Saturday, May 2, 2015

Does the Arizona Historical Society have any friends?

The March 24th blog post displayed an obviously false message distributed by the “Friends of the Arizona Historical Society”? The content of the message was completely debunked by both the March 29th and April 10th posts. A copy of the rebuttal was sent to the address shown in the message from the “Friends of the Arizona Historical Society”; 101 North 1st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ.  The envelope was returned with the following hand written note: “return to sender, not at this address”.

It happens that the AHS lobbying firm, R&R Partners, occupied the 19th floor of 101 North 1st Avenue until December of 2014. Then they moved to their current address to 121 East Buchanan. Does this mean that AHS lobbyists sent a fake message from an old, abandoned office on North 1st Street?

Is there a real organization called the Friends of the Arizona Historical Society?

Or, are the only “friends” of the AHS has ones it has to buy (i.e. lobbyists)?

R&R Partners is a Los Vegas based advertising, marketing, public affairs, and public relations firm with major clients. Why is it involved with a minor, functionally challenged client like the AHS?
Is the AHS paying R&R Partners to rewrite history?


  1. If they are being paid then who is paying? The taxpayers? And if the taxpayers are paying for this contract then who were the other bidders? Were State of Arizona procurement regulations followed?

    1. Taxpayers are paying for the lobbyists.
      According to the August 2002 Auditor Generals report, there were multiple violations of State procurement regulations when the AHS contracted with R&R Partners.

    2. Then as a taxpayer I want to see all of the paperwork on this purchase! Were all rules and regulations followed. If the amount spent was over a certain amount then bids must be made. I want Bill Ponder to make an explanation to the Board. Or maybe head of accounting for the agency needs to make an accounting for all of this.

    3. So who is the head accountant of the Arizona Historical Society? Questions should be pointed to that person.

  2. Lobbyists are going to get a bad name as this whole mess is reviewed over a veto that didn't make sense to many. Shouldn't a lobbyist be held to high standards of ethical conduct when advocating for a client? The AHS lobbyist seems to be supporting the false information that AHS personnel are making about their misguided attempt to get a high end or classy museum to replace the Mining and Mineral Museum. It would seem that the AHS lobbyist should have been steering them to avoid the poor and short-sighted decisions that were made and have yet to be explained by AHS. During the hearings, where no one from the public spoke for AHS, a Mr. Luther from R & R Partners seemed rather uncomfortable and meekly commented that all AHS got was two plans, (both expensive Gallagher ones.)
    The idea that AHS should be allowed to use the building for a reception center for lobbyists is not an appropriate use of state money or buildings. Lobbyists are hired by companies and if they need a meeting place, the companies should provide it. Above all, children and students should not be the victims of this kind of warped thinking and action.