Look Up Your Public Officials' Financial Disclosure Statements
The Internet makes so many things so incredibly easy.
For one, you can, with the click of a button, see where your state-level elected officials get their money.
The Secretary of State's Office has an index where you can look up each person's financial disclosure documents, which have been filed this year.
Arizona's forms aren't quite as specific as the federal forms, which have higher ranges of values of someone's assets or liabilities. On the state forms, assets are identified in only three "value categories" -- $1,000 to $25,000, or $25,000 to $100,000, or more than $100,000. So you can't tell whether someone's checking account has $100,000 or $100 million.
The forms include sources of compensation, money owed, gifts received, affiliations with organizations, ownership in investment funds, businesses owned, and property owned.
For a politician who doesn't list any other source of income aside from his state job, like Republican Representative Don Shooter, the forms are mostly left blank.
However, if you're checking out Republican Senator Bob Worsley -- a co-founder of SkyMall and owner of energy and mineral companies -- there's quite a bit to look at. There are about 130 pages in Worsley's disclosure. (His list of trusts and investment funds spill onto two pages, while the number of businesses he controls barely fits onto one page).
In addition to curiosity, these documents can also be good for finding conflicts of interest -- like Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough's role in private schools and his role in sponsoring legislation that benefits those schools.
Click here to check out all the financial disclosure documents.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
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