating corruption or the appearance of corruption.

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