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>

It all started with the rescue of Bear Stearns. The government's reckoning that the foundational principles of our economic system could be ignored, just this once, was a colossal blunder. Now we have full-blown bailout mania.

Last week's ruling by Maricopa Superior Court Judge Robert H. Oberbillig in favor of Tom and Elizabeth Preston goes beyond rectifying their thwarted efforts to open a tattoo studio in Tempe. It vindicates every Arizonan who ever has been subjected to an arbitrary decision by a government official.

The Arizona Senate recently rejected bills that would have allowed new, state-owned roads to be constructed with private money as toll roads. Lets hope the idea resurfaces soon.

Toll roads make sense. They provide access to large sources of private capital a real boon to a financially strapped state. Arizona could get several highways built today without spending a penny, if it would simply let the private sector help.

After spending a reported $180 million in taxpayer funds building an arena for a hockey team, will Glendale throw good money after bad to keep the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes afloat?  Team CEO Jerry Moyes, who announced the bankruptcy Tuesday, apparently thinks so.

Arizona's founders envisioned a system where only investors would lose out from a private enterprise gone sour. Yet Glendale officials unfairly spread the financial risk to all City residents, and it seems likely the bailout will continue.

Putting the proverbial coal in the Christmas stocking of millions of Arizonans, the state's Corporation Commission this week imposed new surcharges on utility consumers to fund compliance with its sweeping renewable energy regulations.

Have you ever tried to do cost comparisons for medical services? You do it all the time for your car, your house, food and clothes. But its not easy to find out what medical services cost before you buy. Of course, most of us aren't too concerned because we figure were not paying the bill anyway.

A bill that would require local governments to disclose how they spend our money passed the House Government committee a few weeks ago. One member who voted against HB 2615 said transparency was a good concept but the cost of posting information might not be worth the trade-off.

As the state has faced mountains of red ink over the last few years, one of the budget casualties has been the State Parks department. Some parks have been temporarily closed to save money and permanently closing others has been debated. As the economy begins to recover, all parks that were temporarily closed have reopened, but that doesn’t mean the department is out of the woods. The real obstacle to keeping our state parks open isn’t money. It’s bureaucracy.

The Goldwater Institute has repeatedly met and talked with Glendale officials, including Mayor Elaine Scruggs, to try to resolve the constitutional conundrum raised by the city’s effort to subsidize the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. But the Goldwater Institute will not turn a blind eye to Glendale’s plan to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to prop up the Coyotes in violation of the state constitution.

Phoenix, AZ — Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Dean Fink ruled Thursday that Glendale, Ariz.’s $425 million arena management agreement with the potential buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes did not violate the City requirement to competitive bid contracts over $50,000.