Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lobbyists derail democracy

The Arizona Republic published the following letter on April 20 on page 17A.
Why doesn’t Ducey trust lawmakers on museum transfer?
Isn't it odd that 83 out of 90 legislators voted to transfer the Mining & Mineral Museum building at 1502 W. Washington, from the  Ariz. Historical Society, to the Arizona Geological Survey, yet Gov. Ducey vetoed the bill, saying "we must evaluate the use of state buildings holistically, rather than individually. At this point, there is not a plan or organizational structure in place to ensure the successful transition of the mining and mineral museum".

What  this means is that he has no faith in the State Agency , AZGLS, that would be responsible for the museum under the bill, and that he would rather that the building remain closed and locked, as it has been since AHS took it over in 2010.

If 83 out of 90 legislators, who have had time to study this matter in detail and were satisfied that the move was a good one, how can Ducey not rely on this majority to get it correct?
This sounds like we have a Gov. that takes the "my way or the highway" approach".

 Or is there something else in play here?
                                                                                            Doug Lindsay, Phoenix

Note: Only 5 legislators voted against the bill. Two were absent. One of those who was not able to vote was a strong supporter of SB1200. So, at least 84 of the 90 legislatures supported the bill.

Indeed, the is something else in play. No one in the Legislature was given an opportunity to  meet with either the new Governor or his staff concerning SB1200.  However, AHS lobbyists had access to the Governors staff (and perhaps even the Governor) by inclusion on his transition team.

When lobbyists can control the actions of a new Administration, democracy is defeated.


  1. The veto was a bit strange, as it didn't even address the major issues discussed in both houses of the legislature, but it rather raised "excuses" for not signing it to appease the AHS lobby. Hopefully Governor Ducey will give legislators and supporters of the MMM equal time and also will take the time to read both Sunset reviews of AHS and of AZGS. The porformance level of the two agencies is startling. Right now AHS has complied with only 5 of the 45 audit exceptions. This agency get millions of state dollars each year and doesn't have to follow the rules. Worrying about holistic use of buildings fades as an excuse when one takes a look at AHS. The facts that the building is empty, could be used with little remodeling if any by the MMM, and the only use AHS can come up with violates their statutes and is very ex-
    pensive. The new president of AHS wants the mess to go away. Well for starters, he could show leadership and integrity and actually work with the frustrated auditors who cannot complete their work because of AHS staff antics. Wouldn't that be a switch!

    1. It is the DIFFERENCE in the performance levels of the two agencies that is startling. For the AHS, it is unacceptable. For the AZGS, it is exemplary.