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Lewis proposes ‘real time’ gift reporting for lobbyists, lawmakers (access required)

Lewis proposes ‘real time’ gift reporting for lobbyists, lawmakers <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Sen. Jerry Lewis, the Mesa Republican who ran on a platform of transparency and lobbying reform during the recall election last year, today unveiled a proposal to tighten the reporting requirements for legislators and lobbyists and make it easier for the public to find out how the two groups interact.

Lewis said the proposal has the backing of Senate President Steve Pierce and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who has investigated the Fiesta Bowl scandal, where public officials received free tickets and took free trips without properly disclosing them.

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Time to give our first freedom as much respect as the second

A handful of elected officials in the Arizona Legislature have repeatedly tried to intimidate and silence Goldwater Institute analysts out of giving testimony in support of or in opposition to legislation this year. In one case, an elected official forced a Goldwater Institute attorney, who asked to speak on behalf of the Institute, to refrain from speaking because she was not a registered lobbyist for the Institute. Although the attorney was later allowed to testify after signing in as representing only herself, the instance demonstrates that certain Arizona legislators want citizens to curtail their First Amendment rights before daring to talk or write about public policy with their representatives.

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Anti-union bills expose lack of worker solidarity

While the slew of measures targeting public unions appeared to have re-energized organized labor in Arizona, it also exposed their inability to fully unite amid a sustained attack from foes. The discord over tactics was palpable on March 1, when hundreds of union members and their supporters protested at the state Capitol, but many public unions stayed away.

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