November 7, 2018 •

Phoenix Passes Amendment Requiring Dark Money Disclosure

Voters in Phoenix overwhelmingly passed Proposition 419, an amendment to the Charter of the City of Phoenix requiring any person, association of persons or entity making expenditures to influence the result of a city election to disclose and identify expenditures […]

Voters in Phoenix overwhelmingly passed Proposition 419, an amendment to the Charter of the City of Phoenix requiring any person, association of persons or entity making expenditures to influence the result of a city election to disclose and identify expenditures and contributions including original and intermediary sources of major contributions.

This is the latest in a nationwide trend to limit the influence of so-called dark money.

Proponents for the proposition argued Proposition 419 was a critical step to restoring the public’s trust in our elections.

The proposition passed 86.1 percent to 13.89 percent.

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July 19, 2018 •

Phoenix Councilman Resigns, Another to Follow Suit

City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela resigned yesterday in order to comply with state law to resign by August 8 to pursue the mayor’s office. In order to make a smoother transition for City Council, Councilwoman Kate Gallego will be resigning after […]

City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela resigned yesterday in order to comply with state law to resign by August 8 to pursue the mayor’s office.

In order to make a smoother transition for City Council, Councilwoman Kate Gallego will be resigning after the council appoints someone to fill the Council District 5 seat, and then the council will repeat the process for the Council District 8 seat after her resignation becomes official.

A special election has been scheduled for March 12, 2019, for the Council District 5 seat.

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May 31, 2018 •

Phoenix Mayor Resigns

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigned this week to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress. Arizona has a resign to run law, forcing Stanton to leave his position to campaign for a different office. Thelda Williams, a council member […]

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigned this week to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress. Arizona has a resign to run law, forcing Stanton to leave his position to campaign for a different office.

Thelda Williams, a council member representing Phoenix’s District One, will serve as the interim mayor until June 11 when the Phoenix City Council will appoint a mayor pro tempore who will serve until a special election is held. The special election will likely take place on November 6, 2018 along with the state’s regularly scheduled elections.

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January 11, 2018 •

Phoenix Launches Online Lobbyist Registration and Reporting System

Phoenix, Arizona has launched an online lobbyist database for 2018 registration and reporting purposes. It is available at https://lobbyist.phoenix.gov. In order to use the system, a user name and password is needed. The website can also be used to search […]

Phoenix, Arizona has launched an online lobbyist database for 2018 registration and reporting purposes. It is available at https://lobbyist.phoenix.gov.

In order to use the system, a user name and password is needed. The website can also be used to search for a particular organization’s lobbying efforts.

For questions about using this new system, contact the Phoenix Office of the City Clerk at lobbyist@phoenix.gov or 602-534-0490.

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June 1, 2017 •

Phoenix City Council Approves Lobbying Ordinance

The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to give final approval to the city’s lobbying ordinance overhaul. Under the amended rules, lobbyists not filing required registration or disclosure forms can face sanctions, including fines of up to $2,500, suspension from lobbying and […]

The Phoenix City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to give final approval to the city’s lobbying ordinance overhaul.

Under the amended rules, lobbyists not filing required registration or disclosure forms can face sanctions, including fines of up to $2,500, suspension from lobbying and jail time.

The ordinance also requires lobbyists to disclose to city officials whom they contact if they are working in a capacity as a lobbyist and expands covered officials that trigger registration.

The ordinance will take effect July 1, 2017.

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May 25, 2017 •

Phoenix City Council Votes to Amend Lobbying Ordinance

The Phoenix City Council voted this week to amend the city’s lobbying ordinance to create sanctions for those who don’t comply with the lobbyist registration or expense disclosure rules. Current city code includes no punishment for those who ignore the rules. The […]

The Phoenix City Council voted this week to amend the city’s lobbying ordinance to create sanctions for those who don’t comply with the lobbyist registration or expense disclosure rules.

Current city code includes no punishment for those who ignore the rules. The amendments will also include a clarification and expansion of the term lobbying to include city executives, department directors, the city manager and his top staffers, and board and commission members.

The strengthened rules raise fines and increase the amount of time lobbyists could be suspended from contacting city officials. Phoenix’s lobbying rules are currently unenforceable.

City Council will vote in the coming weeks to finalize the changes.

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May 11, 2017 •

Phoenix City Council Considering Penalties for Lobbying Violations

City Council discovered its lobbying regulations have no enforcement mechanism several months ago, but it has yet to agree on whether violations should be treated as civil or criminal matters. The discovery began following a controversial vote on a request […]

City Council discovered its lobbying regulations have no enforcement mechanism several months ago, but it has yet to agree on whether violations should be treated as civil or criminal matters.

The discovery began following a controversial vote on a request to pay out $1.2 million to a developer for stormwater culverts on a city owned property. The developer’s lobbyists, a former city staffer and a lawyer at the law firm Burch & Cracchiolo, were not registered according to city records.

While the former city staffer’s attorney accused the city of losing or misfiling his registrations, the city contends the documents produced by Burch & Cracchiolo were falsely created and backdated because they use the law firm’s current letterhead, not the letterhead the firm used in 2015.

When the matter was referred to the city prosecutor, he discovered the current ordinance does not explicitly say failure to file proper lobbying documents is unlawful and does not specify the penalty for failing to register. The city prosecutor previously assumed noncompliance could result in a misdemeanor charge.

Any changes to current lobbying regulations will impact the work of more than 300 registered lobbyists in the city.

Photo of Phoenix City Hall by Kevin Dooley

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February 8, 2017 •

Phoenix City Council Votes to Create Ethics Commission

On Tuesday, Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to move forward with creating a bipartisan ethics commission. The commission would screen allegations and recommend penalties for city officials who violate the city’s gift policies and other related rules. Under a plan laid out by […]

Phoenix-logo.svgOn Tuesday, Phoenix City Council voted unanimously to move forward with creating a bipartisan ethics commission. The commission would screen allegations and recommend penalties for city officials who violate the city’s gift policies and other related rules.

Under a plan laid out by a City Council member, potential commissioners are screened by a city board and ultimately appointed by City Council. Phoenix’s current ethics rules are unenforceable as the city lacks a mechanism for investigating ethics complaints and recommending punishment.

This is not the first time Phoenix has attempted to create an ethics commission; previous attempts have been unsuccessful in part due to concerns about the commission becoming a political attack tool.

City Council will still need to approve a final ordinance in order to establish an ethics commission. A final vote on the matter is expected this spring.

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