County lobbyist is a big spender

Taxpayer funded lobbyists targeting citizens for higher taxes is one of my pet peeves. This was once again on display a couple of days ago in the Arizona Republic’s interview with Diane Sikokis, one of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ many lobbyists.

In the article, Sikokis claims that the county’s and the state’s fiscal problems stem from “conservative Republican legislators” who are balking at Governor Brewer’s plan to raise our taxes through the roof.

This is shameful. According to the article, this woman has made a career of lobbying for big government at Maricopa County, having spent 25 years at the public trough there. And unfortunately, as the Goldwater Institute has documented, she has a small army of lobbyists at her disposal—85 to be exact, all with the taxpaying public in their cross hairs.

And if you examine who their lobbyists are, you quickly find Chuck Coughlin and High Ground at the top of the list. Coughlin’s plan to publicly attack conservative legislators who resist higher taxes during a recession was recently exposed by a number of media sources—this Sikokis attack seems to be another front in this.

According to Arizona Capitol Times, Coughlin plans on making $5 million pushing the Governor’s tax hike in a public vote. This one just reeks.

Here’s an idea—how about just trying sound, competent management? County taxpayers have had to foot the bill for one Board of Supervisors boondoggle after another. Remember the disastrous “Bring Back Blue” and “Running out of Air” ad campaigns to try to reduce pollution? They were laughable failures, except for the politically connected firms who ran the campaign. The current county boondoggle is a $347 million judicial taj mahal, replete with marble and travertine floors and wood paneling (as documented by ABC 15) for these pampered judges, and all during a recession.


  1. Not reigning in a Sherriff during whose tenure the county deductible on it’s liability insurance has gone from $1 million to $5 million is one sign of the MCBOS’s incompetence.

  2. Had they tried to reign him in, what would have been the claim by Joe and all the loyalists? Any attempt to control the mismanagement at the MCSO is always aligned to the “open borders crowd” or some other sort of non-conservative connotation.

  3. Pricinct Committeeman says

    This is not about the sheriff.

    It is about government manipulation by the Board of Supervisors. Besides a sea of county PIO and government agency staff lobbists, the county has an ocean of available PR firms to take up the slack when there is just too much work to be done.

    That work consists of attempts to bully legislators, put other county officials in their place, and ignore the wishes of the public. Diane is a master of dripping syrup from her lips while tightening the noose around her victim’s neck.

    That’s why guys like Stapley and Brock like her.

    It’s all a big joke. And, guess who, in the spending joke in the county, is the butt. Guess we should be laughing at ourselves.

  4. What is really sad is that there are no serious races for these seats. These people ‘get a pass’ every time they come up for re-election.

  5. It is a ‘tween campaign with each BOS district usually larger than an LD but much smaller than in a statewide race…with none of the money attached. There used to be competitive races, but now it seems the candidate with the name recognition or the money to buy it, wins.

  6. Actually, I went to the Secretary of State’s website and boogyman Chuck Coughlin was not at the top of the list so I wonder about the accuracy of the rest of Chewie’s rant. The records show that Sikokis has 7, not 85, lobbyists at “her disposal”. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

    Any County employee whose job brings he or she within spitting distance of a legislator has to register as a “lobbyist”. As the County’s Principal, Sikokis would direct the activities of the individuals listed as Lobbyist For Compensation – or paid lobbyists – not everyone in the County who has ever spoken with a legislator.

    Chewie sounds very much like a school boy who has a crush on the “pretty girl” and after being rebuffed took to name-calling and rumor spreading. Not a very attractive trait in a man.

  7. Old Walt says

    I actually have worked on the opposing side of Diane but give her high marks for every element of her ‘game.” Although she does a pretty good job now of directing her lobbyists, I would hate to see what she would do with 85 of them – probably end up owning the State. Rancher is right. Chewie must have some unrequited hots for her and is acting out.

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