Goldwater Institute Hires Investigative Journalist Mark Flatten

Goldwater Institute News Release
June 08, 2009

Phoenix–Continuing its efforts to monitor state government activities, the Goldwater Institute announces that renowned Arizona journalist Mark Flatten has joined the organization as an investigative reporter. Mr. Flatten’s investigative reports have led to changes in the law and prompted numerous federal and state investigations.

“We take our role as government watchdog seriously,” said Darcy Olsen, Goldwater Institute president and CEO. “And we are thrilled to have the opportunity to hire one of Arizona’s premiere investigative journalists to research, investigate and expose government corruption and abuse.”

After graduating from Arizona State University in 1981, Mr. Flatten spent five years covering local governments in Chandler, Pinal County and Scottsdale. In 1986, Mr. Flatten was assigned to the state capitol, where he provided award-winning coverage of the rise and fall of former Gov. Evan Mecham, who was impeached.

In almost 20 years of covering state government, Mr. Flatten consistently broke important stories about elected officials and policy issues, from the AzScam political corruption scandal to the alternative fuels fiasco. He also led the Tribune’s coverage of terrorism and its ties to Arizona after the Oklahoma City bombing and 9-11 attacks.

Mr. Flatten’s investigative projects have been recognized in some of the nation’s top journalism awards competitions. His series on state racketeering and forfeiture laws won numerous top national awards, including the Molly Livingston Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He is also a past winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Virg Hill Newsperson of the Year award.

In 2005, Mr. Flatten was the lead reporter in a special project on Valley developers that won the national Sigma Delta Chi Award and took first place in the regional Best of the West competition. He also has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Perhaps Mr. Flatten’s most unique distinction is he is the only reporter ever to be banned from the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives. He wasn’t banned for misbehavior, but rather because of an investigative article he wrote linking a former House speaker to the 1976 murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.

Mr. Flatten lives in Tempe with his wife Sandra. He has two adult children, Theresa and Michael. You can reach Mark at or (602) 462-5000 x223.

The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.


  1. Congratulations to both the Goldwater Institute and Mark Flatten!

    Mark will be an excellent addition to the team. He is one of few journalists paying attention to local and state politics and did an excellent job covering the Jim Rhodes fiasco in the East Valley (

  2. Flatten = over rated. Get ready for cheap shots and thinly researched “investigations”.

  3. ACE OF SPADES says

    Since he has done such a great job with our public schools, I can’t wait to vote against him.

  4. WHO from the Goldwater Institute wrote this fiasco of an article? I’ve read Mark Flatten for many years and have often found him to be mis-informed. His articles are not well researched and he likes to ‘grab’ headlines with stories that have been poorly investigated. Shame on you Goldwater Institute! You’re supposed to be our conservative backbone (and you’ve folded).

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