Thursday, August 21, 2008

AFP: Rep. Trish Groe wins top legislative award in 2008 Friend of the Taxpayer scorecard

Arizona’s FY 2008-2009 state budget, which is more than a billion dollars over budget, produced sharp divisions in legislators’ scores on the 24th annual “Friend of the Taxpayer” Legislative Scorecard, sponsored by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), formerly the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. Legislators voting against the budget bills scored an average of 82 percent, while legislators voting in favor scored an average of 10 percent.

The top award stayed in Lake Havasu City, with Rep. Trish Groe narrowly beating out Sen. Ron Gould, who earned the top spot the last three years in a row. Joining Groe and Gould in the category “Hero of the Taxpayer” were Gilbert Reps. Andy Biggs and Eddie Farnsworth, scoring 90 percent or higher.

To view the complete Scorecard, visit

With their combined high scores, Mohave County legislators Groe, Gould, and McLain made Legislative District 3 the highest-scoring district in the state. In second place was LD 22 (Gilbert), and in third place was LD 9 (Glendale/Peoria/Sun City). The average Republican legislator scored 70 percent (Friend of the Taxpayer), while the average Democratic legislator scored 9 percent (Hero of Big Government). Last year’s Party averages were 65 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Widening the divide in scores were the failure of the Governor and legislative majorities to prevent a possible $300 million increase in property taxes next year, advance school choice legislation, allow for private enterprise to provide for Arizona’s transportation infrastructure, or enact budget reforms that would help to rein in runaway spending.

For AFP-AZ, the brightest spot in the 2008 Legislative Session was the passage of transparency legislation that will allow Arizona taxpayers to go online and view all state expenditures made to all vendors. AFP-AZ hopes the 2009 Session will extend transparency to the county and city levels.

For the second year in a row, Rep. Steve Farley (R-Tucson) was at the bottom of the scorecard, this time with a score of 3 percent. Farley, who received last year’s Empty Wallet Award, secured his spot at the bottom by casting the lone vote against the transparency legislation.

Contact: Tom Jenney, (602) 478-0146, or Phil Kerpen (202) 349-5796

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