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Action lacking despite opportunities to improve Arizona’s lobbyist reporting system

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From lobbyists to lawmakers to advocacy groups, reactions to flaws in Arizona lobbying reports reflect an image of a system that needs to be improved.

Some proposals for how to improve the system have emerged, but any agreement on the solutions, not to mention the political will to enact them, still eludes lawmakers two years after the Fiesta Bowl lobbying scandal roped in dozens of politicians, top bowl officials and a handful of lobbyists.

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Power brokers: The most lobbied lawmakers and the busiest lobbyists

power-brokers

a small number of lobbyists spend much more money on lawmakers than the rest. And a select set of lawmakers attract more lobbying attention than others. Lobbying records required by state law hint at who these power brokers are, and give a peek into a small network of lobbyists, their clients and lawmakers who wield extra influence.

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Definition of lobbyist hard to pin down

‘Capitol Times’ analysis of lobbying records reveals loopholes, reporting gaps and errors

Even the question of who is a lobbyist is debatable, thanks to wide-ranging exemptions in the laws governing who is required to register as a lobbyist. Those exemptions cover everyone from John Q. Public to, arguably, one of the state’s most powerful public policy groups: The Goldwater Institute.

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Lobbying record analysis methodology

‘Capitol Times’ analysis of lobbying records reveals loopholes, reporting gaps and errors

The Arizona Capitol Times analysis of more than 9,000 lobbyist expenditure records that were filed in 2011 and 2012 included making decisions about what to count, what not to count and how to categorize expenditures. The goal was to evaluate different types of spending and to analyze records showing beneficiaries of the money.

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