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AZ Town’s ‘Office of Big Brother’ Is Exactly What George Orwell Warned About

March 9, 2024

At first glance, not a whole lot jumps out about usually quiet town of Gilbert, Arizona. With a population of just under 300,000, a conservative mayor, and a reputation as one of the safest cities in the nation—it looks very much like your average well-to-do, center-right-leaning American suburb.

But operating in the shadows, unelected progressive bureaucrats have taken over the quiet town. Gilbert’s “Office of Big Brother” (officially known as the Office of Digital Government), which costs taxpayers more than $1 million a year just in salaries alone, is weaponizing the power of the government to spy on the online speech of town employees and elected officials. Their mission: to enforce conformity with a progressive political agenda. As an investigative report from the Goldwater Institute, where I work, reveals, it’s an arrangement unlike any other we’ve seen around the country.

At least, so far. Because if it can happen in sleepy Gilbert, it can happen in your town, city, or county too.

Austin VanDerHeyden is the Municipal Affairs Liaison at the Goldwater Institute. 



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