Lobbyist Reform Needed Now More Than Ever

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Bentz

“Lobbyist Gullett continues to put special interests before public interest.” 

PHOENIX – Boycotts. Casino gaming. Union interests. Lobbyist Wes Gullett has made a career as a political insider – taking taxpayer funded contracts from public institutions, donating thousands to democrats who opposed SB1070, working on behalf of organized labor, and ballot measures to increase taxes. Last night at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Debate, Gullett once again stated that he would keep interest in his lobbying firm if elected Mayor.

“Today, more than ever, special interest groups are trying to buy influence through lobbyists and insiders working behind closed doors,” said Former Mayor Skip Rimsza, “And the best way to cure this problem is with a healthy dose of sunshine and openness. We need real reform at City Hall.”

Peggy Neely announced the comprehensive charter review as part of her real reforms for the City of Phoenix. The goal is to comprehensively review the charter and modernize it to reflect the realities of today and the prospects and opportunities for tomorrow. These reforms should focus on accountability, wisdom, accessibility, representation and ethics (A.W.A.R.E.) and focusing on opening up City Hall to a greater degree of public scrutiny and fostering a more open and transparent dialogue among elected and appointed leaders. Phoenix residents should have the opportunity to be more aware of what is going on in their community.

“We need more transparency in government. We don’t even know who Mr. Gullett’s clients are. How could the taxpayers ever trust he was serving them instead of himself?” questioned Peggy Neely, “Lobbyist reform is needed now more than ever and that is why it is part of the AWARE program.”

Two of the proposed AWARE reforms include:

• Lobbyist reform: Lobbyist registrations should be posted online in a searchable database by lobbyist and by client. The database should also include increased financial reporting requirements – for example, gifts and meals for commission members should be reported just as they are for elected officials.

• Strengthen the conflict of interest policy: Develop a stronger and clearer conflict of interest policy statement that will clearly point out the minimum requirements any elected official and those appointed by the elected body are to abide by. I would also include those who serve on boards and commissions. There should be no loophole, ambiguity or general lack of clarity that all of us who serve the will of the people should be expected to follow. In addition, there should be strong monetary sanctions and the risk of removal from the position imposed on anyone found to be guilty of violating the public trust in their capacity as public servants.

“We need real reform – voters are looking for a leader who will stand up for them and do the right thing,” concluded Neely, “I have a track record of making the hard choices and standing by my word. Mr. Gullett has already proven that his self-interest trumps the public interest.”

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Comments

  1. Hey Peggy, I have an idea for transparency too. Why don’t you reveal how you re-routed Sonoran Boulevard to run past land owned by your campaign co-chairs?

  2. Phil Gordon allegedly directed the bus company to pay his girlfriend to “help” them negotiate with the CIty of Phx. He also got them to hire Billy Shields to help and continue his direction of contracts to Bill.
    Wes Gullett will keep his ownership of First Strategic (thats a lobbying firm) while he is mayor. First Strategic will certainly make the rounds with lots of businesses that do work for the City and wink-wink they will have new clients. Gullett will maybe even be able to steer some clients that need help with city issues to his wife at another lobbying firm. He has more options and angles than Highground.

    Dont forget, Gulletts wife Deb was the Chief of Staff to Mayor Gordon for several years and oversaw the relationship with the corrupt fire fighters union. She was also there when Wes was appointed to the very powerful planning commission. He may even have been charman. So dont buy all that Gullett outrage at city policies and practices, cause his wife was there managing a whole bunch of those things that he was complaining about. Either he had no influence over his wife, or he was on board with the corruption goin on at the City.

  3. Peggy Neely probably violated the City Charter when she was helping the Klutznicks block other commercial development in the area around City North. She pressured city staff to change their position and hold up the plans for other projects. There is a $110 million dollar judgement that used info on her shady influence to convince a judge that there were corrupt forces at work at the City.
    The whole episode should make people ask Peggy, why do you try to hide your official work by using a private email to correspond with rich developers. What other secret deals are you hiding?
    How many times to the powerful zoning attorneys get to meet one on one with Peggy? She probably meets with Paul Gilbert, Steve Earl, Jason Morris and Nick Woods regularly to get her instructions and collect checks. But does she meet with residents? Does she care about neighborhoods?

  4. Tiny Elvis says

    Ironic that the candidate who has High Ground running her campaign claims “Lobbyist Reform Needed Now More than Ever”

  5. Miss Tomato says

    Funny, you can insert “Matt Salmon” in all of the places that “Wes Gullett” shows up in this press release and it will still apply.

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