Grand Canyon, Dry Heat, and Strong Ethics Laws

Part 23 of our 36-part series “35 States and One Congress More Ethical Than Missouri” looks at Arizona.

Arizona statues read:

“A principal or lobbyist or any other person acting on behalf of a principal or lobbyist shall not give to any state officer or state employee and a state officer or state employee shall not accept from a principal or lobbyist either of the following: 1. Gifts with a total value of more than ten dollars during any calendar year. 2. Gifts that are designed to influence the state officer’s or state employee’s official conduct.”

The wording here is unique.  First, it prohibits ANY gift totally more than $10/year.  That puts Arizona in a list with 22 other states that technically allow gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers but only up to a specific limit.  In Arizona’s case, the limit is pretty damn low at just $10/year!  What is that, a coffee mug?

But then the second qualification suggests that ANY gift “designed to influence ……. conduct” is prohibited.  Is there any doubt that that is the real reason behind ANY gift from a lobbyist?

Whatever the case, Arizona clearly sees a need to limit the extent of lobbyist generosity.  Gifts are not coming out of the goodness of their hearts.  They are intended to build relationships and win favor with state officials.

Arizona understands the problem.  When will Missouri?

Support the Missouri Gift-Ban Pledge and legislation regulating lobbyist gift-giving.