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Freshman ranks high among most lobbied

Rep. Ethan Orr, R-Tucson (Cronkite News Service photo)

Even though Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson was listed as benefiting from only $566 spent by lobbyists, he ranked No. 3 among the most lobbied lawmakers during the first quarter.

That was no small feat, considering he is a freshman in the Legislature with no committee to chair and no position in leadership.

The University of Arizona spent $373 on Orr — a relatively small amount, but more than it spent on all other lawmakers combined.  Records show the money was spread out over 11 transactions.  The number of transactions combined with the money spent led to the ranking.

Republican Rep. Jeff Dial, former Democratic Rep. Tom Chabin, Democratic Sen. Steve Farley, Republican Sen. Steve Pierce, Republican Sen. Rich Crandall and Republican Sen. Gail Griffin were also reported as receiving food or beverages costing between $20 and $73 from the UofA.

The university has lobbied Orr because, as a former adjunct professor there, he knows the school’s strengths and problems and understands how the Legislature can help, said UofA lobbyist and former Senate President Tim Bee. Furthermore, since redistricting changed the political boundaries, Orr is the only Republican in the Legislature from Tucson. And while he doesn’t chair any committees, he is vice-chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

“Ethan’s been a very important lawmaker for the University of Arizona this year,” Bee said.

Sort the table of lobbying entity summaries in ascending or descending alphanumeric order by clicking the arrow buttons at the top of each column. Use the search box to find names of beneficiaries.

See a searchable database of all reported lobbying activity for the first three months of 2013

Bee said Orr has been working to secure funding for the UofA College of Medicine in Phoenix, as well as making sure the university gets its share of performance funding. They have also met to discuss a bill regarding universities’ intellectual property rights, as well as SB1443, which allows universities to use medical marijuana on campus for research purposes. It was signed into law on May 7.

Orr said he has been meeting with Bee regularly to discuss issues related to the university and to ask questions about how to become an effective legislator. The two get together to discuss business over dinner and drinks two or three times a month since the Legislature has been in session.

One comment

  1. A carload of caviar is dumped in the street and the story focuses on four jelly beans on the curb. The real story should have been $211,680.56 not reported.

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