As most politically astute government watchers are aware, the states share revenue with the cities. Therefore, it is the business of every Arizona taxpayer to know where and how the city of Phoenix spends its money. Mayor Phil Gordon is the new champion of fascist corporate welfare state. Consider the following:
In July 2007, the City of Phoenix signed a contract with the Klutznick Company to provide a $97.4 million taxpayer corporate welfare subsidy for their CityNorth project despite a constitutional prohibition on corporate welfare within Arizona . On August 8, 2007, the Goldwater Institute filed suit against Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon over the City North subsidy and won. The Goldwater Institute successfully argued that Gordon-led subsidy violated the no gifting clause of the Arizona Constitution.
Not to be deterred by the lower court ruling, this Ayatollah of corporate welfare, Phil Gordon, has struck back at the lower court ruling with a vengeance as Gordon appealed the original verdict and his city will foot the tab for this unconstitutional recklessness to an estimated tune of about 10 million dollars.
In a “how-low-can-you-go” scheme, Phoenix Mayor Gordon recently asked the federal government for a bailout, and then turned around and asked his city to spend $35 million on an NBA all-star event! The event is ostensibly designed to showcase Phoenix’s proud new $1.4 billion light-rail system, $350 million Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the $600 million Phoenix Convention Center expansion. The last two projects were subsidized by tax dollars and the Sheraton was 100% paid for by tax dollars. This begs the following questions: With city revenue sharing coming out of all of our pockets, how do you feel about Uncle Phil’s corporate soup kitchen now? And how much do you think any of us common folk will benefit from these unconstitutional practices? Well, you know the answer to that question, there will be no soup for you or for me! In this tough economy, how many developers will rest easier tonight knowing that Uncle Phil is guarding the people’s hen house?
In only two very short installments on this series regarding unconstitutional government handouts, the amount of dollars wasted by taxpayers, in Arizona, is astounding.
$1, 400, 000, 000 Light rail
600, 000 , 000 Phoenix Convention Center
350,000, 000 Sheraton Hotel
97, 400, 000 Attempted giveaway to CitiNorth
10, 000, 000 Legal fees defending CityNorth giveaway
35, 000, 000 NBA All Star Game
100, 000, 000 Photo Radar
10,000, 000 Photo Radar Money to politicians pockets in “clean elections”
Total $ 2, 592, 400, 000
Let's say the amount together: "2 billion, 5 hundred, 92 million, 400 thousand!" And this does not even cover the insurance company scam that will fleece Arizona citizens to the tune of an estimated $50-75 million dollars when photo radar tickets have points assessed to the individual drivers and the insurance companies will possess the right to raise premiums. And with unconstitutional severance pay being dispensed to fired city managers, the building by the County of the Taj Majal, Attorney General Goddard and Governor Brewer using funds from their own offices to shamelessly promote their next election campaign, the University of Phoenix Stadium, the Coyotes stadium, American Airways Arena, Chase Field, the state sponsored film industry scam and let's not forget about Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's airport scam which, in a reverse irony of history, is just another shot in the rear to Arizona taxpayers, and on and on and on we go, and we are just getting started with raising the covers to take a peek at this good ole boy state.
Final Question: I ask the reasonable people among us, are we proud that we keep allowing the legislature to keep taking money from our children's education in order that this government sponsored gravy train can keep on rolling on?