Watchdog groups releases Arizona 'Piglet Book' - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Watchdog groups releases Arizona 'Piglet Book'


The Goldwater Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste released their "2011 Arizona Piglet Book," which highlights what the groups call wasteful government spending.

Highlights from the 47-page manual include membership dues for elected officials, millions of dollars in university projects and extravagant meals.

The report uncovers $206,000 in membership dues for state legislators for the National Conference of State Legislatures. It also reveals $75,000 in payments from Gov. Jan Brewer's office for membership in the National Governor's Association.

The governor's office sent a statement to CBS 5 News defending the membership expense. It reads, in part: "The National Governor's Association is an opportunity for the nation's governors to gather, exchange ideas and discuss best practices being utilized in the states. The NGA also enables the nation's governors to speak with a single voice on issues of significance."

Byron Schlomach, who is the chief economist at the Goldwater Institute, does not agree that taxpayers should pay those dues.

"There are things that they do that are valuable, but they ought to come out of campaign funds, rather than the taxpayers' dime," said Schlomach.

The Piglet Book revealed other questionable expenses. They include:

  • $2,075.52 for a dinner tab for employees of the Secretary of States' office
  • $3,000,000 to develop and market the phrase, "In one word -- Arizona"
  • $15,000,000 to pay for businesses to train new employees
  • $350,000 to develop a flight simulator that replicates the sensation of piloting while drunk
  • $243,000 to study how insects avoid colliding while in flight
  • $50,000 to study the effects of alcohol on gambling

"The intent is to educate the public about wasteful spending and to tell them what's going on with their tax dollars," said Tom Schatz, the President of Citizens Against Government Waste.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved.

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