Thursday, March 10, 2011

Arizona legislature funding failing 5C Arizona Centennial Museum

Even in the midst of a severe financial crisis, the Arizona legislature is not capable of screening out funding for pork projects. The 5C Arizona Centennial Museum is certainly not essential, and it will likely fail for many of the same reasons that big Arizona Historical Society projects have failed in the past (example: Marley Center Museum).

In her February 12, 2010 press release, the Governor promised that “no public funds” would be used for her “birthday gift” to Arizona. However, now that the fund drive has failed, public money is being diverted to the faltering project. One example is Senate Bill 1262, which transfers special centennial license plate funds to the Arizona Historical Society specifically for the centennial museum. Just as the legislature rubber stamped the unfortunate centennial museum bill itself (see Oct 1, 2010 post “58 Geese voted - - -”), the house and senate are rubber stamping SB 1262.

In spite of being briefed on the serious centennial museum problems (video available on, the Senate Natural Resources Committee (John Nelson, chairman) unanimously passed the bill. It was then passed by the entire senate without any meaningful amendment. Now it is in the House. The first reading was on February 28 and the second reading was on March 1st. The committee hearing will come soon with very short notice. After that, the entire house will rubber stamp it, probably without either reading it or discussing it.

The unaltered progress of SB 1262 is extremely unfortunate. A special license plate to celebrate Arizona’s centennial is fine, and it could have been a wonderful opportunity to do good. Funds could have been used to keep rest stops or state parks open or applied to some other worthy cause. Instead, they will support a failing boondoggle.

Taxpayers can express opposition to this waste of money online. Properly entered comments will be read in the committee hearing prior to the vote. Few of the irresponsible representatives are likely to listen, but at least they will have the opportunity to do so.

To express your opposition, go to, and then click on “legislative branch” and “request to speak”. Follow the directions to establish an account and then to enter you comment about SB 1262. You can also find the information needed to comment by email, snail mail, or fax on However, you have no assurance that your comments will be read by anyone. Comments posted on “request to speak” will at least be read aloud before the committee vote.


  1. Woosley and her "do-nothing" board of directors have never raised any serious level of money for their agency or museum. Isn't that what a director and board of directors are suppised to do?

  2. They just hired a lobbyist (Jan 15th post: Lobbyist paid ---. That leaves them free to party at the Marley Center Museum cocktail bar.

  3. Tell me that the hired lobbyist is a skilled lobbyist or is the person a son or son in law of one of the board members?

  4. Ask any director of a major art museum what he or she does on a daily basis. They interface with their community, people with money, companies, the public etc. They actually walk out of their offices! THEY raise the money and point the board of directors in the right direction. Maybe actually have a board of directors who can raise money...wouldnt that be exciting. In the case of the Arizona Historical Society those things are impossible.

  5. An August, 2002 Auditor General investigation report includes the following in the summary of AHS procurement violations:

    "In addition, the Board President improperly participated in the hiring of his son in law as the Agency lobbyist, which contributed to the Agency's restrictive competitive practices."

    "Agency officials fialed to obtain any price quotations before hiring the lobbyist referred to above."

  6. So this guy is still employeed?? nd he has accomplished what........?