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Week in Review: Say Goodbye to a Government Giveaway

October 29, 2022

$850 million for an NFL team’s new stadium here. $236 million for an electric vehicle startup there. In crony scheme after crony scheme, governments across the country are handing out taxpayer dollars like candy. But the Goldwater Institute is showing the nation how to beat these government giveaways, defeating a $15 million taxpayer-funded subsidy in Arizona just this past week.

The Goldwater Institute filed suit after Pima County officials reached a shady backroom deal with a space balloon tourism company called World View Enterprises. The county would spend $15 million to build facilities for World View’s exclusive use—then let the company buy the buildings for a mere $10 after 20 years of ridiculously low lease payments.

On Wednesday, an Arizona appellate court struck down the “balloondoggle”—which has yet to deliver the jobs county officials pledged—declaring that the agreement violates the Arizona Constitution’s “Gift Clause” ban on taxpayer-funded subsidies to private entities. It’s just the latest win in the Goldwater Institute’s longstanding fight against illegal government giveaways, coming not long after a blockbuster 2021 Arizona Supreme Court ruling in Goldwater’s favor that reinforced the Gift Clause edict. These massive taxpayer victories are providing America with a blueprint for how to fight back against government subsidies, and they’re grabbing national attention. As Washington Examinercolumnist Timothy Carney writes, “Arizona shows that corporate welfare can be defeated if your constitution prohibits it and if you have dogged champions of free enterprise ready to challenge it.”

Read more about this taxpayer victory at In Defense of Liberty

New Video: The Government Stole Their Money. Goldwater Got It Back.

 

Guilty until proven innocent? That’s how the government treated entrepreneurial sisters Vera and Apollonia Ward, stealing $17,500 of their hard-earned money, even though they hadn’t done anything wrong. As the Wards recount in a new video, attorneys who could help weren’t returning their calls—until the Goldwater Institute stepped in to serve up a dose of justice.

This unjust seizure was possible under civil asset forfeiture, which allows the government to take, keep, and profit from someone’s property without even charging them with a crime—much less convicting them of one. “To me, it felt like being treated like a criminal, even though you’re not,” Vera says in the video. Thankfully, the Wards got their money back after the Goldwater Institute took their case pro bono and made it clear to the government that there wasn’t the remotest evidence of a crime occurring.

Civil asset forfeiture is a common practice around the country, but the Goldwater Institute is a national leader in fighting government theft on behalf of innocent Americans like the Wards and many others—thanks to its extensive American Freedom Network of pro bono attorneys in all 50 states. “We really couldn’t have done this without the Goldwater Institute’s help and support,” Vera adds.

Watch the full video about the Ward sisters’ story here

Vote ‘YES’ on Prop 132 to Protect Arizonans from Economic Chaos

Inflation is at an all-time high. Basic goods and services cost more than ever. Gas prices are soaring. The stock market is in turmoil. “They’re all problems caused by the economic malfeasance of out-of-control government spending,” Goldwater Institute Director of Government Affairs Jenna Bentley writes at In Defense of Liberty. Yet out-of-state leftist special interests continue to run ballot propositions designed to wreak havoc on Arizona’s already fragile economy, targeting hardworking taxpayers with California-style tax and spending schemes.

But there’s a solution: Proposition 132, which helps prevent special interests from buying their way onto our ballot by requiring a 60% majority vote before any tax increase can be approved at the ballot.

“Arizona is currently facing the highest inflation rate in the country. Coupled with an uncertain housing market and the diminished value of the dollar, we have an obligation to protect our state’s future from out-of-state special interests who couldn’t care less about our economy,” Bentley concludes. “Prop 132 sends a clear message that Arizona’s tax code is not for sale.”

Learn more about why Arizonans should vote “YES” on Prop 132 here, and find out where the Goldwater Institute stands on other 2022 Arizona ballot measures here.

 

 

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